Archive for April, 2011

Apr 27 2011

Did You Miss Me?

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I arrived in Edinburgh on Saturday, it is already a blur and it is only Tuesday! On Friday we went to Bath. We had to take a 2hr bus trip. We did the whole tourist thingy, and walked everywhere. It is a very pretty place. On the way home on the bus, a young asian woman fainted, and fell onto the bus floor. Everyone just looked at her. The bus driver pulled over, and just stood over her, and said “hello, are you alright?”, duh! She ended up waking up, he helped her to her seat, but then she came almost running out to the front door and out of the bus nearly falling. The bus driver was just letting her go, she was delirious. I suprised myself by handing Jared my purse, and walking out to help. I layed her on the ground, took off her cardigan (as she was extremely hot), the bus’ air conditioning wasn’t working, and it was very warm. The next minute a passer by handed me the phone and I spoke to an ambulance officer, about her. Anyway, I gave her some water, and stayed with her, until she was checked by an ambulance driver and put back onto the bus. We got off at the same stop, and she was looking much better. When we got off, the bus driver shook my hand, and said “Thank you for your help”. When I sat down, Jared said that he had never seen me take charge like that before, he thought I was cook. That was the biggest buzz, knowing that my husband thought that I was cool.

AS I said, I can’t put up any photos, so when I get home I will put up some photos. In the mean time let me just say that we have been to St Andrews¬†(where Will and Kate met), Dundee, Glasgow today, and the highlight for me was David Livingstone’s home in Blantyre.

I can’t wait to come home. Thank you Nicky for the lovely email, but I can’t email back…Thank you for looking after the children, they will miss you too. Nicky wrote to me that the children had one of the forzen meals that I had left, they said “ah, this is mums cooking smell”, ain’t that sweet. I Can’t wait to cook for you again ūüėÄ

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Apr 22 2011

It’s My 40th Birthday!

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Happy Birthday to me…that sounds a bit sad doesn’t it? Even though it says that the date is the 22 april, it is only the 21st here in Oxford, so I have had an extended birthday. ¬†I was hanging out for the children to Skype me, which they did. They all looked hyper, holding paper masks, and in some cases no one was in front of the screen at all! I think that it was their tea time. My dear sister is going to be exhausted, she is giving them the world. Dear Nicky, try not to spend your life’s saving on the children, even though I’m sure that they are enjoying it ūüėÄ

Jared had his last Latin lesson today, so now he is officially on holidays. I went off on my own for the morning, and met up after his lesson. He took me out for lunch for my birthday, a hearty man’s breakfast. Then he did the unthinkable, he took me to a Cath Kidstone shop. I was embarrassed when the sales¬†assistant¬†said “oh, hello, are you here again?”, um, awkward! He went against his own better judgement, and said “Go for it”, wow, how cool is that? I ended up buying a lovely bag with a matching purse. Have a look. Before I left Australia, mum also gave me some money, so I bought this (we need an extra bag anyway to bring everything home in), that’s what happens when you take a teeny weeny suitcase with you. ¬†I gave my mum a quick call on my mobile too, it was nice to hear her voice. Thank you for the lovely bag mum.

Jared also took me out to tea.

Last night we had the worst raquet outside. Really loud middle easten music. Someone yelled out to stop, so they turned it up louder. It was a little ¬†to be honest, with all the shouting. Jared’s tutor told him that we are in the part of Oxford where all the “bad” things happen, ugh!

Today we also went to a castle in Oxford, that was built by the Normans, but in later years it was used as a prison. It was very interesting.I couldn’t resist blowing these puffy flowers, what are they called again? We also went to the natural museum, to see large dinosaur bones. It was actually very warm today. I even saw a pale Englishman riding his bike without a top on!

I also popped into the library where I found this great book, all about the ministry of food. This is a reproduction of all the information given to the householders during WW2, it teaches you how to make a vege garden, and how to c ook without waste etc. I like the art work too.

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Apr 21 2011

And the Winner is….

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Michelle! Congrats, Michelle, and sorry Lily. I hate it that not everyone can win. Michelle, I will pop your book in the post tomorrow.um, did I leave out an “L”?

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Apr 20 2011

What’s Up?

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Jared has been very good, and spending most of his time studying. Me on the other hand, has been doing way too much window shopping. I would have liked to have made a few friends, but I don’t think that is going to happen. I get the feeling, that nearly everyone here is either a tourist, or too busy to have friends.

Yesterday we went to the Bodlein Library ¬†I had to go and book the tour in the morning, and then go back at 2pm for the tour (which, may I add was a rip off). We went into one room, climbed some steps (which was the actual library, but I wasn’t allowed to take any photos).This is Jared waiting for the guide.My son would love to read through all of these graphic novels.Look what I found in the op shop (yes, I know, I’m a horder). The big question is how am I going to fit this stuff in my teeny weeny suitcase?You ¬†have to love these cute pillows.Some of the library books that I have borrowed.

Now remember the giveaway here, you have until tomorrow night to put your name down. Find it here:http://cassiescuddles.hoodfamily.org.au/?p=3339

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Apr 18 2011

Royal Wedding Giveaway

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If ¬†you would like a chance to win this knitting book, and a couple of other wedding bits and pieces, just leave your name, and email me your address so I can send it to you, as soon as I draw the name out of a hat. email me at cassie@hoodfamily.org.au I will draw out the winner on Wednesday this week, UK time 8pm. If I don’t have your address, I won’t be able to send it, because we are heading off to Edinburgh on Friday/ Sat morning. All the best.

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Apr 18 2011

Sunday, The Lord’s Day.

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We headed off to Church this morning, after googling for an appropriate one. ¬†Of course, we wanted a Church that was faithful to the Gospel. We caught the bus.We asked a passanger and then the bus driver if he could stop at the Baptist Church, neither knew it, because it wasn’t a large 300 year old building….well, now they both know where it is ūüėÄIt’s wonderful to see and hear other people who love the Lord. Afterward we went for a walk, we saw baby ducks, squirrels, and what I thought were flies (but have since found out that they were bumble bees).and…so cute, but I hear that they are a pest. We then indulged in this, believe it or not,this was a small cup.Now I’m thinking of a giveaway…to celebrate the Royal wedding. Stay tuned.

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Apr 17 2011

Blenheim Palace

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Today Jared and I headed off to Blenheim Palace. It is about 30 min from Oxford. It cost 19 pounds each to enter, ugh! A very expensive day. It was a long walk just to get to the front door.We went on two tours. Evidently Winston Churchill was born here in a cloak room! He did not grow up/live here though, but he did visit his grandparents here. This house was actually given to John Churchill by Queen Anne for his victory of many battles. I wasn’t allowed to take any photos inside (rats!), so I only have outside ones.The grounds were huge. We have really sore feet after all of the walking.lovely, lovely, lovely.I found a little place of trees, that I just had to sit amongst. This little area reminded me of my childhood, when I would go and play in the forest at the top of our street in Tasmania.I saw some cute flies. They are all fluffy, with an orange bottom.I also found a cute little coat for 1 pound in the local op shop. I know, I don’t have a little girl anymore, but I can still give it to someone, it’s so cute.Today in the paper, which costs 80p, you get a free dvd on the royal marriages, so I got two.

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Apr 17 2011

A Tour

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After lunch on Friday, Jared’s tutor took us on a tour for two hours! She also took a German student and his mother. We got to see about 6 colleges (and didn’t have to pay for ¬†any of them). Jared’s tutor is actually younger than us, I would think that she was about28/ early 30s? She is a very clever cookie.The front able is for the clever guys and gals…this was in Christ Church chapel.The grass is very green, and the gardens are beautiful.This is where Jared studies, he is working very well.

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Apr 17 2011

Many Observations.

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There are many observations to make when one is in England. There are so many people speaking French and Arabic, it has taken me by¬†surprise. It is during the school holidays though, so I guess that might have something to do with it. Also, the little green man on the traffic light doesn’t beep when it’s time to walk (some do, but not many), it makes you aware at how much you rely on your hearing. I have also noted that most girls here are big busted (is that weird to note?). One girl was standing in line wearing one of those 1950’s bras that are like rockets, with a little tank top on, that didn’t cover her. Even I had to look, but I did notice that none of the men in the line were staring (what a nice change), but then it occured to me, that large busts are everywhere..which means…..the bras here are very cheap, and cute, for the “well endowed woman”, hey, even I could get polka dots here ūüėÄ Enough said, I have embarrassed my children enough (no photo here).This is the door where we live. Looking the other way, you can see how close we are to a bus stop.

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Apr 15 2011

An Adventurer

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What a great adventurer I am. Today I caught the bus to London from Oxford all by myself. I realise that I am no longer an adventurous, or confidant person, so I had to force myself..I caught the bus to Victoria station, then three buses (I actually read a map) until I got to Wesley’s Church. Remember that the cemetry opposite wasn’t open the other day? Well, I went back for Jared. ¬†John Bunyan was buried there.and Susanna Wesley. The grave was behind a gate, but you can see it in the middle of the picture, the white one.This is closer up.I then just pottered around, caught the bus home, and picked up a few items for some friends. How cute are these? I’ll have to line up in the post office tomorrow.It is taking me ages to upload, so that’s it for now. see u

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Apr 14 2011

Correction.

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Look, you can knit your own royal wedding. The book costs 10 pounds. Remember I said that the Cath Kidston shop was opposite the three martyr memorial? I was wrong, it at is actually opposite the place where the burning actually took place, not the memorial.This is the actual site.

Today I went shopping, no holding back here :D. ¬†Look at some of the goodies.Steph would you wear this? It’s only 10 pounds.I just love the fashions.Jared gagged at this pant suit, but I think it’s cute.What about a new outfit for Jared? No? Well, he doesn’t like it anyway.Look how cheap the easter eggs are…Alycia I bought you this jacket, it has birds on it. It is Navvy blue in colour though, not grey. Tomorrow, I might be heading off to London by myself, am I brave or what?

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Apr 13 2011

Tuesday

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It seems like forever, but it is only Tuesday. ¬†Jared’s Latin lesson was at 4.30 yesterday, so he studied in the morning, while I blogged. I ended up falling asleep on the bed until 10, just because it is so hot upstairs. Jared has put the heaters on high so that our clothes will dry. We thought that we would have a clothes dryer, and seeing we don’t, and he we have so little clothes, we do desperate things to be clean ūüėÄ I digress ( I do that a lot don’t I?). At 10 I was happy to go out into the fresh air, ah… We caught the bus to the city this time. We are walking a lot, so I am still struggling with blisters over my feet. We discovered that our weekly ticket, is only valid on red buses, um!! The firs thing we did was climb up a tower. It use to be connected to the prison, which was pulled down to allow traffic to flow through Oxford.Jared is standing in front of the door that housed Latimer and Ridley, and later Cranmer in before they were¬†martyred for their Christian faith. It amazes me that we can be walking around where there must have been so much fear, and yet strength to endure. The same God that watched them, now watches us. We climbed to the top, wow, what a view.Ugh, what a gross photo of me, oh well, add it to the list…. After this we went to the A…..museum, it was quite large. The best thing for me, was seeing the replica coins of Henry and Elizabeth…I think that I will have to go back to the gift shop. Hey, they are only 2 pounds for the two.Outside they had a lovely garden of tulips. After lunch, Jared went back to study. Our lunch consisted of a¬†sandwich deal from Tesco. A sandwich, a drink and a packet of chips/fruit for 3 pounds (have I written this already?)¬†. I then checked out the shops, and went to the library. I bought a lovely apron (I would never spend 26 pound on an apron back home), but I guess that it is a special occasion right? I also bought a little top and socks and a thomas hat for my cousin who is expecting the birth of a little boy soon. Oh, I need a photo of that to show you. I’ll do it later. The top was only 5 pounds. here is my apron.Oh, don’t you just love it? It’s a Pip brand. Um, I just remembered that I need to buy Jared some cream for his skin, it’s breaking down, poor boy.

WE tried talking to the children again this morning, but they may as well have been aliens. I thought that Skype was suppose to be good! It was nice to see their little faces, even though most of the lights in the house have blown, so it was pretty dark. Gotta go, places to see.

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Apr 12 2011

Checking out Oxford

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Jared had his first lesson yesterday, so we walked into the city before hand, and then he left to go to his lesson. I checked out the area, oh, shopping. ¬†Of course I’m reading all the plaques everywhere along the way. I set off to find the library too, but of course I went the wrong way and didn’t find it. There is a sweet undercover market with some cute items in them.Owls and Meercats seem to be popular around London.We started the morning with a little walk. Yes, Jared, I said, of course there will be stairs to get up to the bridge on the other side of this grass. Did I say, very wet grass? Well, there wasn’t so we ended up having wet feet all day, but hey, look at it, isn’t it pretty?Can you see this wooden structure sticking out of the building? It’s holding up the wall! Not everyone in Oxford is an Oxford scholar!Isn’t this tree pretty?I was so excited to see this shop. When we were in London, after doing all the historical sites, Jared said that we could find the shop in Covent Gardens, I didn’t have the address, so I started asking some random women. Jared said, “there is no way that anyone will know it”, I just laughed. Every women I asked knew the shop, but was a little confused as to where it was. So I said to Jared ” I have to ask a vintage girl” he said, what? I walked up to a girl, that looked kinda vintage, and she told me straight away. Jared moaned through the door, as I took in the eye candy. I came out with some fat quarters. Very pretty, but very expensive. Anyway, there is one here in Oxford too! I got a little caught up in it all until I realised what was opposite.¬†It’s the monument to Ridley, Latimer, and Cramner. Three Martyrs. This made me cry (just a little, I’m not a crazy women). To think that it takes men and women to stand up for their faith, to give us freedom to worship Christ. Evidently Cranmer recanted three times before he was burn’t at the stake. From his prison cell, he would have seen Ridley and Latimer burn at the stake, so It must have been difficult for him. What a witness they all were though. The actual spot is marked with an uneventful cross on the main rd (a different coloured stone).Oh, does this make me look smart? I have a library card to the local Oxford library. So cool, they even let you choose the picture you would like. Whose going to choose a bird, or a piece of fruit as their picture if you can have this one, eh? The library is set up like a Borders shop, woo hoo! I am hoping to borrow some books today, when Jared is at Latin. He is next to me studying at the moment, it is difficult not to constantly talk to him (although I must say that he is doing pretty well, at blocking me out :D).Do you like this ring? (don’t mind the wrinkly fingers). I bought it for 5 pounds. It says “Sing”. I love to sing, and it brings to mind the verse “Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”. I often make up little tunes to Bible Verses, they aren’t masterpieces (the songs, not the verses), but it brings me some joy, and it’s an easy way to remember scripture. I only hope that I don’t knock off all the “Gs” to make my ring say “Sin”.

It’s 7am now, so we are nearly ready to go out. See you.

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Apr 11 2011

Sunday.

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We got up early to go site seeing. After calling the children at 4am (they are nine hours in front of us), we went to visit McDonalds to use the internet. It was locked, while they cleaned it, although heaps of people where inside cleaning. We had a drunk man, telling us that we would buy him breakfast…Jared took me for a walk down a dark alley (remember, this is 6am), we walked down a (perfect for a backdrop of a murder film lane), only to find a lovely gated garden. Jared quickly turned back, because there were some sleeping bodies in there. We went back to the motel. After half an hour, we went out again, caught a bus or two, walked a lot, and found John Wesley’s Church.opposite the church is a grave yard, where his mother Sussana Wesley was buried. ¬†I think John Bunyan was buried there too. The gates were closed until later in the day, so we didn’t go in.We then went searching for John’s place of conversion (which was in walking distance), we also stumbled upon Charles Wesley’s place of conversion, and a house that John had once lived in. ¬†It’s wonderful to read in public viewing that Salvation is by Grace. Thank you for the free gift of Salvation God. How could Jesus die for such sinners? He did, because he loves us. I hope that you might know this same Jesus as me, who can wipe away all your sins, and turn you into a living sacrifice for Him. After walking around the churches, and wondering exactly what they might preach, I think that all churches should but a faith statement out the front. Why waste your time with false teaching?

We headed off to the Metropolitan¬†Tabernacle¬†for a 11am service. This use to be Spurgeon’s church. It was so special and to be honest it made me a little¬†teary¬†to hear that the gospel is being preached as truthfully as it once was. Despite the years that pass, it’s wonderful to know that God doesn’t. His message doesn’t change with the fads, doesn’t get more complicated, it is simply there, waiting for you to grasp it with both hands. What a wonderful saviour we have! We heard a great sermon (Peter Masters didn’t preach because he had a heavy cold). It had seven points, talking about the Christ centredness of Paul’s life as found in¬†Philippians. I did the unthinkable and took a quick photo once everyone started to leave. It was full before, with every race mixed in together, just like Heaven will be.Afterward, we just filled in some time before heading to Paddington Station to catch a train to Oxford.We had a special request from Camden to tape the sound of Big Ben Donging. It was hilarious. We held the camera up for about 10 minutes, heard it do it’s bit, then Jared said “That wasn’t very impressive”as he lowered the camera, and then it “dodged” once very loudly, lol. So we missed some of it, and it was only one o’clock. haha.

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Apr 11 2011

Still Day One

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I told you, that it was a long day. Still walking around after more than 40 hrs without sleep, and no shower for about 30 (nice visual image), we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which was excellent. Despite me now hobbling, and Jared complaining about general old age ailments, we enjoyed this little treasure¬†immensely¬†(oh, do I sound English, saying that?). On a side note, I think that all French people are on a holiday in England…I’m just saying. Maybe I should say “Peugeots¬†¬†are lame!” do you think that they would throw some cheese at me? Now, back to the Museum.This is Peter Lombard’s work, in Latin. Jared went right ahead, and tried out his newly aquired skill of reading historical papers in Latin. He couldn’t make out the font, haha, that is a bit of a bummer eh? He did get the gist of it though. Evidently this was widely read in the old days ūüėÄThis is Anne of Cleaves, an original little painted container. King Henry married her based on a painted picture of her, he then felt ripped off when he saw her in person (ripped off, and poor Anne). Imagine life without photos? Um, I digress.

The rest of the day seems a blur, I think that Jared and I turned into Zommbies, not long after. I remember Jared saying that he has to do everything, so that he can report back to college..(you owe me a leg massage, college ;D). I remember finally getting to a motel, having a shower, and resting my eyes at around 5pm, and then waking up at 4am. Oh, I did wake up during the night when Jared was holding my arm up in the air with two hands saying “what is that, what is that?” I looked at him, told him it was my arm, then he rolled over and went to sleep. He’s studying Latin? yeah, good luck with that, lol. It is now two days later, and I think that he knows what an arm is , phew, thank you God for sleep.We also saw this, about 100 people dressed in old fashioned clothes, riding bikes. It was cool.

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Apr 11 2011

London, Here I am :D

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After nervously bording the plane on Friday afternoon, 7 hrs on to Singapore, then back on for another 13. The first plane trip was uneventful, but the second wasn’t (Jared has told me not to put the details up in case the children read it and freak out about our trip home), so I will leave you in suspense. (The lady in the picture sat for 7 hrs without a bathroom break, Jared and I were impressed).

In singapore, they have free leg massage chairs, wow, does that make a differance. I know I look disgusting in them (but, hey, I get worse later).At Heathrow airport, we caught a train to Paddington (you know this place from the story of Paddington bear?). This is how Jared looked by then.Once at Paddington Station, I was distracted by this when…I slipped on a very large amount of bird droppings ( and I mean huge), I then fell straight down, was covered in bird dodo, and had very sore legs. Beware of the spotty case :C

It was 6 am, so we walked around Kensigton Gardens, looked at the memorials, eventually decided not to go into Kensington Palace (they have removed all of the authentic furniture ect, and put large puppets etc instead).We then walked to the Museum of Natural history, where we saw a Dodo bird.This is taking me ages to upload, so I might post again tomorrow.

We have spoken to the children on the phone which was so nice, but children if you are reading this, check out your facebook too, because I can get on to that too sometimes. Love you, smooch!

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Apr 06 2011

Fat Girl Pants don’t have pockets, and other such things..

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I have two more sleeps until Jared and I head off to England. I feel very nervous. I know the children are in good hands, but I am nervous about flying. I keep saying to myself ” I believe in the¬†sovereignty¬†of God”. Knowing that everything that happens in this world is for a purpose, and I must trust. ¬†I will say this often….Oh, I just saw a computer covered in spots! Opps, I digress..

Oh yeah, fat pants. I bought five dollar jeans, they didn’t have pockets, and they were driving me nuts, so I finally got to work.ok, so now I have pockets. What else did I want to make? A water bottle holder. I didn’t use a pattern so I am pretty proud of myself.I wanted it to be adjustable, but I couldn’t get a buckle duva at the shop, so I went to the cheap shop and bought this:so for $4 I now have a a couple of buckles, metal rings, etc…not bad eh?Now I am trying to make a travel wallet, but I have made every mistake that I possibly could. I will wait until tomorrow, and have a look again, it still might end up in the bin.
This is my girl, Cassandra. She has been spelling out some words with magnetic letters. Cassandra is so proud of herself. I am really going to miss her, sigh….

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