Wednesday, April 21, 2010


We took a day to enjoy some of the sight of Nottingham (where David and Alison currently live) on our third day. We began by going on a walk to the nearby University where David attends school. We ended up walking around a lake/park that is part of the campus. it was beautiful.

I promised my self (and Des) before we left, that I would take more pictures of the two of us and not just the things we saw. About the third day into our trip I started to really appreciate the time I was getting to spend with Des away from the pressures back home. I found my self looking at her with new eyes (actually the old eyes I saw her with when we first met) and I fell in love with her again. It was so nice to be able reconnect. We still argued a few times and had a huge blow up in London over something small but I came back from our trip with more then just some nice pictures; I came back with a more consummate love for my wife.

After our walk with David we went on a few more walks with Alison to Wollaton Hall and Nottingham Castle while David went to work.

While Des and I were traveling back last night from a Baby blessing (congrats Eric and Alayna), we got talking about marriage relationships. It got me thinking about how we flew around the world to see family and go on this adventure. If we had our own agendas and didn't try to share the experience with each other we would have had a terrible time. No matter how far we flew or how many things we did. We went into the trip with a pretty open mind and schedule and it suited us well. As I said before, we still argued but I know that was largely due to us (me) not communicating.
Now that I have this written down some where I can come back and remind myself from time to time that I am not always right. There, I said it... and everyone can see it.

Monday, April 19, 2010


We headed off bright and early on our second day in England. Our first stop was Ashby de la Zouch Castle. This was a really fun place to explore. You can still re ch the top of the tallest structure (78 ft high) by climbing a spiraling stone stair case in the middle. There is also a tunnel that goes from the tower to the kitchen which is behind the structure on the left. Ashby castle began as a manor house in the 12th century and achieved castle status in the 15th century after additions were made to it.

Our next stop of the day turned out to be a real treat. When we arrived at Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Gardens there was a medieval festival going on. it was amazing to see all the "towns people" in period clothing and acting in character. It sure put our local festival to shame. the knights were actually wearing amour and not dressed up in hockey equipment like they do here. They had lots of demonstrations and tents set up with several merchants selling their wares.

I knew it, Des loves me

I purposely sought out a location like this. It was just too tempting.

we had planned on going to Warwick Castle but arrived an hour before it closed which was definitely not enough time to explore this huge castle. We had already planned to go to Dover Castle later in the week which is also a huge castle so we decided to pass on this one and just take some photos of the outside.

We ended the day by going to Kirby Muxloe Castle. we arrived later in the day and there were no other people around. The moated remains offered a peaceful environment to sit and talk.

By the end of day two I had filled 2 of my 4 memory cards. I started with my smallest (2GB and 4GB) and was working up to my larger cards (8 GB each). I had intended to bring my external hard drive but forgot. By the end of our trip I still had plenty of memory. I ended up shooting about 15GB though. Now for the past 3 days I have been going through all the images and backing them up.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We're Back and we're tired

This is is the first of what is sure to be several posts about our trip to England. First of all I have to say that our trip would have been totally different if it wasn't for Des' brother and his wonderful wife. David and Alison picked us up from the air port and shuttled us around all over the place. They helped us make arrangements for hotels, bus tickets and purchasing an overseas English Heritage Pass (highly recommended).

Like I said, David and Alison picked us up from the airport and promptly began our jammed packed tour of various parts of England. I honestly don't remember parts of the dive between destinations because I was asleep (we landed in Manchester at 6:15AM UK time which is 11:00PM in Canada). The photo above is of Peveril Castle. The only part of the castle still standing is the keep, which has had extensive conservation work done to it allowing people to enter previously inaccessible parts of the structure. It sits on top of a hill and you can hike all around it. I was in heaven because it was virtually impossible to take a bad photo in that setting.

This is a photo taken in the valley below the castle. The castle would have been behind me. Every one else had moved ahead already, but I just could not resist and I had to keep shooting.

As we hiked along the valley I couldn't help but picturing this setting as something out of a book or movie.

This is the Keep, which was built in 1176

The countryside is so beautiful. The farm lands look more like highly manicured lawns than anything else. All of the fields are separated by rock fences and trimmed bushes. Everything was so green due to the year round moisture the area gets.

Our next stop was Bolsover Castle. The original fortress was purchased in 1612 and was continually added to just because the owners had the money and wanted a "fashionable retreat."

Our last sight we visited on our first day was Rufford Abbey (c. 1170) which was transformed into a "great house"

the gardens offered some nice locations for us to take some nice shots of the two of us and Des alone.

We can't thank David and Alison enough (even though they ran us into the ground the first day) for helping us with our trip.

Here we all are in front of Rufford.
We will be back with another instalment of our trip in a day or two so stay tuned if you would like to see more.

Ben's Big Day

Yesterday we held Ben's baptism at the church. it was a really nice day enjoyed by family and friends. Ben was excited to be baptised and said he just wanted to stay in the water because it felt so nice. Des gave a really good talk on baptism and Ben's Sunday school teacher spoke on the Holy Ghost.
Ben turned 8 on April 10th and he was able to spend the day with his extended family in Lethbridge while Des and I were in England. We are so pleased with Ben and his decision to be baptised and are glad that some of our family and friends were able to support him on this special day.