Settling into our House in Dorset

Household things

We moved into our new house on March 1. This was our fourth move in six years of living in the UK. Since we were never sure if we were staying, and we had not shipped our personal things from the US, moving was easy because we had a modest amount of things. Living in a house you don’t own, not buying things for the house because you won’t be there long, means that you … Continue reading Settling into our House in Dorset

Waking Up Before the Alarm Goes Off

Open space and foothills behind our house

If I have to be up early for some reason, I set the alarm, but I always wake up ten minutes before it goes off. My internal body clock keeps track of the time. It is the same with flights. We were scheduled to fly back to Colorado last week. We decided at the end of June that we were going to stay until next May (or longer), but I kept our booking in case … Continue reading Waking Up Before the Alarm Goes Off

Architect Designed Vacation Rentals

Burford Cottage

The travel section of The Guardian is always worth reading. This weekend they had an article about a new vacation rental agency that lets people rent modern architect-designed houses in unique locations in the UK. High design, low price: UK holiday homes, Alain de Botton’s set of cutting-edge, affordable holiday homes is bringing modernism to the masses, by Hannah Booth, The Guardian, Saturday 2 October 2010 Alain de Botton, the author of The Art of … Continue reading Architect Designed Vacation Rentals

An Afternoon Around Stroud

Frocester Court Medieval Barn

One of the things that I love about traveling in England is the density of historic sites to visit. Last week our friends Wendy and Richard were visiting from London, so we decided to do some local exploring. We have all traveled in this area and have seen most of the villages and historic sites, so I pulled out my Cotswold guidebooks and maps to find some things we had not seen. This is what … Continue reading An Afternoon Around Stroud

My Daily Life from a Different Angle

Our Cottage in the Cotswolds

In many ways living in England is very much like living in the US, but there are small differences. The longer I stay in a new place, the more I get used to things and forget the differences, so I am making a few notes here while I still see them. I have been working on this post for two weeks and am giving up and publishing when I still have a lot more to … Continue reading My Daily Life from a Different Angle

What is a Ha-ha?

Ha-ha at Greys Court - now you see it

What is a ha-ha? And is it funny? A “ha-ha” is a feature in English gardens that keeps the animals out of the garden, but does not look like an obvious wall or fence. It gives you an uninterupted view from the garden to the fields beyond. From one side you see the ha-ha, from the other side you don’t. You find them in gardens all over England but it is easy to miss them if … Continue reading What is a Ha-ha?

Time to book your holiday cottage!

There was an interesting story on the BBC Radio Newspod yesterday (Friday, January 23) about tourism in Britain (it is the last story on the Newspod). People in the travel industry are expecting travel in Britain to increase for two reasons: 1) the pound is low making Britain a more affordable destination, 2) the economy is not doing well and Brits will save money by traveling at home instead of going abroad. A recent article … Continue reading Time to book your holiday cottage!

Finding Great Bread in England

Hobbs Bakery and Cafe

Finding good quality, organic, whole wheat bread is not always easy when you are traveling. In England you will find organic bread at Waitrose (a high-end supermarket). They sell the Duchy Organics breads and some organic loaves that they make (but they are not whole wheat). We spent two months in Nailsworth (south of Stroud) earlier this year and bought bread from Hobbs House Bakery (shown in photo), who produce a variety of breads, many … Continue reading Finding Great Bread in England

Rent the cottage that Jane Austen stayed in

On January 1 a new three part adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” by Andrew Davies started on BBC (part two on Sunday January 6, part three on Sunday January 13). We arrived the day after episode one was broadcast, but caught it at the hotel because their TV system has an “On Demand” type feature where you can watch recently broadcast programs. (Big thanks to Clive who picked us up at the airport … Continue reading Rent the cottage that Jane Austen stayed in