Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Real Picture of the House 

OK, here is a real picture of our rental house. Check out Sophie's blog for more about what we've been up to.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

We've Moved In! 

We finally moved into our rental house this week (Monday). It's very nice and should work out well for us. But we are still missing:

Hopefully it will all be sorted out soon enough. I'll post photos in a few days.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cindy trying to take a picture 

Cindy was trying to take pictures of our room at The Three Swans with my cell phone camera but ended up taking a video. High comedy.

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On the train to London 

A short video of us on the train from Hungerford to London.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Homeless in the UK 

We're living in London now. We still don't have a house and are on our third hotel since we've moved here! The kids are holding up well, but I'm getting pretty frazzled. It looks like we should be able to move in to our house this Monday. The letting agent has been impossibly slow so I'm not sure we can even count on Monday....

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Kenilworth Castle 

On Sunday we went to Kenilworth Castle, ruins of a castle that was originally built in the 1120's but was continually added on to and modified for five centuries. From the English Heritage web site:

Kenilworth’s many and varied buildings and architectural styles reflect its long connection with successive English monarchs and their favourites. Its founder was Geoffrey de Clinton, Henry I’s treasurer, who began the massive Norman keep at the core of the castle in the 1120s. Judged too strong for a subject, Kenilworth thereafter became a royal fortress. King John greatly strengthened it between 1210 and 1215, enlarging the surrounding watery ‘mere’ which effectively made it an island stronghold. Thus it could withstand an epic siege in 1266, when rebellious barons held out against Henry III’s siege engines for six months, succumbing only to starvation.

During the 1390s, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, rebuilt the splendid great hall and staterooms of Kenilworth’s inner court. His grandson Henry V created in its grounds the moated summer-house called the Pleasaunce: here too, according to tradition, he received the insulting French ‘gift’ of tennis-balls which sparked off the Agincourt campaign. Henry VIII added more grand apartments: but it was his daughter Queen Elizabeth’s favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who left the greatest impression on Kenilworth, and gave it its greatest fame.

Sunday was the last day of the Medieval Living Village in which actors played the parts of various villagers. We met the shoemaker, the potter, the blacksmith and the apothecary. They were all very knowledgeable about their crafts. Did you know that most archers in the army could shoot 12 arrows per minute? Amazing! Here is a video of the musicians teaching folks a dance:

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007


For my 40th birthday we went to Stonehenge. It's only about 45 minutes away! The photos are on Snapfish.

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Hungerford Town Center on Bellmans Day 

A calliope and steam engine were part of the fun on Robin Tubb's 50th anniversary celebration as Hungerford Bellman.

One of the contestants at the Bellman Competition in Hungerford. The bellman is basically the town crier. Read more about Bellmans Day on Sophie's blog

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Hungerford in West Berkshire 

We made it to England! It was a difficult journey, but we finally made it to our current home away from home, the Three Swans Hotel in Hungerford. We have really enjoyed living on the High Street ("Main Street") in this charming little town. The managers of the Three Swans have been really nice and helpful. They learned all of the kids' names the first day! We will be here until we move into our rental house on Monday the 11th. It is a brand new 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath house in Hungerford and, although it is smaller than we are used to, it is more than adequate (and can even accommodate guests -- so come visit us!).

The first few days here were surprisingly cold and rainy (well the cold part was a surprise anyway). But it warmed up at the end of the week and we had sun all weekend. We have already visited Stonehenge and Kennilworth Castle (more photos to come).

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Mountain Lakes 

We spent Saturday and Sunday with Chuck and Lisa's family in Mountain Lakes, NJ. On Sunday we actually went to the lake and took the canoe out. Christina and David are both very good at rowing and helped us figure it out. The weather was great the whole time we were in New Jersey. We really enjoyed seeing where the East Coast Grafs live!

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