Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ENGLAND!!!!!!!!!!! (Part 5)

I believe this one will be the grand finale...

Once we were done on the boat ride, the rain had pretty well let up, and we stopped at the cafe and gift shop for a bit of refreshment...Poppy and I both got scones (with jam and clotted cream) and small (note that I said small) hot chocolates.

It was soooooooooooooooooo good! I think Poppy would agree with me that it was better than any birthday cake would have been! (It was her birthday!)

We didn't have a whole lot of time before we had to go back to Emma's to get our things for our trip home, so we stayed in that area and walked around a bit, enjoying the English countryside.

On our walk, Lizzie was excited to see something that she used to play with in her childhood...

It's a swing! You sit on the stick and swing! It was a lot of fun. Of course I, being the city girl that I am, had some trouble getting off without running into the huge tree the rope was tied to, and Lizzie had to save me! LOL

So we each took a turn, and then just a little further on, we found......

Willy Wonka's Chocolate Waterfall! Who knew?! So after that lovely stroll, we headed back toward Emma's home, stopping by their local marina on the way (and here's Poppy on the lock we had to walk across to get to the marina).

They had some lovely paint jobs on the boats!

(And I absolutely loved this building that was nearby...quite picturesque, don't you think?)

And because I have to put it somewhere, this is the beautiful view I had from the room I slept in, and the lovely occupant with whom I shared the room...

After that, we made sure all was packed (including our goods from the nearby shops...Wensleydale cheese, crumpets and candy!) and headed out to Nottingham. We found an old, abandoned field, got on our broomsticks and kicked off to home. It's quite a length of time to be on a broomstick, for sure, but above all the clouds, it was beautiful! I did actually get to see the coast of France, and wanted to land there so badly I nearly cried, but we had to push on to get back home and catch the Knight Bus to the Hogwarts Express and back home. I miss the moors sooooooooooooo much! Goodbye, England! I will come again, some day...

ENGLAND!!!!!!!!!!! (Part 4)

I can't believe it's already been over a week since I was in England! It doesn't seem that long ago! Next time I'll just have to stay longer. ;) But I know that if I don't finish my blogging now, the England trip will go the way of the recordings of the Edinburgh trip...into obscurity...LOL

So the Sunday we were there, Poppy and I got to spend some time with Lizzie, as Emma had a graduation party for a family friend to go to. Sunday's plans were very spur-of-the-moment! LOL It had started out all rainy (I got to experience British rain! It's nothing like American rain! ;) LOL ), but I thoroughly enjoyed it, really and truly! I love rainy weather, and getting rained on there only made our experience that much more genuine. ;) Anyway, Lizzie took us over to the Standedge Tunnels. We went by the exhibit first, and learned a fair bit before getting to go on the canal boat ride!

We had to wear hard hats (for safety reasons) if we went out from under the boat's roof.

The ride took us a quarter of a mile into the tunnel (the total length of the tunnel is 3 and a quarter miles), and it was quite dark! The history behind the tunnels is truly intriguing! They even found a pick ax head when they were going about the restoration of the tunnels, and they believe it was used in the original making of the tunnels, in the 1800's! I got to hold it, even. :)

It wasn't very large, and it wasn't heavy at all, really, but I can easily see how repeatedly swinging it (especially overhead!) it would quickly become heavy. They believe that the owner of the ax head they found was illiterate, because you could see the markings he made on it to show ownership of it.

We even got to see a "drill"! It was a tool that was used as a drill long before power tools were invented...and let me tell you, I am so glad that I never had to drill a hole the way they did! I didn't get a picture of it, but it basically looks like this thin, cast iron rod with a little point on the end of it. One man would hold it up, and someone else would use a hammer to pound it against the wall of rock. The one holding the drill would rotate the drill a small degree, and it would get hit again. They repeatedly did that so they could fit some explosives into the hole, light it, run like mad, and pray they ran far enough away to not get killed by the blast. Sounds like fun, right? (Thank goodness for spells like bombarda!)

Inside the tunnel, you can see these "ridges," which are supportive arches that were added with the restoration, but there are actual gaps between these arches, and you can see how far up the tunnel ceiling used to be (though you can't really see it in the picture...you just see the arch and then pitch black. LOL).

It was a very narrow and dark tunnel (certainly not recommended for those that are clausterphobic!) where the boat barely had room to fit through. We repeatedly hit the walls. And back in the day of no engines, the poor Muggles had to use this technique called "legging," where two people would lay on their backs at the front of the boat (laying head-to-head) and sort of walk sideways down the canal to move the boat through. Evidently, it gets a bit wider further down the tunnel, and you had to be carfeul, or you may fall in! For those areas, they used another technique, called "shafting," where a person standing at the back of the boat would use a long pole to push the boat along. And there were people that did nothing but legging and shafting all day long! What a job!

The tunnel also runs parallel to the train lines, and we could hear them rumble past a few times. In fact, there was also a side tunnel (that was long since caved in, and didn't allow boat access) that connected to the train line.

Anyway, lots of history and fun little facts, but enough of the lecture. :) It is summer, after all, and I know not everyone is as into learning as the Ravenclaw lot. :) But the Standedge Tunnels was really a lot of fun to go see!

And I think I'll leave the rest of the day's adventures to yet another blog!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Week 5 Game, Part 2!

Here is the marker I will be using in the photos I take (I absolutely love my engagement ring!):

And here are the photos!

#1 - Animagus: (Internet image)

#2 - Daily Prophet (which, here, is cleverly disguised as a Muggle paper):

#3 - Bowtruckle (This is a very special bowtruckle from a Knit Picks tree that I coerced out into the open with some wood lice!):

#4 - Extendable Ears:

#5 - Radish Earrings:

#6 - Forbidden Forest (my marker is in this picture, I promise you...on my left ring finger!):

#7 - Golden Cherub: (Internet image)

#8 - Thestral
(Hey, it only said "fleshless black-winged skeleton! LOL He's holding my ring...):

#9 - High Inquisitor: (Internet image)

#10 - Educational Decree: (Internet image)

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Well, how about that! I just posted today about the progress on my spoilee's kit, and a couple of hours later, an owl shows up! My kit from Bridget the Bloodthirsty arrived! (It was pretty quick, too! Less than a week!)

Everything was wrapped in the prettiest shades of blue and bronze! (SOAR RAVENCLAW!!!)
Here's my prettyprettyprettypretty blue yarn (which I immediately had to pull out and pet! Gorgeous!!!) and two lace patterns (both of which I am excited to try out!):
My first ever bamboo crochet hook (I can't wait to try it!) with crochet grips (which always reminds me of the pencil grips that were cool back in the day...lol) and pins for blocking my pretty lace projects:
A lovely pencil tin for holding knit and crochet notions and a T-I-double GUH-ER cross stitch kit (my spoiler stalked me well!!! LOL):
My recyclable tote bag (to be used for yarny goodness or shopping), cute pin that says "Eat. Sleep. Knit." (LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!) and B-E-A-UUUUTIFUL stitch markers in Ravenclaw colors, made by Bridget herself!!!:
Blood Pops for myself and my two poltergeists:
And two critters that snuck into the package in the midst of the Manticore Cabin clean up (lot of butterbeer sloshing evidently made one big, sticky mess that lured somre creepy crawlies in!):
My whole WONDERFUL kit together:
THANK YOU, BRIDGET!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it!!!!!!!!!!! (Now I have to go reclaim it from the poltergeists...lol)