Monday, 17 November 2014

Go Pack Go!

I miss a lot of things over here in England:  my family and friends, a separate washing machine and dryer that both work well in a timely fashion and aren’t located in my kitchen, snow (yes I will admit it – snow may be a pain sometime, but try living with 3 straight days of heavy fog and drizzly with no end in sight), driving on the right side of the road, canned black beans (how am I going to make my favorite Black Bean Chili).  But what I am really missing right now is FOOTBALL!  It’s fall.  It’s cold, windy and drizzle outside.  I should be spending my Sunday afternoon cooking up a big batch of chili and enjoying the Packer game.  It just doesn’t feel right to be stuck checking the final score of Sunday’s game as I have my coffee on Monday morning.  I miss football!

Now, I’m not a crazy football fanatic.  I would not spend every Sunday sitting on the couch watching game after game no matter who was playing.  While I have developed a bit of a soft spot for the Colts over the past few years (hard not to when you live in Colts country), I am and will always be a diehard Green Bay Packers fan.  Some of my earliest memories are of me and my dad sitting in our living room on Sunday afternoon watching the Packers’ game together.  I remember the anxiousness, my heart beating fast even way back then when it was close between the Packers and the Vikings, the outcome of the game resting on one final play.  I remember cheering for Lynn Dickey, James Lofton and John Jefferson.  When I met Eric my very first weekend at college, I wasn’t looking for the man I would spend the rest of my life with.  Then, he told me his family had season tickets to the Packers.  That certainly didn’t hurt his chances for getting me to stick around long enough to marry him.  Ok, I’m just kidding about that – I would have married him anyway (I think:). 

Now, 4000 miles away from home, when I check the score on Monday morning and see the final of 55-14 against the Bears, while I feel a HUGE amount of pride, I also want to cry because I missed it.  Yes, maybe we could get some kind of satellite NFL package here, but besides the Packer games, we just don’t watch enough TV to justify the expense.  And watching via the Internet isn’t an option either.  This is a very small village and high speed Internet isn’t available yet.  Besides, there is a six-hour time difference between here and Wisconsin and I don’t think I have it in me to stay up all night long for the late games.  We can actually catch a few games here on regular TV each season as the NFL is testing it’s international status by playing some games in London.  I turned on the TV last Sunday and happened upon the Cowboys versus the Jaguars and, even though it wasn’t my beloved Packers, I was momentarily excited none the less.  And then I heard the announcers.  I’m sorry, I love a British accent, I really do.  But not announcing an NFL football game.  They are much to cute and grammatically correct.  It just isn’t right.

So I will continue to check the headlines first thing every Monday morning for the final score and read all the recaps on the game (as long as the Packers won anyway).  And our fall weekends will continue to be spent exploring the English countryside right outside our front door.  Below are some random pictures we’ve taken since we arrived in England that I haven’t shared with you yet.  I would not trade in this experience for anything, but I really do miss the Packers!

Swarkestone Bridge over the River Trent.
This is the Swarkestone Bridge.  It’s located just south of Derby and Eric has to travel over it everyday to and from work.  It was built in the 13th century and crosses the River Trent and surrounding marshes.  It is a major thoroughfare despite being barely wide enough for 2 cars and in some place, not even that wide.  Despite this, the English will never replace this lovely bridge.

The story behind the Swarkstone bridge is that back in the 13th century, it was built by the two Bellamont sisters.  When the sisters both got engaged, they wanted to throw a joint celebration.  Before they could do this, however, their fiance's needed to meet with the local barons on the other side of the river.  While they were on the other side of the River, there was a big storm and the Trent became swollen.  The men, eager to return to their brides-to-be and their party, tried to ford the river on horseback but were swept away and drowned.  The Bellamont sisters then financed the building of the bridge so that no one else would suffer the tragedy they had.  Neither sister ever married.  They died in poverty having spent their fortune on the building of the bridge.  The bridge is now said to be haunted by the Bellamont sisters.

Swarkestone Bridge over the marshes.
Servants bells in the estate house at Calke Abbey, just like in Downton Abbey.  These are way up high near the ceiling.  My only question is - how did the servants know which bell was rung if they weren't looking right at it?

Tunnels under the house at Calke Abbey.  England is full of beautiful, creepy tunnels!

England is also full of the most amazing trees, like this hollow one at Calke Abbey.
City of Cirencester.
Fish and Chips, and peas???  Yes, that is how they serve them here.  If you like peas, mushy or whole, then England is the place for you.
There is LOTS of Holly growing in England.  This beautiful red berried variegated Holly tree is growing over the fence in our backyard so we can enjoy it too.

We have seen many rainbows here in England, right outside our front door.


  1. I want holly in my backyard! Are you going to use some for Christmas decorating? I see you on Pinterest finding Christmas decorations to make. These last 2 weeks have been blow outs for the Packers, they are amazing right now.

    1. Yes, I've been spending way too much time on Pinterest. We don't have any Christmas decorations here, so we'll have to get creative this year!