Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tracing the footsteps of Churchill himself.

One of the charter trips I was assigned had me flying into England to do flights for the Royal Air Force. Today as I was doing laundry, I came across my ratty in-flight blanket given to me by one of the passengers emblazoned with the Royal Air Force's emblem. Queue "Memories" any moment now...

Two words people, clotted cream. Who knew scorched milk left out overnight could be so damn tasty? I sure didn't, but I do know that I now look for it (unsuccessfully) every time I go into some sort of specialty shop. You know... just in case someone carries it as I'm not the adventurous chef in our house.


The Old Swan and Minster Mill in Oxfordshire housed us during our stay there, and had it not been for the fact that we were in our heels and dragging 80+ pounds of luggage behind us, the authentic cobblestone flooring would have been a pleasurable sensory experience. The grounds and some of the buildings went back 600 years and was often frequented by Winston Churchill himself. Walking around the premises, you were transported to a time of simple living and small cottages. I very well could have lost myself simply walking alongside the River Windrush or lazed dreamily beneath the willow trees. It was very "English Countryside" at it's best (or as I thought of it.)

View from across the River Windrush.

 Ivy and greenery taking over the bridge. 

I wish I could say that I got to spend time in London, or that I got to visit Oxford, but the time was never really there to leave the grounds during those turnarounds. I was lucky to see the RAF's "big birds" and jets at the Air Base.

 It felt very much like walking into "The Secret Garden." Which just so happens to be one of my favorite books growing up.

 Quaint little rose gardens dotted the lawns.

The majority of time spent there I was either sleeping, eating, or walking off all of the scones I inhaled (both off the plane and on.) I was also spending an unfortunate amount of time indoors as I remember vaguely that it rained for a good portion of our layovers. I spent a lot of nights watching "Big Brother," drinking tea and sipping tomato soup (they gave us boxes and BOXES of the stuff at one of our stops during this particular charter.) If you know me, you'll know that I despise tomatoes. If you knew me late summer/early fall of 2006, you'd also know that I got pregnant with Logan around that time and all I wanted was tomatoes. During this particular trip, I was pregnant and didn't know it yet.
Again, this is one of those destinations I wish I could take the kids to. There's so much history just on the grounds alone. Let's just add Oxfordshire to our "re-visit before I kick the bucket" list. Tomorrow? Ireland! Just in time for our transition into St. Patty's Day month (also known as March... you know... in case you've been living in a cave or something.)

Off to bed I go to dream of strawberry scones slathered in clotted cream! Diet? What diet.


  1. I lived in England for 7 months as a teenager. Of course I hated it, because being a teenager means you hate everything. But! We spent time in London and Cambridge and both cities were fascinating to me. Interestingly enough, I preferred Cambridge, even then. It felt "smarter" and "quieter" and I was already interested in those two together. Books and stuff, you know. Wonder if I can dig up old England pics and scan 'em ...

    1. How lucky YOU were!!! I hope you can find those pictures, I can't wait to see!!! And where are the Costa Rica pics? Did I miss them????