Croquet

1950's croquet set The history of croquet is long and storied, going back to the Middle Ages. Today's game of croquet was introduced to England in 1852 by Ireland who called it "crooky". The game's popularity spread and became a primary social activity of England's "leisure class" by 1860. The game's popularity spread around the … Continue reading Croquet

Drive Carefully

We were exploring Hadrian's Wall in northern England, the most northern border of the Roman Empire. The small town of Brampton was our destination for the night. At the outskirts of town, where the speed limit dropped from 45 to 30 km/hr, I found this sign. It had obviously been altered ... neatly, not vandalized. … Continue reading Drive Carefully

Bobby’s Helmet

The bobby's helmet rested on the corner post of a lonely bench in back of Beatrix Potter's home in England's Lake District.  The bobby (slang for English police officer) was no where to be found. The rainy day did nothing to discourage visitors to the site; there was a steady stream of hardy souls wandering … Continue reading Bobby’s Helmet

St. Peters Church, England

About thirty miles west of London and just south of Newbury in Hampshire County on highway A339 is the small village of Headley.  Very quaint. It seemed as every business in town was named "Headley"; e.g. Headley Tyre, Headley Stud and Headley House.  Even the church had the Headley name on it, but I found … Continue reading St. Peters Church, England

Steventon, England

The Church of St. Nicholas, where Jane Austen's father preached and she worshiped as a child, is located in a rural setting near the small town of Steventon in Hampshire County, England.  Jane Austen was born in 1775. The original structure of this church was built centuries before Austen's birth.  I marveled at the still-sturdy … Continue reading Steventon, England

Salisbury House and Gardens

Hard to believe I was in Des Moines, Iowa when I took this picture.  The Salisbury House is an exact duplicate of the King's House (owner's name, not title) located in Salisbury, England.  The vegetation, layout, grounds and even the weather made me think I was in the UK. Carl Weeks, who made his fortune … Continue reading Salisbury House and Gardens

Petanque

Petanque?  "What the heck is petanque?", I asked the chap at the bar during a mid-afternoon break of touring Bath, England.   He and his mates were getting very worked up over opening night of Bath's Petanque League.  Between fight songs with his petanque team mates, he tried to explain it.  It sounded something like … Continue reading Petanque