Off to Toft, Cambridgeshire

Trip Start Aug 03, 2010
Trip End Aug 31, 2010

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Where I stayed
Jane & Jake's

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Note from Erin:  these pictures are not from this day. I wasn't sure, so I just added them to the most recent entry. If you click on the pictures, you'll see a bigger version.

We had breakfast and then left for Toft. It was a five hour drive.  We went on the M4 through Wales and into England.  There was a long bridge over the Severn River.  We took the M5 north through Glouctershire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Northhamptonshire to Cambridgeshire where Toft is.  We stopped at lunch time at the Welcome Services north of Tewkesbury.  We got sandwiches, chips, a kit kat bar and juice.  I got an egg and watercress sandwich.  Right before we got to Toft we stopped at Bourn to see the Bourn Post Mill.  It is a windmill built in the 1600's on a post so that the mill can be turned to catch the wind.   The mill wasn’t functioning as it only opens once a month.  I didn’t have a camera to take a picture, so I picked up a leaflet on it.  When we arrived we had a "cuppa." 

Jane and Jake have sold the old farmhouse that they ran as a bed and breakfast.  They have built a new house next door.  It was designed by a German architect and came to the site on four large lorries (trucks)).  It was prefab in the sense that all of the walls were prefab.  It is an energy efficient green home.  The roof is a sod roof with sedum growing on it.  The water that drains from the roof goes into a cistern that is used for flushing the toilets and watering the garden.  There are solar panels on the roof that heat the water.  The location of windows and doors make use of maximum light.  The patio doors slide all the way open so that you can walk right out onto the patio.  On the bottom floor there is an entry, a library, kitchen/dining/sitting room, a studio/bedroom with ensuite bath, ½ bath and boot room.  Upstairs is another sitting/TV room, utility room and master suite.  There is a balcony from the sitting room and bedroom with doors that work two ways, the usual sliding doors and they can also tilt out from the top for a bit of breeze.  All of the floor surfaces are either wood or tile.

After the tour of the house, we went into the garden which is spectacular.  There are several raised beds for vegetables.  Every square inch is in use.  They have gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries.  This year Jane added flowers which she sells by the bunch on Fridays.  I got several ideas from their garden including how to enclose the garden to keep the deer out without building a ten foot fence.  Jim built them a great greenhouse out of left over treated lumber.  Jane and I walked up to her allotment which a community garden.  We picked onions, artichokes, sweet corn and squash.  It was located just north of the village and the view was spectacular.  On the way back we met Jake’s mother and sister-in-law.  As we turned on the main street, a car went off the road on the other side and crashed into the hedge and trees.  The lady who got out of the car said she was okay as she fished her shoes out of the back seat.  A man with a cell phone called the police and took charge of the situation so we went back to Jane’s.

Ben came home and he is very much the same as he was seven years ago.  Now he is a chef and doing fill in jobs for a temp agency.  He has been a chef in Australia, Thailand, Laos, the Scilly Isles, Spain and many other places.  He is going to India and back to Thailand after Jane’s 60th birthday party in October.  He had just been to Grenada for the weekend.

 Jane had stewed chicken already to go and fixed boiled potatoes, sautéed squash, green beans, and carrots.  For pudding we had summer pudding which is sponge cake with berries in the middle, squashed into a bowl and left in the fridge to set.  She turned the bowl upside down, cut it into portions and served it with fresh cream.  It was scrumptious.  After supper we talked about books and TV shows, politics.  After cleanup I skyped Larry while Ben went out and Jane and Jake watched the news.  I joined them for the news and then I skyped Larry again.  This time Jane and Jake talked with him too.  Ben came in right after they went to bed.   So Larry got to talk to him too.
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sister margaret on

Thanks, Linda. I am reading every word and appreciate your explanation following some of the new words for everyday things. (pudding for dessert, etc.) Do not try to write back. Just enjoy. Safe journey. Love, Margaret

Toni on

This vicarious trip is so refreshing..and luckily for me non-fattening, but it does make me hungry when I hear of all the delicious foods you are enjoying. I am glad you are having fun and getting to see so much beautiful country as well as visit with such interesting people....God be with you ....

Beth on

You have given yourself the best retirement present ever! Glad to hear you're having a great time -enjoy every minute!

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