Monday, September 17, 2007

Where I live

Updated to add: I have conquered the photo issue. It has taken hours. But here are some photos!!

I was going to take you on a tour of my neighbourhood today for Kathleen's wonderful idea of visiting each other's neighbourhoods. However, blogger has decided that it will not load my photos. It is driving me crackers, and as a result, I am not all sweetness and light and smiling. Absolutely not. What America may not realise, by the way, because you are, after all, in America, is that when you all wake up, the internet around the world slows down. In our mornings, it is zippy and fast. By lunch time it has slowed to a crawl, and by night time....... a tortoise would look like Lewis Hamilton. Now, provided that the slowing down is for reasons I appreciate, like everyone posting interesting posts on their wonderful blogs, I am quite happy!But when I can't load photos, reason and calm desert me. Sigh. Patience was never one of my strong points. You may be gathering this as I speak. I am working on it. I promise!

I have photos. I will post them in the mornings in dribs and drabs. Or find an axe. Maybe you need to take back that you make me smile award after all, Susan!

The Square

I live in the centre of England, in a village. It should really be called a town, as there are about 6000 people living here, but we like to be a village. Those of you who have been to England will know that villages are very close to each other, and as we live on a hill, I can see about 5 other villages from the end of the road. The church spires are the defining points! We are surrounded by countryside and farms, and there are public paths all through the fields, so we can walk down to the river, and along the canal, and round the lakes.

This village has a church tower which is over 1000 years old, and some of the houses are very old too.

There has been a lot of development in recent years and more houses are being built even now. The village is centred round the Square, where we have our shops. There is a chemist, which has a gift shop, museum, tearoom, bank and heaven knows what else in it, a patchwork shop, a florist, a costume hire shop, many hairdressers, a beauty parlour, a post office, a DIY shop, estate agents, photographers, supermarket, corner shop, bakery, butcher, take aways (chinese, indian and fish and chips), a coffee shop (which makes wonderful paninis and great coffee too!),

The coffee shop

accountants, a doggy parlour, electrical shop, and a restaurant. Doctors and dentists, and chiropracters. A library, and infant school (4-7) and a junior school (7-11) and play groups and a nursery. We have 4 churches, and numerous societies and clubs. A Cricket club, football clubs, tennis courts and a bowling green.

The "rec" - recreation ground

There is a huge recreation ground with play equipment for children, a skateboard ramp and basketball court. There is an industrial area as well. We have 3 farm shops to the north, south and east of the village.

One of the farm shops

It is the sort of place where I can phone Michael at the corner shop if I am ill, and he will deliver anything I need. Or phone the butcher, who makes hot meals every day and delivers them to people who order them.

The old gates to the Infant School.... can you see the separate gates for boys and girls?? Thankfully, they are not in use now!

Children start school at 4 here. Much earlier than I was used to when we moved here. And at 4, they are at school from 9-3.30, after 6 weeks of half days to get used to it. Houses and gardens are small, generally, and can be in terraces (all joined together) or semi-detached, which means 2 are joined together, or detached. Standing alone. Bungalows are single-storey houses, and houses are double-storey. This is a small island, and it has 60 million people on it. We are running out of space.

I love this row of terraced houses overlooking the fields in the valley. I have always wanted to paint them. One day.

Most people walk around the village. Nothing is too far away, and there are paths through the houses to make walking easy. I have friends all over the village, and we are a cosmopolitan crew. I know I have written about this before. I know people from Singapore, Canada, South Africa, France, Holland, New Zealand, Australia, India, Jamaica, Austria who live in the village.

Telephone box

And yes, we have red letterboxes to post our letters in, and there is still a red telephone box in the Square. I can't remember when last I saw anyone use it, but before the advent of mobile phones, it was very popular! Milk is still delivered on electric milk floats before dawn.

The post office (and red letter box) next to the fish and chip shop.

And this is the road I live in. Our home is not one of the old ones. I think it was built in the 70's, and is a detached house. We have lived here for 17 years now, and have altered it extensively during that time. I sacrificed most of the garden to create more living space when Mum and Dad came to live with us nearly 10 years ago.

So there you have it. This is where I live. It will be very different to most of your home towns, I know. It is very different to the place I grew up in as well. I love this village. It is home now.


Kelli said...

It reminds me of all the little burgs we saw when we were living on the canal boats.

Ah, I wish I could come back.

Kathleen Marie said...

This is just awesome. One of my dreams is to travel to England, Ireland, Scotland... We just don't have the old buildings and sites like you have. Old to us is 1800's!

Thank you so much for joining in my Welcome To My Neighborhood!

God Bless!

La Dolce Vita with LeAnn said...

How lovely to live in a town with so much history. My DH's parents both came to the US from England, and my cute mother-in-love never lost that darling accent. Thanks for sharing your pictures they were loverily!

ellen b said...

Oh I'm so excited to be able to visit your neighborhood in England. I was hoping someone from the U.K. would post. Sorry about your internet frustrating. England is my favorite place in the world to travel to. Blessings...

Jen said...

I have never left the United just made that happen. Thanks for inviting us to your country/neighborhood. I so enjoyed it all.

Crystal said...

Hi, Linds! Thanks for stopping by my blog - I have alot of catching up to do when I get home! Thanks for the tour around your village. You have alot going on there. I think my post today covers a little of where home is for us this week :)) We are off to Prague tomorrow. And next time we fly through England, I am definitely arranging a stop to visit you! Good luck with all you have going on these days.

PEA said...

I've always wanted to go to England and now you're making me want to go there even more...I want to see a real live red telephone booth!!! lol Oh Linds, I'm so sorry you had such a hard time loading the pics but we sure appreciate the fact that you persevered and got them up!! I love the village you live in, such beautiful surroundings! That church tower is awesome...that's what I love about England, so many old buildings from centuries past!! Thank you for this wonderful tour:-) xox

Linda said...

It is just lovely Linds - just as I had hoped it would be. My favorite books are always set in England. I have traveled there so many times in my imagination. Thanks so much for making it a bit closer to home.

His Singer said...

Ah Linds,

I do so hope to one day SIRL (See In Real Life) what I can only know through photos now. It would be wonderful to be able to travel as you do! Your village looks just as I imagined, although I must say I always imagined you as living in a small, one-story cottage surrounded by nothing by flowers and a brick gate, with a small brick patio out back where you take tea on wrought-iron furniture amidst the ever-blooming posies and butterflies on a daily basis.


Sometimes my imagination? It does tend to run...

Love the photos!

Penless Thoughts said...

Your village sounds delightful. The ability to walk so easily and the sense of community you speak of. We have neither of those things here much. Thanks for giving me a better look at your life, Linds.

Sandra said...

I love English Villages, they're so gorgeous. Thank you for all the photos and I actually learnt a lot, I had no idea that the church spires were the defining points of where the next villages were.....that is so neat :)

Tammy said...

Oh, I just loved taking this tour of your village in England! Thank you so much for sharing inviting us all to come along and see where you live! I would love to visit someday!

Morning Glory said...

What a delightful tour this was! I have been through so many of the villages over there that look like this and I can totally imagine it.

Dawn said...

I absolutely must get there someday - how close are you to Manchester??

I had to chuckle when you talked about the internet slowing down when we get up - I know it is frustrating for you, and something I never once thought about.

Lovely village! I am so glad you were able to get the pictures up. Thanks for visiting my neighborhood as well!

Susie said...

What an absolutely delightful place to live. Everything seems nearby and convenient. How lovely to be able to walk to most of the places of business.
It must give you such a sense of history to have buildings over 1000 yrs old.

Susie Q said...

I so adore England and hope to return soon. Seeing your neighborhood reminds me of exactly why I love it so...
You are so lucky to be in such a lovely part of the world.


peppylady said...

Thank you for the tour of your neighborhood.
I think it interesting on different term in world how we use to explain things.
I don't hear the term "village" out in Western United States but I have Aunts who lives in the eastern part and uses the term "village"
I use the term "Cabin" for a small place on a lake and those who live in eastern part uses the term "cottage"

Robin said...

What a charming place to live! Our country has so many unique places. I LOVE your red phone booth!
I just posted my tour - I hope you can come and visit.

CONNIE W said...

"Found" your blog tonight and am enjoying reading...will definitely be back.