January 14, 2007

January 14: Histon

Vanessa’s Dining Room, Histon, Cambridgeshire: Sunday 4:14 pm GMT

I finished reading a Garth Nix book this morning (I’ve finished 4 books so far on the trip) and had some tea and cereal while everyone else slept. I like mornings alone best. :-)

Then we got ready and headed off to church. Vanessa attends the Anglican church in the village. The building was put up some time in the 1600’s and was made from bits and pieces of two previous churches. There’s a cemetery surrounding the building but the oldest plots I saw were from the late 1800’s. There were several stones that were so worn down or so lichen covered that you couldn’t read the text.

After church we walked over to the Tesco express (a mini version of a larger grocery store chain) and Vanessa picked up some groceries while Rob and I snagged some tea that was on sale. We’re going to have to pick up another suitcase at the rate we’re going. But the tea that Rob bought today was twice the size and 1/4 the cost of what he buys online (and buying it online is cheaper than buying it in Fort Collins).

We walked home and had sandwiches (I had a brie and apple sandwich) and cheese and olives. Yum!

Then I tried to help Vanessa finish up a movie she’s made (with the help of her kids) on Windows Movie Maker. I found it rather frustrating after having worked with iMovie. I didn’t find it intuitive, but then again, part of the reason iMovie is easy for me is because it’s what I’m used to. So it’s hard to compare at this point.

Then we tried to upload it to her new multiply account, but with dial-up that’s easier said than done.

Vanessa’s Kitchen, Histon, Chambridgeshire: Sunday 8:30 pm GMT

Our first attempt at uploading the movie ended in an 8 second short. :-P
So we uploaded it again only to realize afterwards that some sections repeated. So we’re going to redo it and reupload later.

After doing all that we were a bit worn out so we stopped for tea and biscuits. Then Vanessa and I went for a walk while Rob played American football with Nathaniel and the girls worked on homework. Ness and I walked over to Impington, which is the village across the way.

(Impington may have derived its name from a sixth century tribe (yes, a tribe in England... well, it wasn’t really England then, was it?) called the Empings. Emp sounds like the Anglo-Saxon word for honey. It’s possible that the site was a Roman homestead before that.)

When we got back Vanessa started on dinner (marinated chicken over rice -- I’m hoping to post the recipe soon.) and I worked on a killer sudoku. I think I got one number entered in a half hour.

Dinner was fantastic, as usual. Dessert was also scrumptious. We had chocolate and apple crepes. I’m going to have to try to recreate them when I get home. Nessa bought them from some German place so I can’t just follow a recipe.

Then the kids were shuffled off to bed and I read through a history book on Histon and Impington. (In 1279, Histon’s population was about 1000 people. After the famines and black plague the city was down to 53 families and didn’t reach 1000 people again until 1800.)


  1. Geez. Everything is old and interesting looking there!

  2. I would spend all day reading all the head stones. Love going to old cemetery's and looking at all the names. You never know might be a rely of mine buried there hehe...

  3. i like reading head stones, too. there's a website somewhere where people take pics of local headstones and post them for genealogy folks looking for ancestors.

    some of these headstones hurt my eyes to look at too long, though. too faded.

  4. Which Garth Nix book was it? Have you read his "Shade's Children"? That one I couldn't put down (it's been a long time since I sat down and read a book almost straight through like that, it usually takes me at least a few days to a few weeks, since I end up trawling the internet) but that one I finished in a day.

  5. When we lived in Frederick, MD, we lived next to a cemetery that had graves from the 1700s. Christene and I would walk through with Caleb sleeping in his stroller. There were huge shade trees and all and it was a very pleasant walk...

  6. i finished shade's children this morning right before we came out to see you. :-)

    the one i finished the other day was the creature in the case.

    and was thursdays's whatever a nix book? i think it was. i finished that a few days ago.

  7. Yes, that one is too. I haven't read that one yet. I've read Mr Monday and Grim Tuesday, but don't want to buy the series so am waiting to go home long enough to bother borrowing it from the library. I love his Abhorsen trilogy though.

  8. i liked abhorsen, but it was a bit too long since i've read it before reading the creature in the box (which is a short story that follows the trilogy) so i was a little lost in the short story because i couldn't remember what all had happened.

    i really like the days of the week series. i've read them all from the library and borrowed thursday from roz. (i also got shades children and the creature in the box from her.)

  9. Where are all the pics of you and ivy?

  10. I haven't been able to post them yet. When I'm at Vanessa's I'm limited to dial-up and I've spent several hours just trying to get Monday's pics posted. :-( But I'm almost done with those and then I'll post Tuesday and Wednesday. We're planning on hitting the internet cafe today. (Which may be the last connection I can make before we get back to Colorado with the exception of a bit of dial-up on Friday morning.)

  11. I heard on NPR some time ago that Tesco may come to America (if they haven't already) and give the Wal-Mart (big box retail model) a challenge. Something about express convenience versus being swamped with a huge store. Hmmm...so what was it like?

  12. Yes I know what dialup is like, is what I have. Most of the time I reduce the size of the picture and helps for a speedier upload without loss of quality to the pic.

  13. I'd say Tesco is rather like Wal-mart, only they focus on food and have a bit of other stuff. They're definitely smaller than Wal-Mart. But then again, once they moved to the States I'm sure they could spread out their stores a bit more.

    The second Tesco we went to (on Wednesday) had two stories with an escalator that you could push your cart onto. And they had more clothes and other non-groceries than the first one. But still it wasn't really on the scale of a Wal-Mart.

  14. Right-o, but that's the niche that Tesco is supposed to battle Wal-Mart on (from the report I heard). Tesco is like a convenience store model of Wal-Mart. Cities will be fairly saturated with Tescos, which will cut into the sales of Wal-Mart which will cause them all kind of problems. Sort of makes sense, as the most common gripe I hear about our local Wal-Mart is that it's too big, as well as it's difficult to find items.

  15. Hi Meg,
    Have just found your multiply site and find you very interesting and would like you to become one of my contacts - am new to all this and not sure how it works, but hope to hear from you.


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