Sunday, 23 October 2011

New house pics

Some pics of the new house.

They use skeleton keys for entry doors.  Note the mail slot in the front door.

Kalle on the 1st floor (2nd floor to us Americans) over looking the garden.
It took us awhile to figure out how to get the french doors unlocked.
After looking through the LARGE bag of keys the realtor gave us, we realized that the key to unlock the right side door is not the same as the key for the left side door.  You can imagine how many keys we have....there are 4 sets of french doors (8 keys), a front door (1 key), a back door (1 key), a garage door (1 key -- MIA), 4 window locks (4 keys -- MIA), and a master bedroom window (1 key MIA).  Really? Why would the locks be different? 

Back garden patio.

Coat and shoe closet on the ground floor.

We refer to it as the 1st floor, but the 1st floor to the Brits is the 2nd floor to us.  Can be quite confusing for Lori at work.  They tell her to go to the conference room on the 1st floor and she has to stop think which floor that really is.

 Ground floor toilet

 Sink and mirror in the ground floor toilet

 Standing in the ground floor laundry room, looking towards the front door.  Entrance to the garage is the door on the left by the front door.  The door on the right (near the front door) is the ground floor toilet, and the stairs to the right lead to the upper levels.

A little present from the homeowners.  They're kind enough to let us use their moldy washing machine.  Lori refused to use it and whined until I bought her a new one.  That will be delivered on Friday.

 Ground floor bedroom. Window looks out into the back yard.

 Jay and Karl mowing the backyard.  Kalle standing in the dining room looking out the french doors.  Window to the right of Kalle is the kitchen window (over the sink).  3rd floor is the roof level.

Kalle's view of the back yard from the dining room.

 Karl working hard mowing the lawn with the electric mower.  A LOT more work than the gas powered push mowers we have in the States.

 The yard was soooo long, Karl had to keep stopping and emptying the catcher into the brown recycling bin (below).

Jay and Karl admiring their accomplishment.  Not quite done, but definitely making progress.

1st Floor (2nd Floor to we Americans) standing in the hall looking towards the kitchen.  The door way to the right leads into the living room.

Standing in the dining room looking at the kitchen.  Doorway to the left leads into the hallway.  Patio doors to the right is where Kalle is standing in the second picture.

Standing in the living room looking into the dining room.

Living room looking towards the front of the house.

1st floor spare bedroom/den.
We asked for the desk to be removed 2-3 times now.  I guess we have to move it out ourselves.  We have been warned if we put it in the garage and it gets damaged, we will be liable for it. 

2nd floor bathroom #1.  This bathroom is just outside of Kalle's bedroom.  There are 2 bathrooms on the 2nd floor (where the kids will sleep).

Kalle's bedroom facing the back of the house. 

Another view of Kalle's bedroom.

Karl's rooms facing the front of the house.

Another view of Karl's bedroom looking out towards the front of the house.

Bathroom in Karl's room.
He's already been warned that he will be moving out of his room when company comes.

Small loft at the top of the stairs (3rd floor to the Brits, 4th floor to us).

Master Bedroom on the 3rd floor with our new Ikea lamps.  The bed will be delivered on Wednesday.

Dressing room next to the master bedroom.  This is where Lori will have to get dressed and do her hair in the mornings.  There are no outlets allowed in the bathrooms except those needed for shavers, so we'll have to set up a table and mirror in here for her.

Master Bathroom on the 3rd floor.

Another view of the master bedroom looking towards the master bedroom.  The towel rack as shown on the right are all plugged in and are supposed to be heated.

Standing on the 3rd floor looking down the staircase.

View looking at the driveway.  Garage is in front of car and front door is in front on sand colored tiles.

Spare room with free couch.  I am sure the couch will look much better in the GAY-raj as they say over here.  Now that I type this I realize that I didn't take a garage pic.  It is your basic less than one car English garage, not used for a car just to collect junk.

Garden view pre-Karl's mowing.

Front view of house.  We are on a hill so the driveway is sloped a little.

Thanks for listening,

Our one day holiday

We decided to drive to the Atlantic yesterday for our one day holiday.  Our first stop was Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem (  A very cool place.  I won't summarize the website but I do recommend checking it out.  According to the website, knights and men-at-arms would gather to rest at Nottingham Castle on their trek to Jerusalem as part of the Third Crusade.  We didn't tour the castle on this trip but it is on our to do list, maybe when we have some visitors from across the pond?

Good enough for the crusaders, good enough for me.

The group standing next to a new meets old section of the castle.  You can see the old cave entrances in the rock next to the new brick building.

The pub is actually part of the rock at the base of Nottingham Castle.  Per the website, the castle brew house is the same location as the existing Inn brew house.  King Richard the Lionhearted and I drank out of the same brew house.

Similar shot as previous, zoomed out a little to show the castle walls above. 

Another old meets new shot.  Museum in front, Inn on right and castle wall above.

Pic of the bar inside.  The interior is separated according to the caves, I didn't snap many pics inside but there are multiple little rooms on multiple levels inside the Inn.  The entrance is to the left behind me.  Obviously I didn't lean far enough to miss the camera.   

The Kevin Coleman pic of the day - I can't stop without having an Olde Trip at a 922 year old pub.  Olde Trip was semi-smooth tasting, not bitter, good overall. 

Our table inside the Inn.  Shows you how the caves shape the dining rooms.  Small tables also.

An out of order pic (caused by me rushing to get this post done before we leave this morning).  This is from outside the castle, I made the kids pose by the Robin Hood statue.  Karl was embarrassed, I guess I am doing my job as a parent.

The Dana Johnson pic of the day - we tried mini burgers topped with onion rings with a side of chips plus a side of chorizo crisps and sour cream dipping sauce.  Their crisps are our potato chips.  The crisps were thin sliced and fried, think fried pepperoni slices.  I don't like sour cream so that didn't do anything as a dipping sauce for me.  The burgers were a mixture of plain burgers, cheese burgers, and cheese and bacon burgers.  All burgers had lettuce, onion and tomato as well.  Everything tasted good to us.  Note the size of the Ocean Spray cranberry juice can in the background.  

Medieval coat hook.

After Nottingham we drove through Boston on the way to Skegness. Lori and I agreed that Boston looks like a separate day trip some other time, it looked to be a neat town to explore. Trivia fact - The town of Boston, Massachusetts is named after this town because some prominent colonists from Boston, Lincolnshire, England emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts.  No pics taken on our drive through Boston.  A frustrating note on British driving.  Most A-roads or carriageways (our highways) do not have bypass towns, they go right through them which is how we saw most of downtown Boston.  Motorways (our freeways) do a better job of bypassing towns but they are rare around us.  The A roads are also separated in two digit, three digit and four digit roads.  A52 is a two sometimes three lane major roads with a speed limit of 70 mph.  Yes they drive in miles per hour over here.  A157 is a two way country road that is sometimes 1.5 lanes wide and can be very winding and scary with a 40 or 50 mph speed limit.  A1517 (don't remember the exact road number) is a two way country road that is one lane wide and pretty much means you are lost.  More on those later.  We have been advised to stay off of B roads altogether.   

We followed this for a while, it reminded Lori of our dog Bear at home which she misses greatly.  He is partying at Bob and Lona's while we are here. 

Our final destination was Skegness (  It is a seaside resort town with an amusement park setting although when we left in the morning it was just a point on the map.  It was pretty busy while we were there so I can only imagine what it is like in the summer time when the weather is nice.  It was a little cool and windy, temps were in the low sixties but the wind made it feel like fifties.  It is a Danish settled town, local history plaques said the name comes from Skegg (bearded one) and ness (nose).  The Danish Viking settlers apparently wore beards and the geographical layout of the land looks like a nose. 

The Jolly Fisherman statue.  It looks like he is dancing but he is actually being blown back by the powerful gusts of wind. 

Clock tower in background is a town landmark and was built in 1898-99 to commemorate the Queens Diamond Jubilee in 1897.  The nation was celebrating Queen Victoria's 60th year of reign by building clock towers in 1897.  Many other towns build clock towers in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, or 50 years of reign.  I wonder how many of these clocks Queen Vic actually saw?

Hames Confectionery - I think Confectionery is a French word for "can we stop there?".

I wish Dana were with us - I am told English people are to polite to tell you how they really feel, especially to say no or kick you out.  I am thinking Dana would have tested that theory at the Liberal Social Club.

You can't turn down a Hames double cone of ice cream.  I opted for pastry instead but would have tried the whippy (soft serve) cone.  Kalle had the mint chocolate chip and white chocolate flavors.  Mint was good, white was not what she was expecting.  She also got hers dipped in sprinkles.  Karl had chocolate delight covered in chocolate flakes.  He said it was good. 

Leaving Skegness was an adventure.  We planned on going back to Nottingham Ikea to pick up a few things that aren't available online but Lori inadvertently put in Barrow Alaska Ikea.  Our first clue was when she tried following our sat nav path on the road atlas and couldn't find the towns we were going through.  Instead of heading west we were heading north.  Way north.  And directionally following your sat nav path doesn't always work here because the roads are not built east, west, north and south as in America.  I think the roads are built to follow the existing sheep paths; sometimes you go north then south if you destination is west of you.  But the good news was we saw more English country side which was beautiful.  I took some pictures but they didn't do the scenery justice.  Green rolling hills alternately covered with crops, green grass, light brown soil.  Small towns with hundred year old aged brick wall homes, spired churches, castle turrets in the distance.  Intermittent hedge rows to parcel out the land in some places, short lines of green leaved trees in other places.  The solitary tall tree to attract a lightening strike.  Hills full of sheep, flocks of birds descending on farm plots to feed, cattle seemingly dropped in handfuls.  Pheasants along the side of road, sometimes with their immature brown youngsters in tow. 

We did manage to find Ikea before the store closed but all of the driving makes for a long day.  Especially when the sat nav's do not seem to account for traffic delays here.  I am not sure if it is a setting we don't have turned on but the 1.75 hour drive from Nottingham to Skegness was actually almost 2.25 hours.  Lesson learned. We sure are racking up the lessons learned the hard way. 

Thanks for listening,