Thursday, January 31, 2008

January Recap

Well, tragically it has been nearly a month since my last post. I hate it when I leave it so long, because then I forget things or don't have the energy to write in as much detail. But such is life.

January has been surpringly spring-like here this year. The daffodils are already starting to show their pretty faces here and there. We've taken a few trips and lots of walks, so here are some pics!

We went to Hampton Court (although that was technically before Christmas). Hampton Court is the palace that Cardinal Wolsey spent a fortune expanding and decorating while he was Henry VIII's right hand man. When he fell from favor, Henry confiscated Hampton Court.

We had the chance to get outside and take some walks in the countryside in January. It's been a pretty mild winter here. This is Arlington Resevoir.

And these are from another walk we took in Barcombe.

We also managed to make it over to South Wales for a quick trip. We visited Cardiff Castle and Brecon Beacons National Park.

I love this picture because you can see how much Iain enjoys his Papa's antics. What a cutie.

Iain is making this funny laugh where he just sucks air in and I was lucky enough to catch it on film.

These next pictures are from the Brecon Beacons.

And most recently we took a trip to Canterbury to see a creepy old puesdo-fun house called The Canterbury Tales and the cathedral. We were hoping to get a synopsis of the Canterbury Tales, which we sort of did, but at a price... It was dark and old and things kept popping out of places. It wasn't meant to be scary, but Stephen King would have a ball in that place. It didn't help that it was a rainy Wednesday in January and we were the only ones in there. Anyway, I didn't take any pictures of that part. Then we headed off to see the cathedral and toured it pretty well.

These steps are worn from all the pilgrims who used to climb them on their knees to get the shrine of Thomas a Becket who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170 by knights of King Henry II.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


On Christmas Eve we had nothing planned, so we decided to go see Santa. The line was enormous! Brian and I took turns walking Iain around the mall so he didn't have to wait in line, hoping to keep him in a good mood. No such luck. He started crying at the sight of the first elf! She tried to say hello and paint Iain's face, but he wanted nothing to do with any of it. Not the face paint, not the elf, not the grotto, and not Father Christmas! He did think that the reindeer were interesting, but that was before the elf incident.

Santa was very nice, but Iain was cutting a big fit. This was the closest he got to sitting on Santa's knee. He didn't even want the present Santa gave him! So we stood in line for nearly two hours to see Father Christmas for approximately.00467 seconds. Lesson learned!

After that Iain had a nice long nap and we drove to Peacehaven and walked along the clifftops. It was a short walk because it was cold and windy!

Iain thinks playing outside is much better than scary old Santa Claus!

After Iain went to bed, I finished wrapping the gifts and arranged them under the tree. I love that part!
Iain didn't know what to think about all the presents the next morning. I think he was still a little sleepy! He headed straight for the biggest present first, which was a little child sized armchair from Mama and Papa.

Iain and Mama reading their new books!

After we opened presents we went to church and then had Christmas dinner at our Phil and Maria's house. It was a huge spread and it was so nice to spend the day with friends.

The next day was Boxing Day and we went for a nice long walk around the Arlington Reservoir. There were lots of birds living there, and lots of dogs out for exercise, both of which Iain enjoyed pointing out. Sometimes he even says "dah" for dog, but he mostly just points.

After our walk we had a really great lunch at a pub on the coast that I've wanted to try for a awhile. We sat right next to the crackling fire and warmed up.

So it was a nice Christmas, even though we missed our families. For New Year's Eve we hung out at our friend Christina's flat playing games and watching Johnny English with our friend Ann. At midnight all of Brighton went crazy. Church bells pealed, fireworks went off, and people were singing and shouting with all their might. We had a front row seat on all of this from the flat, which is op the top floor of a house on a very high hill. It was an awesome sight.

Christmas Pudding Dash

With the holidays, I've been on a bit of blogging hiatus, so I've got some catching up to do!

On December 22, I ran (well, ran/walked) in a 2 mile race at Ashburnham Place, an old manor house near Battle. I felt bad because I wasn't as prepared as I would have liked, but I had a great time and it felt so good to finish! I can't wait to run in another race.

It was a beautiful place. The trail seemed so long and a good bit of it was a very muddy path uphill through woods. I had a great time.

At the start:

Nearly at the finish line!

On my post-race high:
I'm wearing the shirt my mom wore when she trained for her marathon 2 years ago!