Saturday, October 29, 2011


   Before you read any further, please understand this disclaimer…This is not the talented Karalee writing this post; this is her other half hijacking the blog for the day.  This is my first attempt at writing anything other than internal memos telling my employees to wash their hands after using the restroom.  I just wanted to share a few things that I have been able to experience over the last couple of weeks.   
   I have been on assignment for my employer in Nottingham, England.  I’m going to be traveling back and forth for the next few months.  Although the thought of sitting on an airplane for all the hours I’m going to be gives me a headache, the experience of being here is worth it.  I’m working 12 hour days and at times feel like I’m in over my head, but I’m really enjoying the experience.  For those that know me, you’ll understand when I say that for me it feels like coming home. If I haven’t lost you yet, that last comment will be clarified in a moment.
   Today, instead of sitting in my hotel, I went for a very long walk around the city and did a wee bit of shopping.  I’m sure I looked quite silly standing there in the men’s department of Marks and Spencers laughing with joy as I stood there looking at a cardigan jumper.  For me there is almost nothing as English as a cardigan from M&S.  I know this means nothing to most of you reading this, but for the few that do understand, it was a surreal experience for me.  After the trip to the shops, I made a visit to Nottingham Castle. Imagine my serendipitous luck that this is the weekend they are having the Annual Robin Hood Pageant on the castle grounds.  There were encampments,
sword fighting, jousting and merry men (and women) everywhere.   Robin Hood got many cheers and the Sherriff got many jeers.

There was even a sighting of King Richard.

   Another, more personal event happened last Saturday.  It was my first weekend in England and I couldn’t pass up the first opportunity I had to fulfill a desire I’ve had for years, actually decades.  Have you ever lost someone close to you and had that mourneful thought, “if only I had a half hour…”.  I came as unbelievably close as I could hope to get to having that experience.  As you probably know I lost my Mom in March of this year.  My Mom was born and raised in Leeds, Yorkshire.  (This is why it feels like coming home) Leeds is only an hour north of Nottingham.  My Mom has two sisters and two brothers that live in the Leeds area.  I haven’t seen two of them for about 12 years and the other two I haven’t seen for 35 years.  I was honored and thrilled to be able to take the train to my Uncle Fred’s house in Wakefield last Saturday.  Everyone was there.  Uncle Fred fixed a slap-up meal of fish and chips and trifle for everyone.  Sitting with my Mom's family made me feel like my Mom was with me for a brief time. This is a picture of my Mom's family: Auntie Margaret, Uncle Stephen, Auntie Edna, Fred's wife Sylvia, and my Uncle Fred.

   I'll wrap it up and get back to my Topic bars and Flakes.  Do you think the company will mind me spending my per diem on Dairy Milk chocolate and prawn flavored crisps?


Bea said...

Thank you sooooooo ....... much for this post!!!!!!!!!
I thought at first your Aunt Joyce was there as her sister margaret looks just like her :o)
You are ALLOWED to be there and enjoy all the sweets you like as long as you know your Aunt Trixie loves Roses.
And No One makes fish and chips like they do in Yorkshire.
It is true, blood is thicker than water.
Have a safe trip.

Karalee said...

Perfect post honey. I miss you like crazy...only 5 more sleeps and you'll be home!

Jillian said...

I'm so jealous you got to go to the Robin Hood festival!!! Aaah I love it! Awesome pics. :)

Lilian said...

Ahhhh.... LOVE THIS POST! And so jealous that you get to eat the BEST FISH-N-CHIPS in the entire WORLD! And the Flake!! ha ha!! How lucky for you to get to see the Robin Hood Festival! Jealous jealous jealous.... but also SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!

Lesley said...

Loved this post!! I love England, I love Flakes (my favs), I've been to Nottingham, I love fisn-n-chips, trifle, and... I first went into Marks & Spencers when I was 16. I have a picture of me standing outside with the store name in the background. True story... I was dating a boy named Mark Spencer at the time, truer story... he is now in my son Jeffs ward LOL!!! It's a small world. Glad you are having a great time and glad you saw your family. I'm sure they all loved seeing you.

Megan said...

Andrew, I'm so excited to hear from you! Wonderful post! As jealous as I am, getting to read your post gives me a vicarious thrill!
Congratulations on the opportunity. I can't wait to hear more. Love you and miss you!

Lilian said...

.....adding more truth to Lesley's story.... her boyfriend Mark Spencer, who's in her son Jeff's ward teaches English at Davis High and has taught her nephews too!!! Ha ha!