Exploring Windsor
June 20, 2013

Here is my last post about our time in England in May 2013.

We took the train from London to the town of Windsor. We always keep our eyes open for pretty flowers.

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At a phone booth we caught a glimpse of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

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I would have expected to find this fellow in Wyoming or Montana, but here he was outside a store in a shopping center in Windsor!

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And here I am,standing at attention with two friends.

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Queen Victoria stands at an intersection outside Windsor Castle.

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View towards the center of the castle, which was originally made of wood, built by William the conqueror in 1070 to guard the western approaches to London. The castle is the primary residence of the Queen and her family, who stay here many weekends.

King George V’s affection for the castle was shown when he chose Windsor for his family surname in 1917.

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Here we are looking up the bank of the moat (it was always a dry moat, not water-filled) to the Round Tower, the most secure stronghold of the whole castle – the keep, properly speaking.

Windsor has three sections, all surrounded by stone walls and towers. It is like a small town, with over a hundred people living and working here.

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Iconic scene of guards changing duty.

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Looking across the yard to the Queen’s personal apartments for the Queen and her family. Tourists are not admitted here.

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In the Lower Ward is St.George’s Chapel. A plaque states: “St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle College of St. George, was founded here in 1348 and has sought to fulfill its vocation of offering prayer to Almighty God ever since.” ┬áTen monarchs are buried here.

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Sorry, no photos are allowed inside the chapel. But we came back for a 5:00 PM vespers service of prayers and Scriptures, a service that is open to the public.

Before vespers we had tea and sandwiches at the Harte and Garter restaurant. On the wall was an art piece of the Long Walk, the private entrance to the section of the castle that consists of the Queen’s personal apartments.

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Back to St. George’s Chapel, the mix of religion and patriotism and half-unsheathed swords gave me time to reflect on Jesus our Lord who told the disciples to put up the sword, and on the sad union (sad to me) of piety and church-sanctioned war that is England and is also common in many other nations, our own USA included.

I pray that Christians everywhere will have the courage to say no to the world’s way of violence and say yes to Jesus and his radical way of peace.

Things Long Ago
June 15, 2010

Before things long ago, this word about our stay at Jay and Judy’s house, They have a large flowering vine covering much of their garden fence.

I was not able to identify it, but the owners said: (more…)

Birds and Blooms
April 16, 2010

I have not had good opportunities to do birding on this trip but have seen the usual common species such as blackbird, magpie, (little English) robin and great tit (similar to a chickadee).

The blackbird (Turdus merula), which is the commonest, most widespread thrush in England, has a song is a lot like our USA thrushes, including the robin. On the other hand, like our mockingbird, it likes to sing at all times of the day and night.

On a trip to the great cliffs at Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, I saw and heard several skylarks. Their high, tinkling, musical song is quite pleasant. This image of a skylark is from the web.

And here is a gallery of flowers we have been seeing. I do not know the name of this first one. It has a gardenia-like look, as seen in the second photo. If any of my readers know what it is, please post a message and let us all know.

Have you ever seen a forsythia trained into a shape like the one above?

Now think about it! If this were not so abundant as to be a royal nuisance, would we not treasure it as a beautiful specimen?

Beauty is a strange thing.

Snow and Snowdrops
March 22, 2010

With warm weather having arrived, our big snows are just a memory. Here is the work of some creative people. Can you imagine what label they gave to the photo?

“Two feet of snow.”

The earliest flower to bloom in our area is the snowdrop. Sometimes it blooms under the snow.

In our back yard we have only one small clump. A small clump is pretty in its own right.

But nearby neighbors have a yard full of them – probably 10,000 blooms.

Snowdrops are a beautiful promise that other flowers will soon be coming.

Trip to London – Sunday, September 27
September 29, 2009

This morning we went to Hollingbury Hotel to have a chat with two of the men who sit at the front desk. It was good to catch up with them again. One of them has completed his law exams and will be looking for a job in his field.
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Trip to London – Friday, September 25
September 26, 2009

The past three days have been filled with office work, appointments with out staff, attending a lecture, and the travel time on public transportation required to get to these events.
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Summer Time 2009
July 7, 2009

With summer time upon us, here are some of the flowers we have blooming in our back yard as of early July.
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Spain Journal – Part 3
May 14, 2009

On Friday afternoon, May 8, two van loads of us left the beautiful scenery of the retreat setting and headed for Madrid, five hours away.
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London Journal – Wednesday 18, 2009
March 19, 2009

In an earlier blog I mentioned flowers in bloom. Here’s another one, from Jay and Judy’s back yard although we see them at many places.

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I don’t know what plant this is. Do you?
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