Monday, September 30, 2013

Cotswold Gold (day 12)

You can look at photos on the Internet, but nothing can prepare you for the reality of the beautiful, golden Cotswolds. I was on a bus, daydreaming, when suddenly I caught a glimpse of a splendid thatched house (no cottage, this!). My bus patrons and I were all at once surrounded by them, and astounded by them. The outer wall stones beneath the thatch, lovely in pictures, were in truth the creamiest most buttery yummy golden!

Thus began my experience of the Cotswolds. You might be interested to note that I was able to find a delicious, even delectable scone with jam and cream and butter, and warmed! And with tea that more then met expectations. It does not surprise me that it was found here, in this yummiest of places.

The SconeLady gave this scone a 10!!

A long day of walking is ahead of me. See you along the way!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Update - our Loss

I have wanted to share with you a little more about the loss we have experienced (and will continue to experience). You have heard about the passing of my dear father-in-law, and how this came about. Although it has not been spoken of a lot on this blog, it has been through another more private route of communication. The family has heard of and felt your prayers, and continue to be uplifted. Thank you.

I keep going back to some words written by John Piper about his father,

And now for every son, grandchild and daughter here,
He lies a fallen tree, and dear

So dear.

Much love to you

Churches and Churchill (day 11)

I have come to the end of this day, encouraged and uplifted by the Christianity I have seen in Oxford. Two churches offered two different approaches to worship, both memorable in their unique ways. One, St Ebbes Church of England, was lively (in a British sort of way!), had lots of young families, and terrific music and teaching. The other, Christ Church Cathedral, is also C of E, but uses the 1662 Prayer Book, and have a magnificent Boy's Choir. Candlelight; solemnity; confession of our manifold sins and wickedness. Tears were inevitable upon hearing the first pure and perfect tones emanating from those voices. Never to be forgotten.

So I experienced Him through both fellowship and glory, today, an embarrassment of riches I will treasure dearly.

I also visited Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. An astounding edifice! and I had a scone there. With jam. And (clotted) cream. To be brief, it was a cold scone, unimpressive. Enough said - at least for now.

Lastly, I had a coke at the Eagle and Child pub, where Lewis, Tolkein, and the other Inklings used to meet. It is just a great place and a great experience, being there. Incidentally, the only people there taking pictures and talking about Narnia were - can you guess? - Americans. Love them!

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Lewis (day 10)

Being a reader of CS Lewis has steadily opened my eyes to both truth and ideals, through fiction, fantasy, and  clear teaching. That is why I am drawn to Oxford. I have finally been able to tour Lewis' home, the Kilns, and the extensive grounds that used to belong to Lewis. I also visited Holy Trinity Church where he and brother Warren attended. A true Lewis day!

All of this added up to over 13 miles walked today. Yesterday was 15. There is just so much to see! I shall try and find somewhere that will cook me a worthy scone, tomorrow.

Below is a photo of the Kilns.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady


Friday, September 27, 2013

Oxford, the City of Towers and Spires (day eight)

I have decided not to weigh myself when I get home. Sounds sensible, doesn't it. Best not to know.

While in Oxford, in between gazing at magnificence I stopped in at the hotel lounge favored by C.S.Lewis - the Eastgate (sometimes called the Mercure). With all this walking it was high time I tried another scone. I had done a fair bit of walking just to find a scone place - it can't be just any scone place, it should really have a table cloth, real cups and a tea pot (both preferably white). You might be surprised at the places you'll see that want to serve you tea in a paper cup. Tea in paper? This borders on I-don't-know-what. Heresy?

So here is a pic of the scones I had. They were small, and could be consumed in two bites each. They were warm (a must). And the waitress was super nice, helpful, and hovering, should I want something like more hot water (which I did). However, the scones themselves were not super tasty. All of the elements were not there. Good scones should have some substance to them. They should be of a size you can respect. And they should taste so good that you don't mind the calories (I am NOT weighing myself). And so these particular scones were less than a 10. They might be a 4. But high marks to the atmosphere and the service.

So here's to my next search for the best scone in the land of Dickens.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Have I told you enough about the FOOD? (day seven)

There have been quite a few instances in this life when I have doubted that I would ever face another forkful of food, but never quite so many instances all in one week! No kidding. Rosie, with Ted's willing help, has produced no fewer than six knockout dinners, one for each of the nights I have spent in her home.

Let's see, there was salt beef and dumplings/fresh vegetables; baked chicken with roast vegetables and fresh bread (Ted's for-real bread oven); roast leg of lamb (stuffed with garlic and rosemary), with fresh crispy leeks, courgette, roast potatoes, and broccoli, all from her garden; Ted's homemade pizza baked in his bread oven; beef rib eye cooked over the open fireplace, with a bernaise sauce, with green salad/homemade vinaigrette, garden veggies and tarte tatan (and-get this- her special homemade cinnamon ice cream!); and finally, grilled beef steaks with roast potatoes, courgette, and garlic cloves, topped by a wonderful apple/ berry crumble - with clotted cream! Only once did I see any leftover served. Now if I had been the cook ... well.

So can you forgive me for not having discovered or consumed any further scones? I ask you.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Top Hat! Day six in England

Today friend Rosie and I are heading off to London! We will go by train, grab a quick bite, and dash to the theatre where Top Hat is playing on stage at the Aldwych Theatre. Then we will train it back home to be given a wonderful beef dinner prepared by Ted and two fabulous chefs!

I have just returned from London, having had a much different day than we expected. Just before the curtain went up at the Aldwych, I received the message that my wonderful father-in-law had passed away, back home. Friend Rosie and I were seated smack in the middle of the theatre, the curtain was about to rise, and I could not move. Then we were told that all cellular phones must be turned off! It was dreadful, and I was bereft.

And then, not long after the curtain went up at the Aldwych Theatre, the ceiling area above the orchestra pit suddenly fell in, and a very much surprised manager announced that we were all to remain in our seats (but we wanted out, in case more ceiling disasters decided to take place). We did have to leave the theatre, But all was not lost. Rosie took me for a walk around the area, eating ice creams, and ending up at the Liberty department store- which was the nicest, most unique one I had been to. It was difficult to keep the charge card in the pocket, but I did.

We did come home to a marvelous rib eye dinner, which I am currently attempting to recover from. It will soon be time for bed, but first I will close this blog and FaceTime with my very sweet husband. Thank you for all of the prayers as the family has walked this path together.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Monday, September 23, 2013

Jet Lag No More (day five in England)

Yes, I am here, and seeing some of the loveliness that is found in the British Isles. It is a lot like Oregon- rolling green hills, sheep, farms everywhere, and friendliness. Oh, and unlike Oregon, hedgerows. Lots and lots of hedgerows!

I am staying with the kindest and most interesting couple, friend Rosie, and her Ted, who are taking amazing care of me! Even taking 7 to 10 mile walks with me. The dearest of friends.

I have not had any scones since Day Two, but am continually on the look out! I sense that one is on its way.

We had a magnificent lamb dinner last night, and are heading momentarily into a chicken dish delight. Food, glorious food! (And there will always be 'more').

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">wallyg</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Friday, September 20, 2013

Day Two in England

Hello to you all,

I am thankful to be able to say I made it here safely, after a generally un eventful, if somewhat bumpy ride. My heart is heavy, however, due to a message that my sweet father-in-law is in the hospital following a bad fall along the road near their home. I know you will all be praying for him, and for the whole family. At this time, I won't write about scones but will sign off now until I find another wifi hotspot later in the day. For now, God bless you and let me know how you are all doing.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What Is 'All This'? (part two)

Today is Tuesday; I fly away tomorrow! Can you see and feel the excitement?

The hours it has taken to get me here, poised on the eve of an adventure, are certainly countless. At around 7 this evening, it suddenly hit me that I had nothing further to do. I was ready to go. I could watch a Netflix if I wanted. 

But I began thinking of the first place I would go in search of the perfect scone. I have the name of the town and of the tea shop, simply sitting on the tip of my tongue. But I will share that with you after I have tasted the sweet loveliness for myself, and I shall dream of appropriately descriptive words to help give you the feeling that you, too, have been there yourself and tasting.

This particular place holds a special spot in our hearts, for we have been devoted customers multitudinous times over the years. Do you have a spot like that, where you hope to visit again after a long absence? Do share with me your experiences and your plans to experience them again!

And so, the 'All This' is about to begin. Tomorrow. All the planning, all the paying, all the searching, and all the dreaming - all I must do now, is step into it.

See you along the way!

photo credit: <a href="">raghavvidya</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Monday, September 16, 2013

What Is 'All This'? (part one)

What do I mean by, 'All This For A Scone'? Let us just think together. When you get ready for a significant trip somewhere, you must recognize that you will be spending some significant amounts just getting yourself there, not to mention sustaining yourself while there.

And since one of the main targets of this trip is the finding and eating of Scones (with jam and cream, with tea, with finger sandwiches, with teeny-weeny smashingly delicious tea cakes), there seems to be an awful lot going toward what may appear to most people a small, insignificant bit of bread.

But it isn't small or insignificant to me! And although I won't be indulging in Afternoon Tea every moment of every day, each day will certainly find me at some tea table, pouring out the Aasam, or the English Breakfast, or the Lapsang Souchong while spreading the jam, the cream and even - yes, even the butter!

Today is Monday; I fly away on Wednesday!

See you along the way!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


It is hard to imagine how any trip could possibly be as enjoyable as the anticipation and planning of it! I have had so much fun scheming and plotting that I feared the actuality must fall short somehow.

So as I count down the days to takeoff, the excitement spirals up, and up. It is a gift to be able to take this step, nearly two years after the major spinal fusion that changed life for me. The chance to walk again on England's green and pleasant land, to listen to the civilized kindness that seems to permeate that place, will be Therapy itself.

Today is Sunday; I fly away on Wednesday! The four weeks of lovely, but (probably) wet walking days, pausing frequently for scone-ish sustenance, will be faithfully recorded here. Do let me know if you have also followed a similar road, enjoyed these same tastes, or wished to do so at some point along your path. Sometimes we simply live it vicariously through what we read, or watch, or listen to - and that, as well, is a joy not to be scorned.

See you along the way!