Monday, August 2, 2010

Learning to Live in England, Part 22

August, and finally the weather has warmed up a little, with temperatures in the middle of the day reaching the low 70s, Fahrenheit. The inhabitants of Ormskirk are complaining; they can't sleep in such warmth.

We took advantage of a pretty day on Saturday to visit the nearby Lavender Farm with Julia and Sue, one of her best friends, who had arrived from out of town to spend the night.

Nothing all that much to see at the Lavender Farm, but we had gone there because I adore lavender scent. The fields of lavender were pretty, though, and Demetrios was quite taken with some of the chickens, specifically the Guinea Fowl. He'd never seen one before.

We poked around the gift shop, which is stocked with all kinds of wonderful scents in a whole line range of products, from candles to soaps to shower gel and other things. Unfortunately, I didn't particularly care for any of the 'recipes' they used in concocting them; the lavender scent lacked any sweetness. So although I had come determined to buy something lavender-scented, I didn't.

We had tea in the farm's little cafe, including a lavender scone. It was quite good but we had to struggle against the association with soap, to avoid the impression that this was what we were eating. I told everyone about Elizabeth@the Garden Window's recipe for lavender shortbread, and maybe one or two of us will yet try it. Lavender is in bloom right now.

From the farm, we went to David and Julia's house for another fabulous one of David's meals. Then we watched a DVD, then home, tired.

I couldn't sleep; I never can when my feet are cold, and I couldn't get them to warm up, even under the duvet. It was nearly 3:00 when I finally dozed off. Slept more than 8 hours, so missed church, and among all its other benefits and blessings, the chance of two hour's practice in trying not to be judgmental.

My most recent reading is a book on the history of Ormskirk. There isn't all that much of it! What there is consists mostly of the history of England and of our local lord of the manor, the Earl of Derby (pronounced 'DAH-bee') and his family. There are interesting tidbits culled from court records and the like.

One interesting thing I read was about the establishment of the Workhouse. That's sort of a combination of homeless shelter with the chance for the residents to work and thereby contribute toward their support. Conditions were deliberately made harsh, to prevent people from going there except as a last resort.

"Listen to this!" I said to Demetrios. "That Workhouse was built on the site where the hospital stands now."

Demetrios smiled. "Yes, it's the building I showed you, where my room was, when I worked there!"

Then he told me about how his mentor, Dr. Sanderson, as a small boy used to be told by his grandmother, "Unless you correct your behavior, you'll end up in the Workhouse!" Then the Workhouse was converted into a part of the hospital and Dr. Sanderson worked there. So he did indeed end up in the Workhouse!


William Weedon said...

Where do you live in England? I have a good friend who is pastor at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Fareham, Hampshire. His name is Tapani Simojoki (a Finn). Here's his website:

Should you ever end up in that locality, I'm sure you'd be blessed!

Keeping you in my daily prayers - much love!

Bb said...

How else would one pronounce Derby? :-p

I can sympathise with your reluctance over the lavender scones (scone pronounced to rhyme with gone and not bone, despite what southerners may tell you), though not for the same reasons. I have never tasted lavender but I struggle with the scent. I don't know whether lavender water is available in the US but here in Britain, some people put it in their irons and switch the steam setting on to make their clothes smell of lavender. I fear I shall never understand it.

And yes, we love to complain about the heat. I grew up in the Caribbean but 12 years back in Britain has restored to me my birthright to complain when the temperature rises beyond 15 degrees Centigrade.


Bb said...

I'm sorry you couldn't make it to the pilgrimage on Saturday. I had hoped I might be able to meet you. It was a beautiful day. Perhaps another time. In the meanwhile, you can read about it on my blog, if you'd like.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

William, thank you very much, especially for your prayers.

We are in Lancashire.

Michael, I, too, am sorry we missed the pilgrimage. Truth is, I had so much else on my mind I totally forgot it!!! We shall still hope to meet in future. Our friend Elias says he thinks he knows you, or at least who you are.

Bb said...

Our friend Elias says he thinks he knows you, or at least who you are.

Now that's worrying. Where have I been? What have I been doing? To whom have I caused offence this time? :-D

All standard questions I ask myself when this sort of thing happens.