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Monday, May 27, 2013

The American Cemetery in England.

I spent 6 weeks at my parents house in England and I had a lovely time.  I did some work in their garden and really enjoyed it.  Gardening is what love to do and it was great to make myself useful.  Their orchard area inspired me to start my own orchard here this Spring.

The last few days in England were spent at my oldest son's house in Suffolk.  Keegan is in the US air force.  On the way to his house we stopped by the American cemetery in Cambridgeshire.

Very quiet and somber.  So sad to think these brave men never made it home.

American graves in the English countryside.
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The cemetery covers over 30 acres and contains 3,812 graves and has 5,127 names of the missing on the wall.  The names include the missing band leader, Glen Miller and the older brother of President Kennedy, Joseph P Kennedy Jr.
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The memorial building is filled with military maps and information.  I found Washington State seal on one of the windows.  It is a very peaceful place with reflecting ponds and plenty of places to reflect.
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Statues representing all the branches of the US military stand against the wall of the missing.
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It is by pure coincidence I'm posting this today of all days.  Today is Memorial Day in the US.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My home town, Bedford, England. October 2012.

                                       My Home Town, part two.  

This is a statue of the famous prison reformer John Howard, 1726 - 1790.  He had a 200 acre farm in Bedfordshire, just outside the town.  As a teenager, I spent many an hour planning mischief with my friends on the step of this statue.  Also this is the town's market place on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
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Another famous local, John Bunyan 1628 - 1688.  He was imprisoned at the Bedford County Jail (gaol) for twelve years, 1660 - 1672, where he probably wrote his famous book, The Pilgrim's Progress.
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This is Bedford High Street and the famous John Bull clock.  The taller building, in the background and on the left hand side of the street, is where the Bedford County Gaol (jail) stood for hundreds of years.
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This is the Embankment.  The times I've walked along here...............
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The lovely Swan Hotel on the Embankment.
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When I was a teenager I wanted to cross the Great Ouse River on my trusty steed Brandy, as many ways we could.   So we did, from the brick bridge in Great Barford to wading across the ford at Clapham.   All the time hoofing it.  This was a moment of glory for us...the day we clip clopped across the Bedford Bridge.  It's a funny thing, but I never told anyone at the time...who knew 43 years ago there'd be a thing called the internet and I'd be writing about my adventures.
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Crossing this Suspension Bridge was fun.  Brandy was always up for a challenge, except he wouldn't go in a horse trailer.  One day a woman who owned his pasture buddy, a show jumper, was going to a gymkhana/horse show, and asked us along.  We practiced loading Brandy the night before and not matter what we tried, Brandy wouldn't load.  We tried every trick in the book.  The next day Brandy and I raced across country from Castle Mill to the Clapham gymkhana to compete.  All was well till he spotted his pasture buddy competing in the show jumping class and made a fool of himself by whinnying very loudly to say hello.
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The Bedford Rowing Club.  It was outside here I gave some Indian boys a ride on Brandy.  They were so impressed.  I often would stop and offer children rides on him.
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The swans are pretty tame because they know they are BAD.  The brownish one on the front is one of the years cygnets.
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In the background is what is left of Bedford castle, which was built about 1000 years ago.    photo e9a02f7b-a708-4deb-86a3-64e5cc0f699e_zps605efae5.jpg

Fortified with treacle toffees, I climbed to the top of Castle mound.  That actually is the bus I should have been on.   The number 5.  In the foreground is a tile mosaic, describing the history of the castle.  photo 0531eb71-167a-46da-a428-6a406f49eedb_zpsa9fff964.jpg

There's an interesting story of the castle at the top.  Some yobbo's scratched it all up.
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Looking back at this while the sarc has me in its grip, I'm amazed I could walk about like I did.