Southampton England for nine days

We left sweet Pablo to his wonderful mom yesterday and took the train to Southampton.  This is a seaport where the Titanic left for its fateful final trip.  We are on a 9 day break between sits and David chose a lovely apartment for us near the marina.  I love the ocean and it is wonderful to just walk 5 minutes to the sea.

Here is a photo of the marina. Southampton marina 5x7 netThey were parking this racing boat as we were walking by.  It is a stunning boat and I bet it goes boat 5x7 netThey are building lots of high rise apartment ( we would say they are condos) buildings all around the marina.  This one is the tallest.  I can hardly image what the view is from the top stories. Southampton apts 5x7 netThere were also a pair of swans that came up looking for food.  I did not know that they lived in sea water but the harbor manager said they did.swan neck 5x7 net More photographs and stories to follow soon.

London museums and culture

We have been here a week now and sweet Pablo is doing fine.  He does not like the cone he has to wear but he gets lots of cuddles and scratches and so he does well.poor pablo outside 5x7 netWe have taken the tube into London for a couple of days.  I love seeing the art and culture that are in London’s museums.  The British Museum, the Victoria and Albert, the National Portrait museum and the National Museum are all free and full of interesting paintings and artifacts.  Here are some of the photographs that I took in each of these museums. crucifix V and A 5x7 netstain glass Jesus 5x7

Queen Eliz I 5x7 net

Queen Elizabeth I


London Anne Boleyn 5x7 net

Queen Anne Boleyn National Portrait Gallery

Klimt Hermine Gallia 5x7 net

Klimt  Portrait of Hermine Gallia 

monet water lillies 5x5 net

Monet Water Lillies National Gallery

Of course it would not be London if there was not a picture of Big Ben.Big ben London 5x7 netAnd the London Eye.London eye 5x7 net

London is a fascinating place to visit.

In Ealing (west London) taking care of Pablo

We left Reading 3 days ago on the train to go to Ealing which is just west of London.Reading RR station netThe first  day it was raining very hard, which was good because we got to spent a lot of time with poor Pablo the cat.  It seems he got into a cat fight a couple of days before we got here, and he has several wounds on his body.  So he has a cone around his head, to keep him from licking his skin.  He needs some gentle nursing and some time with us.  So the last few days we have been pretty much staying at home.  He is such a sweet baby except when it comes to putting medicine on his wounds.  Pablo in cone netHopefully, he will heal quickly and be his normal self.

Reading Abbey and the Thames River cruise

We have four days off between pet sitting assignments so we are now in Reading, England.  Reading “was an important trading and ecclesiastical centre in the medieval period, as the site of Reading Abbey, one of the richest monasteries of medieval England with strong royal connections, of which the 12th century abbey gateway and significant ruins remain.” ( wikipedia)  The Abbey is under a two year renovation at the moment.  Here is a photograph of the 12th century gateway as it looks today.

Reading medieval gate 5x7 netInside this gateway in 1539, Henry the VIII had Hugh Faringdon, the last abbot of the abbey, convicted of treason (a verdict delivered before the trial began) and had him hanged, drawn, and quartered .  Here is a timeline for these medieval events.

Reading Abbey timeline net

This gateway is actually a tall medieval building where in 1783 Jane Austen and her sister went to boarding school. Jane was 9 years old. She spent three years there, learning sewing, dancing, spelling, French and music.

The renovation should be finished by 2018 and then you can walk through the ancient ruins of this important historical place.

We also took a river cruise on the Thames.  We took the Caversham Lady toward Oxford with the trusty captain Ben at the wheel.

Ben river captain 5x7 netThe day was overcast and soon turned to rain, but I did get some photographs of the river and the lovely homes that faced it.

Thames fish house 5x7 netThames brick house 5x7 netThames kyak 5x7 netThe river is a favorite place for people to feed the swans, ducks and geese.

swan feeding 5x7 netswan neck 5x7 netWe have one more day here before we go to take care of Pablo the cat in London. Lots of rain is forecast, so we’re planning to visit the Reading Museum tomorrow.

Godalming, Loseley Park, Hatchlands Park

We have mainly been hanging out here at the house with the sweet guinea pigs; Olaf Olaf net and Elsa Elsa netIt has been raining a lot but that means that the flowers have been amazing.  We did get to visit a couple of National Trust homes ( we purchased a pass so it is now essentially free to go).  They both did not let you take photographs inside the houses but the gardens were lovely.  This is Loseley Park; losely Park 5x7 netHere are some of the flowers from there; pink lily 5x7 netdahlia soft pink 5x7 net purple spikes flower 5x7 netThis house is called Hatchlands Park; Hatchlands Park 5x7 net.As you can see there are children playing in the front of the house.   The National Trust is very good about including things for children to do at their historic homes.  They often have a dress up corner for kids to wear costumes from the time period which is a good way to teach history to the young ones.

Our family will be returning tomorrow so we are cleaning the house and getting ready to move to Reading for 3 days until our next sit.  We have really enjoyed being here in Godalming.