England Vacation 2009 -- August 19

Helen Anne

I got up early and went to take some photos in the bay area at sunrise. All the articles I’ve been reading about photography say that first hour and the last hour are the best time (only time in some) to take photos. Karen stayed in bed. Last night, for once, I was in bed and ready to sleep and she wasn't. I stayed down for the first part of the evening then went up to read. Karen stayed down for the whole evening and had fun playing games. The leaders have organized an optional trip to Osborne house for the rest day today.


First the bus took us to Whippingham to see St. Mildred’s Church. Prince Albert helped design the church. He died before the church was finished. In the design, the choir loft was moved to the back of the church so that no-one would be able to stare at Queen Victoria during worship. Near her chair is a memorial to Prince Albert.

There is a church calico cat name Henrietta that came to get attention from Karen. Apparently Henrietta wanders in and out of the church and loves attention. If the ladies working at the church don't watch her carefully, she curls up for a nap on Queen Victoria's chair. Sometimes all they find is a circle of white fur.

While we were at the church, the bus driver went over to Osborne house and got our admission tickets. We had 4 hours at Osborne House but could have used a few more. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert purchased Osborne House as a family residence in the country in 1845.

We went through the house first. Its very well organized to keep people moving. The only spot they couldn't use ropes to guide use had a guard directing traffic -- the route crosses itself. The paint colours were really intriguing -- lots of pastel walls and ceilings with very bold colours in the border at around the ceiling. There was a glass floral chandelier in the dining room that we both agree we like a lot but neither of us would want to be responsible for cleaning it. The last room was all about the things Queen Victoria received as Empress of India. The room has been carved in the detailed patterns of Indian temples and buildings. It was beautiful.

We had a picnic lunch in the grounds looking out over the Solent on one side and the house on the other. Then we strolled down to see Queen Victoria's bathing house -- much larger than the usual machine, and the Swiss cottage. It was used by the royal family as a place for the children learned about cooking, gardening and marketing. On our way to the Swiss Cottage, we came across a form of stile that we hadn't seen before -- a very civilized float up and down them set of stairs to get over a fence. This year I got to model them. They could use a set like in place of some of the ladders and step overs that we've hauled ourselves over.

Then it was back to the bus for the trip to the house.

When we got back, the tide was still out so we were able to walk out to see some caves on the other side of the bay. Peaked in the tide pools and saw little shrimps, some minnows and lots of snails and other shells.



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