Thursday December 18, 2014
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Friday and Saturday we began in earnst to take advantage of our "National Trust" membership by visiting several of the nearby "NT" properties. (for our 77 pound family membership fee, we may visit any National Trust property for free! - free is good!) We began in the quaint village of Lavenham (Suffolk-about 40 miles away) with The Guildhall of Corpus Christi, a timber-frame 15th century building. Most of the town is made up of renovated timber-framed Tudor homes, making it look like what you imagine old England looked like. From there we went to a manor called Melford Hall in the village of Long Melford. Roaming this property were literally hundreds of sheep. This area was once the center of the world wool trade. Then, near the city of Bury St. Edmunds, we visited Ickworth House, a manor which has a large rotunda, curved corriors and acres of garden area. We came home for "fish and chips"...Friday night has become our fish and chips night. It made for a really nice day.
On Saturday we had to exchange our car at the car rental place in Cambridge. (Our insurance covers only 30-day leases, so we will have to do this again next month.) We traded our Renault Scenic for a Citroen Picasso - a bit smaller but also a bit cheaper with better gas mileage (it uses diesel fuel.) It still has the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car!! Not far from the car rental place was another National Trust property: Anglesey Abbey, which also had a working water-driven mill. This manor property was even more magnificent than the ones we had previously seen.
Tomorrow we are going to stay in the village. Haddenham has its annual "Blossoms ans Bygones" festival...we'll see what that is...so we are going to go to church at the magnificent Ely Cathedral (Church of England) instead of going into Cambridge. I have been asked to preach at Resurrection Lutheran in Cambridge on May 27th - four days after my 50th birthday. The 27th happens to be Pentecost Sunday. I'm looking forward to that.
I'm very much enjoying the C.S. Lewis book I am currently reading "Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer." I'll write a quick summary when I am done. I also picked up a biography on Oliver Cromwell - who is from this area of England that we are in - from the library and am truly enjoying the study of the history of England's civil war. Well, it's time to start shutting down for the day. More later...
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