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Old 03-25-2011, 05:36 PM   #21
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Nice to see you've gotten settled in Alan. Have you ever made the coast to coast hike? It runs west to east starting at St. Bees and ends at Robin Hoods Bay.

http://www.lehigh.edu/~wwt1/C2C/ukmap.html
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:18 PM   #22
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Thanks Alan so much for doing this . I love England .
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:48 PM   #23
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I watching Wuthering Heights in your honor tonight Alan. Been on my mind since I saw this thread.

The classic with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon of course
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:58 PM   #24
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A couple of days ago we set off from the house at ~9:30 and headed for the village of Commondale. As usual the grouse would get the heart pounding every now and then when they would stay hidden in the heather until you were alongside them and then burst loudly into the air.

It feels like you are on top of the world as you stride across following the little paths that cut through the heather. Being so early in the year we lost the path a couple of times because of peaty bogs and were pleased to have our hand held GPS to indicate the paths and point us in the right direction. In the old days I prided myself on my ability to navigate using an Ordnance Survey map and a Silva compass. Today I have no shame in using an Ordnance Survey map and our new GPS that we got for Christmas - great fun playing with a new toy.

We only saw one other person, a lone male walker, in his 60's, who overtook us but did stop to chat. He pointed out a small diversion to visit a small monument in the middle of the heather to the fallen men of WWI from Commondale, and also recommended the guiness at the pub in Commondale. When we got there he was sitting outside and had told the landlord we were close behind as he was about to close the pub and go pigeon shooting. The landlord had kindly waited and as soon as he'd served us, he picked up his shotgun, locked up and strode off with his happy, bouncy, springer spaniel leading the way.

The distance was 5.5 miles and it had taken us 2.5 hours. An hour later, fed and watered, we walked back completing a very nice walk.

Today we walked into town and investigated the local gym and the local swimming pool as there will be plenty of days to come when the weather won't be so cooperative for us to get our daily exercise by walking. The pool looks our best bet, and is on the other side of town, so we'll get in a 3 mile walk as well as a swim when we go.
Alan here are a couple of pictures I took May 2009. I rode my bike from London to Middlesbrough and on the final day rode from Malton, through Kirbymoorside, Hutton-le-Hole, Blakey Rigg (stopped for lunch and a pint) Westerdale and past Roseberry Topping.
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File Type: jpeg hutton.jpeg (24.6 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpeg ontop.jpeg (10.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpeg hilly.jpeg (24.8 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpeg topp.jpeg (18.9 KB, 7 views)
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:00 PM   #25
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I watching Wuthering Heights in your honor tonight Alan. Been on my mind since I saw this thread.

The classic with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon of course
It's the only version. Classic gothic, romantc melodrama, with a few ghosts for good measure
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:11 PM   #26
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Oh yeah, DW is a real expert in Genealogy, and I could spend hours telling you about the interesting stuff she has found out on both our families.

Apart from church records she has recovered all sorts of stuff from wills, census returns, military records etc. She loves getting into all the social aspects of the times, what folks did, how they came to be where they were etc. For example, she not only knows that my 8 x great grandfather was baptized here in Guisborough in the 18th century she also knew that he was a stone mason and made some of the headstones in the church here.

While we were in England last year we visited the archives at Kew (she's been there before) so she could find out more about one of her direct relatives who was a drummer in Wellington's army at the battle of Waterloo. She found his muster records for his army career, and it was interesting to see that drummers were paid a penny a month more than regular privates, probably due to the higher skill level and training required.
With my little research I met a guy who has made it is passion on researching our family. Since many were nobility, much information was available. So far he has gone back 1200 years! A few years ago my daughter's grade school project asked for as much of the family tree as possible. We taped together 17 pages for of direct descendants! I was able to give him some info on parts of the tree in Canada that he had lost touch with. I look forward to visiting some of the family historic sites in the coming years. Six months might be a bit long, but the DW has lots of family in Ireland. You posts have got me back in the mood.
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:03 AM   #27
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We only saw one other person, a lone male walker, in his 60's, who overtook us but did stop to chat. He pointed out a small diversion to visit a small monument in the middle of the heather to the fallen men of WWI from Commondale, and also recommended the guiness at the pub in Commondale. When we got there he was sitting outside and had told the landlord we were close behind as he was about to close the pub and go pigeon shooting. The landlord had kindly waited and as soon as he'd served us, he picked up his shotgun, locked up and strode off with his happy, bouncy, springer spaniel leading the way.
Your writing creates such a wonderful scene in my mind! I've been careful to note all the places you've mentioned (and will describe in future posts, I'm certain ) and that others have mentioned in this thread, for my trip next year. Your posts and pictures are the equivalent of an ER travelogue!
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:23 AM   #28
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Nice to see you've gotten settled in Alan. Have you ever made the coast to coast hike? It runs west to east starting at St. Bees and ends at Robin Hoods Bay.

Coast to Coast Path map
We've done sections of it but have never done it all. The longest walk I've done is the Lyke Wake walk (~42 miles), and that was enough for me. DW is not up to very long walks, so our walks will not be longer than 10 - 20 miles these days.

BTW, we love Robin Hoods Bay and will definitely be going there again in the near future.

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Thanks Alan so much for doing this. I love England.
You're very welcome.

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I watching Wuthering Heights in your honor tonight Alan. Been on my mind since I saw this thread.

The classic with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon of course
My favorite version as well

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Alan here are a couple of pictures I took May 2009. I rode my bike from London to Middlesbrough and on the final day rode from Malton, through Kirbymoorside, Hutton-le-Hole, Blakey Rigg (stopped for lunch and a pint) Westerdale and past Roseberry Topping.
Great photos. I remember you saying before that you had made that bike ride and I'm very impressed indeed.

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With my little research I met a guy who has made it is passion on researching our family. Since many were nobility, much information was available. So far he has gone back 1200 years! A few years ago my daughter's grade school project asked for as much of the family tree as possible. We taped together 17 pages for of direct descendants! I was able to give him some info on parts of the tree in Canada that he had lost touch with. I look forward to visiting some of the family historic sites in the coming years. Six months might be a bit long, but the DW has lots of family in Ireland. You posts have got me back in the mood.
I love hearing all the info and stories that DW finds out, but I'm not patient or commited enough to do the work myself. We'll be off to Ireland in May, when DD and SIL come over for a visit.

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Your writing creates such a wonderful scene in my mind! I've been careful to note all the places you've mentioned (and will describe in future posts, I'm certain ) and that others have mentioned in this thread, for my trip next year. Your posts and pictures are the equivalent of an ER travelogue!
Thank you.

The weather is overcast this morning, but we are still going to take a walk now (10:30) along the forest walk to the visitor center at Pinchenthorpe.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:27 AM   #29
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Love is in the air

On today's walk we saw lots of frogs engaging in their springtime orgies. We also saw a pair of woodpeckers. The female flew from tree to tree, giving each one a good hammering, but each time the male landed next to her she flew off again. Maybe she was afraid the woodpecker would peck her.

They were too far away and too quick for my little point and click camera, but a kingfisher was kind enough to sit long enough for me to take a photo

On the way back we took a little detour to pick up cod and chips to eat as we walked. - Magic!!
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:34 AM   #30
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On today's walk we saw lots of frogs engaging in their springtime orgies.
Love the sound of spring peepers
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:52 AM   #31
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Love the sound of spring peepers
I'd never heard of spring peepers, but playing the sound recordings on that site makes me realize that I've heard them plenty of times in the past. Very nice.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:07 AM   #32
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Love is in the air

On today's walk we saw lots of frogs engaging in their springtime orgies. We also saw a pair of woodpeckers. The female flew from tree to tree, giving each one a good hammering, but each time the male landed next to her she flew off again. Maybe she was afraid the woodpecker would peck her....
Maybe she was playing hard to peck .

I love the photo of the kingfisher!
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:17 AM   #33
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She found his muster records for his army career, and it was interesting to see that drummers were paid a penny a month more than regular privates, probably due to the higher skill level and training required.
Either that, or their role in organizing the maneuvers made them a very attractive target to the opposing forces...
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:22 AM   #34
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I love the photo of the kingfisher!
There were quite a few lovely wood carvings, but I particularly liked the kingfisher.

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Maybe she was playing hard to peck
yes, he did seem a little peckish.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:29 AM   #35
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Either that, or their role in organizing the maneuvers made them a very attractive target to the opposing forces...
That was my initial thought last year, just like the poor old platoon sergeants in WWI wearing the big white sash and blowing the whistles to initiate an advance from the trenches.

A little more thought and I realized that a major part of the communications in battle were the drummers, and they did need additional training by the army.
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More prices
Old 03-29-2011, 10:08 AM   #36
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More prices

We encountred a few more costs this week, as expected, but I thought I'd share them.

Annual water and sewage charges for the house are £498 ($797), of which we will pay 7 months worth.

Annual TV licence is £245.50 ($393) which we had to pay in full and then we'll apply for a rebate when we leave the country.

Sales tax (VAT) is 20% on most things, including a 32" Sharp LCD which we splashed out on. The TV was new and cost £245 incl. taxes ($392).

Petrol (gas) costs £1.32 / litre ($8/gal).
Car tax - under 1549cc £125/year ($200), over 1600cc $205/year ($328)
However, we are not buying a car for this stay, just using public transport and we'll hire a car only when we need to on special occaisions.

We are still waiting for our Council Tax bill which is the equivalent of the property tax.

Food prices seem very reasonable, some higher, some lower. eg we like really nice bread, whole wheat, seeds and grains etc, and we can get a variety of excellent large medium sliced loaves for £1.25 a loaf ($2). Bananas however are expensive at £0.39 / lb ($0.62).
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:23 AM   #37
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We encountred a few more costs this week, as expected, but I thought I'd share them.

Annual water and sewage charges for the house are £498 ($797), of which we will pay 7 months worth.
In Boston pay the same for my water and sewer

Quote:
Annual TV licence is £245.50 ($393) which we had to pay in full and then we'll apply for a rebate when we leave the country.
Obviously no licence fee, but I pay $120 a month for cable and internet access. I'd be interested in what those cost in the UK.

Quote:
Sales tax (VAT) is 20% on most things, including a 32" Sharp LCD which we splashed out on. The TV was new and cost £245 incl. taxes ($392).
I just bought a 32"Sony Bravia and those go for $500 or $900 depending on refresh rate.

Quote:
Petrol (gas) costs £1.32 / litre ($8/gal).
Car tax - under 1549cc £125/year ($200), over 1600cc $205/year ($328)
However, we are not buying a car for this stay, just using public transport and we'll hire a car only when we need to on special occaisions.
Petrol is $3.45 a gallon and I paid $250 car tax this year

Quote:
We are still waiting for our Council Tax bill which is the equivalent of the property tax.
My property tax was $6k this year.

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Food prices seem very reasonable, some higher, some lower. eg we like really nice bread, whole wheat, seeds and grains etc, and we can get a variety of excellent large medium sliced loaves for £1.25 a loaf ($2). Bananas however are expensive at £0.39 / lb ($0.62).
Overall I find that the UK and US are pretty close when it comes to cost of living. The big differences I found are in petrol, sales tax....although most basic stuff doesn't differ in cost much, property tax and the big one is the cost of health insurance. By the way how are you dealing with that. I assume you're covered by your US healthcare and as you are just visiting the UK the NHS won't cover you for anything except emergencies.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:36 AM   #38
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A couple of days ago we planned to go and join the gym this morning but the forecast changed and said the rain wouldn't come in until tomorrow so we went on a walk to the coast along part of The Cleveland Way from our house to Saltburn by the Sea.

It was another beautiful sunny day and the walk took us 2.5 hours to travel 7.1 miles, climbing up to 645' from our house at 340', and alongside rolling fields before reaching Skelton and then dropping down through Crow Wood and along Skelton Beck through Saltburn Valley Gardens to finish up at The Ship pub where we had lunch. (Steak and Kidney pud for me with a pint of guinness while DW had Ruby chicken and a glass of cider - a chicken breast covered in a delightful red sauce made of port and stilton cheese). The drinks cost £4.65 ($7.44). Each meal was served with boiled new potatoes, green beans and carrots, and cost of both was £17.90 ($28.64) including tip.

We wandered through the town afterwards, picked up some groceries, and the caught the bus home, which drops us almost right outside our door - cost of bus £2.70 each. ($4.32).
I've added a couple of photos we took en-route, but this short series of photos here sums up our journey, except the gardens at Salburn today were indeed a blaze of colour from the spring flowers.
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File Type: jpg Guisborough - view from top of hill at Slapewath.jpg (620.8 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg Skelton -view towards Saltburn.jpg (969.7 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg Saltburn - view from sea wall.jpg (494.7 KB, 2 views)
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:58 AM   #39
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In Boston pay the same for my water and sewer

Obviously no licence fee, but I pay $120 a month for cable and internet access. I'd be interested in what those cost in the UK.

I just bought a 32"Sony Bravia and those go for $500 or $900 depending on refresh rate.

Petrol is $3.45 a gallon and I paid $250 car tax this year

My property tax was $6k this year.

Overall I find that the UK and US are pretty close when it comes to cost of living. The big differences I found are in petrol, sales tax....although most basic stuff doesn't differ in cost much, property tax and the big one is the cost of health insurance. By the way how are you dealing with that. I assume you're covered by your US healthcare and as you are just visiting the UK the NHS won't cover you for anything except emergencies.
I agree with you on the cost comparison between UK and US. I forgot about the cable and internet, an essential service for us. We got connected with Virgin Media for a combo package of basic cable and 30 MB/sec internet for £51.45 ($82.32) per month, no cancellation fee after 6 months. We decided to add a landline to that for £5/month ($8), unlimited free calls after 6pm and at weekends. The channels include all the sports channels I want, mainly to see all the soccer games.

I checked with my insurance, BCBS, before we left regarding health insurance and they told me I was covered, and showed me where their international number is, and to call if needed. For small stuff we'll just pay as we visit and claim when we get back. I did look at their website for BCBS recommended hospitals in our area and there were a couple close by in Middlesborough.

When we here a year ago an Aunt of mine who was visiting go a real bad dose of flu and it cost her £75 ($120) for her visit to the doctor which she would claim back on her travel insurance. (I can't remember if that covered any medicine or shots).

I checked with Amex travel before checking with BCBS and the health insurance for us was only $9/mo each.

If you are to move back permanently I believe you have be a resident for 6 months before you are covered by the NHS.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:33 AM   #40
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Beautiful photos, Alan. I'm glad I don't have to pay even 1/3 that much for water/sewage.

Are you thinking of moving back permanently?
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