After finishing the DevelopMentor Guerilla course in London, I hopped on a plane up to Manchester to visit the parents of my brother Tom’s wife (Sue), Derek and Verena Thomas. What a contrast between the capitol city and the English countryside! Although Sue’s parents live in Preston, they picked me up in Manchester and we proceeded to Grasmere, the place where William Wordsworth did most of his writing. I don’t know about the poetry, but the ice cream there is to die for. We also took a walk around Lake Windermere (to work off the ice cream), and I had my very first glass of Bitter English Ale.
The next day we took quite a drive up to see Conway Castle in the district of Wales – didn’t see Prince Charles though. The castle was enormous, and the wall actually surrounded the entire town there. It was hard imagining the kind of effort it took (and the lives it must have cost) constructing it over 700 years ago. The castle was in great shape, with a very informative display in the chapel describing the role of religion in medieval Great Britain. The only downside was not being able to see it all with Zuzana and Keri. But I promised to being them with me the next time we come to visit. Besides, I’ll need some help with the wonderful meals prepared by Sue’s Mom (or Mum as they say). I did manage to bring back some English cheese, tea, porridge oats and bacon. There were a lot of things I discovered that we Americans borrowed (or stole) from the British. It was sure nice leaning how it’s done properly and getting back in touch with my English roots – the name â€œSneedâ€ is actually old English for â€œscythe,â€ which explains what my ancestors used to do for a living J.