Little Villages and Apple Trees

Friday, June 15th

We decided to stick closer to home today, so that we would have time to pack up and so on, as we’re planning to head to London pretty early tomorrow.  Good thing, too, as the weather has been decidedly unpleasant at various times throughout today.  Right now, it has stopped raining, but is still extremely windy.

We went into Oakham again this morning, and also to the nearby town of Uppington.  Both towns are very traditionally British – small, lots of leaning, brick and stone buildings, centered on a rather lopsided town square, near the church with a spire.  Uppington was having their market day, which included things that we would traditionally expect to see at a farmer’s market, like produce, a few food stalls, homemade things, but also some very different things.  For example, there was a double- wide stall selling hats.  Left was men’s, right was ladies.  I almost bought a fascinator, but then I couldn’t think of a way to get it home intact without wearing it, which might have looked a little ridiculous.

A hardware store on the corner of the market square. Not as comprehensive, but way cuter than your average Home Depot

The church in Uppington.

The church cemetery. It reminded me of Grandma. (Not like that! Just that she would have liked it, I think)

We enjoyed wandering through the antique stores, which are vastly more entertaining than the ones in the States, as they contain plenty of stuff which is more than 100 years old.  Not a lot in our price range/ that would make it home in the luggage, but still, it’s fun to look.  In Oakham, there was a market street on which we found a store selling interesting food things.  I bought some weird soda- things to try.  I say weird soda things, because I’m pretty sure two of them contain alcohol.  The Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger was very tasty, as was the Rose Lemonade (which actually tasted like roses!).  The Dandelion & Burdock was… ok.  It’s a little odd, tasted sort of like licorice.  We also found a cool bakery, and got some rolls.

Interesting, slightly alcoholic sodas we found. I already drank the Orange one!

We also went to Sir Isaac Newton’s birthplace house today.  It’s called Woolsthorpe Manor, and was the house in which he was born and did a lot of his early work.  To be honest, the house wasn’t really much of anything special; Newton’s family were sheep farmers and it’s a farm house.  He had, however, done some drawings on the walls (much to his mother’s chagrin, I’m sure) that were found underneath layers of paint and still remain on the walls of the house.  There was also a fun little interactive area, where you could recreate some of his experiments with prisms, rolling things down hills and so on.  But the best part – the apple tree is there!  At this point, it is a quite gnarly apple tree, but still.  The real live, apple- dropping, not-really-head-whacking tree.  Fun stuff.

Issac Newton’s house!

The main room in the house, where he was born. Didn’t get a picture of his bedroom, because you weren’t supposed to take pictures in the house. Oops.

I snuck one of the kitchen. Old kitchens are cool.

Not really much of anything, when you consider the smarts of the guy who lived there. There are still some of his drawing on the walls. Just goes to show, I suppose.

THE apple tree! Like, the fabled head bonker. Although, at the house they say that he was not sitting under the tree when the apple fell, but looking at it out of his bedroom window. And indeed, you can see it out the window! Who knows?

Kevin tried it out for inspiration, just in case.

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