Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Doreen, bus crash, sister, Italy

Doreen arrived back in Uganda safely on the 28th.  After a day in Kampala she caught a coach home to Mbarara to see her family.  As is a common occurrance in Uganda (bad roads + bad drivers) her coach crashed.  Doreen was slightly injured as she banged her mouth on the seat in front of her.  At least 6 people were killed in the crash. 

Doreen begins her 2nd year shortly at Makerere University. 

This Friday my sister arrives for a month.  An 11 day tour of Italy and 3 days in York are part of our plans. Many pics to follow.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Robert Owen - New Lanark, Scotland

Robert Owen –A man ahead of his time

Yesterday on our first visit to New Lanark, a World Heritage Site, Danny, Doreen and I learned about an incredible man named Robert Owen. New Lanark was a Milltown which operated for nearly 200 years. In researching Robert Owen I am amazed that neither of us knew anything about him. New Lanark is only 30 miles from Glasgow.

Robert Owen was born in Wales in 1771, the son of a saddler and ironmonger. A highly intelligent and progressive-thinking man, he was influenced by the Scottish enlightenment.

Robert Owen purchased the New Lanark Mills from his father-in-law in 1799 and managed it from 1800-25. New Lanark became a model community and gained a reputation for its social and educational reforms. Owen began the first infant school in the world, a crèche for working mothers, free medical care, free education for the children and evening classes for adults. Children under 10 were not allowed to work in the mill and this was at a time when it was common for very young children to work. Owen also realized leisure and recreation were important and there were concerts, dancing, music, and a beautiful landscaped area for use by the members of the community. Owen also opened a store for the workers with lower prices and higher quality. The profits paid for the school.

Owens was a feminist, believed in equality for all no matter what their class, race, religion, and his work inspired fair working practices, the Co-operative Movement, and trade unions.

Extract from Robert Owen’s "Address to the Inhabitants of New Lanark"
New Year’s Day, 1816
"What ideas individuals may attach to the term "Millennium" I know not; but I know that society may be formed so as to exist without crime, without poverty, with health greatly improved, with little, if any misery, and with intelligence and happiness increased a hundredfold; and no obstacle whatsoever intervenes at this moment except ignorance to prevent such a state of society from becoming universal.”

Another bio
Robert Owen - Utopian Socialist
Robert Owen Museum, Wales
Robert Owens and New Harmony, Indiana
Interesting note: All of Robert Owen’s four sons became US citizens. His eldest, Robert Dale Owen became a congressman and drafted the bill to found the Smithsonian Institution.
Doreen in the 200 year old New Lanark classroom

Thursday, 19 August 2010

A visit to Whitby in North Yorkshire

This week I took a long-desired trip to Whitby.  Whitby has the ruins of the historic Whitby Abbey where the Synod of Whitby was held in 664.  The train journey was quite long but worth it.  My accommodation was a wonderful B & B called Broomfield House.  Although my room and bathroom were small, it was clean and comfortable with nice touches.  The location was very convenient as well.  Breakfasts were wonderful as were the host and hostess.  As I left for an early train on my last day a packed breakfast was prepared for me.  The amount of food and drink was impressive - it lasted the entire days journey home! 
Broomfield House

Whitby is a popular destination and I happened to choose my visit during the England school holidays.  In spite of the town being jam-packed with tourists, many with kids, it was still enjoyable.  Photo ops were non-stop! 

Whitby Tourism

5 miles south of Whitby is a lovely and charming village on the sea - Robin Hood's Bay (so named as it was a smugglers bay).  The streets in Robin Hood's Bay are very steep and cobbled. 

Robin Hood's Bay
Enjoy England site on Robin Hood's Bay

Had fantastic haddock, chips and the best mushy peas here:
Magpie Cafe

 Pics:  Whitby Abbey, Whitby Harbor, Whitby Harbor, Robin Hood's Bay, Robin Hood's Bay
More pics here:
Whitby & Robin Hood's Bay pics

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Local trips

Danny, Doreen and I have taken a few local trips.  Last week we went to Ayrshire to visit Culzean Castle which sits near a cliff overlooking the sea. While in the area we also visited Alloway which is where Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, was born. 
Culzean Castle
Burns Heritage Park

Yesterday my newest granddaughter, Allyson was born.  Baby and mother doing very well.  Allyson is, of course, adorable!

Today we took a long bike ride around the Tighnabruaich-Kames-Kilbride Bay area. 

Monday I'm taking a 4 day trip on my own to North Yorkshire to the popular seaside and historic town of Whitby.  I hope to get many photos but the forecast has changed to rain. 

Pics:  Kilbride Bay, Roberts Burns birthplace, Culzean Castle, Kyles of Bute