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Laying low in Oundle

This weekend was very relaxing. Saturday was auction day, and it was a disappointing lot because they had just done an auction 2 weeks ago. But we still ended up with a barometer, which Nate has been wanting for months, and a “flagon”–apparently what they call a giant ceramic moonshine jug. It still smells like liquor! After the auction we went shopping and to lunch in Oundle with friends. Our favorite shop is “Wood N’ Things”, which sells some pretty amazing stuff. You can find anything from handmade leather photo albums from a small town called Cabrio in Italy, lamps made from 600-year old wood taken from a chateau in France, and art deco telephones from the 1940s. Plus, you can chat with the owner Geoff (a very candid man) about places to visit in Europe or general philosophies on life. The day ended with a leisurely walk to Ashton, a small town with all thatched roofs, and ordering pizza at our friends’ house. Pizza ordering is a let-down here. There is practically no sauce, it is always lukewarm to cold, and never comes cut into slices. Care to guess why? Apparently it has to do with the Brits’ obsession with cutting their food. Therefore, no picking up slices of pizza and eating them. And they call this behavior “sophistication.” Could have fooled me!
Besides walking to the local grocery yesterday, we basically couch-potatoed the day away with a “Two and a half Men” marathon. I had never watched it but became a fan after 8 shows in a row. I am in the middle of Bill Bryson’s “Notes from a Small Island,” about his last-hurrah trip around the UK before returning to the states. If you have ever set foot in England, this book is a must-read.
People have been asking me how I am treated now that I’m 7 mon. pregnant. British people in our area ignore it, which may have something to do with the fact that every other woman in my town is pregnant or has a new baby. Most recent run-in with an American on base: I went to the gym in my maternity hoodie/sweatpants, and the man checking IDs announced my presence with a “Ho ho ho!” Must remember to burn this sweatsuit….