Sunday, May 10, 2009

Teddy on the Town

Thursday was rather quiet. We walked to town -- about a mile -- and up this street, Causeway Head, to the farmers' market. It was windy and pretty chilly -- not many stalls set up, not nearly as many as the Edmond Farmers' Market. Still, it's early in the growing season so there's not much for sale yet.

That afternoon we walked in the other direction -- to Newlyn. About a hundred years ago, Newlyn was a famous arts and crafts center -- lots of painters and potters and copperworkers. The arts kind of died out here for a while. Michael Johnson is an artist who works in copper and bronze. He let us see his workshop. He likes to do sculpture but he does all sorts of things -- even made the belt buckles and other metal things for the movies "Pirates of the Caribbean" both Two and Three. The big piece behind me in the picture is called a monstrance. Do you see that he's made some of the rays out of pieces of silverware? He says that art makes us see things in new ways. He must be right. I would never have thought that my fork was for anything but eating!

Yesterday was a big day. We went to the National Seal Sanctuary. Did you know there are 33 kinds of seals? There are six kinds at the Seal Sanctuary -- grey seals (the only kind that live in the ocean off of Cornwall), common or harbour seals, Patagonian sea lions, California sea lions and South African fur seals. They also have the only Arctic hooded seal in the United Kingdom. I don't remember how he happened to come here. The Seal Sanctuary works to rehabilitate injured or sick animals and then release then back into the ocean. They tried to release Sahara, the hooded seal. They drove him north to Scotland and turned him loose hoping he would find his way to the Arctic. Nope, he got turned around and wound up on the coast of Spain so they went and got him. He was very thin and not very well. So now he lives at the Seal Sanctuary where he is safe.

I can't tell seals and sea lions apart. They both belong to the pinniped family, along with walruses. Seals have little ear holes and sea lions have little ear flaps. Do you think this is a seal or a sea lion? Miss Zoe says it is a seal and she's right about most things.

One of the seal trainers took me in to meet Flipper, a grey seal. I had a good time at the Seal Sanctuary. I wish you had been there with me.

Miss Elaine took this picture out the car window on the way home. Look at the roof -- it's made of thatch. In the old days, lots of houses had thatched roofs -- now only a few are left. Thatch is made from bunches of water reeds or wheat straw. Did you know that last names often reflected occupations -- so, hundreds of years ago, if a man worked on roofs, he might be known as John the Thatcher, or John Thatcher. Can you think of some other names that might have referred to work?

I love England and I'm even learning to speak English! In America we speak English, too, but sometimes we use different words for the same thing. It can be quite confusing. Here are some words the English people use and the words we use:
chips: in England these are like French fries
crisps: we call them potato chips
biscuits: we call them cookies
lorry = truck
car park = parking lot
lift = elevator
pavement = sidewalk
pram = baby buggy
nappy = diaper
Did you notice the sign by the thatched house? In America, it would say "Yield."



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