Polar bear at the Toronto Zoo, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Friday, September 21, 2012

An Interesting and Productive Day

Started off with a haircut yesterday. For those of you who don't know, Ruth used to be a licensed hairstylist. In fact, that is how we met...she cut my hair! But of course all of her haircutting supplies were left inside Sherman (our motorhome) when we left Mexico in May.

However, Ruth's cousin Helen also used to be a hairstylist and she brought her gear with her for their visit this week. So Ruth used Helen's scissors etcetera to give my hair a badly needed cut.

I look respectable again! Well, as good as it gets anyhow.

Then we took the dogs for a walk up on the common, had some lunch, and then headed off to the city of Hereford (pop 56,000), about a twenty minute drive, to do some exploring and grocery shopping.

The Hereford Town Hall is an interesting building.

Looking up at the roof in the stairwell at the Town Hall.

One of the downtown churches.

Heading towards the central area.

The Old House Museum.

The house was built in 1621 as part of a row of similar houses. The rest were demolished between 1816 and 1850, with this one being the only one left. It became a museum in 1929 and is now surrounded by modern buildings. No pictures of the inside! They wanted us to sign a form before taking any pictures due to copyright issues. Huh? I don't understand these things. The whole situation can probably be blamed on a lawyer somewhere. 

Then we stopped in at an optician. Both of us would like to get eye exams done, but we don't need them badly enough to pay the inflated medical prices of Canada or the U.S. For some reason, optical exams in Britain are reasonably priced. Sometimes there are even sales on, and Boots Opticians currently have a coupon out that gets you an eye exam with prescription for only £10 ($16.50). Boots couldn't take us yesterday, but we'll make an appointment for next week some time and go back on the bus. Anyhow, this optician we stopped in at wanted £35 ($58), and I asked the girl what I get there that I wouldn't get at Boots for £10. She said they were the best, and they also take a picture of the back of your eye. Hmm. To save £50, we think we'll got to Boots.

Then we saw another church. This one seemed to be turned into a commercial building of some kind. Interesting, so we wandered inside. It was very strange. While the church is still being used as a church, it also has a cafe and offices, as well as modern glass entrance doors and one of the chapels is being used as a shop. Didn't like it at all, and I think the people who made this decision don't understand anything about culture and old buildings. 

Facing the alter. But then, standing in the same spot, I turned around...

And took this picture of the cafeteria.

We didn't get it. The cafeteria occupies the same space as the church. This is a 13th century historic building and we think they've ruined it. Oh well, just our opinion. Of course many churches in England have cafe's, but they are always away from the main area. Even worse was the modern washroom thing they built in the base of the tower. Didn't bother getting a picture of that. It was an ugly thing.

Then we wandered over to the cathedral. Nothing special from the outside, but some interesting things on the inside.

The tomb of Sir Richard Pembridge. Died in 1375. Sir Richard was one of the earliest knights of The Order of the Garter and fought at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356.

Then we went and did another big grocery shop to try and do us for another 12 days. We're here until the morning of October 3rd, so we found it a little difficult figuring out what to buy. I think we may have overdone it on some items, but Helen had a coupon for £9 ($15) off any grocery purchase over £60 ($99). They also had a wine special where it was 25% off if you bought six bottles or more. What a great sale. So our total bill was £99 ($163), but with the savings on the wine and the coupon, it came to £79 ($130). Not bad, but we're a little high on our booze costs for this month!

On to something else of interest. When we were out for a walk the other day, I saw something glistening in the mud in the forest. I dug up an old glass bottle that had some writing on the side. Took it home and washed it out as best I could. 

It says "Koko for the Hair".

So I researched this term. Apparently "Koko for the Hair" was manufactured in England between 1888 and 1915. It was claimed to prevent hair from falling out, and prevent it from turning prematurely grey! I found an advertisement for the product...

Too funny.

Turns out the bottle I found is a collectors item. If I find the right buyer, I might get up to £9 ($15) for it! Anybody interested?


  1. I used to know a guy who was into collecting bottles like that. Apparently there used to be a glass factory in the Kingston (Ontario) area somewhere. He'd go off on these glass digging excursions.
    Everyone needs a hobby I suppose.
    I sure wish my wife would cut my hair. It wouldn't be difficult, as there's not that much of it. She won't budge. Mind you, when the kids were young, I did the hair cutting, since she'd make a mess of it.
    It's too bad about the cafe in the church thing. I suppose times are tough and it's not easy keeping up some of the old buildings. Most any old church we go into, they're forever putting the bite on you for some coin.

  2. As usual very interesting. Now a question...posted 1 hour ago. its 5
    am here..what time is it there? On eyeglass issue there is a chain
    here (dont know how widespread they are) but you can get a pair of glasses and an eye exam and 2 pairs for $69.00. It's where I always go..Of course if you cant extras like scratch resistance or sunglasses it is extra. My last pair lasted me 7 years.
    That cafe does look odd

    1. Hi Donna, at the time we posted it was 10am here. There is a 6 hour difference between where we are now and where you are.

      We will have to keep that in mind. In Ontario they want about $80 for an eye exam depending on where you go and how old or young you are. If you are lucky enough to have optical insurance with your work than chances are the exam will be covered. The only problem with some of these specials that they have is that they only have a limited amount of frames to choose from and they aren't always the most attractive.

    2. actually the place I go to has tons of them in the $69.00 range...I'm too cheap to pay exorbitant prices just to have someones name on my face. Its Americas Best Contacts and Eyeglasses...would think they would be all over the US

  3. I'm with you on the church/cafeteria thing. Just doesn't sit right. And it's a beautiful place. Some day you do need to have a picture taken of the back of your eye. As we get older there's a tendency for all that stuff back there to dry out and pull loose. Can you tell I have to have it done every year. So far so good for me. Love that old bottle. Can you fit it in to bring it back with you?

    1. Hopefully we will get that done when and if we have to work for a summer and we have a job that will cover it. It's too bad that they charge so much for something like that, what happens to people who don't have the funds for it?

  4. The eye exam is always a good idea. The cafeteria inb a church does not really sit well with me either, but then again each to their own. That old bottle was and interesting find for sure. And it looks like you have some wine drinking to do.

  5. The cafeteria in the church is a strange site, I like the bottle though, too bad I live in a trailer and I'm sure it wouldn't fit (hehe)

  6. Did you get to see the 13th Century Mappa Mundi in Hereford Cathedral which is the largest surviving one in the world?


    1. No we didn't see it, we were running out of time for one thing. Our parking time was close to expiring and the other thing was that they wanted £6 for it and the Chain Library. Would have been interesting to see but not for that price.

  7. Seems to me that your eyes are just fine, having been able to spot that Koko bottle in the ground:)

  8. I bought an electric shears for cutting my dogs hair. Turns out it works pretty good on me, too. If only he had opposing digits.

  9. If you go on line there are often vouchers for free eye tests so you shouldn't have to pay anything. Hope all the Canadians and Americans reading your blog are noticing how there is so much to do in a small area in Britain - thus fuel costs for sightseeing are low even if our gas is expensive !

    1. Kevin will check that out, thanks Glen. We totally agree with you. There is lots to do in a small area and you don't have to drive far.


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