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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Days 8-10: Cooking in Barton-under-Needwood and a Visit to Bletchley Park

      After a 2-hour train ride from Euston Station, we arrived to find our bubbly friend Stephney waiting for us at the train station.  After dumping our bags, Stephney took us for a walk around the neighborhood so that we wouldn't disturb Tim, beloved cook for us lucky beaders, while he fixed our dinner.  

     We walked over to Barton Marina, which is situated on the Trent & Mersey canal and has a nice promenade, shopping, cinema, and restaurant.  We also walked through the adjoining park that contains 2 lakes made from quarries that are no longer used. 
Stephney and I are viewing some of the narrowboats parked in the marina.

Thursday was a busy day as we pitched in to help Stephney and Tim get ready for the book club luncheon that they were  hosting that day.  There was a lot of cooking and table setting going on!

 Here is Stephney striding past just some of the food that we prepared for the luncheon under Tim's direction.

Thanks to playing cook's helper, I learned how to make an English dish called Coronation Chicken.  A dish prepared for the banquet celebrating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, it consists of cold chicken in a curry powder and cream and mayonnaise sauce.  Raisins and almonds can be added to the dish.  It is quite scrummy, as they say on the Best Brtitish Baking show.  After the morning's hard work, we had a lovely time getting to know Steph and Tim's neighbors while stuffing ourselves with tasty food.

Friday, Tim and Stephney were kind enough to take us to Bletchley Park- yes, the Bletchley Park famous as the place where the Engima code was broken. You may have seen The Imitation Game, the latest movie with Benedict Cumberbatch about the effort.  Originally a mansion located in the countryside of Buckinghamshire, the grounds became the center of Britain's effort to break Nazi codes and ciphers.  Once the program outgrew the mansion, huts were built to accommodate the needed workers and equipment.
The original mansion.

A section of the reproduction of the Turing Bombe, the machine built by the team to help break the Nazi code
More of the Turing Bombe

A working Enigma machine
One of the original offices in the mansion

A few rooms of the mansion were used as sets for the filming of The Imitation Game.  Don snapped a photo of the 3 of us sitting at one of the tables on the bar set.
From left: Stephney, yours truly, and Tim

The prop Turing Bombe that was constructed for the film

One of the real offices in one of the huts built near the mansion

It was a fascinating visit to a place that we read about but never thought we  would get to see.  After a dinner of luncheon leftovers, we were off to bed so that we could rise early to catch our train for the 5.5-hour trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.
The view out our window on the journey

As much as we were sad to leave all of our friends in England, we were excited about the chance to explore the amazing Edinburgh

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