Last night we had an absolutely gorgeous sunset here in Salisbury – full of orange and gold and blue and purple streaks. A really thrilling sight, followed immediately by a beautiful moonrise. Although there was some cloud in the west to color the sunset magnificently, the moon rose in a cloudless sky to the southeast, and it was a beautiful three-quarters moon, as bright as a searchlight, and very near a bright star, heading to the annual full harvest moon on Sunday, October 4. With such wonderful views, it is no surprise that our ancestors down the road at Stonehenge and elsewhere paid so much attention to the skies.
My sister returned to America on Saturday after we had a wonderful 12 day visit together here. Yesterday I went shopping at Tesco, descaled the coffee pot, made Irish soda bread, baked an apple-blackberry crumble, and made a bacon-leek pasta dish for supper. We will miss being together until I travel to America in November, and I think all my creative activity yesterday was a reflection of that.
This afternoon I have the second of my beginning French classes at Wiltshire College here. Our instructor is very good, animated and friendly. I am really glad to have the time to take this, my first ever class in French (I studied Spanish for many years in America). The class and our accompanying book and CD take the approach that it is best to hear and imitate the French words and sounds first, before looking at the words in French, because when we read the French our brain will first try to make the sounds in English. This is a very different way of learning for me, and after the end of our first two-hour class my head was reeling a little bit. I also think it is true that the younger one is, the easier it is to learn a new language. Still, I am really enjoying learning a new skill, one that will hopefully prove to be fun and useful on anticipated trips to France, and a “brain test” that is much better, for my money’s worth, than these computer “brain test” puzzles currently advertised on television.
I had another enjoyable day serving as a room steward at Mompesson House in the Close here in Salisbury on Saturday. It is fun to speak with the visitors, some of whom will tell me where they are from and ask where I am from. To several I said that my coming to live in England has been something of coming full circle, since one of my maternal ancestors, William Rockwell, emigrated from Fitzhead, in Somerset County, to become one of the founding settlers of the original colony of Maryland in America. Somerset is the next county north and west from Wiltshire, so it very nearly is a complete full circle.