Friday, February 27, 2009

Ah sweet home

Travel is great whether it's to a new place or going back someplace I have loved so long like London. A (wo)man who is tired of London is tired of life, said Samuel Johnson. So far in my life that hasn't yet happened and by the middle of the trip I was remembering and/or discovering so many things I loved to see and do.

I was reminded me of how very long ago my first London trip was - 1965! so different, and yet so much the same. Prices were in shillings and pence and if I recall correctly, the pound was at $5. However, with prices so so low, it was a paradise of bargains. The country was only 10 or so years past rationing, and there were still many areas in the City where you could see WWII bomb damage. I saw firsthand the lovely little London Pride flowers that bloomed up in the rubble. Who could have envisioned places like Canary Wharf!?! That was dockland when I first visited and not too enticing.

On my last day in London, I was determined to hit one or two places with or without dh. We both made it to the Oxfam shop where we unloaded a few books and a few clothes. Then a walk up Earls' Court Rd to Kensington High Street and Waterstones . DH had heard of a book he wanted to buy for my granddaughter's birthday, and phew! they had one copy left. Hopped on a bus, nearly exhausting my Oyster Card, and headed down to Oxford Street and on up to the Wallace Collection for the Treasures of the Black Death exhibit. I'd never been to the Wallace and since we'd had lunch in a pub before hand, we only had a tea and coffee in the beautiful restaurant. One caveat...the Wallace is very much like the Barnes in Philadelphia. Eye indigestion after a point for me.

I was a bit sneaky and took this pic of the armor you can try on. Lord, it's heavy!

It was after tea that dh decided he was 'stick a fork in him done' and he headed back to our hotel. I forged on and just managed a quick visit to the British Museum 44 years after my prior visit. Yes - 44 years ago. My xh and I went when we met in London the year before we married and one exhibit I wanted to see again was/were the Elgin Marbles. Ah..I couldn't find them on the list of exhibits and the museum was closing soon!!! Then I got it. They had been given a more politically correct name - The Parthenon Marbles. It doesn't sound so much like plunder that way, does it?

And then finally - the Rosetta Stone. It's about 4' high and impressive as ever. I bought myself a t-shirt with the stone on it. Probably not too many of those in Annapolis - ;)

I could finally say this trip to London was complete and I could get down to packing.

Now the laundry is done, the house is getting clean, my swaps are being mailed, and we're off to hear Dvorak at the BSO tonight. Life is getting back to normal, and that feels really nice. Life at home - ah...

btw, all photos were taken with my Iphone.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Saatchi Gallery

I always find it amazing that in London I can keep visiting and visiting and always find so many places I've never explored. I suspect that the Saatchi Gallery wasn't in existence on my visits long long ago so that's one excuse. I know I have been by the location - the former Duke of York barracks - before but I don't think the gallery had moved here yet.

Saatchi is a free gallery and very open and approachable. I highly recommend the current Middle Eastern exhibit - Unveiled. Hope you enjoy this glimpse. btw, note the beautiful wood floors with wide planks and wooden pegs designed by a Danish firm . Very easy on the feet!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Maureen needs...

I've missed this internet game mostly because I've been missing the internet these past two weeks. I saw the game on Ginny's blog and boy her list is a lot more varied than what came up by Googling "Maureen needs".

I also decided to see what image these words might find. This is what came up on Flickr for Maureen needs ...It appears the lass needs (more fiber.) Maybe there is a connection to the Google list.

1. Maureen needs a date.
2. Maureen needs to consider her uterus.
3. Maureen needs your support.
4. Maureen needs to act on sex abuse.
5. Maureen needs more.
6. Maureen needs to get laid.
7. Maureen needs your help.
8. Maureen needs a haircut.
9. Maureen needs this one.
10. Maureen needs to realize two things.

I suspect one could make a single long sentence out of that list. However, I think I will try another verb...perhaps see what Maureen likes.

Have you played this one?

A Walk in the Park

Kensington Gardens to be exact. We had a gorgeous sunny day the other day and walked up to Kensington Gardens and then onto ...another museum. The latter will be a surprise as it needs a post of its own. Typical British weather, the sun was behind the clouds by the time we got to the park, but that never interferes with an activity in England. I learned early on that no matter what the weather, it will change several times each day. So just go!

The Thai embassy is for my daughter.
We caught this mummy coming out of a house that Benny Hill once lived in. My late mother became a fan of Benny Hill late in life which amazed (shocked!) us all.

The Diana memorial which the children certainly love. Well designed for the little ones to play in.

The parks in London really are amazing acres of green in a densely populated city.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Oxford Images

Perhaps these gentlemen outside the Bodleian Library will inspire the lady in Ohio to 'recreate' this trio in paper, ink, stamps, whatever -mixed media. I believe you can do it Ginny! Perhaps they are all writing to someone...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Luverly London

Ah London...we are wearing ourselves out with the museums but so are half the children of England who are on half-term. Our 3rd museum this week was the Tate Modern today and I highly recommend it for more adult company and a knockout view of London from the 7th floor dining room.

I REALLY wanted one of these teapots!

We had tea there on arrival and after exhausting ourselves with ART we went back for a 2 course sit down lunch. Then a walk over to Piccadilly (with one coffee stop on the way) and a good long look around at Waterstones books. I couldn't fathom where Waterstones was but that branch is in the old Simpsons location. My xh and I had clothes from Simpsons back in the day. Waaay back in the day! And a factoid I didn't know was that Simpsons was the clothing store that "Are You Being Served" was modeled on as the author used to work in Simpsons.

Tomorrow....a bus trip to Oxford.Hopefully there will be enough energy left to do some more blogging. Hopefully!

The trip saga from start is being uploaded slowly but surely over on Get in The Car. Have a look if you like, as most of the photos will be going there.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Finally, an internet connection. Let me tell you about withdrawal... ;-)

Week 1 in England has been otherwise wonderful, tho with one bit of car mishap at the start. But no injuries to the two humans so few complaints that $$s couldn't solve. So this is just a quick hello from London tonight, on a very slow connection at the Marriott.

Last Sunday in Canterbury we were able to attend Evensong sung by the boys choir. Pretty darn close to heavenly. The photo was our first glimpse of the actual Cathedral. I had watched Beckett just before we left so it really felt like the events in the cathedral were only yesterday.

I must say while I was off line, we did have British Sky News on the telly every day and my heart goes out to all those in Australia. Without a connection, I wondered if all my friends who live inside the computer were safe. Lots of love to you all in Kangaroo land. Back atcha tomorrow.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Have You Missed Me Yet

While I will probably be either pulling my hair out in tears or wondering why I worried so much about now, you will soon be able to find me -godwillin' and his laptop is shared - over at my sadly neglected sister blog, Get In The Car.

Sometimes you just take the trip or you blog about it. Once in a while I can get my act together to do both. If not, I'll be hanging out the window waving. Just visualize. Seriously.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

One More Goodbye

It's that time again, and despite bursts of absolute (but controlled) panic about the current - and potential weather - in dear old England, and how the two of us may or may not cope with driving, I am packing my bags.

With a deep sigh, I'm getting ready to take the many many travel segments that should get me from my own home to a new bed in Canterbury more than 24 hrs later. Train, plane, tube, train, car. That's how it should be so I'm saying my prayers and knowing things always do work out - eventually and the right way.

Oh and then we drive up to Edinburgh - bwahaha! and back south.Update: We decided to cancel the Edinburgh part and go to London for that week instead. The North of England and Scotland will be better when the sun sets at 10pm we concluded. I'm wondering just who planned this trip!?!?!?
(was it really my idea???)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Snow, Snow and More Snow

I thought I had sent all the snow to Australia and French Polynesia ( and perhaps a bit to the Gulf) but you either sent it back or it was the classic - The more you give, the more you'll receive. hmmm

This was the other day. It snowed then eventually the sun came out, it all melted, it got warmer, and then brrr it got good and cold again.

This is today, new snow, sun that gives us a clear line of how far the sun reaches - you are looking due east in these photos. Our daily line in the snow. I'm not even considering what tomorrow or the rest of the week will bring. I will be seriously busy in the house no matter what the weather.

btw, that funny path on the deck must be something the man of the house did on his walk out to the composte bin.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Take 5 Tuesday

Ah, a new meme that I saw on Caryn's tweet re her Take 5 Tuesday questions. Here are today's 5 questions from Deep in the Heart of Texas's Take 5:

Roasted carrots and parsnips with a few heads of garlic

1. what is your favorite food/cooking website?
No longer watch any of them as I watched them go from cooking to dubious imho entertainment. Wish I could get Jamie Oliver here.
2. do you prefer to watch cooking shows or read cooking magazines?
Read cooking magazines is choice from options, but more likely to get recipes on line now
3. are you more adventersome in what you cook or in what you eat?
More adventuresome in what I eat as I don't have to forage for ingredients. With some foreign dishes, I really can't tell what it should taste like either.

4. what is one ingredient that you have always wanted to cook with, but never have?
hmmm...still thinking about this one. I'm fortunate not to live in an
ingredient wasteland.
5. what is the one thing that you can not cook without?
silicone spatulas I love them!

Oh and she has a Mr. Linky so the other players can be seen. I love that feature and will have to try it out myself one of these days, months ...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Too Many Goodbyes

The economic downturn is certainly a serious matter and my heart goes out to those who are suddenly wondering which end is up in their life. We all have the feeling 'it will never happen to me' till one of those nevers does happen to me, or you or someone we love. If this is you, know I'm taking it seriously despite this post.

Over the past months, my dh and I have talked about the trickle down effect on so many industries, jobs and people and suddenly I was aha! I thought I had missed a copy or two of my favorite magazines. Thought, only because I usually am behind in my reading and tend to focus on books books books. I started to get my subscription info out and then read the headlines... Ahhhh.

Goodbye Country Home

Goodbye Cottage Living

Goodbye Domino

I guess this gives me time to read The Economist which dh gets every week, but you's just not the same!

I suspect we'll see a lot more monetized blogs ahead because writers have to write. It's in their veins. But farewell, dear friends, you'll remain fond memories and scrappy bits waiting to be collaged. Is one of your favorite magazines going to the print graveyard? Tell me which one you are missing now.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

For Them's That's Down Under

Cold clear nights lead to cold cold days.

Thinking of you all and your hot hot weather, I'm sending you this. That's from my desk looking out over the kitchen roof down through the whole back yard. Sorry but I was not about to open the window and remove the (whole window) screen.

And then we have the same from the kitchen - it's shiny because that's a layer of ice on top of the snow.

Feel the cold!

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