Thursday, January 13, 2011

the present that went to famous places..


This is me and my fella. He's holding my mother's Christmas present that didn't get mailed on time. Instead, it took an unexpected journey to the UK where it was documented as we visited various places.. Stay tuned for "Where did the present go" updates.

Here we are at the unexplained, much celebrated Neolithic stone circle known famously as Stonehenge. By far, one of the most amazing things I have ever been in the presence of. (Graffiti from 92AD in Pompeii is up there).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

resolves

Healthy
1. eat more fruits and vegetables
2. spend a month without eating out
3. ride my bike more
4. fit into last year's jeans
5. drink more water everyday
6. Bikram's Yoga

Crafty
1. make my valentines
2. knit instead of pull
3. knit everyday
4. embroider pillow case and a matching duvet
5. sew a dress
6. learn to knit socks

Mindful
1. identify my skills
2. night classes
3. do my taxes
4. trip to..
5. volunteer

Saturday, January 8, 2011

towels for tea

I've decided I like tea towels. I think it started at the Red Deer Farmer's Market when I bought a gorgeous hand woven linen one that has just gotten better and better each time I washed it. Pretty towels for the kitchen. I don't know why but I have taken to them and more so with the "souvenier" aspect of tea towels.

Have oyu ever noticed that? No matter what- the gift shop has a commemorative tea towel. Most likely.

So.. I was in this shop in Brighton and saw these really lovely towels and because we had 2 instances where Michael had shouted.. "Look! There's a fox" I bought this one. Isn't it lovely?

I bought the 2 Lady's in the Tea Cup and the Birdsongs as well for choices for Michael's sister Trish (she nabbed the Tea Cup but traded for a Cupcake towel she had).

Here's the company who makes them, ironically Lush Designs.

Friday, January 7, 2011

journey's end

A long 9 hr flight into daylight and I'm home and completely sacked. The worst thing in the world is to arrive at an airport and to have no one to meet you. There should be a service where friendly strangers greet you with flowers, carry your bags, and get you safely into a cab with a cup of tea.

Wouldn't that be lovely?

So.. a quick recap..

We arrived in Heathrow and took a buzz around London in our rental car.. off to Hamstead to get a tea and make a call.

We headed for Bristol and I tried to stay awake but fell asleep in the car.. Michael almost did too so he rolled down all the windows so it was brutally cold and woke me up.

We stopped off at "the services" which is like a highway turnoff/ rest stop/ food/ gas place all rolled into one. We bought hot chocky and weird disposable scrubby toothbrush thingies from the bathroom vending machines (not the hot chocky mind you).

We rolled into Bristol and Michael tried to back up the one way hill to his sister's house not realizing the steep hill was covered in ice. He got out to look at the situation and the emergency brake wasn't one and we started to slide towards a parked car as he started to step out of the car with me yelling. Parked at a dangerous angle, Michael went to announce our arrival and situation. I found a shovel in a yard and the road side "grit" barrel and started shovelling sand on the road behind and in front of the tires. All worked out in the end with nary a dent.

We stayed with Michael's sister Victoria, Martin her husband and 2 kids: Katherine 7 and Beatrice, 3.

Bristol highlights
Vic and the kids..
SS Great Britain
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Bacon Sarnies on the docks with brown sauce
Ciders with Hannah and her sister Biddy at the Tobacco Factory.

From Bristol we headed to London and stopped at Stonehenge.. that's in another post.. it was super and I was so happy to see it. I would have also liked to see the Marc Bolan (of T Rex) tree shine but we didn't get there.

In London, we stayed with Michael's nephew Robert and girlfriend Zamira in north London. I got sick. Really sick with the flu but managed to get on with things albeit a bit achy, sniffy and sore.

Highlights of London

Seeing the places Michael grew up
The old pubs
Hampstead High Street
Harrods
Fortnum & Mason
Abbey Road
driving around, taking the tube, getting on a double decker
Oxford St, Islington, Camden, Kentish Town, Kensington
The V&A
The British Museum
The Tower of London
Walking near the London Eye- no we didn't go on it
The houses of parliament
London Cemetery and the graves of Karl Marx and Malcom McLaren
Cheese shops
missed bits: old friends Heidi and Esther

After London, we went to Forest Row- a lovely hamlet on ley lines to stay with Michael's other sister Trish and her husband Peter. Best bits were:

Walking on the nearby paths and visiting the farm with the giant pigs and cattle
Their cosy cottage and Kitsy the black cat
The great meals they cooked, comfortable beds and English countryside

We went to nearby Lewes and the on to Brighton and saw the Royal Pavilion and took Trish's daughter Lucy out for dinner.

We went back the next day and I finally met Michael's mother who made sure to tell me that when she dies, I should go to Vienna and see the opera.. which was odd.. She was very sweet though. We ate at Infinity Foods and I bought a tea towel of English Foxes and explored the Lanes.

And now it's 2:40 in the morning in the UK.. although it's 6:38 in Vancouver. I should eat and go to bed. x

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new year

I've been in London with my fella, Michael. We went up to Bristol to visit his sister and her little kids, Beatrice and Katherine. Little B was sickly and unsurprisingly, now so am I. By the time we got to Stonehenge, I had a sore throat. So, if jet lag wasn't nipping on my heels, the flu was.

Michael and I spent 2 days manoevoring the scourge of humanity on the London streets. How many people are I this city anyway? To go 5 blocks is a mighty effort of sensory overload, never mind 5 tube stops. In those 2 days, we drove or walked over London.

Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, and Liberty and on the days after Boxing Day! Oxford st, Regent's street, Soho, The Britsih museum, the London Eye, Tower of London, Hampstead, Carnaby, Portobello, Bond St, the V&A museum and Kensington. Did I mention I have the flu??? God.

We drove down to Michael's other sister in Forest Row and by the time we had a lovely beef curry...I was happy to take the invitation to lay down for a nap at 3. I didn't wake up until 9 the next day and then we were back to heathrow to drop off the car.

I still hope to see some friends that live here. It's been an avoided mission due to a foul mood, sicky cough and so worn out i have nary a thread of conversation in me.. It 3:30 in the morning and just now am i feeling a bit of talk in my head.

Sigh.. Onwards.. And in search of a fishtail parka...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The day trip

Once...I was in the town of Bath, UK. I happened to trip on some cobblestones and hurt my knee hard enough to not be able to carry my backpack for about 5 days. I looked at the sign on the front hostel desk that read "trips to Stonehenge, $15 return" daily and for some reason never went. I don't remember why not. It's not like I had something better to do. I always regretted it.

Well..I was able to rectify that one regret...And went to Stonehenge today.(right..uploading with iPad is a bit finicky.. Will sort sizes later..)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!


Thanks Santa for the Ipad. It's loaded with games, news sites, knitting apps, music, a movie and the new Keith Richard's new book. It'll come in handy for the long flight to London today. 
We're off to visit the fella's family in England..we have a car! Oh.. this will be fun!! The year that ends in adventure starts the next one off right. 

xxoo