Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Snowy Day in Londontown...

The Kipphuts should be buckling their seat belts and settling in for the hop across the pond... However, London weather had another plan. About 2 hours of snow left us with mass chaos at the airports, train stations and roads. Runways are closed and the Kipphuts' flight has been cancelled... the good news is that they are rebooked to arrive on Tuesday. Finger crossed :-)

We dealt with our disappointment with a frolic in the snow... which ended in a snowball fight!
I guess it is not all bad!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Party Day to ME!!!

After getting a taste of karaoke at the Marshski wedding in August I am officially hooked. So when CK and I saw a sign for karaoke at our local pub it started the wheels turning... I asked CK to plan a birthday party for me before all our friends disperse across the world for the holidays. Thus Jen's 28th (yep I am officially going in reverse now) Birthday Party Day Celebration was born!

The gang at the Grand Union in Islington post dinner (which included a very loud birthday serenade and table dancing). The gang had a very lovely addition of Michelle from Atlanta who happened to be in town for work.

Getting the party started in our private karaoke room at Lucky Voice with a little Amy Winehouse. Good thing for you this blog doesn't have sound!

 Charles and Bethany sporting the lovely hates provided in our prop box!

 Steven and Chris wearing their own wigs... just kidding, those were in the prop box as well.

These are the only pics we have at the minute but I will try to beg others off the rest of the singers... err I mean friends ;-)

And now I have seen it all...

A man, sitting on a toilet, reading a paper on Westminster Bridge next to Parliament...

Fancy Dress Fun in the S-J-Dub

After a year of threatening to do a pub crawl from our place in St John's Wood to the Marshki's in Kilburn... we finally got it together in October. And since it was October, the only way to do it was in costume. And if you're going to put on a costume, it should be an 80's themed get up... And if it is 80's themed and Chris is involved... well... then it is obviously going to be...

He Man and his once long lost sister She Ra... the sister bit was strange... CK in a blonde wig was stranger!

The Marshki's did it up with Beetlejuice and Lydia.
The whole gang at our favorite local, The Ordinance.
Alex and Oli drove down from Stoke for the festivities. Oli made a brilliant Axel Rose!

 Tim rocking the Canadian tuxedo with Laura proving metallic animal print leggings are hot!

 Anthony won a prize for best costume at the last pub we visited... and believe it or not CK won for best dancer! If only I had taken video of his Gray Skull shuffle!

I am afraid this is where the pictures end... following this last photo there was a bus journey with zombies and a cowgirl, a walk through Camden that included several random stranger photos, the aforementioned dancing contest, a long wait at a bus stop in the cold, an attempt to secure a taxi and finally a walk through Primrose Hill to get home! It is a good thing the camera was safely tucked away and forgotten about! No need to worry; everyone made it home safe and sound! 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Where to start...

After months of promising myself that I would update the blog... as well as months of request that I get it together and start posting... I am back! I have given up on the idea that I will update the last 6 months of happenings in order. Let's face it... it simply would never happen. I will do my best to catch up with posts about Poland, Berlin, The Kipphuts' visit in September, our Halloween pub crawl (including CK's best dancer prize), our first footie match, Birthday Party Day celebration, many Sunday roasts and a few other visitors! It has been an amazing year but it isn't over yet... still to come a long weekend in Bath and the Kipphuts for Christmas.

Santa Run 2010

Nothing like a jog around the park with 2000 peeps dressed like Father Christmas!

Post warm up... getting ready for the start.

Chris and I ready to get our run on.

Ho ho ho!

Chris contemplating the meaning of Christmas...

Florida Girl returns...

After a very long winter and a rather dull London summer, we headed to Rosemary Beach for Labor Day. My dad and Lori drove over from Jacksonville for a night before heading north to Tennessee. Michelle, Matt and trey came down from Atlanta for the end of the week. We had a week of sunshine and amazing heat... which I am dearly missing at this moment! Chris and I were on the beach every single day and if I look closely enough I can still see faint tan lines over 4 months later!

 Me, Chris, Laurie, Mike, Michelle, Trey and Matt

 Our first day on the beach... HEAVEN!

Lori, me and my dad.

Christopher and his toes...

Chris, me and Trey... after a week in the sun.
Trey sporting his Polska t-shirt. 

 I'm at the beach... Woo Hoo!!!

The trick is to jump a little but bend your knees a lot! 

House of Lords

Chris and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary this year. We decided that our gift to one another would be attending a charity event at the House of Lords. The evening included entry into Westminster Palace via the Sovereign's Gate, cocktails and canapes on the Thames River, and a tour of the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

 Chris and I on the Thames River terrace.

View of Westminster just after sunset.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wow... What a month!

It has been ages since my last post. I've been busy trying to keep up with life! We've had visitors galore and I have about a billion photos to sift through and eventually post. Summer is officially in full swing and my shoulders are tanned. It is this time of year when I fall in love with London all over again and remember why we suffer through the winter. After months of drizzling rain, snow, iced over sidewalks, rubber boots, wool coats, gloves, scarves, multiple layers of socks, runny noses, and sunsets at 4 pm; I am relishing in the 90 degree temps and enjoying my sundresses, flip flops and days that last until 10:30 pm! In short, life is good!!!

I hope to get some pictures up today. I am also renewing my promise to do better with the posts!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Random Moments

Reading on the train is one of lifes little pleasures. My commute is only 30 minutes from door to door and I spend about 20 of it on the train. So I dedicate my mornings and afternoons to my book club book. This month it is Jitterbug Perfume. I've read it about 4 times but it never ceases to make me laugh and I still find amazingly constructed sentences that paint immaculate images like only Tom Robbins can do.

On those occasions when I have forgotten my book... usually on the side of the bath tub following my evening soak and read... I take time to look around and see what everyone else is reading. It isn't unusual to see one of the Twilight books or one of Stig Larsson's trilogy. I also see what appear to be a lot of student's ready text books... don't know if I could study on a rush hour train but to each their own.

While Nirk were visiting we were on the Piccadilly line when I spotted the lady below. She was really into her book so you can imagine my surprise when I read the title...

Technology of breadmaking!!!

I love living in a city where you can see just about anything at any given moment!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday Steven!!!

A few weeks ago, my good friend Steven McIntyre celebrated his 28th Birthday... AGAIN! We spent a rainy Saturday afternoon at the Tate Modern followed by a rather nice and dry walk along South Bank to Soho for a delicious dinner at Cafe Emm. The best part of the day was enjoy a drink and some nibbles in the bar at the Tate overlooking St Paul's Cathedral! A simply fantastic day with lovely friends!

The view from our spot at the bar! Not too shabby!!

A rather dark picture of the boys...

Steve and Ray outside the Tate.

Chris and I a bit further along Southbank.

From the Golden Jubilee Bridge.

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral dates back to 597AD. It is the original Anglican Church in the United Kingdom and the first incarnation of the church was built for the Pagan King Ethelbert's wife, Queen Bertha, to worship! In short, it is incredibly old!

The inside is pretty impressive. Although I think we are starting to develop a bit of boredom with cathedrals in general. Seems like if you have seen one you have seen them all. And we have seen some of the greats: Notre Dame in Paris, Koln Dom in Germany, St Vitus in Prague just to name a few. The exception to this might just be the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. 

The church has a ton of history. Some may have heard of Thomas Becket. He was Arch Bishop of Canterbury and was killed in the church by 'order' of King Henry II. Following his death, his tomb became a point of mass pilgrimage as it was believed that miracles occurred there. However, in the 1530's King Henry VIII destroyed the shrine when he overtook the church and declared himself the head of the Church of England. I overheard the guide say that they King's men carted away almost 30 wagons of jewels that pilgrims had left! 

When Matt and Michelle came to visit, Michelle kept saying that everything reminded her of Harry Potter. I bet the Cloisters would have made her say it again! 

Except for the graves in the middle, I could see Harry kicking off for a quick fly about on his broom stick! I wonder if thinking about Harry Potter at such a holy and religious site is sacrilege? 

Following our tour of the Cathedral we walked around the streets of Canterbury and ended our day on a punting boat tour... Until next time! XXX

A 3 hour tour....

Nick and Kirk (aka Nirk) arrived in London just in time to enjoy an extended visit. Thanks to an Icelandic volcano, of all things, their one week holiday turned into a 2 week get away! 

We went on a walking tour just a few hours after their plane touched down...Tower Bridge, Borough Market, Southwark, South Bank, Westminster Bridge, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey. We finished off the evening with a walk along Regent's Canal to Camden and dinner at Camden Brasserie. Not too shabby for day 1!

On day 3, we hired a car and drove to Canterbury. Had big plans to continue on to Dover but decided to enjoy Canterbury and leave Dover to the next visit. Canterbury Cathedral was very impressive. I will post more on it later.

We head due north to the coast and for a quick and very cold glimpse of the English Channel before heading back to London Town. Our drive home took us past the 2012 Olympic site.

One day 8 (thanks Eyjafjallajokull) we took a blanket down to Regents Park and enjoyed spring time in London. This is by far the best time of year in London... although my allergies might disagree. Nirk got a chance to experience a bit of day to day life in London. 

And what is more day to day than a Sunday Roast and a pint at the Volunteer?

Chris and I are so glad that the boys finally made it over to visit. Hopefully, they will make a habit of it now that they realize how easy it is to get to London! Take note other non-visitors!!! Come to London!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Teach a man to fish...

And you will have a freezer full of trout and no clue how to filet or cook them!

For Chris's 30th birthday we got him fly fishing lessons. He had the option to meet the instructor just outside London for a day trip or we could plan a weekend a bit further out and make a mini holiday out of it. It took a year but the weekend before his 31st birthday we headed to the quaint village of Longstock for some fishin' and eatin' and of course some R&R!

I brought the picnic basket in hopes of a nice lunch by the lake. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate so we lunched at the pub instead!

A country house just down the road from our inn. I looked at a few listings for local property and was amazed that a house like this is more affordable than a 2 bedroom flat in central London! It is times like this that I ponder the benefits of commuting... a fast train to London from here takes about an hour...

I am really, really, really looking forward to late spring and summer. This drizzly, grey weather is really taking a toll on me. Consider this picture a starting point... now close your eyes and picture green leaves, blue sky and little white fluffy clouds!

Let the fishing begin!
Can you spot the professional?

While Chris has practising, I wondered around and took picture...

And I put my feet up for a bit... fishing is hard work!

Any chance there is a fish on the end of that line?

This looks promising...

Two at once... now that is skill!

Once the fish were gutted and beheaded (poor little guys) I headed back to the pub/inn and asked the chef if he would cook us trout for dinner. A few hours later Chris returned with a massive smile, rosy cheeks, and stinking of fish... after a shower and change of clothes, we enjoyed the freshest fish ever! The other 3 trout are now in our freezer awaiting the grilling season... and visitors!