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!