Saturday, March 31, 2012

I Spy Friday

And just like that, another week has flown by.

Sorry I'm late with the Friday post again. 
My favorite movie ever Sense & Sensibility was on last night. 
So, I was under the woobie having a good cry while my stoic Englishman rolled his eyes.
Sometimes you just need a good chick flick.

Guess what?  I did my very first guest blog post this week!

I've told you about one of my favorite expat bloggers Beantown Prepster
She was lucky enough to spend the week in Berlin, so I was lucky enough to be one of her guest bloggers.
The theme was travel and you can read it here.

  I've also done some more traveling about London on the Tube.
Check out these escalators, they go on forever.

In search of a notary (yay, CPA), we headed to Heddon Street which is famous for this album cover.

Now it's much better lit and a  pedestrian street with cafes and lawyers.

On Thursday, I went to Borough for a blind lunch date.
 Emm in London is a successful writer and blogger from South Africa.
We grabbed lunch at the market and sat in the church courtyard for a nice chat.

As much as I love the Englishman, it was so nice to talk to a new face.
She is terrific and we had a great time.  

She pointed out some of the highlights of Borough for me.   
It's south of the river and I can't wait to go explore further. 

On a side street, we passed by the Cross Bones Graveyard.

 A memorial shrine has sprung up for the ladies of the night and paupers buried there. 

 It's a special little place.  

I also spotted another Beau Brummel at the market. 

He's quite dapper, isn't he?

And did you know that this is how the wheels on the bus go?

I've had that stupid phrase stuck in my head for a week so I decided to share the suffering.  

 Found 'em!

It's been unseasonably warm and sunny for the last week. 
And did you know that at the first sign of warm weather, the sun-starved English run outside and strip off their clothes to soak it all up? 

 No really, they do.  See.
This was at the Kensington Gardens.  I wonder if he is a Royal?
(Actually, he's probably American.)

 Unfortunately, they are threatening snow for Easter weekend and everyone will be all bundled up again. 
Er, maybe that's a good thing.

And I saw these yesterday.

  They made me long for Texas Bluebonnets and home.


P.S.  I've completed week 2 of Couch to 5K without incident.  So far so good.  

Here are the Photo a Day shots for this week.  Not sure about the prompts this week.  Should I continue and play along for April?





Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Time to see Greenwich

We've had such beautiful weather for the past few weeks.  
So, never knowing when the English rain will reappear, we try to get out as much as possible. 

On Sunday we decided to head to Greenwich via the Millennium Bridge and a boat along the Thames.  

We started at St. Paul's Cathedral and strolled over the river.  

The Millennium Footbridge was opened in 2000 for just a few days 
before they discovered there was a little too much shakin' going on.  

It took two more years for the engineers to make it safe for pedestrians and it reopened in 2002.  

I'm terrified of heights and I hate bridges, but I was really looking forward to this and had no fear.  Well, not too much anyway. 

To be honest, the Thames is not the best looking river.  
It's the color of English tea with milk and smells a bit.  
I certainly wouldn't want to get in that water.  

 But, it was a beautiful day. 

Our chariot arrived to take us to Greenwich.

We used our Oyster cards.  I think it was about 4 pounds for one way.  
What a great way to travel...comfy seating and a snack bar.

The trip was about 15 minutes and took us under Tower Bridge.  
It was fun to see London from a different perspective.  

We soon arrived at Greenwich which is a borough of London and a World Heritage Site.

The Cutty Sark is a famous tea clipper in dry dock in Greenwich.  It is currently closed and being renovated, hopefully, to reopen in time for the Olympics.  

We had to stop for a lager and my first Pimm's!
It was nummy and if you are in London on a sunny day you have to have one.  
It's a spicy gin based drink served with fizzy lemonade and fruits and cucumbers.  
Very refreshing and almost as popular as tea!

He is very happy to be back in the land of "real beer," as he calls it.  

We walked around the Old Royal Naval College.  

I love the history that surrounds us here.  Every place you go has a story.  

We wanted to be outside so didn't go into the Maritime Museum.  
We will have to save that for another day.  

We did pop in to the Queen's House.  This is  the infamous haunted Tulip Staircase
Luckily, no ghosts showed up in my pictures.

 Eager to get back outside, we walked through Greenwich Park and up the hill to the Royal Observatory.  

 It is the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian so it's the starting point of each new day. 

  This is the Shepherd Gate clock at the Observatory.  
We didn't want to pay $20ish bucks to get in so it's also on the list for our next visit. 

The views were well worth the trek up the hill.  

We stopped several times to plop down in the grass like everyone else.  

Most Londoners don't have a backyard (garden) so they all share common green areas.
There were people sprawled out all over the place.  

We spent some more time visiting another local pub and the Greenwich Market.  
And after a nice dinner we took the bus home.  
I can't wait to have some visitors to join us in exploring.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Diamonds are a girl's best friend

2012 is a very special year for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.  
Not only is the UK welcoming the world to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, 
but everyone is celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  

Queen Elizabeth II was only 26 when she ascended to the throne 60 years ago in 1952.
She has reigned longer than every other monarch except Queen Victoria who served for 63 years.  

 It is a huge celebration and I'm so excited to be here to join in. 
The Queen and the Royal Family have already kicked off the celebrations with tours and royal visits. 

The celebration will culminate with a long weekend celebration June 2-5. 
Everyone will even get an extra day off from work to make a four day weekend.
And the people rejoiced!

It will be the perfect time to come visit (just sayin').

The celebration will include a Diamond Jubilee River Parade
down the Thames with over 1,000 boats accompanying the Queen on a Royal Barge.  
It is expected to spread over 7 miles with millions watching from the banks and bridges.
We are trying to scope out our spot.

There will also be a Diamond Jubilee Concert in front of Buckingham Palace including
Elton John, Tom Jones, Annie Lennox, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and many more. 

10,000 lucky people will be winning tickets in a national ballot.
Winners are to be notified by the end of this month.
My fingers are crossed that we might be so lucky as to get tickets.
Please, please, please!

Either way, we will be joining the party!!
How will you be celebrating?


Check out these Diamond Jubilee Themed cakes from the Ideal Home Show.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I spy Friday

Another seven days have flown by and it's time to post my random sightings from the week. 
Sorry I'm a day late.  I was being held hostage at The Prince Edward Pub by a large Pinot Grigio.  

We celebrated Mother's Day on Sunday.  It is usually called Mothering Sunday in the UK and is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.  We spent the day in Folkestone with Matt's parents. 
Sunday roast is one of my favorite British traditions. 

 I've already posted about our trip to Camden Market, but I didn't post that if you want to have a fish pedicure, here's your place.

 The water temp was 82 degrees and it only costs about 13 quid.   But curiously, there were no takers.  Who doesn't want to stick their tootsies in foot soup and have little fish chew on them?

I apologize for the poor quality of the picture.  The bus window was dirty. 
But I just have to show you this London fashion trend. 

Short shorts and tights are quite the rage here.  
Every once in a while someone gets it right and it looks great.  
But often, they get it wrong.  
Such as when they wear control top pantyhose and the control top is longer than their shorts. 

Apparently, even the guys are getting in on the shorts and tights rage.  

 And don't even get me started on the trend of wearing tights or leggings as pants.  
If I can see your knickers through your clothing, then something is missing. 

I was needing a taste of home, so I stopped at McDonalds.  

Nope, that's not coffee.  That's my diet coke.  I forgot that ice is only upon request.  Seriously?

Oh, I don't have a picture of it, but I had my first European kiss kiss!  We met up with one of Matt's old friends for drinks and I was greeted by a kiss to both cheeks.  It's a usual greeting here, but I'm always afraid that I'm going to get it wrong and end up kissing someone's nose or something.  

I saw this one day at the entrance to a local residence.  

One buzzer for guests and another for servants.  Very Downton Abbey, isn't it?  

I've also decided that I want a scooter.

All the cool kids have them. 

Oh, and I want one of these, too. 

A Butterfly Mobile. Too cute, huh?

And last, but not least...

The Krispy Kreme Quest was a success!!

 So, there you have it... my random sightings for the week.

I've finished my first week of the Couch to 5K and was successful! 
And by successful, I mean that there were no medics required. 
We are still in the temporary lease in Notting Hill for a few more weeks
and still waiting patiently for the magic phone call.

Spring has arrived in London and it's lovely!


Here are my Instagram Photo A Day pictures for the week...



Corner of my home



Delicious (Jaffa Cakes!)