Steve n Jen's UK adventures

UK and European adventures. Read on my pretties, and discover what two stray Aussies can get up to on their travels.......

17 December 2006

Dec 2006 a

Mon 4 Dec 2006
We have decided to buy a car after Christmas, considering that the sorts of used car we're looking to buy will be under £1,000 and we've been paying £100 per weekend car hire!

Wed 6 Dec 2006
Fighter Practice night. Here's a picture of the Christmas lights in Stratford....

Sat 9 Dec 2006
Fabric shopping and Dan and Elizabeth's belated house-warming party. A fabulous party - meeting a few new faces and chatting with other, now familiar, friends. Jen bought some wool and chemise fabric. Disappointed at the lack of colour variety in wool, and only 1 brocade available. Fabulous silks though!

Sun 10 Dec 2006
Deb and Clancy turn up to our place. We enjoy a day out in London.

Above: We visited the Tate to see the extensive Holbein exhibition. We also travelled to the London Museum and showed them around.

Wed 13 Dec 2006
Jen comes home to find the antique singer sewing machine she ordered on ebay has turned up! Getting to really like ebay - especially not having to pay to get to the shops, not having to deal with crowds, not having to queue to pay, and not having to lug something like a heavy sewing machine back home on public transport. Oh, and then there's the fact it was only £25.

Above: Jen's work lunch 'do'.
Thu 14 Dec 2006 - From midday, Jen's work held a departmental Christmas lunch. At around 6pm she headed into town to buy some gifts to send to family in Oz. Here's the decorations from Oxford Circus.

Above: The Christmas lights at Trafalgar Square.
Once Jen got home that evening, we packed for an overnight trip to Paris (for Saturday), wrapped up the pressies, and wrote about 50 chrissy cards.

Fri 15 Dec 2006
Jen got in to work to find the elevator all discoed up! There was a boom-box too!

During lunch, she posted the pressies and cards all together - only to discover the postage cost a small fortune and would not arrive until about New Year's anyway! Grrrr. We both attended Jen's staff Christmas party in the evening with loads of dancing and free drinks. Fortunately for us the venue is only a leisurely ten minute stroll home. Here's Jen and some of her workmates.

Sat 16 Dec 2006
This morning we got up early, hopped on the Tube, got on the Eurostar, and had yummy 3 course lunch in Paris with Steve's workmates! After lunch we checked in to our hotel room which was only a five minute stroll from the Louvre. Here's Steve standing outside the main entrance - yes, it is dark and hard to see.

We decided to walk off lunch (we ended up not needing dinner) and walked to the Eiffel Tower. Here's a better pic of Steve in front of a famous Parisian landmark.

As we weren't keen on waiting to go up the Tower during our visit in 2001, we decided this time we would. So we waited about half an hour in the queue. While we waited, here's the entertainment (a very short video).

If the video doesn't work, I'm hoping this link will.

Sun 17 Dec 2006
Today we hit the Louvre! Jen's feet have never been so sore (so much walking)!

Below: We were delighted to discover the whereabouts of one famous great French castle (which was painted in Tres Riche Heures by the Limbourg Brothers). It is the Louvre - or at least the Louvre is built over its foundations (note the positioning of the triangular pyramidy things below).

Above: The moat/foundations, then a photo of a model showing what the castle once looked like. Below: Steve stops to consult the Louvre map in the Mesopotamian rooms.

Above: The Napoleon Apartments (in the Richelieu wing) were very splendid indeed!

Finally, we caught the Metro to our awaiting Eurostar train and onward home. After getting home, unpacking, downloading the photos, and putting up this blog - its time for bed. Goodnight!

04 December 2006

Nov 2006 b

Sun 19 Nov 2006
Today we went to the British Library. Saw the Lindisfarne Gospels, Sherbourne Missal and the Luttrell Psalter.... or at least, one double page spread of each, anyway. We also saw some olde editions of The Magna Carta. No photography allowed sorry.

Mon 20 Nov 2006
Tonight there were a record 11 people at the Shakespeare's Head (pub) for the SCA shire meeting! Amongst the agenda items, Jen put forward a kind of wish list of cool sites to hold events at - including maps, photos, and guest capacities. It was a good positive meeting.

Tue 21 Nov 2006
Steve has a second round interview today, and was offered the job! Well done Steve. He's being employed as a third line engineer with potential to grow into a management position. He starts on Monday. The really cool thing is, the work Xmas party is in PARIS!!!!!! Yes! The downsides are: its an hour travel each way and the hours are 9am to 6pm.

Wed 22 Nov 2006
Steve now studies the stuff he's a little rusty on. The job also includes training other staff. We go to fighter practice.

Sat 25 Nov 2006
Ah the weekend..... Time for a working bee at our place! This is about creating gifts for the upcoming SCA royalty to give out during their reign. We also had Ciaran (from Tassie) come back to stay with us again for a few days.

Above: Dan did some pewter casting in the kitchen, and there was lots of headwear cut out and sewn up.
Below: (L-R) Michael the Aussie from Woolongong, Ciaran from Tassie, Claire from South Africa, Dan a kiwi born in England, Jenny an actual local, and Elizabeth from Canada. Ciaran is the only one not living in London.

Jen made two pair of tippets, and Steve fed the working hoards for lunch, snacks and dinner. After dinner it was time for a few games. This time it was a game called Apples to Apples, which is a fun and easy game we just might have to buy.

Sun 26 Nov 2006
Today we went business-clothes shopping for Steve. A new hat (instead of a beanie), a scarf, two more pairs of trousers, and socks.

Mon 27 Nov 2006
Steve's first day at the new job! Here's a photo at 8am of him about to leave for work. Notice the lack of sunlight - and look! no clouds. Jen decides frozen dinners are the way to go, with Steve arriving home at approx 7pm from now on.

Tue 28 Nov 2006
Tuesdays are free training evenings at Steve's workplace, so after work he stays on and gives a lesson on Cisco stuff. Jen has an after work 'do' on. Late tonight we say good-bye to Ciaran as he leaves for Australia tomorrow.

Wed 29 Nov 2006
Steve goes to fighter practice in the evening but Jen stays home, having spent the entire day sniffling, sneezing and nose-blowing at work.

Thu 30 Nov 2006
Jen stays home being too sick to go to work. Boo hiss.

Fri 1 Dec 2006
Jen feels even worse today, and when Steve comes home having completed his first big week back working, he makes Jen feel human again by acquiring and feeding her some essential cold&flu drugs.... and dinner! Hurrah!

Sat 2 Dec 2006
The hire car is delivered to our address and Steve goes and picks up Dan and Elizabeth and away they go to the Yule Ball, which is about two hours' drive north. Jen stays at home not wanting to get cold at any time and not wanting to infect anyone. "I am the plague beast" she sniffles. Steve teaches three dances and eats some yummy food.... and gets back home at about midnight. Steve needed his hanky at the event - guess who's now coming down with a cold.

Sun 3 Dec 2006
Jen feels a lot better today, but Steve feels like cr@p.
We decide we definitely will stay home for Xmas Eve, as that will also be Xmas morning in Brisbane and we are looking forward to talking on the phone (or skype) to family and friends.