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.......

21 March 2007

Mar 2007 a

Thu 01 Mar 2007
House Inspection - the fellow knocks, walks in the front door, pans, walks out again. Not very thorough but hey, who are we to complain.

Fri 02 Mar 2007
Hooray! Jen's workplace is part of the small consortium which will be building the Olympic Village in 2012. Wow!
After work we go to "Bootcamp" using a hire car. Steve (Alaric) heads one of the four teams of fighters, and is one of the four teachers for the weekend.
Notice the amusing names in his team...

We sleep overnight at Deb and Clancy's place.

Sat 03 Mar 2007
Steve goes back to site to fight and teach. Jen stays at Deb and Clancy's, as there's a "war widows" going on, which is to say, all non-fighter types hanging out doing arts n crafts type things.
Later on Steve comes back and we enjoy the evening's goings-on. On the way back to our hosts' place, we observed the lunar eclipse!

Sun 04 Mar 2007
Steve goes back to site again to help with authorisations and get in some pick-up fights.

Fri 09 Mar 2007
Not much happened over the past week. Have been successfully keeping the spending down, in anticipation of buying a new engine for our van. Decided to put in a 'letter of intent' to fight Crown tourney in a month's time. Will only allow ourselves to actually fight the tourney if we're both employed - so we will see what happens.

Sat 10 Mar 2007
Jenny (Edith) is an excellent recent addition to the local SCA group. She also happens to be an official London city tour guide. So, she takes us on a walk to see Medieval London. Here we are in front of the Tower of London.

One of our early stops was St Dunstan-in-the-East. Its a lovely little church that was apparently bombed in WWII and it was decided that, rather than restoring it, the space would become part of the city's green-spaces. So its a very charming jungle-ruin in the midst of modern architecture.

We did see many fabulous things on the way including the Temple of Mithras ruins (Roman), and the London Stone. Toward the end of the tour we stopped at the Guildhall, a 14th century secular building in old London, with a Indian-medieval-esque facade slapped on the front in the 19th century.

On our search for a pub, we walked past St Paul's Cathdral. Still haven't been inside yet (except the crypt) and my word the place is huge. Hopefully the following snaps will give you some indication of its scale.

Further along we walked, in our serach for a pub that serves food on a Saturday night in a smoke free environment. We walked along Fleet Street. Here there's a dragon statue marking the entrance to London city from Westminster city.

The royal courts looked lovely too.

Finally we walked all the way to Holborn, to our regular watering hole - The Shakespeare's Head.

Here are some of our fellow tourists enjoying a meal in the pub after a hard afternoon's stroll. :-)

Mon 12 Mar 2007
During this week Lauren (our Tasmanian house guest) gets a few interviews - with placement agencies, etc.

05 March 2007

Feb 2007 b

Sat 17 Feb 2007
We pick up our new used sofabed, which is 7 feet long. Amazingly it fit into the back of our car, if only just. Luckily it also just fit through the front door. It clashes terribly with the decor, so we have ordered some fabric to match the other comfy chairs. (Jen really isn't fond of floral furniture or drapes)

Later, in the evening, we picked up Dan and Elizabeth and drove to the local SCA revel, as we had last month. It was good, there were twice as many people attending, and heaps of music! Unfortunately most of us (including ourselves) had colds.

Mon 19 Feb 2007
We both spent most of this week with headcolds.

Thu 22 Feb 2007
Hooray! Jen passes her probationary period at work! To celebrate this (and another work milestone actually), Jen and colleagues enjoy lunch and visit the NLA (New London Architecture) and subsequently find out a little more about planned building in London, and the Olympics in Stratford (East London), 2012.

A= Olympic Stadium (20-25 mintue walk from our home)
B= Eurostar International Train Terminal (15-20 min) opens later this year!
C= Tube station (10-15 minutes) which also has DLR (district light rail), plus coach terminal and national rail connections.
D= Stratford Park, where we built our snowman last month!
E= Our home

Fri 23 Feb 2007
Payday! Hooray!
Gavin visits us from Ireland! A visitor to try out the new sofabed.
But before he does, Steve and Gav are sent away to pick up a coat-stand (purchased cheaply on ebay) about a 45 minute drive away, with the option of stopping to see Rochester Castle on the way back. Unfortunately the car's engine decides to self destruct on the way home. Thankfully though, our mechanic has convinced us that the cheapest price we have found on used engines is outrageously too high, and he will do his best to find us one at what he thinks is a reasonable price. The down side is this could take him weeks. Luckily for us, London has excellent public transport. My what a nice coat stand we have ;-)

Sat 24 Feb 2007
Spent the morning walking around the heart of London with Gavin, watched him buy specialty dance shoes in a ballet shop, following his wife's instructions, and we enjoyed strolling through parts of the British Museum and National Gallery.

Above: Trafalgar Square, outside the National Gallery.

In the afternoon, Aussie guest number two arrived. This time it is Lauren from Tassie (she is Ciaran's protege, for those who know what that means).

Sun 25 Feb 2007
The four Aussie tourists hit old London town.... or at least, "The Tower".
Below: Tower Bridge was built in the 1890's, so it is the newest thing built, in this photo.

Above: The White Tower, which is the oldest building inside The Tower of London. It is the original Norman keep, and a royal palace right to this day. Its just not a royal residence anymore. The jutting-out clock in the background is in front of where the crown jewels are kept. They had some nice diamonds on them. Sorry Morde, your engagement ring is no long the largest I've seen! :-)

Above: Currently used accommodation inside the grounds. The beefeaters live there. Apparently, one of Jen's forefathers spent his last days in one of those tudor houses, as did a couple of Henry VIII's wives before their executions.

Above: the memorial gardens on Tower Hill. Below: one of the plaques. Simon Fraser was the last man in British history to be executed by the axe, and he was eighty years old (Jen's ancestor)

Mon 26 Feb 2007
While Jen's at work, Steve, Gavin and Lauren visit Greenwich to see the Meridien line.....

Tue 27 Feb 2007
In the evening Gav packs up his stuff and returns to his Irish sweet-heart.