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.......

18 April 2007

Apr 2007 a

Mon 02 Apr 2007
Steve starts his first day on the new job.
Thankfully, because its the Easter break, school's out. Steve can ease into the job while the CRB check is done - making sure he's leagally OK around children - and this check can take two weeks.

Tue 03 Apr 2007
We got a reply from a different (recommended) mechanic about fixing our car. This fellow seems much more willing to be helpful. Excellent.
Jen's work day consisted of a special outing looking at the amazing things different sections of the business are doing to turn undesirable neighbourhoods into great ones. Traffic calming and facade beautifying is only a small part of the work, but here's an example anyway:

Thu 05 Apr 2007
Hurrah! the water pressure is finally fixed this afternoon - hey its only taken them 2 weeks damn it!

Fri 06 Apr 2007
Easter - a day off work for everybody. Steve meets up with Alexi (Penny's daughter) at Kings Cross station, and she comes to stay with us for the Easter break.

Also happens to be Lauren's birthday today - Steve made us all a fabulous dinner, and Lauren's choc birthday cake lasted until several days later.... really there was just too much for four!

Sat 07 Apr 2007
We all go to the V&A museum to see the Surrealist exhibition.

Above: Steve walks into a surreal dream world!
Below: All of us outside the gift shop - even the walls have eyes

Above: Alexi and "David" in the V&A
After a fun day of sight seeing, including exploring the tourist spots in Harrods, we go our separate ways and head back home.
Below: Steve, Alexi and Lauren digging into curry for dinner

Mon 09 Apr 2007
Alexi leaves, and we're back to only one houseguest.

Thu 12 Apr 2007
Last minute packing for the weekend... weighing the luggage and re-sorting to keep under the weight allowances. Steve and Jen take tomorrow off work, leaving Lauren a restful weekend on her own.

Fri 13 Apr 2007
We get up at 4:30am, drag our stuff to the coach terminal, get to Stansted, take a flight to Sweden, arrive in Gothenburg, hire a car, drive for three hours and finally find the cottage we'll be staying at for the weekend. Take a nap after 5 and a half hours of travel. Later in the afternoon, pick up Dan and Elizabeth from the nearby local train station, and head to site 5 minutes down the road.
We made sure to get to bed before 11pm, as the Tournament the next day was due to begin at 10am. To us, its actually 9am because of the time zone difference.

Sat 14 Apr 2007
Get up early, get organised and head back to site on time. As it turns out, the tourney starts about and hour or so late. And the weather was absolutely beautiful!

Above: the Queen couldn't make it due to complications of her pregnancy, but she did the next best thing and had Countess Honor carry her crown about in her stead.

Above: For those of you who remember Arenwald - he's been busy, and here's his Lady Signe and their little ones Christina and Frederick.

Above: Steve did really well in the tourney. He made it to the final against Duke Sven! It was a real cliff-hanger too... in the best of three, Sven "one-shoted" Steve(Alaric) in the first bout, they double killed in the second, which had to be re-fought and Alaric won the second bout, so it was down to the very last fight. Alaric threw a border-line face-shot which he hadn't been watching and Sven wasn't sure if he was defeated or not. So, Alaric said he didn't want to win with a questionable shot, and so they re-fought some more.... and we won the tourney!

Long story short .... we both attended meetings and enjoyed sitting at the High Table for the feast; after which we were invested as Crown Prince and Princess of Drachenwald. Vivat!

Above: The stunning "swan" subtlety at the High Table.

Sun 15 Apr 2007
The next morning. Lovely Swedish summer sunlight streaming in through our cabin windows.
Off to another early start, we cleaned the cottage, packed the car, returned the keys and headed off for Varberg to see a Bogman!
Below: the castle in Varberg, Sweden, which houses the museum with the "Bocksten Man". And below that, the grassy top of the castle.

The Bocksten Man is a medieval fellow dug out of a bog, who's clothing and acoutrements were exceptionally well preserved. There was a mannequin created with a re-construction of all his clothes, shoes, knife etc and with his face based on his skull. Amazing! No photography allowed, so naturally one of us snuck this photo in, without the flash of course:

We had a huge lunch and drove back to the airport early, returned the car, and with our spare time had a read through the "user's manual" for the Kingdom :-)

Mon 16 Apr 2007
Decide to unpack later. Back to work again.....
Go to the local Shire Meeting at the Shakespeare's Head pub, and get congrats all 'round. Thanks guys! Very nice to have the support!

Tue 17 Apr 2007
Confirmed and ordered a replacement engine for the car, and it will be delivered to the garage later this week - yay us!

Wed 18 Apr 2007
Finally got the car towed today - yay again! Mechanic says he can't look at it until next week, but that's fine by us since we're waiting for payday again. It sure was nice being paid weekly back in Brisvegas.

01 April 2007

Mar 2007 b

Thu 15 Mar 2007
After work, Jen's on holidays for a week! Hurrah!

Fri 16 Mar 2007
Jen gets a flight to Germany with Dan and Elizabeth. Once there, time is spent admiring the cathedral and old city of Frankfurt, and the lovely paintings in the museum. Then, eventually going our separate ways and staying with our respective hosts.

Sat 17 Mar 2007
Steve and Lauren travel up to Cambridge for St Patrick's day fun at Deb and Clancy's place.
Meanwhile, Jen is hanging out with her host, Fiona Wiggins, who has a cow collection to rival Morde's!

Jen attends the Ball in Germany. Here's a very short video of some of the dancing.

If the above doesn't work, try:

Below: Lady Bridget (who heads the Kingdom's scribes) is sent away on vigil.

Above: A cute photo of Genevieve and Robert (Elizabeth and Dan) at the Ball.
Below: Joan's sweet-heart proposed to her at the event.

Above: some of the fine instruments played at the Ball
Below: the main teacher (Mistress Judith) shows us the steps.

Above: Mistress Bridget, a brand new C&I Laurel. (Jen made the cloak for her)

Sun 18 Mar 2007
Jen goes touring the German countryside with Eufemia and Cadogan. A shame its a rainy cold overcast day. Climb lots and lots of castle stairs....then out again into the driving rain.

Above: Here's a shot of the outside of the tower (the stairs photo is inside this tower) Munzenberg Castle ruins.
Below: Note the painted carving on the corners of these traditional German houses.

Mon 19 Mar 2007
Jen comes down with a chest infection (surprise surprise) and decides to stay warm by staying indoors, with Steve looking after her during her patheticness! Jen works through a half dozen unfinished SCA projects thru the next week.

Fri 23 Mar 2007
Payday! Hurrah!

Sat 24 Mar 2007
Thames Water rip up a square metre of road in front of our house. This would not ordinarily bother us except suddenly we have a heavy dribble of water (when the taps are on "full blast") coming out of our taps, as a result.

Mon 26 Mar 2007
Back to work for Jen.
Before the workmen refill the hole in the road, Steve has a word with them about our poor water pressure. One fellow tells us to turn on and off our water, and open up the taps etc (airbubbles in pipes he says). Then they go ahead and concrete in the road. This doesn't fix our problem!!!

Tue 27 Mar 2007
Steve gets an email inviting him to a job interview on Friday. Fingers Crossed.

Thu 29 Mar 2007
Hmmm - still lousy water pressure. It takes ten minutes for the toilet to refill, during which time there's no water coming out of the other taps. Not good. The landlord had a plumber come in, and say its definately a blockage in the pipe between the house and the road, and therefore Thames Water's problem to fix.

Houseguest Lauren gets a job offer (a 3 month contract). Hurrah! Unfortunately for her, she's also through to the second round for a permanent job with a bigger better company. After much frantic back and forth phone calling, she gets the all clear to work elsewhere for awhile, and still continue interviewing for the preferred job. She starts work on Wednesday next week.
Went to the movies to celebrate - saw "300". Wow - lots of violence but somehow a likeable film.

Fri 30 Mar 2007
Steve goes through an all-day job interview ordeal, and comes out on top - yes he got the job!!!!!
Its at a secondary college, with a high tech approach. All classes have computers that are networked across the whole school. Some new projects will be coming online shortly, using the very latest technology, so lots of cool stuff for Steve to work with! The principal is a real actual Knight (service to education)!

This evening we catch up with friends for a stroll through the British Museum (or rather the few Greek and Egyptian rooms that are open tonight). Steve is thrilled to finally see the Marbles of the Parthenon.

Afterwards all 7 of us enjoyed a leisurely dinner together down the road from the Museum.

Sat 31 Mar 2007
This morning Thames Water come and dig up our footpath. After a couple of hours and some swearing outside our front door, it is discovered the blockage in our pipe is under the house somewhere.... and since they don't have the right equipment to fix that they concrete up the footpath again and say they'll come back another day.

Elizabeth and Dan come over during the day and do SCA projects. Namely: new dress fitting, plastic-armour shaping, and cutting out several shields for new fighters' use.
At around 6pm the first guests show up for our "Beer and Boardgames" Party. Dinner and beer is served during the first of the (new season) Doctor Who episodes (on our excellent projector).
After which, a lovely Vienetta dessert (thanks Terry) is enjoyed by all, and various Boardgame playing ensues until midnight. All in all, a very fun evening!