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.......

28 August 2007

Aug 2007 b

Thu 16 Aug 2007
On her way walking to work this morning Jen has a manky looking fox cross her path. Just managed to get the camrea out in time for this quick snap.

Fri 17 Aug 2007
The in-laws move on out, and the rest of our stuff does too. Everything gets moved into storage, only thanks to the work of our friendly local SCA helpers. Deb was especially helpful with giving directions, Steve and Clancy were great removalists, Dan was the Tetris-King at the storage place, to name just a few of our helpers....

Above: pizza and cola keeps the workers happy!

Sat 18 Aug 2007
Steve and Jen clean and clean and clean - from 7am to 2pm.

Terry helps out in the afternoon, and Lauren gives the place the official "witness" look-over. Jen also took loads of photos, just in case there's trouble getting back the deposit money / bond. At 2:15pm we handed over the keys and drove away, and moved into the graciuos hospitality of Nick and Jenny's (Edith) place about half an hour up the road.

Sun 19 Aug 2007
Sleep! Exhausted... a well earned rest day.

Mon 20 Aug 2007
Back to work as homeless people.
After work, we hung out at the Shakespeare's Head pub, for the Thamesreach shire meeting. About a dozen of us crammed around one of the big tables as usual. Amongst the discussions, Steve offered to cook at the group's Winter event planned by the amazing Edith (who's place we're staying at) for January. Jen offered to kick start the choir back up once we're settled into our new place. Cheery responses all round.
Finally, as it's Steve's mum's birthday tomorrow, Steve phones her tonight to wish her a good one (time-zones).

Thu 23 Aug 2007
After work, we both pack for tomorrow.

Fri 24 Aug 2007
Get our early flight to Frankfurt, for Nibelungen Kreig (SCA event).
Below: the view from the royal pavilion was incredible.
How lucky we were to have this set up for us!

Left: when in Germany, wear German.
Right: Steve prepares for FUN!
Below: While Steve has fun, Jen walks over to the instrument museum next door.

Above: Elric plays beautifully on the Harpsichord. Where else will you see a sweaty fighter playing a lovely (I think reproduction) instrument like this?
Below: the FUN continues in this stunning location....

Sat 25 Aug 2007
Today, more combat, more fun, Curia and court etc. We both met heaps of cool people, and had a great time.

Sun 26 Aug 2007
After saying our good-byes, we had a few hours available for touristing.
We started with the pretty, local town of Budingen. We stuffed ourselves with Wild Boar from the spit, and cheesy potato bake. Yum! Then we downed some gormet takeaway ice-cream too. The range and imagination of serving was astonishing. You could get a cheese-burger looking thing, that was actually iceream, and so on!
Anyway, here's a couple of shots of the town....

Then we travelled on to Rothenburg castle.

Above: Steve with our hostess Jeanne, in a 16th century kitchen. The staff run medieval cooking classes for the public too, but not while we were there.
Below: the views were beautiful.

Mon 27 Aug 2007
Bank holiday (public hol) so Steve and Jen did laundry and prepared new clothes to wear for next weekend. Jen will be visiting Finland, and Steve, Wales.

Tue 28 Aug 2007
Transferred our 10% house deposit to our solicitor. Scary!
Still homeless, but really looking forward to a real actual move-in date. Was initially meant to be last week but the seller keeps pushing it back - very frustrating!

Aug 2007 a

Thu 2 Aug 2007
Tonight about a dozen of us visited the Museum of London for a free guided tour through the medieval section. Afterward we enjoyed a pint together at the local pub around the corner. Good fun!

Sat 4 Aug 2007
Pack for Visby, and a quiet wedding anniversary together.

Sun 5 Aug 2007
Made it to Heathrow and flew on to Gotland Island.

Mon 6 Aug 2007
Here are some shots of Visby, and the moat where the SCA fighting takes place....

Tue 7 Aug 2007
One of the things we did today was visit the Gotland Museum.

Above: Gudrun joined us on her tour from Australia. And it looks like the apple Mac has been worshipped for centuries ;-)

Wed 8 Aug 2007
Tournament went well. Steve came third and the winner, Sigfredis, had serious bragging rights, eliminating some top knights to win!
Afterward, we attended the horse joust (non SCA) as guests.

Above: Eight riders thundered down the field at the joust
Below: Prince Bjorn and Princess Wiljia enjoyed the spectacle with us

Thu 9 Aug 2007
Jen was asked to do calligraphy for Sigfredis' trophy sheepskin (top quality skin) then asked if instead it could be runes. After looking at Haakon's tattoo and being inspired she came up with this:

Fri 10 Aug 2007
Court - Amongst some many wonderful memories, and well deserving recipients, Haakon's laurelling ceremony was amazingly topped by a shooting star appearing to the Royals, just above his head and shoulders, as he was being proclaimed a Laurel. Most auspicious. Also of note was the knighting of Earl Marcus, and the amazing Landschneckt party afterwards!

Better pictures can be found at:

Sat 11 Aug 2007
Left site early and travelled home. Managed to get home about half an hour before picking up Jen's Mum and sister Kathy from the local Tube station.

Sun 12 Aug 2007
Played tourist with Jen's family, and visited Legoland, just a bit west of Windsor Castle.

Above: Let the Lego Run Free!
Below: Here we are in Lego-London...

Above: Someone has to really really love St Paul's Cathedral to put so much care into reconstructing it in Lego
Below: Ripped off! The full scale mock-castle isn't made of lego. Pretty impressive all the same.

Tue 14 Aug 2007
Jen's birthday. Gets lovely stuff from mum and sister, and fabulous cooked meal from Steve. Meanwhile, Kathy and Jen's Mum manage to get in the odd bit of sight seeing here and there. After work we visited John and Fiona to collect Jen's house keys (which she'd left in Cambridge) and then Nick and Jenny's to pick up their house-keys, as the temporary place we'll be living.

Wed 15 Aug 2007
After work, we had dinner with Agro and Glynnis who were in town after Pennsic. Tonight we also signed up for our storage rental, and started to move a couple of things out of the house, and into storage. The house de-construction begins!

02 August 2007

Jul 2007 b

Tue 17 July 2007
Learned that our best offer on the 4 bedroom "renovator's delight" was not high enough for their liking. This was a "put in your highest offer" sealed-envelope sort of deal. Yes our offer was well below the asking price, since, if we got the house, we would want it to be a bargain (considering the work involved). It was worth a try.

Wed 18 July 2007
Found out today that our offers on the other two houses were turned down. This is standard here in London, since they want to eek out a bit more! So we raised the offer only on the nicely renovated house.

Thu 19 July 2007
Our offer has been accepted - yahoo!
It turns out that Steve's manager's best friend lives in the same street and its a very nice area. Even better. We've also since discovered this chap has not seen any flooding in that street, for the past 15 years. Anyway, here are a couple more shots of the place....

Above: best of both worlds - gas stove top and electric oven.
Below: the back yard is all decked, and there's a Jen-height storage shed too.

Sat 21 July 2007
International Harry Potter day arrives!

Jen strolled into the local Woolies at 5 past 8 in the morning, picked up the latest Harry Potter book off the shelf, bought it without queueing, and was told she's the first to buy it. Also noticed there was one lady waiting - because she'd pre-ordered it. Ironic, how she'd've been better off if she had not.
At about 2pm we went to Jenny and Nick's to socialize and to help out with some SCA sewing/patterning. Enjoyed a lovely dinner with them too.

Sun 22 July 2007
Steve spends much of the day playing on-line computer games.
7pm - Jen finishes reading the book. Steve starts reading it.....

Wed 25 July 2007
Jen gets paid again. Still prefer getting paid weekly, oh well.
Can't believe it - after 8 weeks, a parcel finally arrives. Have a low opinion of Royal Mail!

Thu 26 July 2007
Deal with more mortgage application stuff.
The mortgage brokers tells us its progressing "swimmingly".

Fri 27 July 2007
Clancy arrives, having spent some time in London today, and together we drop him off home (north of Cambridge) and stay overnight. Below: leaving Stratford.

Sat 28 July 2007

Above: Steve attended fighter practise in Newmarket (East of Cambridge).

Then we headed back to Deb and Clancy's place but left shortly before the shire meeting there.
Below: Deb n Clancy's back yard, with fellow SCA friends.

Sun 29 July 2007
Forgot to take photos today sorry - had such a wonderful time at our own "house-cooling" party!
It was also a great chance for Will and Cindy to meet the local SCA and hang out. During the party though, Dan tells us that Elizabeth's beautiful cat has died, aged 16 years. Very sad.

Tue 31 July 2007
Visit rental estate agents to pay our final Rent. We also looked into our finances... looks like we'll be able to pay all our fees, stamp duty etc without touching any credit cards, and still be able to afford food too! This is a very good thing. :-)

Wed 1 Aug 2007
Late this afternoon we discover that the house we are buying has been taken off the market for us. Hurrah! We suppose that means its now sold subject to contract. If we're really really lucky we might even be able to move in to our new place the day before moving out of here - but we're not holding our breath......

BTW, our next posting is likely to have loads of great photos.