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.......

30 March 2008

Mar 2008 b

Mon 17 Mar 2008
We met up at Ye Olde Watling pub in the city, for the local Shire meeting. There were the occasional stray people about wearing green and oversized "irish" hats for St Patrick's Day, but it was more low-key than we expected.

Wed 19 Mar 2008
Jen starts her Easter break early.
Goes into town and buys 7 square feet of goat "vellum".

Thu 20 Mar 2008
Jen spends the morning cutting up the vellum.
Here's a close up of the cut pieces, trying to get the most out of the odd shape.

More about the cost, where it was bought, and the cutting up of it here:

Fri 21 Mar 2008
Steve is now on Easter break too. Hurrah!
Jen gets stuck into making Bridget's Albion "scroll" and here's the practice. Yes the body of the calligraphy is 2mm tall and Alaric does a great job of fitting his signature on the scroll. Here we are scribing away!

Sat 22 Mar 2008
Steve decides its definitely time to get a haircut to looks more respectable for work.

Just as he arrived back home, we were excited by this strange white stuff falling from the sky. Was it hail? Yes, and also snow!

The first snow of the year - at the beginning of Spring, of all things.
Jen continues with the scroll work.
Having completed the callig she's on to the gilding.
On the right edge its done and on the left the excess gold is yet to be brushed away and collected.

Sun 23 Mar 2008

Easter Sunday, and it's about time for some chocolate. Steve enjoyed his Malteasers branded egg and and Jen gnawed at the gold bunny.
Some strange white stuff started falling again - but this time it was heavier. Check out our kitchen sill / window ledge.

Mon 24 Mar 2008
We arrived at Edith and Nick's place at 11am for an Easter get together. And guess what? It snowed for the 20 minute drive to get there. So that's 3 days in a row of snow in London at the onset of Spring. Weird! There were about 7 guests at the party. In between chats and laughs we watched "tank girl" and "Amadeus". Two very different movies, but good fun all the same. Headed home about 7pm.

Tue 25 Mar 2008
Back to work. Jen has her Annual Review at work today.
In the evening Edith comes around and with Jen they do a couple of hours of madrigal singing practice.

Wed 26 Mar 2008
Not very exciting to report, but a huge relief to finally get a telephone point installed upstairs (for internet). This means not having to run the 10 metre cable where it gets tripped on both upstairs and downstairs. Hurrah!

Thu 27 Mar 2008
We're both working really hard and very tired.

Fri 28 Mar 2008
Jen is informed her work Review went really well and she gets a tidy pay rise.
:-) This evening we pack, and drive up to stay at Deb and Clancy's.

Sat 29 Mar 2008
Off to the Abingtons (south of Cambridge) all four of us, to attend an SCA event called Bootcamp. Loads of combative fun for Steve and many others. There were 17 fighters in armour on the field.

While Steve fought, Jen did some videoing. (and my goodness it was very cold and windy) In the evening a projector was set up and the day's combat replayed. All in all the event was friendly and relaxed, with a happy buzzing atmosphere.

Sun 30 Mar 2008
Spent the day with Deb n Clancy, including a fact-finding tour of food prices at one of the local American airbases. It was also nice to just hang out with friends.

15 March 2008

Mar 2008 a

Sat 01 Mar 2008
We spent a weekend of chatting, shopping and dining with Gavin and Angela in their hometown of Cork, Ireland.
Angela had a three hour shift of face painting at a local shopping centre and here she is painting her own face in preparation...

After Angela came home we walked into town (10 minutes) for some shopping and a gourmet lunch. In the afternoon we walked to Angela's gran's place. We stopped at this great look out over Cork.

Gran put on a traditional afternoon tea with apple pie and rock cakes. The latter being an old favourite of Steve's he hasn't had since his own mum made it for him. Walking back home we came across the "four faced liar" (pictured below) known as such because none of the four clocks on this tower tell the same time. Angela informed us that several years ago the clocks had some new-fangled circuitry installed so they all had precisely the correct time - however this caused a furor amongst the locals, and the tower has since been returned to its natural internal workings, and once again living up to its traditional tounge-in-cheek name.

Above: we arrive back at Gavin and Angela's home.
In the evening we took them out to dinner at Greens restaurant (in town), which has a stunning, lit waterfall just outside the floor-to-ceiling windows. Wonderful! The food was amazing too!

Sun 02 Mar 2008
More sitting around chin-wagging with Gavin and Angela until it was time to catch the flight home.
Below: mucking about in the lounge room: "Gavin and his chicks" (easter chicks)

Mon 03 Mar 2008
We watched and thoroughly enjoyed the first of a 2 part series about Stephen Hawking - "Master of the Universe".

Wed 05 Mar 2008
Jen had her monthly visit to the chiropractor at Liverpool St.

Sat 08 Mar 2008
Had an easy day just staying indoors (rainy day) after a long hard week at work for both of us.

Sun 09 Mar 2008
Spent much of the morning shopping for plants, and in the late afternoon we were lucky enough to have some rare sunshine. And so we sewed and planted our garden for a couple of hours until night fell. Steve was a trooper in the garden!

Mon 10 Mar 2008
We watched part 2 of the Stephen Hawking show on the telly.

Thu 13 Mar 2008
In the afternoon Jen got a tour of her work's new offices, which she'll be moving to mid April! Here is what the reception area is currently looking like:

Here's are the two views from Jen's future desk, which is in a corner of this glassed building...

Sat 15 Mar 2008
This morning we spent a couple of hours finishing off the planting we didn't have time for last Sunday. We had also underestimated how much the compost/soil would settle during the week (of rain).
Steve was again a trooper, mucking about with the heavy lifting and digging and planting of bulbs. Jen set up the netting for the half dozen various climbing vines that we've planted.

03 March 2008

Feb 2008 b

Tue 19 Feb 2008
Steve installs a small device to hopefully reduce the 'scale' or hardness of the water coming into the house (which comes in under the kitchen sink!). Supposedly we won't see results for the first few weeks, so we'll have to just wait and see.

Wed 20 Feb 2008
At work, Steve hears word from Deb that his computer has arrived. Being keen as a keen thing, and having waited very patiently for this top range machine, he drives us to Cambridge and back to pick it up! Here Steve is with the precious cargo, at about 9:30pm.

Thu 21 Feb 2008
Steve sets up his marvellous new computer.

Fri 22 Feb 2008
Steve drives Jen off to the airport at 7am, then goes to work. In the evening Steve made "hot killer nachos" for himself, and watched a movie that Jen doesn't usually like watching.
Jen's plane is delayed 2.5 hours before even taking off. She is greeted at Frankfurt airport by Judith and Queen Jovi. Here is the dining/lounge at Judith's place. Note the weighted 'pel' for fighter practising.

Below: The event site is a lovely 16th century hall.

Above: the queen's new sceptres - mobile phone in one hand, beer in the other :-)
Below: a rope bed for her majesty

Above: the royal chamber
Below: the village square at night. Yes, those are many little windows on the roof!

Sat 23 Feb 2008
Steve slept in and made chicken vindaloo curry for lunch, for both himself and Nick. They watched trashy science fiction movies and then Edith came over in the afternoon, and the curry theme was carried on for dinner. More trashy movie watching ensued.
Meanwhile, in Germany, the event was called "the Garden of Earthly Delights" and was an arts fair / display with feasting and dancing in the evening.

Above: A couple of the artisans displaying their work
Below: the courtyard

Above: court
More photos of this event can be found here:

Sun 24 Feb 2008
Steve's breakfast was left-over "killer nachos". Slept in, played on-line computer games and chatted with Finnian over the internet. He did a bunch of cleaning up and other domestic chores, and in the evening picked up Jen from the airport.
Meanwhile... after helping with packing up the event, Jen and her hosts enjoyed an afternoon stroll through a pretty local German village.

Tue 26 Feb 2008
Steve got a phone call from King Sven, and was asked to take on the role of Kingdom Earl Marshall for 6 months (and find a suitable replacement for himself). Steve agrees.
Choir night! Edith turned up as did a new member named Sarah.
Worked on two lovely English madrigal songs.
Now we just need some boys to sing with!

Wed 27 Feb 2008

Most Londoners slept through last night's earthquake. We both experienced it. and Steve felt a bit sea sick afterwards.
JenĀ heard a loud thump - like a heavy box beingĀ dropped in the neighbouring room, then the bed was shaking and the wardrobe doors rattling.... Steve slept through the 4am aftershock, even with Jen shaking his arm about it.

This is how it was reported from the BBC's website (
The biggest earthquake in the UK for nearly 25 years has shaken homes across large parts of England. People in Newcastle, Yorkshire, London, Manchester, the Midlands and Norfolk felt the tremor just before 0100 GMT.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) said the earthquake was of the magnitude of 5.3 and the epicentre was near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire.

Thu 28 Feb 2008
Jen visits the hairdresser!

Fri 29 Feb 2008
After work, we met up and got the coach to Stansted airport, and flew to Cork for the weekend...

Feb 2008 a

Sat 09 Feb 2008
Nick + Edith came to our place and Steve went with them to the local SCA Revel. Jen stayed home feeling unwell. Sorry no photos.

Tue 12 Feb 2008
The very first new Choir night! Edith turned up and we sang through a few songs.

Thu 14 Feb 2008
Valentine's day. Steve got an amusing card from Jen. Steve cooked us a mouth watering dinner of salmon steak marinated in lime juice with honey rice. Yum!

Fri 15 Feb 2008
Tonight we drove up to Cambridge to stay overnight at Deb and Clancy's. Haven't seen them for awhile, and they've invited us to come along as tourists to the Viking festival in York, called Yorvik festival.

Sat 16 Feb 2008
We arrive in York at about 9am.
Here's some of the lovely things we saw throughout the day...

Above: a stroll through "the Shambles" reveals the remarkable angles of these historic Tudor buildings.
Below: Heraldic Vair made of fur.... nice.

Above: Deb, Steve and Clancy enjoying the markets
Below: Vikings in a Tudor townhouse? Looking down in Barley Hall.

Above: Some of the wares on offer... casks, buckets, carved wax tablets, combs, horn lanterns, medieval padlocks with their keys, brooches and various other goodies.

Mon 18 Feb 2008
At work today Jen enjoyed giving some direction at a photo shoot.

After work we had fish+chips at the monthly SCA shire meeting held in Ye Olde Watling (pub) in the city, and farewelled Michael (pictured with beer) who is moving to Canada for more adventure.