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 September 2009

Sep 2009 b

Sat 19 Sep 2009
Last night we both greatly enjoyed Ben Hur live.
This morning Jen was enthused to go into the loft and finish putting up the rest of the insulation. We originally didn't buy enough, and now finally, this step of the job is finished.

Much of this fortnight has been work and more work, and in our spare time mainly going through Steve's present - five complete seasons of Babylon 5.

OK, that may be the only time Steve is mentioned in this blog entry, sorry about that, but it has been a fairly unexciting fortnight ... well everything's unexciting after seeing Ben Hur live of course!

Mon 21 Sep 2009
Jen went to Oil painting class, and did her first oil painting.
Well it's only a one hour sampler really.

Wed 23 Sep 2009
After work Melisende (Fiona) came over and here she is laying out the page sizes on her piece of sheepskin parchment, before we cut it down. The hides are so large, the best way to "put it away" is to cut it down to manageable sizes to fit neatly away.

Fri 25 Sep 2009
Sometimes its a load of fun being a graphic designer!
Here's a little something Jen whipped up at work:
(partly obscured sorry)

Sat 26 Sep 2009
Jen spent £40 on buying 42 metres of thick cream-coloured satin; then spends a few hours cutting up fabric, and on the sewing machine (for the next stage of the loft). More DVD watching in the evening.

Sun 27 Sep 2009
Jen spent more time sewing, and finally staple-gunning this piece in place. Well, that's a weekend's work, and only a quarter of the ceiling done!

Mon 28 Sep 2009
Oil painting for Jen. This one took approx 2 - 2.5 hours.

Wed 30 Sep 2009
Steve's off to fighter practice tonight, and now the blog is done once more.

20 September 2009

Sep 2009 a

Sat 05 Sep 2009
Steve worked both Sat and Sun! Poor fellow!
Jen worked on Steve's Purpoint and Sunday afternoon finally finished it. Yay! Buttons buttons & more buttons.....

Mon 07 Sep 2009
Jen enrolled for an evening class for a year. Monday nights will now be oil painting nights for Jen and "Middle Earth Online" for Steve.

Tue 08 Sep 2009
Had singing practice tonight. Enojyed a fab dinner thanks to Steve, and in payment "sung for our supper" afterwards.

Thu 10 Sep 2009
Saw the movie 'Disctrict 9'. We definitely recommend it!
It's technically science fiction, but not at all like any sci-fi movie you've ever seen, in that it's more like TV news reports etc. It's more a comment on human nature than anything else - so "our" own inhumanity is what's scary!

Fri 11 Sep 2009
At long last Steve gets to relax after work. He's so relieved he doesn't have to go to work tomorrow... having now worked 12 days straight - with long hours of overtime for many of those days.

Sat 12 Sep 2009
Deb and Clancy came down to London to visit us for the weekend. And so we traipsed into town, starting with a trip to see the Knights Templar's Temple near to (you guessed it) Temple tube station.
This was the second or third attempt by Clancy to see inside the Temple, and he was foiled once more - as there was recording happening inside. But at least now we know it's open to the public for Sunday morning Mass (excluding August and September)!

Above: Clancy, Steve and Deb outside Temple church.
Below: the other side of the church.

Above: Next, we continued along, wandering along The Strand. Here we look toward the Royal Courts of Justice.
Below: Next we wander up Chancery Lane - and come across King's College.

Above: Looking back towards Carey Street
Below: Looking forward along Newman's Row, at Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Next we headed up toward Holborn and stopped in for a pint at the Shakespeare's Head pub. Finally, we headed back home and exposed Deb and Clancy to the first couple of episodes of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (the BBC TV show)

Sun 13 Sep 2009
In the morning, Deb and Jen headed off to buy supplies for Steve's birthday party today, kicked off at 1pm. As it will be Steve's 42nd birthday on Tuesday, we themed the party "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" and invited guests to bring their towel. Most importantly, Steve seleted a recipe for a themed cocktail, called the "Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster". The recipe we used was:
* 2 parts Absolut Citron
* 2 parts Bacardi
* 1 part (red) After Shock
* Crushed Mint leaves
The recipe did call for Moonshine, which we had thanks to Sophie's Serbian in-laws, but it was decided the cocktail tasted better without it.
Anyway, here's Steve blowing out his birthday cake (and Dan pulling a party popper):

Above: some of our guests, enjoying the birthday cake with icecream... after which board and card games ensued.
Steve got some amusingly doctored DVDs from Terry. Steve's main present this year is the Bablyon 5 DVDs you can see here, and also some tickets (from Jen) to see Ben Hur Live on Friday night...

Fri 18 Sep 2009
Today Jen has off work as time in lieu, so she drove 1.5 hours north to visit William Cowley, world famous for their vellum and parchment. (Vellum is only made of cows, the equivalent but for other animals is parchment)....

Above: the very exiting store room!
Jen bought 2 skins of sheep parchment (suitable for double sided calligraphy) and one goatskin parchment, for much less than expected (but not to say cheap).
After getting back into London, Jen made a stop into the largest Art store in east London (Atlantis) and bought some essential supplies... then picked Steve up from work.
After relaxing and dinner at home, we went off and saw "Ben Hur Live!" at the O2 (millenium dome).

People entering the O2 to see the show:

There were two rules: no flash photography and no recording. Great fun and really loved seeing this production! Although it wasn't a cast of thousands, it did have a cast of hundreds. Was really cool when the falcon did laps over the audience. And they have indoor fireworks too! Anyway, here's the sandy stage - as it was first set...

Above: a lively town setting - full of markets, acrobats and jugglers
Below: the roman soldiers and their attire looked really cool.

Above: the ships are slave-powered (see them amongst the wheels). The sails are rigging, and there was sword fighting going on, on the sails. I wonder what H&S would have to say about that.
Below: the sinuous 'den of iniquity' scene, with people frolicking in the jets of the horse fountains, and acrobats in the columns.

Above: our hero and his gleaming white stallions, gearing up for the race.
Below: The chariot race involved 5 teams of 4 horses. It was fast yet controlled, and impressive.

Above: One by one the chariots were lost (in a controlled manner) no horses seemed to get injured, although some were impatient!
Below: The lost chariot is set aside, while the race continues.

Above: part of the big finale with a large crowd waving palm fronds at the Christ figure who rode in on a donkey.

All in all it was a really great spectacle. The actors spoke in latin and aramaic, and it was narrated by an American gent in a modern suit, who wandered throughout various scenes.