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.......

20 June 2010

Jun 2010 c

NB: 3 previous posts all published 20 June, so feel free to check these other great photos out too (especially Soph's wedding photos).

Tue 15 Jun 2010
Today at work Jen enjoyed a tour of the Athletes' Village, a massive building project only 1 suburb away from our home. It's due to be completed in July 2012.

Above: attention to detail. Here you can just make out the cladding on one block is inspired by the Elgon Marbles (Athenian relief carving).

After work we introduced Carmel and Colleen (two of Steve's sisters) to the British curry dining experience.

Wed 16 Jun 2010
After work Jen set up her Oil Painting display for the assessors to view it on the morrow. The year long course still doesn't finish for another 4 to 6 weeks, but the assessors will look at the almost-finished works now. Weird.

Spring has definitely sprung - the garden overflows with roses and other flowers.

Tonight, all five of us met up with Soph and Paul, for a farewell dinner at a little French restaurant in Soho. Teary farewell between Soph and mum Julie.  After we all got home, Danielle arrived approx 11pm - back from her two-week long coach tour of Europe, quite tired and ready for a comfy bed and dark room. Poor girl had food poisoning in Rome, and currently has a nasty cough.

Thu 17 Jun 2010
This morning Steve got up at 6am to cook Julie, Colleen and Carmel a farewell breakfast and drop them off at the local tube station.

Sat 19 Jun 2010
Today Jen travelled to Highgate (north London) for a singing workshop with two of the 'Mediaeval Baebes' band members. It was pretty good - all attendees learned 6 songs (most not in English) and finished with a small informal concert for family and friends.
Here's the venue (right)
And below, a quick photo of attendees and the two tutors:
Sun 20 Jun 2010
Danielle's birthday today - she's 20, no longer a teenager.

Soph and Paul turned up to dismantle and pack-up all of Soph's stuff from her bedroom. She's moving out today. Jen spent much of the day catching up with the past 6 weeks worth of blog! We've been really distracted and also tired, but finally it's time to get this all done.

Mon 21 Jun 2010
Jen goes to oil painting and makes a start at painting her 'final' self portrait.

Tue 22 Jun 2010
Wow, Soph's old room is so empty! Tonight we'll move the wardrobe into where this computer table currently is. There's Danii again.


Wed 23 Jun 2010
Tonight Jen handed over Laurel Secretary files to her successor. Sense of completion = high. One less responsibility; a relief.

Thu 24 Jun 2010
At work, discovered a strange bit of news - suddenly Australia has its first female Prime Minister! Not voted for exactly, but rather an interesting coup within the Party.
Tonight we moved our bed into the small room, giving us a nice big computer room / library / spare room.

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Jun 2010 b

Jun 2010 b  (June 2010 'c' is to follow!)

Sat 05 Jun 2010
In the morning we loaded up Terry and his stuff and dropped him off on the other side of town, then looped back and picked up the three sisters - to continue the touristing.
First stop, nice view in a bit of Welsh forest enroute to Tintern Abbey.

A little further along the road we came across Tintern Abbey!

While we were in the area we popped in to Raglan Castle....


We arrived after 5pm in Cirencester so missed out on seeing the museum....
So that meant there was just enough sunshine in the late afternoon to see the White Horse at Uffington, to top off a beautifully sunny day.



Tonight we finished in Swindon Travelodge. Bed and breakfast - simple but necessary luxuries when touristing about the place.

Sun 06 Jun 2010
So we continued the touristing!
Today we walked all about Avesbury and Stonehenge.

Ha ha! The Parsons clan comes from a long line of tree-huggers, eh?
These lovely trees are perched atop an immense circle of human-made stone-age earthworks. The earthworks enclose a stone-circle of a great circumference, which houses a little modern village within.

Above: one very famous jumble o' rocks.
And so the Parsons sisters arrived home in London with lots of memories and laundry.....  :-)

Mon 07 Jun 2010
Back to work for the two of us! It's been an intense time - feels like a really long time even though we've only had one week off work!
RIght: Jen finishes her Klimt inspired 'practise' self portrait, at oil painting class.

Tue 08 Jun 2010
The three sisters head off to Paris for three days. Steve and Jen enjoy a little time alone at home for a couple of days.

Wed 09 Jun 2010
Inspired by being a booking agent for the sisters' Paris trip, we decide to book ourselves a hotel and plane tickets in/to Rome, yay! Not been before, should be good. Will be going later on this summer, for 4 days.

Fri 11 Jun 2010
Tonight after work we got a train up to Lancaster to spend the weekend with friends Richard and Lena, as well as Kevin and Mary. No SCA event, just hanging out and chatting.
In town there's Lancaster Castle, still in use today as a prison.... gives special meaning to the phrase "staying at Her Majesty's pleasure".

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Jun wedding 2010 a

Tue 01 Jun 2010
This morning Soph and Julie (her mum) packed up the now finished wedding dress and other useful things and headed off to Bristol.

This afternoon Jen went out to Heathrow to meet up with Danielle, Naomi's (Muirghein's) daughter come all the way from Australia to enjoy some touristing. Since she'll be moving out of teen-dom during her stay with us (yes the big two-oh very soon!) Jen thought it best to bring her home.
So Danielle crashed over night in our busy hotel, erm, home.  :-)


Thu 03 Jun 2010
At stupid o'clock this morning Steve dropped Danielle at the local tube station for her to head off on a fortnight-long tour of Europe via coach.

This afternoon all the rest of us packed ourselves up and headed off toward Bristol, with a few touristy stops along the way... We went to Bath, Cheddar, Wells and Glastonbury, finishing with arriving at our hotel room on the north side of Bristol.

Below: The Bishop's Palace in Wells, and Wells Cathedral.

Fri 04 Jun 2010
So, the big day has finally arrived!
The day was unbelieveably sunny and pleasant, and everything looked very glamorous.
So here are the best photos by Jen (plus this pic of our side of the family, by the wedding photographer).


Above: Sophie's (now) husband, Paul, is amazingly just as romantic as she is.... his heart-felt vows set off many ladies to quietly weeping with the romance of it all.

  Above: check out the two little girls staring at the bride!

Below: the bride and groom had just arrived at the High Tea reception.

Our good friends, Jenny and Terry are legends! They'd been slaving away for the previous couple of days one the kitchen prep (as had Jenni B).  Here's a little fun shot of Jenny and Terry having a giggle.

We Aunties and Steve all pitched in to help with clearing tables / cleaning glasses etc. We stay back to ensure Terry had everything finished ASAP (many hands make light work). Left at 12:30am, about 3 hours earlier than if he'd been on his own we reckon. Brought Terry back to our hotel room to crash out. He worked away solidly all day with excellent good graces. Jenny (Edith) also did, however she had other commitments for the next day, and had to leave about 10pm ish. Well done to them both!

May 2010 a

Tue 18 May 2010
Soon after Steve got home from work Carmel and Julie arrived, all the way from Australia! Steve has four sisters, three of whom will be staying with us in preparation of Sophia's wedding. Soph is the daughter of Julie, Steve's sister.

Wed 19 May 2010
The jet lagged sisters spend some time resting while we're at work. 

Fri 21 May 2010
Julie's already been busy making the toile of Soph's wedding dress. Jen's had her oar in and suggests putting strands of pearls (which we happen to have left over from Dan's pretty red cloak) draped across the bare back. Pictured left, is the testing of how long the strands would need to be and placement thereof. Later thought leads to Jen threading the strands on jeweller's tiger wire and double-ending these with tiny necklace screw-clasps.... hence the strands can later be joined together to form necklace(s) of varying length.
Soph and Paul had a dinner party (as offered by Steve as the cook) for the bridal party to meet up and chat. (pictured left)

Sat 22 May 2010 - the weekend...
Soph and Paul's reception will be a High Tea. Thus, Soph has collected 17 teapots via ebay and charity shops. So here is the crazy tea pot lady  ;-)

Sun 23 May 2010
Touristing with the sisters..... here we are at Trafalgar Square London.

Wed 26 May 2010
(I think it was tonight that...)  Jenni B and Terry came around for a wedding planning meeting and dinner with Soph. Lots of planning was thrashed out!

Fri 28 May 2010
Last night Jen sewed the pearl drapes on to the dress and left it as a morning surprise for Soph to admire in the morning...

So this afternoon, we are both now on holiday for the next week, to help out with wedding prep for the niece.  But first, Steve drove us both to Winchester for the weekend. We booked into our B&B, which afforded us a much warmer and more comfy time in that city than we've had before. Nice one.

Sat 29 May 2010
So here is what the SCA medieval encampment looked like this year at St Cross, Winchester.

This evening was the elevation of Jen's scribal student, Melisende - made a member of the Order of the Laurel. Although not Jen's apprentice, Jen spoke about Melisende's skills.

Above: the new laurel

Sun 30 May 2010
This morning we enjoyed breakfast in the B&B, then headed back home to London. The final family installment, Colleen, arrives. The 3 sisters are here now hurrah!

Mon 31 May 2010
Today, the hen's party was a High Tea at Fortnum and Masons. Somehow the bride-to-be was already giggly and tipsy at 2pm, and really enjoying herself.

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