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 2012

June 2012a

Sun 03 Jun 2012
And so Eva headed up north for her big adventure - a 12th century archaeology dig. She'll be back to stay with us for a few more daysat the end of June before finally heading back home to Brissie.

Mon and Tues 04-05 Jun 2012
So the weekend ended, and now for another weekend straight away. Huurah for a four day fiesta of just plain relaxing at home. Very much needed rest. Jen had entertained thoughts of heading into town to see the Thames river celebration and the Royals, but the weather was about 10 degrees and squally with rain. So we just watched it all on the TV instead. Much more sensible. British people definitely have every right to complain about the weather! (you call this Summer, eh?)

Wed and Thurs 06-07 Jun 2012
Finnian stayed overnight. One of these nights it actually took him 3 hours to get to ours from his workplace because of the traffic and unexpected road closures etc. He's looking forward to moving into his own rented place on 23rd June.

Sun 10 Jun 2012
This afternoon Alex (esquire) dropped in, as did Kev, and a nice little afternoon session of fighter practise training took place.
(photo at right)

Fri 15 Jun 2012
Stev picked up Kiriel from the nearby London City Airport - her luggage is small enough to fit in the Porsche's little boot space.

Sat 16 Jun 2012
Jen went to Steve's workplace and taught a class of 9 'top set' bright students ranging year 9-13... all about InDesign and being a graphic designer. 

Meanwhile, Steve and Kiriel jaunted off south in the Porsche, to hang out with Edith also, at a Roman food cooking workshop at Butser Ancient Farm. This was taught by Sally Grainger, one of Steve's favourite research-cooking authors.

Above from left: Edith, and Sally Grainger.

Kiriel takes picture. You can see the haze from the indoor fire.

Sally's craticula (or Pompeii Oven) with tasty lamb on skewers.

Sun 17 Jun 2012
We enjoyed a fab mexican lunch at Westfield Stratford with Kiriel.
And yes Kev sure is keen - he's back for more fighter training in our local park, this time Robert (Dan) has turned up too.

Unfortunately Robert had to head off at 5pm, so Kev joined us in giving Kiriel a nice farewell dinner before she headed back to her home once more, in Geneva.

Steve has been an absolute legend for all the great home cooking he has been doing this month!!!!  :-)

Mon 18 Jun 2012
Finnian is back with for his final work-week of staying overnight. Steve has booked a moving van to help out with the big move this coming Saturday.

Wed 20 Jun 2012
Our calendar tells us it's the first day of Summer today. Kind of strange considering that it's also the longest day of the year, and we'll only be "descending into darkness" now for the rest of the year.  :-)
At least the garden is looking really lovely. The white climbing roses have gone stupidly berserk this year. (picture at right)

03 June 2012

May 2012b

What a busy month May has been!

Sat 12 May 2012
This morning we drove to the SCA Coronet event near Southend-on-Sea. The winner of the tourney was Richard fighting for his lady Lena, who we've stayed with a couple of times, at their home in Lancaster. Steve had a many lines to read in court as the Principality seneschal (head admin officer for UK, Ireland and Iceland). Thank you Nicholas for these three photos.

Thu 17 May 2012
Kiriel arrived to stay with us for a few days, and also to get some essential London shopping done of course.

Sat 19 May 2012
Steve and Kiriel got out to the British Museum, while Jen stayed home and created final artwork for her new range of greetings cards - which you can see at

Sun 20 May 2012
And so Kiriel, having successfully filled her suitcase from the weekend's shopping, hopped on a plane back home to Geneva once again. We'll see her again in a few weeks for a cooking day with Sally Grainger.

Mon 21 May 2012
Meanwhile, back in Brisbane Australia.... Jen's brother-in-law Malcolm, is only a few weeks away from finally being able to drive his shiny new car around. This is something he's been waiting for, for the last 6 years or so. It's a sporty GT40 kit-car with a fiberglass body. Malcolm is now waiting for the final sign-off from a specialist engineer - one of only a handful in Australia who can give the go-ahead for this kind of hand-built car to be officially classed as road-worthy.  Here's a couple of pictures:

Fri 25 May 2012
Alaric's most recently acquired squire, Alexander of Derlington, came for an overnight stay with his two daughters. Here, his eldest, Lily, is reading a book, while little Sophie smiles at the camera.

Sat 26 May 2012
This morning Alex and kids headed out, and our next guest, Eva, arrived from Healthrow (and before that, straight from Australia). Meanwhile, Jen is frantically doing her final preparations for her stand at PG Live - London's annual greetings cards trade fair, across two days next week. Steve is amazing for keeping her fed, watered, and mostly sane.

Sun 27 May 2012
Eva was much recovered from her travel and jet lag, and felt good enough to visit Stonehenge, Avebury, West Kennet longbarrow, the Wayland Smithy and Uffington Castle / chalk horse. Just the sort of thing she'd be interested in, as she's here to enjoy 3 weeks digging in cold damp muddy conditions in far north England (near Berwick) on a 12th century castle site. Well, her part in the dig begins in a week's time from now, as she is a shiny new archaeologist, and this is exactly the kind of thing she needs to do. 

Mon 28 May 2012

And so today we have our next addition to "Hotel Bangor" - our buddy Finnian has been staying with his new lady-friend Mary (near Bristol) for the past few weeks. However, he has begun his new job today (working as the lead Project Manager at DX) just outside of Slough. His commute home to our place does mean about 2 hours in his car, even though it's only 27 miles on the map. Finnian will be staying with us during work days, and staying with Mary on weekends - until late June when his new rented home will become available.
Anyway, here we all are, socially relaxing together after dinner.
Jen got home late tonight, having set up her stand at the trade fair.

Tue 29 May 2012
And here is Jen at her very own stand, open for business, and hoping to get some orders over the next two days. The location of her stand is circled in the photo below.

Wed 30 May 2012
Today was Eva's birthday, so Steve cooked up a gastronomic three course dinner, and Kev was also his usual entertaining self. Happy birthday Eva!