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.......

26 July 2012

July 2012a

Not a lot happening of late - just lots of Olympic preparations popping up around our neighbourhood and nearby Stratford!

Sun 01 July 2012

Today we went to a pub in west London and played a boardgame with strangers called Cashflow 101 - it's been described as Monopoly on steroids.

Jen's been at it again buying stuff on ebay. This time, its a solid silver creamer for Steve, and he's quite taken with it, tiny though it is.

What with the lead up to the Olympics, here are a few progress shots from Jen's work's roof-terrace of the Mittal Orbit going up. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Sat 07 July 2012
Jen had to work today, manning the helium balloon stand at a 'funday' event for residents at one of our larger estates (of around 800 residents) in east London.

Meanwhile, Steve spent the day with Deb and Clancy, helping to celebrate Clancy's birthday - with a surprise monkey pinata from his kids.

Wed 11 July 2012
Jen saw this unique hand-carved Pugin style chair on ebay, and was astonished to have won the bid at less than £50. She was still pinching herself about it several days later - the highlight of the week, or maybe month! It feels like owning a little piece of The Red House (pre-raphaelite art history). Many many big thanks to Finnian for agreeing to collect this for us!

Thu 19 July 2012
Suddenly you know the Olympics is coming to town. Today, the bunting went up around Stratford! Along with some much needed sunshine at long last!!!!

Sat 21 July 2012
We left Steve's work yesterday at 4pm and got to SCA camping site 5 hours later. We beat the worst of the traffic, but a normal drive it should have been about 1.5 hours less.

So today the SCA event is all about being a special regional fighter practice for heavy fights in the mid to north of England, as well as some viking style wire jewellery technique being taught by our Princess (Deb). 

Above: here's Jen's first attempt at the viking wire jewellery - much easier to make than it looks, but it is a fiddly and time consuming. This took about 4 hours to make (not bad for a first go at it).

Mon 23 July 2012
So at long last, the Olympics begin THIS WEEK here in Stratford, after many many years of hearing all about it in the news. So to that end, Jen's showing you a few shots of the area.

Above: Upon getting out of Stratford tube station, standing at the start of THE pedestrian bridge (the main pedestrian access) looking away from the bridge, this enormous billboard is actually covering the side of an enormous building which rumour has it will be demolished shortly after the Games are over (apparently its condemned anyway). The BBC has their studios atop the structure.
These green things are meant to be abstract trees, and yes they're quite new.

font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Above: The bridge's glass walls have now been branded up by Coca-cola, and you must go past the fairly new Westfield shopping centre to get to the Stadium.

Above: Looking back over the bridge you've just walked across.

Wed 25 July 2012
Hurrah! Jen is on holiday as of 5pm. 
Walking past the local Stratford Park, they've erected a giant screen for people to watch the Olympic games --- the main stadium being about a 15 minute walk from here, but many people who wanted tickets to events for the Games did miss out, so maybe this is the next best thing to experiencing it all.

As an aside, we've finally been having beastly-hot sunny summer days, actually reaching a staggering 30 degrees on one or two days! My word!
The garden is looking really lovely but does require extra watering this time of year. We do love the clematis 'dancing blueboy' vine.

Thu 26 July 2012
Today Jen has submitted her paperwork, applying to become a UK citizen (or rather, subject of Her Majesty the Queen).

05 July 2012

June 2012b

Not much going on this fortnight really.
As usual, click on a photo to see it bigger.

Fri 22 Jun 2012
Jen enjoys the culmination of the past week or two of work preparing for her staff conference. She designed no less than 142 x A1 foamboard panels for the event, plus other printed materials. Here's a couple of her colleagues at the set up.

Sat 23 Jun 2012
Today we helped our aussie buddy Finnian move some furniture into his new digs. Here, his sweetie Mary is figuring out setting up the TV.

Mon 25 Jun 2012
Eva returns for the second part of her trip ... only, she's had such a fab time on the archaeological dig up north (for the past month, in the mud) she decides to change her flights and go digging for a further month. But she'll enjoy london while she's here for the next week.

Thu 28 Jun 2012
Steve meets Jen after work to help her measure up 72 panels worth of building-site hoardings, which Jen will be designing artwork for. Thanks Steve!

Sat 30 Jun 2012
So with another work week done, we took Eva into town to see firstly the British Library (next door to the amazing St Pancras station), and then on to the V&A museum.
So here are also just a few of the treasures in the V&A....

Above & below: Victorian spires of St Pancras Station.

Above: A rare sunny day in London - the central garden at the V&A museum
Above: Victorian painted plaster casts of original medieval sculpture.

Above: early christian / byzantine. Very impressed by the width of the body - it must meet up straight behind the wearer's elbow for the beginning of the sleeve. See the small width of the neck hole too (for an idea on proportion of the wearer). Interesting seam running across the belly too.


Sun 1 July 2012
This morning Jen collects a pretty carved antique corner chair she bought on ebay (can't seem to shake that ebay habit). Eva heads off back north. And in the evening, squire Alex visited for a few Knightly tips from Steve - enjoying at least one "Ah-ha" penny-dropping moment even though neither was in armour.