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.......

14 November 2012

Nov 2012 a

Wed 24 Oct 2012
After weeks of searching, Jen has found and purchased this Victorian silver-plated beauty for Steve. The search is on to find a tea set in the same style as the coffee pot. 

Fri 26 Oct 2012
Today Jen attended the free London Investor Show. As expected, some seminars were glorified sales pitches, while others had genuinely useful and interesting information.

Sat 27 Oct 2012
Today we helped Deb and Clancy prepare for their annual traditional, all-American Halloween party! Deb cooked up an amazing chocolate cake with green icing base (as grass) and choccy biscuits at the edges, as gravestones. Jen hollowed out one 'grave' and put indentations as footprints leading away. In the middle Clancy topped off the pillars to make a mini Stonehenge. All in all it was a fun party with waaaay too much for anyone to eat.

Sun 28 Oct 2012
Today Finnian helped to rewrite both Deb's and Clancy's resumes. Jen helped Deb by taking some photos and completing some design work for 'Deb's Decadent Sweets'.

Tue 06 Nov 2012
Tonight after work we attended a free 'Rich Dad Education' seminar presented by David Shamy, which was (as expected) essentially a sales pitch, but was also very informative. Thanks David.

Sat 10 Nov 2012
And so we hit the road in our beautiful Porsche Boxster. First stop - Bosworth Battlefield, which Steve's been wanting to visit for years and years. It's the site of the decisive battle where King Richard III met his doom, and his adversary Henry Tudor, won the crown.

Above: Steve playing about with the "try it on" exhibit.
Below: A cool poster in the giftshop.

Next stop: Wightwick Manor and Gardens (pronounced "Wittick").
Curiously, the really old looking parts of the building are in the fact the "new extension" in Old English style carried out by gothic revivalist architect Edward Ould, for the Mander family. The family also collected Pre-Raphaelite artworks, and many of the furnishings and decorations are by various Arts & Crafts movement craftsmen (of the Victorian age). 
No photography is allowed inside, so here's an online shot of the Great Hall (hyperlink): 

Some interesting things about Mr Ould's architectural style - there were two or three steps up / down here, there, and everywhere. Above the main stair, rather than having open empty space, he put in a small study "room" adjoining the upstairs hallway, which is only really delineated by a column and overhead beam, but it was still its own unique space. Walking three steps up off a corridor into a bedroom, with the bedroom door at the top - on either side of these steps were open bookshelves. This space (between the corridor and the bedroom) was actually hallway storage outside, and wardrobe space inside the bedroom. Another example of clever layout was the Wall shared between two bedrooms, was shaped like a sizel or 's' in the runic alphabet (but only with 90 degree angles) - and the indented part of each room was where the bedhead of each bed rested - thus creating much more useable space for both two rooms. Definitely a fascinating house.

Last stop today: A tasty dinner at Mary's at Yate (north of Bristol).

Sun 10 Nov 2012
So today Finnian and Steve had a 1 on 1 fighter practise in Mary's backyard.  

Meanwhile, Jen helped Mary with a heraldry sewing project. Mary cooked up an early dinner of roast chicken and veg, then Finnian dropped Steve off at the nearby train station. A few hours later, Steve phoned to say he was safely home. 
Above: a test photo of Steve, using the zoom on Jen's new sony NEX-5N camera.
Mon 12 Nov 2012
The next morning, Jen awoke to an empty house, as Finnian and Mary were both already at work. Jen drove up to Berkeley Castle (while it is closed to the public), to photograph the lovely gothic carved panels of their internal doors - for personal research on gothic design. She can't show these here, but suffice to say they're lovely carvings and very useful to study. Jen drove the 3 hours back home to east London and was happy to be reunited with her Steve.

Tue 13 Nov 2012
This morning we spent an hour and a half admiring the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at Tate Britain. After a quick lunch, we hurried back to east London just in time for Jen's UK citizenship ceremony. Tonight we celebrated with traditional British food and entertainment - curry takeaway and Monty Python's Holy Grail. Hurrah!

Wed 14 Nov 2012
Steve is coughing more again today. After two rounds of antibiotics you'd think he'd be better. So off to the doctor for him as soon as he can get another appointment. This afternoon Jen had a phone interview for a graphic design job in central London. It seemed to go well, but she'll hear more on Monday. Jen filled in a UK passport application form and will send it off tomorrow.


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