Monday, 28 May 2012

I'm Home (Spiritually Speaking)

Saturday May 26th
We arrived in Cardiff around lunchtime, having crossed the new Severn Bridge and paying £6 for the privilege of coming home .......! Ah well, joy of joys to see the Welsh flag flying and the good old Brains Beer sign on Simon's old local Pub! We are now planning the next 4 days' jaunts to round off our stay in the UK.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

A Day with Judy and Peter

Thursday 27th.

We met Judy and Peter at 9.30 am at their hotel near Waterloo Station. Judy and I had planned to visit the V&A to see the William Morris collection and to have lunch in the William Morris cafe. Over coffee we planned the day, Simon and Peter wanted to visit Lords cricket ground and we would do the V&A and meet up after lunch. No pictures of Judy and I at the museum as Simon wanted to take the camera to Lords but we did ask a nice chap having lunch to take a photo of us on Judy's camera which I will add when we get home to Adelaide. We met the boys later in the afternoon, both very excited to have had a two hour tour around Lords and actually stood on the hallowed turf! After a beer we all went to the Tower of London and saw the exhibition of the bridge, taking us up one tower, across the walkway spanning the bridge and down the other side, then into the bowels of the bridge to learn how the bridge opens to allow ships through. All very interesting,giving us all an appetite for a wonderful steal dinner at Gaucho's. (The second time for Simon and I in a week. It is that good)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

More Tudors

Wednesday 23rd May.
What a wonderful day,Westminster Abbey was amazing and I cannot begin to tell you of the quilts that are growing in my mind since seeing the wonderful ceilings, floors and windows. Unfortunately, I was not able to take pictures so had to buy a book instead.....shame! We walked around the Houses of Parliament and were blown away by the architecture of this palace. Shame the politicians get to monopolise it. We then took a turn on the London Eye which was fantastic. What a fabulous piece of engineering and knowing a guy who was part of the design and building project made it even more special. It was quite hot today,so a cool beer was most welcome and whilst sitting there discovered the London Lying-In Hospital,which,as the name implies,was a maternity hospital! We then travelled back to London Bridge by river taxi where Simon visited HMS Belfast whilst I did a bit of shopping and then dinner at an oriental restaurant by Tower Bridge. Not so amusing was finding our journey home complicated by discovering that the tubes on the Jubilee Line were stopped due to a broken down train! I think all of London tried to get on the No 47 bus back to Adam's flat.

The Bloody Tower

We set out yesterday morning (Tuesday) to visit a number of places starting with The Tower of London. We spent the entire day there! I had no idea it was so big once inside and once again, I was lost in the history of our country and re-lived all those books I have read about the Tudor period. The Crown jewels are something else though!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Monday 21st.....A day of mixed emotions and Scones with clotted cream and jam!

What a day.......Adam flew to New York leaving home at 6am, to work for two weeks. It was such a surprise for him to be asked to go,by E&Y, and he had mixed feelings as it meant cutting short his time with us just when we were going to be here with him for his birthday. However, it was not an opportunity he could turn down, especially as they flew him business class and a limo the other end to drive him to Connecticut! We will catch up with him in Canada though. At the same time Simon and I drove back to The Midlands to attend my Uncle's funeral. This gave us an opportunity to meet up with my Aunt and cousins again but sad to say goodbye. Feeling rather low we decided to drive back to London via the country roads instead of the motorway and, not long after leaving Bromsgrove, found ourselves in Stratford-Upon-Avon and Anne Hathaway's cottage. What a chocolate box picture it is and the gardens were so typically English. We wandered around the house,learned a little bit more about Will Shakespeare and his antics, had a cream tea in the garden and the sun came out, the blackbirds sang and I cheered up, certain that my Uncle had requested a little bit of sunshine on such a sad day. Anyway, as you can see from the pics the Weight Watcher diet is also on holiday ......I cannot resist clotted cream when it is dolloped onto my plate, so have promised I will get back to the diet as soon as I return to Adelaide.

St Paul's Cathedral

Despite falling victim to a few too many Baileys on Friday night, Adam, Simon and I set out for St Paul's Cathedral on Saturday morning. It is so amazing to watch Adam confidently negotiate the Underground and know so much about getting around London. We stopped for coffee at a roof-top coffee house opposite the cathedral before our tour of the cathedral itself. It is a beautiful building and the dome is just amazing-Christopher Wren was certainly a genius. I managed to climb the narrow staircase to the Whispering Gallery and even further up to the Stone Gallery to walk around the outside of the dome.You can imagine the view from up there, all over London. The boys went even further to the Golden gallery, 528 steps in total, but I chickened out - my knees still haven't recovered. A little light shopping on the way home for Adam and then dinner on the bank of the Thames, although alfresco eating was a bit brave of us as it turned absolutely freezing..

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Adam's 21st Birthday

It took us just two hours to drive from Staffordshire to the outskirts of London yesterday and an hour and a half to find Adam's apartment! After a wash and brush up (after a quick dash to the super market for cleaning products and some food) Greg and his friend Keith arrived from Warrington to enjoy dinner at the Oxo Tower to celebrate Adam's 21st. We had a wonderful meal with a wonderful view of London and enjoyed each others company. However, having agreed to one Bailey's after the meal I seem to have consumed several more, unknowingly, double measures! ..........oh dear!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Seeing Double

Thursday evening we all visited a local hostelry for a meal in Gnosall. Anne and I had been to Stafford for lunch and happened upon one of our favorite shops,'Next',where we found an animal print top that we both liked. Without her knowing, I bought one each for us, as we live in opposite hemispheres so would not be clashing when we wear them. Then we thought it a great idea to wear them out that evening and not show the menfolk until we took our coats off in the pub. You can imagine the abuse we received but as Anne and I refer to each other as our pseudo-sisters, it seemed appropriate anyway.

Historic Shrewsbury

We arrived in Gnosall, Staffordshire, to stay with my cousin Anne,her husband David and son Richard on Tuesday after a wonderful time with friends in Warrington. Wednesday dawned bright and sunny but still not "summer-clothes" warm! We spent a great day in Shrewsbury on Thursday wandering around the narrow streets with their ancient buildings which were adorned with designs just crying out to be used as quilting templates.