Hallo from England!
I'm getting used to this slightly different keyboard here....in preparation for a rather long post. Sorry. (I'm not, though....:))
Hokay. So. (Here's me; I'm chillin;, damn, you are thinking...well, yeah. Nevermind.)
July 20--Airplane to Portland, a funky little jet with blue leather seats. Waited around in PDX for forever. (In Portland, but not...argh!). Portland to Frankfurt, on a big plane...long. Very, very long. Mostly dull, except for a few patches of terribly interesting turbulence, in which my stomach was left behind a couple times. Whoo boy.
I watched Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights on the plane--dumb movie, yeah--but the dancing was good and Diego Luna's nice to look at for two hours. I want to learn to dance like that.
Also watched part of 50 First Dates but it wasn't much better.
Short flight to London-Heathrow, after sitting on the cold floor of Frankfurt airport for a while. Fun.
Took the Tube into the city (I love the tube. Can't think why. It's just really interesting...also I kept thinking of Neverwhere (why didn't I bring it?) and looked for Door and people. Didn't see them, though).
Went to Peter's house (friend of my parents through Alex-Tech work), stayed at his house overnight. Lovely little place in Charlton (twenty minutes from London by train)...him, his wife, two kids, two rats and two guinea pigs. I get to take the rats for walkies everyday. :)
July 21 and 22--Took the coach (Brit lingo: "bus" is in-city, "coach" is between cities. Mostly) to Bath--which is a fantastic place and I want to go back and spend about a week there just hanging about. The baths are beautiful, the city is easy to navigate (relatively), the restaurants are nice--there was a fantastic Museum of Costume, and a good walking tour; stayed at St. Christopher's Inn, which is a good hostel. The theater in Bath is beautiful, but the play wasn't very good. (Pooh.)
(A brief quote from our guide at the Baths: "They thought he (Emperor Claudius) was a bit of a duffer--which is why he was chosen as Emperor, because they thought he could be manipulated. They stopped thinking he could be manipulated after they were all suddenly, horribly dead.")
July 23--Picked up rental car, drove to Wells first, to see the cathedral...nice place. You know, a cathedral...but the stairs leading to, and the Chapter House itself, was lovely.
Went to Glastonbury, saw the ruins of the Abbey (destroyed by Henry 8th...I really don't like him), and walked up the tor. Beautiful place...Glastonbury town itself is sort of a hippy-new-agey place, a little silly-wise, but nice. Spent night in small B&B outside Avebury, in a twin room. I got a bed to myself but my parents shared one and consequently snored rather badly.
July 24--Morning spent at Avebury, much cooler stones than Stonehenge (which we stopped by the day before and stared at through the fence). Beautiful....(to get a little mystical for a moment, had a lovely occurance of seven crows in the circle as I walked to them, and found seven crow feathers as I walked through them. Found and eighth as well but let it go, maybe it was a tengu feather. Seven being a secret never to be told, which I thought fit the place rather well.)
Drove to Chedworth Roman Villa--ruins again--but there was a reconstruction society there, doing all sorts of Roman things, so that was fun. Spent a while there, then drove to Trevor and June's house, in Shipley, near Bradford, in Yorkshire.
They are both tremendously entertaining people to be with--you know the sorts of people that you can talk to about anything and somehow it's funny and interesting? Those sorts of people.
"and the doctor said, I know what your problem is, I knew the minute you walked in the door. You're a ferret." -Trevor
July 25--Got to sleep in a bit, and cook my own eggs. The English don't fry their eggs on both sides, you know. Trevor took us to Salts Mill, which was a mill but is now an art gallery-cafe-bookstore-etc on several levels in a lovely building. Ate lunch back at T & J's (I never ate so well), and then the parents and I went to the National Museum of Photography and Film, wandered about--some quite interesting things on photography and animation. Aardman is making a feature of Wallace and Grommit (but I forget what it's called). We drove through some of the Yorkshire Dales (god, that country is gorgeous!) to get to Annika's house, a friend of Trevor's, where we were staying for two nights.
Annika's house is so unbelievably posh, I expected a magazine photographer to come through at any moment. Annika was very nice, and her dog Katie fixed on me and wanted to be petted every minute. Gorgeous place...
July 26--Went to York. Went on a walking tour, led by a red handbag-toting old lady in pinstripes and perfect makeup, named Lillian. Lots of history, a roman walls, and medieval walls built on roman walls, and the manor house where James VI/I scratched his initials. Also apparently Boadicea is buried where Platform 10 at King's Cross is now; which supposedly is why the Hogwarts Express leaves from 9 and 3/4. Huh.
Went to the York Castle Museum--like time travel in boxes, wonderful--and wandered through the Shambles, the medival part of town.
Went to York Minster--the cathedral is incredible! It's so beautiful...everyone once in a while I come across a cathedral or a church that just makes all sorts of sense, and I think, aha, that's why...this is one of them.
We heard Evensong in the Quire, very lovely.
July 27--Slept in, ate lunch by the canal in Skipton (flashed on Chocolat, and then on the Gyptians); went to Malham--more Yorkshire Dales, cannot describe how beautiful they are!
Some of the roads get so very narrow...and you share them with odd things, like driving along at 2mph with a backhoe behind us and three horses in front. Wheee!
Lots of icky traffic and wrong turnings--but we made it to a stables, and went on a hack (huzzah! Want more), and then back to T & J's for dinner and sleep.
July 28--Drove to Wales. (I love how flippantly I can say that...)--to Conwy, wherin there is a castle and an amazing Tudor house, fully repaired and refurnished just like it would be in the late 1600's, and so cool! Gah! Wanted to live there...
Went to Caernarfon, ate, slept. Got slightly ill because we waited too long to eat (and when that happens I lose my appetite and don't eat, it's a bit of a vicious cycle)....
July 29--Saw Caernarfon Castle--quite interesting, different--drove around Wales. I don't even remember, I was sitting in the backseat falling asleep...:)
Wales was pretty though...gorgeous countryside, unpronounceable names--that's my summary of it. Har. It is a nice place, though, two days not long enough to do it justice.
July 30--Tried to take the rental car back to Bath. Traffic horrid. Got back late, missed our coach, spent the night in Bath at the Backpacker's Hostel (eeh...I liked Christopher's better).
July 31--Woke up early, caught a coach to London (I much prefer trains. I am so bloody sick of cars and driving), got back to Peter's house...
Ooofta. It hasn't really been that long, has it? Cripes. I fee like I have done far too much already. :)
London will be nice, we're in a house now, can cook our own food, take the train to London...maybe a canal boat in one day.
Oxford will be even more fantastic because I'll have a whole ten days in one place with all that time to myself. Yes! Edan will be there though, Alyssa too, I think. So I'll get to see them, which is good.
I should probably stop...and eat, and unpack and so forth.
Thank you to everyone who sent me emails (Anneka, Rose, thanks for your emails, Allie, I'm getting to the big long reply, As You people, I expect to hear the cast list soon, Kitty and Kate I'm sorry I can't come to your party and play but I hope they're both fantastic, Joel, thank you for the story, it's amazing to be greeted with a present like that--and if I missed anyone be assured I love you too!)