brassangel: (Default)
A loooong time ago, when Trouble, Ranger, Lassy and Lessa went to England, Lassy brought me back a bottle of Taylor of London's Elegant Rose lotion. I loved it, and used it all up, and pined for more. The only place I ever found it in America was when The Brassytroupe went to Florida. One day, the rest of the troupe went to the beach, While Jim and I went to Epcot. We found it in the England section, but wee didn't have money to spare to buy any, so I continued to go without.

When We went to England 2 years ago, and wemnt sight seeing at the Tower of London, I was delighted to find not only a bottle of Elegant Rose, but also Calming Lavender. I bought one of each, and they have lived on my desk ever since, ,as I sparingly doled them out to myself, allowing myself a little of whichever one had more in the bottle at the particular moment. Both bottles are getting very close to the bottom and it's as though my last memories of that trip are fading. A bit melodramatic perhaps, but whenever I have a rough day at work, which is often, the scent of those lotions take me back, and give me a little smile.

So I put web-surfing for lotion on my to-do list and looky what I found!

http://www.shoplondons.com/elrobytaoflo.html

http://www.shoplondons.com/enlabytaoflo.html

Not just lotion, but talcum powder, and shower gel, and soap, and more!

Posting here in order to find again easily in the future.

MUST order some in the near future.
brassangel: (Default)
A loooong time ago, when Trouble, Ranger, Lassy and Lessa went to England, Lassy brought me back a bottle of Taylor of London's Elegant Rose lotion. I loved it, and used it all up, and pined for more. The only place I ever found it in America was when The Brassytroupe went to Florida. One day, the rest of the troupe went to the beach, While Jim and I went to Epcot. We found it in the England section, but wee didn't have money to spare to buy any, so I continued to go without.

When We went to England 2 years ago, and wemnt sight seeing at the Tower of London, I was delighted to find not only a bottle of Elegant Rose, but also Calming Lavender. I bought one of each, and they have lived on my desk ever since, ,as I sparingly doled them out to myself, allowing myself a little of whichever one had more in the bottle at the particular moment. Both bottles are getting very close to the bottom and it's as though my last memories of that trip are fading. A bit melodramatic perhaps, but whenever I have a rough day at work, which is often, the scent of those lotions take me back, and give me a little smile.

So I put web-surfing for lotion on my to-do list and looky what I found!

http://www.shoplondons.com/elrobytaoflo.html

http://www.shoplondons.com/enlabytaoflo.html

Not just lotion, but talcum powder, and shower gel, and soap, and more!

Posting here in order to find again easily in the future.

MUST order some in the near future.
brassangel: (Default)

June 21

New York

June 22

June 23

London

June 24   Travel,  Bankside Walk

June 25   Westminster

June 26   The Tower

June 27   Greenwhich, Piccadilly

June 28   Stonehenge, Bath

June 29   St Pauls, Death N Murder

June 30   Travel

Ireland

July 1  Slug a Bed

July 2  Blarney

July 3  Bunratty, Burren,  Moher

July 4  MizenHead, BarleyCove

July 5  Limerick, Lough Gur

July 6   Killarney, Ring of Kerry

July 7   Dublin,  Guinness

July 8   Dublin, Jameson

July 9   Dublin, my birthday!

July 10  Homeward bound

brassangel: (Default)

June 21

New York

June 22

June 23

London

June 24   Travel,  Bankside Walk

June 25   Westminster

June 26   The Tower

June 27   Greenwhich, Piccadilly

June 28   Stonehenge, Bath

June 29   St Pauls, Death N Murder

June 30   Travel

Ireland

July 1  Slug a Bed

July 2  Blarney

July 3  Bunratty, Burren,  Moher

July 4  MizenHead, BarleyCove

July 5  Limerick, Lough Gur

July 6   Killarney, Ring of Kerry

July 7   Dublin,  Guinness

July 8   Dublin, Jameson

July 9   Dublin, my birthday!

July 10  Homeward bound

brassangel: (Default)
We got up at 3:15 A.M. This morning, got our bags and walked the few blocks out to Clapham Common, to catch the N155 bus to Aldwych, ,then trtansferred to the N91 to Euston Station. At Euston Station we printed out our tickets and caught the train to HolyHead in Wales. There, we took a bus to the Ferryand I am currently writing this as I sit on the Ferry headed toward Ireland. I have slept through most of this trip as my cold hangs on, making travel absolutely miserable. I think I might be getting a little better though. Maybe.


Update: When we got off the ferry we had to get on a very crowded bus to the City centre. My most vivis memory of this trip is Rowena flirting with a Team of Irish football players. We trtied to walk to where we needed to go when they dropped us at the train station, but wound up getting on another bus that took us to the car rental place. We NEVER would have made ot, walking. AVIS tried to rent us a car that would ALMOST fit our whole group, but there would have been no room for our luggage. We got them to give us a 7 seater VW van after some complaints, and then finally managed to get on the road to Bruff.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruff


I slept again, but I'm told it took 2.5 hours. We stopped a half an hour out to call the land lady and she met us at the cottage. The directions were "turn left at Riordan's Pub and follow the road to the pink cottage with the green door. Who needs silly old addresses and street names anyways?

There are no pictures from this Travel/Sleep Day at all
brassangel: (Default)
We got up at 3:15 A.M. This morning, got our bags and walked the few blocks out to Clapham Common, to catch the N155 bus to Aldwych, ,then trtansferred to the N91 to Euston Station. At Euston Station we printed out our tickets and caught the train to HolyHead in Wales. There, we took a bus to the Ferryand I am currently writing this as I sit on the Ferry headed toward Ireland. I have slept through most of this trip as my cold hangs on, making travel absolutely miserable. I think I might be getting a little better though. Maybe.


Update: When we got off the ferry we had to get on a very crowded bus to the City centre. My most vivis memory of this trip is Rowena flirting with a Team of Irish football players. We trtied to walk to where we needed to go when they dropped us at the train station, but wound up getting on another bus that took us to the car rental place. We NEVER would have made ot, walking. AVIS tried to rent us a car that would ALMOST fit our whole group, but there would have been no room for our luggage. We got them to give us a 7 seater VW van after some complaints, and then finally managed to get on the road to Bruff.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruff


I slept again, but I'm told it took 2.5 hours. We stopped a half an hour out to call the land lady and she met us at the cottage. The directions were "turn left at Riordan's Pub and follow the road to the pink cottage with the green door. Who needs silly old addresses and street names anyways?

There are no pictures from this Travel/Sleep Day at all
brassangel: (Default)
We all slept in today. The plan was that we would split up and each couple would decide what they wanted to do on their own. We discovered there were some difficulties with our travel arrangements to Ireland and we had to iron those out. Once everything was organized it was too late for some of the plans we had so we stayed to gether and decided to head to St. Paul's Cathedral.


Our first stop was the Fireman's Memorial.

The Fire monument

Byron and Tim climbed all the way up, but the rest of us went to the Subway nearby and ordered lunch. Byron and Tim got certificates showing they had made the climb.

After lunch it was on to the cathedral we made a stop at All Hallows by the Tower,

All hallows by The Tower

the other place we knew of that allowed rubbing, but their rubbing centre was shut down as well. From there we moved on to St. Paul's.

St Paul's


I had not known the steps of St Paul's were the ones in the pigeon scene in Mary Poppin's.

St pauls steps

Jim and I, and Leisa and Tim, just barely managed to get into the cathedral, as they had just shut it down for filming. But they had already let Rowena and Byron in, and when we told them or friends were already in there, they let Jim and I in, and Leisa and Tim a few moments later.

Brassy Travelers

Also due to the filming, we were unable to go up to the dome. We were restricted to the first floor and to the crypt. The crypt was amazing though. Cook, Nelson, Churchill, and so many old old stones. I was somewhat surprised to see a pentacle in the part of the cathedral dedicated to American servicemen.

After St Paul's we took the tube over to St James' Park

St james park

Princess Di Memorial Walk Marker

to see Buckingham Palace,

Buckingham Palace

and the palace of the HorseGuard.

Palace of the Horseguard

I was more impressed by the latter. It was much prettier.

After walking past Buckingham we headed across the park, past the Ritz and to the nearest tube stop. We were rushing because we were trying to make it to the Blood and Tears Walk.

http://www.365tickets.com/proddetail.cfm/productid/60

We were routed past King's Cross station, where we were supposed to transfer, for dubious reasons. The announcement when we reached the next station was that it was for safety equipment failure. we wonder in light of the bombing attempts in Piccadilly square. By the time we were about to exit that station they announced that King's cross was open again so we turned back around and tubed back there. That particular tube station was HUGE! We were running late and amazed to find the Tour Guide, Declan, was still there. He even waited for us to make an emergency potty run before he started. And we had to search for a place with a restroom, and then pretend we were actual customers at the bar we finally wound up in, so it was very nice of him to hold up for us.

Declan is a former actor, a historian and an author who is writing a book about Jack the Ripper. He took us on a walk around and about the oldest part of London Gory details )

After the tour, we went to a place called the Ultimate Burger for dinner,

http://www.ultimateburger.co.uk/index.html

then trudged home to collapse into bed.

Here is the very last picture I took in London:

My creation

And I'm still sick!
brassangel: (Default)
We all slept in today. The plan was that we would split up and each couple would decide what they wanted to do on their own. We discovered there were some difficulties with our travel arrangements to Ireland and we had to iron those out. Once everything was organized it was too late for some of the plans we had so we stayed to gether and decided to head to St. Paul's Cathedral.


Our first stop was the Fireman's Memorial.

The Fire monument

Byron and Tim climbed all the way up, but the rest of us went to the Subway nearby and ordered lunch. Byron and Tim got certificates showing they had made the climb.

After lunch it was on to the cathedral we made a stop at All Hallows by the Tower,

All hallows by The Tower

the other place we knew of that allowed rubbing, but their rubbing centre was shut down as well. From there we moved on to St. Paul's.

St Paul's


I had not known the steps of St Paul's were the ones in the pigeon scene in Mary Poppin's.

St pauls steps

Jim and I, and Leisa and Tim, just barely managed to get into the cathedral, as they had just shut it down for filming. But they had already let Rowena and Byron in, and when we told them or friends were already in there, they let Jim and I in, and Leisa and Tim a few moments later.

Brassy Travelers

Also due to the filming, we were unable to go up to the dome. We were restricted to the first floor and to the crypt. The crypt was amazing though. Cook, Nelson, Churchill, and so many old old stones. I was somewhat surprised to see a pentacle in the part of the cathedral dedicated to American servicemen.

After St Paul's we took the tube over to St James' Park

St james park

Princess Di Memorial Walk Marker

to see Buckingham Palace,

Buckingham Palace

and the palace of the HorseGuard.

Palace of the Horseguard

I was more impressed by the latter. It was much prettier.

After walking past Buckingham we headed across the park, past the Ritz and to the nearest tube stop. We were rushing because we were trying to make it to the Blood and Tears Walk.

http://www.365tickets.com/proddetail.cfm/productid/60

We were routed past King's Cross station, where we were supposed to transfer, for dubious reasons. The announcement when we reached the next station was that it was for safety equipment failure. we wonder in light of the bombing attempts in Piccadilly square. By the time we were about to exit that station they announced that King's cross was open again so we turned back around and tubed back there. That particular tube station was HUGE! We were running late and amazed to find the Tour Guide, Declan, was still there. He even waited for us to make an emergency potty run before he started. And we had to search for a place with a restroom, and then pretend we were actual customers at the bar we finally wound up in, so it was very nice of him to hold up for us.

Declan is a former actor, a historian and an author who is writing a book about Jack the Ripper. He took us on a walk around and about the oldest part of London Gory details )

After the tour, we went to a place called the Ultimate Burger for dinner,

http://www.ultimateburger.co.uk/index.html

then trudged home to collapse into bed.

Here is the very last picture I took in London:

My creation

And I'm still sick!
brassangel: (Default)
I woke up at 4:45 Am and since I was obviously not going to be able to fall back to sleep I wrote out yesterdays entry as I sat at the kitchen table.

It occurs to me I have not given the layout of the flat. It's long ad narrow. It's the bottom floor. You walk in the door and your can turn to the left to go into the front room where the TV, computer and library are. Or you can head down the hallway. The room next to the front room is Johns bedroom, then the bathroom, and the hallway opens out to the kitchen, then off the kitchen is the room Jim and I are sleeping in.

So I figured I was safe enough sitting in the kitchen without waking anyone. Once some people were up and moving my awakeness started to wear off so I fiinishe up yesterdays journal, ate, showered and went back to bed.

This morning Tim and Leisa checked out of Hotel Euro Clapham and brought all their luggage.

Once everyone else was ready to go, they woke me and we ran off to Embankment on the tube where we boarded the Hop On/Hop Off boat for Greenwich.

Tower Bridge

We pretty much skipped the Royal Naval academy. We went to the Queen's House, which is now used as an art gallery.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen's_House

The Queen's House

When we left the Queen's House, I was inpressed by a schoolboy who not only made way for us to exit through the narrow hallway, ,but forced his to friends to step back and allow us to pass first.


Walking in Greenwich

We next went to the tea room as it had been quite some time since breakfast. I managed to spill a bottle of coke all over the floor and on a gentleman's coat. I'm afraid I was so startled by the bottle falling off my tray that I shouted "GodDammit!" quite loudly. I'm surprised the rest of the group deigned to eat with me after that. I apologized to the gentleman, who kindly said not to worry and commented that the coke had flown nearly as far as I had, asking if I was from the States. I had steak baguette, Jim had Shepherd's pie, Byron had a Pea Soup he said was disgusting, and Rowena has a chicken noodle soup that she claimed was great.

We visited the Greenwich observatory. The most interesting thing to me there was the Camera Obscura, which you walk inside and it shows an inverted picture of london across the river.

We all took our turns standing on the Prime Meridain.

The Prime MeridianJim on the Prime MeridianThe Prime Meridian Marker

Sadly, the coke incident had left me with residual embarrassment and feeling defensive and was making me grumpy. I kept snapping at Jim. Which isn't fair, because when I get in that mood all he wants to do is try to fix it. It's not something HE can fix, but he tries. We got split up from the rest of the group for a while as everyone wandered the observatory, and that didn't help either.

After we all got back in a group we walked back down to the town, through the park. We saw a fox lying in the grass behind a low fence. He got spooked when we got too close and when he turned to slink off and hide, we saw that he was unhealthily skinny and mangy.


Greenwich Fox


We headed back to the dock, though we stopped at "the first store in the world", named for the fact that it is on the prime meridian. hopped back on the boat, getting off at embankment . It kept raining off and on on the way (this is a theme for the whole trip actually).

Picadilly Rainbow

We were attempting to get to Picadilly Circus when we got split up, With Leisa and Tim deciding to walk while the rest of us took a bus. We waited and looked for the two of them for a while, but after a bit, decided to try to find a restaurant Byron and Rowena recalled from their last trip. It appears to be gone.

Picadilly Punks

While we searched we managed to stumble upon the red light district(not very far off the main throuroughfare). There was a woman, blatantly hooking, standing in the doorway of an apartment, wearing a skimpy outfit, dancing and inviting men in.

We backtracked to a little italian restaurant a block over where the four of us had a great meal. I did discover during the meal that I was about to be sick. My sinuses closed up and I developed a headache. I wonder if this was contributing to the grumpiness earlier too?

After dinner we hit a store for some things, like tissues and Vitamin C supplements.

We tubed home again and quite a bit later Leisa and Tim returned saying they had wandered a bit and then gotten discount tix to see STOMP!

I headed to bed at that point.
brassangel: (Default)
I woke up at 4:45 Am and since I was obviously not going to be able to fall back to sleep I wrote out yesterdays entry as I sat at the kitchen table.

It occurs to me I have not given the layout of the flat. It's long ad narrow. It's the bottom floor. You walk in the door and your can turn to the left to go into the front room where the TV, computer and library are. Or you can head down the hallway. The room next to the front room is Johns bedroom, then the bathroom, and the hallway opens out to the kitchen, then off the kitchen is the room Jim and I are sleeping in.

So I figured I was safe enough sitting in the kitchen without waking anyone. Once some people were up and moving my awakeness started to wear off so I fiinishe up yesterdays journal, ate, showered and went back to bed.

This morning Tim and Leisa checked out of Hotel Euro Clapham and brought all their luggage.

Once everyone else was ready to go, they woke me and we ran off to Embankment on the tube where we boarded the Hop On/Hop Off boat for Greenwich.

Tower Bridge

We pretty much skipped the Royal Naval academy. We went to the Queen's House, which is now used as an art gallery.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen's_House

The Queen's House

When we left the Queen's House, I was inpressed by a schoolboy who not only made way for us to exit through the narrow hallway, ,but forced his to friends to step back and allow us to pass first.


Walking in Greenwich

We next went to the tea room as it had been quite some time since breakfast. I managed to spill a bottle of coke all over the floor and on a gentleman's coat. I'm afraid I was so startled by the bottle falling off my tray that I shouted "GodDammit!" quite loudly. I'm surprised the rest of the group deigned to eat with me after that. I apologized to the gentleman, who kindly said not to worry and commented that the coke had flown nearly as far as I had, asking if I was from the States. I had steak baguette, Jim had Shepherd's pie, Byron had a Pea Soup he said was disgusting, and Rowena has a chicken noodle soup that she claimed was great.

We visited the Greenwich observatory. The most interesting thing to me there was the Camera Obscura, which you walk inside and it shows an inverted picture of london across the river.

We all took our turns standing on the Prime Meridain.

The Prime MeridianJim on the Prime MeridianThe Prime Meridian Marker

Sadly, the coke incident had left me with residual embarrassment and feeling defensive and was making me grumpy. I kept snapping at Jim. Which isn't fair, because when I get in that mood all he wants to do is try to fix it. It's not something HE can fix, but he tries. We got split up from the rest of the group for a while as everyone wandered the observatory, and that didn't help either.

After we all got back in a group we walked back down to the town, through the park. We saw a fox lying in the grass behind a low fence. He got spooked when we got too close and when he turned to slink off and hide, we saw that he was unhealthily skinny and mangy.


Greenwich Fox


We headed back to the dock, though we stopped at "the first store in the world", named for the fact that it is on the prime meridian. hopped back on the boat, getting off at embankment . It kept raining off and on on the way (this is a theme for the whole trip actually).

Picadilly Rainbow

We were attempting to get to Picadilly Circus when we got split up, With Leisa and Tim deciding to walk while the rest of us took a bus. We waited and looked for the two of them for a while, but after a bit, decided to try to find a restaurant Byron and Rowena recalled from their last trip. It appears to be gone.

Picadilly Punks

While we searched we managed to stumble upon the red light district(not very far off the main throuroughfare). There was a woman, blatantly hooking, standing in the doorway of an apartment, wearing a skimpy outfit, dancing and inviting men in.

We backtracked to a little italian restaurant a block over where the four of us had a great meal. I did discover during the meal that I was about to be sick. My sinuses closed up and I developed a headache. I wonder if this was contributing to the grumpiness earlier too?

After dinner we hit a store for some things, like tissues and Vitamin C supplements.

We tubed home again and quite a bit later Leisa and Tim returned saying they had wandered a bit and then gotten discount tix to see STOMP!

I headed to bed at that point.
brassangel: (Default)
The plan was to get up by 7 and out by 8. It didn't work out that way as John had to be out the door for work by 8. Jim made way in the bathroom for John (of course!) which threw us a little later than planned.

While we were finishing up getting ready, John called to tell us he had found Leisa and Tim loitering at the tube station. We told him to tell them we would be there shiortly. By the time we got to the station we didn't see them outside, so we went in, but couldn't find them in the station or down on the platform either. Byron went out to search for them and we spent a few anxious moments until Byron returned, having found them at the other Clapham Common station, across the steet.

Our first stop was Victoria station to pick up train tickets for later in the week, and then over to Tower Hill.

Me

While Rowena and Jim waited in line for tickets Leisa and Tim and I went gifty shopping. Then while Rowena and I stood in line so I could get a guidebook and she could inquire after the Key ceremony, the others got lunch.

Fashion statement?

"We had Fish N Chips at the Tower of London" I like being able to say that 8) They never could find the guy who would be able to tell if we were on the list to view the Lock-In, so we had to give up on that.

After lunch we joined a tour with a yeoman-warder. Rowena and byron had been on the tour before so they left almost immediately to wander about on their own, and Tim and Leisa left the tour shortly as well, saying to meet later at the Traitor's Gate. Jim and I remained with the tour through the end, which was at the small chapel called St Paul of Vincula.

Me and the yeoman warder who guided our tour


FACT: The Yeoman warders were formed in 1485.

After the tour we went to the Jewel House where we saw the crown jewels and royal platters and such. Golden wine bowls that coulsd double as baptismal fonts or vice versa. The ladle was a giant golden seashell! I think the current royalty should add gilded sporks to the collection.

Tower of London

Following the Jewel House we went into the White Tower, which is the armory. I wasn't all that interested in the armory, but we were trying to figure out how to get to the wall walk. This was not the way. After the first couple of rooms of swords and armor I was searching for the way out. We kept following the exit signs, but they kept leading up these winding steep staircases with impossibly tiny tringular steps. It was a little frustrating, but it turned out to be worth it as eventually we came to an absolutely beautiful chapel

St John's temple

on the top floor. The top floor is where the Royal family lived. After the chappel it was back down the windy staircases all the way to the bottom floor. Very scary for a person who falls down walking on even, unbroken pavement!

At one point as we were wandering I was taking pictures of one of the ravens, talking to him to try to get him to turn and look at me. I called "hello" to him, and he said it back!

Thor

No one else was near me at that moment, so I have no proof, but I swear he talked. Reading the pamphlet about the ravens later I discovered that one of the ravens, Thor, does indeend talk.

We headed for the Traitors Gate, but got sidetracked into the Bloody Tower. There was a stairwell in there that was so small I was scared I was going to get stuck in it! We saw the chamber where Walter Raleigh was held.

Back to the traitor's Gate,

Traitors Gate

but no one was there, so we headed for the Medieval Castle, where Edward I lived. From there we finally managed to get up on the wall walk and took pictures with the Tower Bridge in the background.

Jim on the tower wallMe on the tower wall

Coming down we took a few more pictures, spoke to a re-enactor in elizabethan garb, bought some souveniers and finally found Byron, who had been sent to find us when we were not at the Traitor's Gate when everyone else showed up.



After the Tower we had some delicious sweets from a vendor, exchanged picture taking services with some other tourists

Our group

and then went to the Tower Bridge Exhibit. This was free with our Heritage passes. yay!

Jim on the Tower Bridge

The exhibition allows you inside the bridge, where you can see some of the mechanics,

Tower bridge machinery

watch a short film, and walk the elevated footbridges. there are sightseeing binoculars at stations along the footbridge allowing you too look out at either bank and down the Thames. Next to the binoculars are placards that tell you what the different distinctive building are. Like the Gerkin. 8)

Gerkin

At one point you are required to follow a blue line to the next portion of the exhibit and Leisa and I had an attack of the sillies which involved following the line too literally.

We took a bus to Covent Garden Market. First thing we saw when we got off the bus was Cadenhead's Covent Garden Whisky shop,

Waiting for Jim

which means we waited a little while for jim to peruse the shelves. 8)

We saw a marker in Covent Garden that stated that it was the site of the first Punch and Judy show ever performed. We shopped a bit (LUSH) and had dinner at The White lion. We walked to Leiciester square, but it was a bit late by then

Tubing Home

so we tubed it home, where I promptly fell on my face, exhausted.
brassangel: (Default)
The plan was to get up by 7 and out by 8. It didn't work out that way as John had to be out the door for work by 8. Jim made way in the bathroom for John (of course!) which threw us a little later than planned.

While we were finishing up getting ready, John called to tell us he had found Leisa and Tim loitering at the tube station. We told him to tell them we would be there shiortly. By the time we got to the station we didn't see them outside, so we went in, but couldn't find them in the station or down on the platform either. Byron went out to search for them and we spent a few anxious moments until Byron returned, having found them at the other Clapham Common station, across the steet.

Our first stop was Victoria station to pick up train tickets for later in the week, and then over to Tower Hill.

Me

While Rowena and Jim waited in line for tickets Leisa and Tim and I went gifty shopping. Then while Rowena and I stood in line so I could get a guidebook and she could inquire after the Key ceremony, the others got lunch.

Fashion statement?

"We had Fish N Chips at the Tower of London" I like being able to say that 8) They never could find the guy who would be able to tell if we were on the list to view the Lock-In, so we had to give up on that.

After lunch we joined a tour with a yeoman-warder. Rowena and byron had been on the tour before so they left almost immediately to wander about on their own, and Tim and Leisa left the tour shortly as well, saying to meet later at the Traitor's Gate. Jim and I remained with the tour through the end, which was at the small chapel called St Paul of Vincula.

Me and the yeoman warder who guided our tour


FACT: The Yeoman warders were formed in 1485.

After the tour we went to the Jewel House where we saw the crown jewels and royal platters and such. Golden wine bowls that coulsd double as baptismal fonts or vice versa. The ladle was a giant golden seashell! I think the current royalty should add gilded sporks to the collection.

Tower of London

Following the Jewel House we went into the White Tower, which is the armory. I wasn't all that interested in the armory, but we were trying to figure out how to get to the wall walk. This was not the way. After the first couple of rooms of swords and armor I was searching for the way out. We kept following the exit signs, but they kept leading up these winding steep staircases with impossibly tiny tringular steps. It was a little frustrating, but it turned out to be worth it as eventually we came to an absolutely beautiful chapel

St John's temple

on the top floor. The top floor is where the Royal family lived. After the chappel it was back down the windy staircases all the way to the bottom floor. Very scary for a person who falls down walking on even, unbroken pavement!

At one point as we were wandering I was taking pictures of one of the ravens, talking to him to try to get him to turn and look at me. I called "hello" to him, and he said it back!

Thor

No one else was near me at that moment, so I have no proof, but I swear he talked. Reading the pamphlet about the ravens later I discovered that one of the ravens, Thor, does indeend talk.

We headed for the Traitors Gate, but got sidetracked into the Bloody Tower. There was a stairwell in there that was so small I was scared I was going to get stuck in it! We saw the chamber where Walter Raleigh was held.

Back to the traitor's Gate,

Traitors Gate

but no one was there, so we headed for the Medieval Castle, where Edward I lived. From there we finally managed to get up on the wall walk and took pictures with the Tower Bridge in the background.

Jim on the tower wallMe on the tower wall

Coming down we took a few more pictures, spoke to a re-enactor in elizabethan garb, bought some souveniers and finally found Byron, who had been sent to find us when we were not at the Traitor's Gate when everyone else showed up.



After the Tower we had some delicious sweets from a vendor, exchanged picture taking services with some other tourists

Our group

and then went to the Tower Bridge Exhibit. This was free with our Heritage passes. yay!

Jim on the Tower Bridge

The exhibition allows you inside the bridge, where you can see some of the mechanics,

Tower bridge machinery

watch a short film, and walk the elevated footbridges. there are sightseeing binoculars at stations along the footbridge allowing you too look out at either bank and down the Thames. Next to the binoculars are placards that tell you what the different distinctive building are. Like the Gerkin. 8)

Gerkin

At one point you are required to follow a blue line to the next portion of the exhibit and Leisa and I had an attack of the sillies which involved following the line too literally.

We took a bus to Covent Garden Market. First thing we saw when we got off the bus was Cadenhead's Covent Garden Whisky shop,

Waiting for Jim

which means we waited a little while for jim to peruse the shelves. 8)

We saw a marker in Covent Garden that stated that it was the site of the first Punch and Judy show ever performed. We shopped a bit (LUSH) and had dinner at The White lion. We walked to Leiciester square, but it was a bit late by then

Tubing Home

so we tubed it home, where I promptly fell on my face, exhausted.
brassangel: (Default)
We all got a late start this morning. Byron had already been on a Starbucks run and Rowena had showered by the time I got up. While I showered, Byron kindly took another run to Starbucks and brought back a white chocolate mocha for me, and muffins for all.

Tim and Leisa joined us as we were finishing breakfast, and we headed off. Back to the hotel first, as Leisa had forgotten something. Once the item was retrieved we took the tube to Trafalgar square.

Trafalgar Sq

B, L and T went off in search of the office that sells heritage passes. The rest of us got ours online in advance, but Tim didn’t have his yet. The Heritage Pass is the London version of the cards Jim and I had for sightseeing in New York. Gotta tell you, the Heritage Passes and Travel cards are the WAY TO GO> so nice to just be able to slide the card over the faceplates on the tubes and the busses and not have to try to fiddle with cash.

While they were gone, Jim and I and Rowena soaked in the atmosphere of Trafalgar square.

Jim and Rowena at Trafalgar sq

The word “soaked” is appropriate as it was lightly raining. It rained off and on all day. I wandered a bit, taking pictures of the square, and its native residents.

Bad feather day

When the other three joined us, we attempted to go to St Martin’s in the field for their brass rubbing centre, but were disappointed to find it was closed and would be until September. Apparently, the plates were on tour and would not return until September.

On Tour
(OK-I feel stupid, at the time I thought the plates were on Tour...this sign showa where people can go to attend the various services. Duh!)


We walked from St Martin’s in the Field down to the Thames and along the Bank until we reached Big Ben.


Big Ben and the Eye

You can’t get closer to Big Ben than across the street of course, since it’s attached to the Parliament and therefore blocked off by security. It is also right next to Westminster Abbey.


Westminster


Westminster gargoyle

We walked amongst Kings and Queens. We passed by the tombs of Edward III, Henry VII, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth I. In The room where Henry VII is interred, there is a ceiling too beautiful for words. In the middle of the room was a table with a mirror pointed up at that ceiling so you could study it closer. It’s made of a sort of creamy colored stone, and intricately carved. It defies my descriptive ability. Photographs were, unfortunately, not allowed.

There was a section called poets corner, where there were stones for Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Byron, Ben Johnson and Robert Browning. There were many others, but those are the most memorable to me.

We saw the coronation throne, which used to house the Stone of scone. The Stone will be returned to England when it is needed for future coronations.

We wandered amongst and were able to touch centuries old brass plates. The cloisters were beautiful,

Westminster

and we walked through the nave as well. On the way out of the Abbey we saw the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

We had lunch in the cafeteria of the Methodist church across the street from Westminster. My lunch was called “beef Casserole” but it tasted exactly like a can of Dinty Moore beef stew.

After lunch, and some dickering about travel arrangements, we took a double-decker bus to Tower Hill. We looked around a bit, but decided we had better wait ‘til tomorrow, since we would only have had an hour inside the Tower if we went in today.

At that point, we decided to go home, do some shopping for dinner and have a nice quiet evening.
After carrying all those groceries home from Tesco we knew why John has all his shopping delivered. Byron made us some yummy spaghetti and garlic bread and we had cream puffs and strawberries dipped in chocolate for dessert, we watched a terribly funny movie called Stormbreaker and a weird Caligula and by that time it was late, so I hit the sack.

ADDENDUM: It’s midnight and Byron’s brother John just arrived back from a work function. Drunk. And inclined to orate and sing. When I came back into the front room to find out what all the noise was he tried to get me to sing a duet of “Unforgettable”(couldn’t remember the words) and dance with him, then made me sit on his lap as he chatted with B and R about his roommates school being ranked 12th in the country.

I ADORE HIM!
brassangel: (Default)
We all got a late start this morning. Byron had already been on a Starbucks run and Rowena had showered by the time I got up. While I showered, Byron kindly took another run to Starbucks and brought back a white chocolate mocha for me, and muffins for all.

Tim and Leisa joined us as we were finishing breakfast, and we headed off. Back to the hotel first, as Leisa had forgotten something. Once the item was retrieved we took the tube to Trafalgar square.

Trafalgar Sq

B, L and T went off in search of the office that sells heritage passes. The rest of us got ours online in advance, but Tim didn’t have his yet. The Heritage Pass is the London version of the cards Jim and I had for sightseeing in New York. Gotta tell you, the Heritage Passes and Travel cards are the WAY TO GO> so nice to just be able to slide the card over the faceplates on the tubes and the busses and not have to try to fiddle with cash.

While they were gone, Jim and I and Rowena soaked in the atmosphere of Trafalgar square.

Jim and Rowena at Trafalgar sq

The word “soaked” is appropriate as it was lightly raining. It rained off and on all day. I wandered a bit, taking pictures of the square, and its native residents.

Bad feather day

When the other three joined us, we attempted to go to St Martin’s in the field for their brass rubbing centre, but were disappointed to find it was closed and would be until September. Apparently, the plates were on tour and would not return until September.

On Tour
(OK-I feel stupid, at the time I thought the plates were on Tour...this sign showa where people can go to attend the various services. Duh!)


We walked from St Martin’s in the Field down to the Thames and along the Bank until we reached Big Ben.


Big Ben and the Eye

You can’t get closer to Big Ben than across the street of course, since it’s attached to the Parliament and therefore blocked off by security. It is also right next to Westminster Abbey.


Westminster


Westminster gargoyle

We walked amongst Kings and Queens. We passed by the tombs of Edward III, Henry VII, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth I. In The room where Henry VII is interred, there is a ceiling too beautiful for words. In the middle of the room was a table with a mirror pointed up at that ceiling so you could study it closer. It’s made of a sort of creamy colored stone, and intricately carved. It defies my descriptive ability. Photographs were, unfortunately, not allowed.

There was a section called poets corner, where there were stones for Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Byron, Ben Johnson and Robert Browning. There were many others, but those are the most memorable to me.

We saw the coronation throne, which used to house the Stone of scone. The Stone will be returned to England when it is needed for future coronations.

We wandered amongst and were able to touch centuries old brass plates. The cloisters were beautiful,

Westminster

and we walked through the nave as well. On the way out of the Abbey we saw the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

We had lunch in the cafeteria of the Methodist church across the street from Westminster. My lunch was called “beef Casserole” but it tasted exactly like a can of Dinty Moore beef stew.

After lunch, and some dickering about travel arrangements, we took a double-decker bus to Tower Hill. We looked around a bit, but decided we had better wait ‘til tomorrow, since we would only have had an hour inside the Tower if we went in today.

At that point, we decided to go home, do some shopping for dinner and have a nice quiet evening.
After carrying all those groceries home from Tesco we knew why John has all his shopping delivered. Byron made us some yummy spaghetti and garlic bread and we had cream puffs and strawberries dipped in chocolate for dessert, we watched a terribly funny movie called Stormbreaker and a weird Caligula and by that time it was late, so I hit the sack.

ADDENDUM: It’s midnight and Byron’s brother John just arrived back from a work function. Drunk. And inclined to orate and sing. When I came back into the front room to find out what all the noise was he tried to get me to sing a duet of “Unforgettable”(couldn’t remember the words) and dance with him, then made me sit on his lap as he chatted with B and R about his roommates school being ranked 12th in the country.

I ADORE HIM!
brassangel: (Default)
June 24th

Last night turned out to be not such a problem. By the time we arrived @ Heathrow,

Heathrow

I was very worried, as everyone else was supposed to have arrived after us and didn’t have our flight number, none of us would have working cell phones, and we didn’t know how to get to Byron’s brother’s flat. It turns out that the rest of the gang had just gotten there 15 minutes earlier and we all met up at baggage claim. We found the tube stop and took the first of three trains to get to Clapham Common. Along the way, while connecting from one train to the other, I managed to fall UP the last coupe of steps on a flight of stairs. I was lugging a huge purple suitcase and when the weight of it suddenly lessened on the next flight of stairs I found that the man behind me was nicely helping me to carry it. Probably because I was in the way and going to slow and he didn’t want me rolling down the stairs and taking him with me, but it was still nice of him.

Byron’s brother,

John

was waiting at a little garden café mere feet from the tube stop, so the only way we could have missed him was to turn the wrong way on the way out. We managed to avoid that, and so found John easily, and he led us back to his flat, which was not more than a few minutes walk away.

Abbeville

We rested for a short while, then Leisa went to meet Rosalind, a friend from childhood who now lives in London (we were supposed to meet her at Heathrow but we missed her) and the rest of us tromped off to the Hotel Euro Clapham. Leisa and Tim are staying there for a couple of days as John’s flat is small and we didn’t want to overwhelm him. John is leaving in a couple of days on business, at which point Leisa and Tim will check out and join us in John’s flat. Jim and I have the room in the very back, with a garden door entrance to ourselves. Rowena and Byron are sleeping in the living/computer room/library but will move to John’s room when he leaves and Leisa and Tim will take that room.

We met up with Leisa and Rosalind on the way back to the hotel and we stopped at a little corner market for snackies and water and went back to the flat where John supplied us with a delicious dinner involving three kinds of potatoes and sausage and chicken in wine sauce. John has FRESH veggies delivered regularly and the potatoes were fantastic!

The eight of us had a great time chatting before during and after dinner, and there was a LOT of laughter. Tim wasn’t feeling well, so we left him to rest while at John’s while the five of us, and Rosalind went off for a bank-side stroll.

Ham

We walked along the Thames, checking out the London and Millennium bridges. We stopped in to The Globe to check out prices and such. We may go back later in the week for a show. We walked as far as Waterloo station in the twilight.

byron pointing out random art

Along the way we passed Southwark Church,

Rowena snaps

the site of Winchester Palace,

Near Winchester palace


the replica of the Golden Hind and we discovered that the Clink is a real place.

Byron and Rowena

Rosalind left us at Waterloo station and the rest of us tubed it back to Clapham Common.

Clapham Common Tube sign

Back at the flat, Jim used John’s computer for a while and Rowena and Byron kept him company, while I headed off to bed to update this journal. I fell asleep and am finishing this entry over breakfast the next morning.
brassangel: (Default)
June 24th

Last night turned out to be not such a problem. By the time we arrived @ Heathrow,

Heathrow

I was very worried, as everyone else was supposed to have arrived after us and didn’t have our flight number, none of us would have working cell phones, and we didn’t know how to get to Byron’s brother’s flat. It turns out that the rest of the gang had just gotten there 15 minutes earlier and we all met up at baggage claim. We found the tube stop and took the first of three trains to get to Clapham Common. Along the way, while connecting from one train to the other, I managed to fall UP the last coupe of steps on a flight of stairs. I was lugging a huge purple suitcase and when the weight of it suddenly lessened on the next flight of stairs I found that the man behind me was nicely helping me to carry it. Probably because I was in the way and going to slow and he didn’t want me rolling down the stairs and taking him with me, but it was still nice of him.

Byron’s brother,

John

was waiting at a little garden café mere feet from the tube stop, so the only way we could have missed him was to turn the wrong way on the way out. We managed to avoid that, and so found John easily, and he led us back to his flat, which was not more than a few minutes walk away.

Abbeville

We rested for a short while, then Leisa went to meet Rosalind, a friend from childhood who now lives in London (we were supposed to meet her at Heathrow but we missed her) and the rest of us tromped off to the Hotel Euro Clapham. Leisa and Tim are staying there for a couple of days as John’s flat is small and we didn’t want to overwhelm him. John is leaving in a couple of days on business, at which point Leisa and Tim will check out and join us in John’s flat. Jim and I have the room in the very back, with a garden door entrance to ourselves. Rowena and Byron are sleeping in the living/computer room/library but will move to John’s room when he leaves and Leisa and Tim will take that room.

We met up with Leisa and Rosalind on the way back to the hotel and we stopped at a little corner market for snackies and water and went back to the flat where John supplied us with a delicious dinner involving three kinds of potatoes and sausage and chicken in wine sauce. John has FRESH veggies delivered regularly and the potatoes were fantastic!

The eight of us had a great time chatting before during and after dinner, and there was a LOT of laughter. Tim wasn’t feeling well, so we left him to rest while at John’s while the five of us, and Rosalind went off for a bank-side stroll.

Ham

We walked along the Thames, checking out the London and Millennium bridges. We stopped in to The Globe to check out prices and such. We may go back later in the week for a show. We walked as far as Waterloo station in the twilight.

byron pointing out random art

Along the way we passed Southwark Church,

Rowena snaps

the site of Winchester Palace,

Near Winchester palace


the replica of the Golden Hind and we discovered that the Clink is a real place.

Byron and Rowena

Rosalind left us at Waterloo station and the rest of us tubed it back to Clapham Common.

Clapham Common Tube sign

Back at the flat, Jim used John’s computer for a while and Rowena and Byron kept him company, while I headed off to bed to update this journal. I fell asleep and am finishing this entry over breakfast the next morning.
brassangel: (cell)
Tickets obtained! L.A. to N.Y. via L.V. 36 Hours for a whirlwind visit to N.Y. A wk in London, then Ireland thru my bday!
brassangel: (cell)
Tickets obtained! L.A. to N.Y. via L.V. 36 Hours for a whirlwind visit to N.Y. A wk in London, then Ireland thru my bday!

Ireland

Feb. 5th, 2007 05:58 pm
brassangel: (squee)
So far I have managed to get the time off. ALL of it. Ireland has expanded to a week in London, followed by a week sharing a cottage in Ireland. Limerick I think. Then Jim and I plan on staying a little longer and spending my birthday in Dublin. I had to take a couple of unpaid personal days to take all that time, and I can't take any PTO days between now and then (aside from three that were previously planned), which sucks, cause I was sick last week, and had to muscle through the misery and work anyways, but It's Ireland! If I have to suffer, I'll suffer.
In addition to getting the time off I went and got my passport paperwork filled out on Saturday. Which is important, because I am also going out of the country on a cruise with Jim and his family(using two of those three aforementioned days). The cruise will be on April 20th, so cross your fingers that the passports come in quickly!

So far, things are going well. Next step is all Jim. He's got to get our airplane tickets.

Ireland

Feb. 5th, 2007 05:58 pm
brassangel: (squee)
So far I have managed to get the time off. ALL of it. Ireland has expanded to a week in London, followed by a week sharing a cottage in Ireland. Limerick I think. Then Jim and I plan on staying a little longer and spending my birthday in Dublin. I had to take a couple of unpaid personal days to take all that time, and I can't take any PTO days between now and then (aside from three that were previously planned), which sucks, cause I was sick last week, and had to muscle through the misery and work anyways, but It's Ireland! If I have to suffer, I'll suffer.
In addition to getting the time off I went and got my passport paperwork filled out on Saturday. Which is important, because I am also going out of the country on a cruise with Jim and his family(using two of those three aforementioned days). The cruise will be on April 20th, so cross your fingers that the passports come in quickly!

So far, things are going well. Next step is all Jim. He's got to get our airplane tickets.

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