The British Museum – London, England














We spent our last full day in London wandering around the British Museum.    This was a strategic decision – we weren’t walking over a wide area, and they do provide regular places to sit down.    Even, so BF tapped out not long after lunch, so K and I ended up heading off for yarn.

The above is a very random assortment of things I find interesting.    Like the storm trooper scarab.     And the Assyrian trees and river (I was pretty much ignoring the armies large enough to destroy all things that were really the point of those carvings.    Can you tell where my interests lie?)

That evening, we went out to St. Albans (about half an hour away by train) to see Ed Byrne, this time an Irish comedian (though he lives in England), but also someone I’d probably not ever be able to see over here.    I actually liked his show better- for reasons I can’t really describe.   It just is was it was.

So that’s pretty much it.     It was a great trip.    I can’t believe I’ve already been back a week.    I want to go back again.


Along the Thames to Greenwich – London, England














On the next day, we learned that we’re apparently only meant to go to Richmond by public transportation once a trip.    We attempted to go to Hampton Court, but nearly were trapped when trying to transfer from the tube to a train.   A tube train had gotten stuck on the track.    (We think it was a symptom of something more severe because the entire station was shut down for an electrical problem the next day.)

So, game time decision, we turned around and did a river cruise down to Greenwich instead.   This was the day I got tan.   In London.   In May.    Wonders never cease.

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew – London, England























The timing of our trip was purely based on the BF needing to put in for his longer blocks of PTO at the beginning of the year, and this week looking as good as any other that was available when he was called.    But, at a certain point (maybe March?) I realized I was likely going to be here for bluebell season, and being the wild flower geek that I am, I immediately started to research where the closest place to London would be that had a genuine bluebell wood.    And it turned out to be Kew.    Which was already on the BF’s must do list, which worked out beautifully.

And I was not disappointed.   A genuine English bluebell wood is a sight to behold.    (Turns out the difference between the Spanish and English versions is the Spanish have straight stems, and the English curve.)    The Kew wood is around Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, in a back corner I didn’t even know was there on my first visit.

We walked the crap out of that day.    (K was working, so it was just P and me.)  And then had a bit of an adventure getting back.    We got back to the tube station, and the District line was at a standstill because a car had hit a bridge.    Fortunately, when I had gone with K, my mother, and sister a few years back, we had had a fiasco trying to take the Overground to get to Kew.     So I knew that line was available, and only involved one train change.    It’s technically a longer ride, but I’m sure we beat the other tourists back to the center of London.

That night, we went and saw Marcus Brigstocke, a comedian I am only familiar with because K turned us onto the Now Show (BBC Radio, available as a podcast).    He was literally hiding under the card table on the stage at the start, which ended up being a great tie in to the rest of the show.    Really enjoyed it, and would never have been able to see him over here.

Covent Garden to Regents Street -London, England










Monday of the trip was a bank holiday, but it was also the last of the iffy days of weather, so because we are crazy, we decided to indulge in my aforementioned trip to Liberty.   This involved starting at Covent Garden, wandering through to Leicester Square to Trafalgar Square, and eventually down Regents Street to Piccadilly Circus.

Regents Street was closed for the holiday, and literally the only comparable crowd experience I have ever had was Manhattan.    It was fine for a day, but that is nothing I’d want to experience on a regular basis.

Bushy Park – Richmond, England














One really cool thing about having friends where you visit is that you get a little more homey experience.    So the Sunday of our trip, we visited K’s aunt and uncle, and had a Sunday roast lamb.    With trifle for dessert!

We also got to take a turn through the Woodland Gardens at Bushy Park, which is right next to Hampton Court (and was once part of Henry VIII’s game parks in the area.)    I got my first taste of bluebells, and even if they were the Spanish kind, they were still lovely.

South Bank – London, England






I’m back from London.     We stayed a week, mostly in town (there was one day trip, which will be pictured shortly), hanging out with our friend K, and just seeing the sights.    The above pictures are from our first day (last Friday), which was of course the day after we pretty much stayed up all night to fly over, so we were desperately trying to do things to stay awake as long as possible.    A nice walk along the Thames helps for a bit.

Speaking of walking, we were averaging around eight miles a day.     We regret none of it, but man, are we getting old.     There were aches and pains I don’t remember before.    (Hell, we napped on that first day, and we’ve never had to do that before.)   That is the odd downside of being in a city (hell, region) with fantastic public transport – you want to walk all of it.    I am not ready to be at the phase in my life where I have to start pacing myself.    But apparently, I am.

Here’s my souvenir haul (not including presents).    If this doesn’t pretty much sum up my interests, I don’t know what else will.   I’m pretty excited about the yarn- it’s heritage British sheep breed yarn, as well as some German sock yarn that has always been rather legendary in the (Ravelry) sock knitting world, and which I’ve never been able to see in person before.   I’d already planned this as a exemption in my Cold Sheeping this year, but I wouldn’t feel bad about it even if I hadn’t.     I was really careful about what I bought – while it was a large chunk of change at once, I really wanted this yarn.

You can also see in the haul the set of fat quarter equivalents I allowed myself from Liberty.  I have long been a fan of their fabric, and their general historical aesthetic.     It’s definitely worth a look around – the building is so incredibly unique.    And I do love their products, even if I’m not willing to pay for a lot of them.    (There was also some gift buying for the niece there, courtesy of the current partnership with Uniqlo that put them into my price range.    The rest of the items in the children’s section were gorgeous, but I am not paying those kind of prices for something a kid might only be able to wear for a few months before they grow out of it.)

Our stop at Liberty was on Monday, which was a bank holiday.     That was a level of crowd madness I’ve only seen before in Manhattan.    (We started at Covent Garden, wended our way through Oxford Street and Regent Street, and ended at Piccadilly Circus.)   Not sorry we did it, but never need to do it again.