Posts Tagged ‘ENGLAND’

9
Jan

Pounds to Dollars

   Posted by: MB    in Daily

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

the-final-purchase_23572682454_o

 

Kyle and the Babes 2015. Day Twenty.

The hardest day of all is the day you zip shut the suitcase for the last time.

We headed out very early (we were on a bus for the airport at 7:30 a.m.) and got to Heathrow with plenty of time to get checked in and through security before our gate was even announced.   We hugged Roxy farewell (Mandi’s flight was later, so she took a separate, later bus) and sat down to our last English breakfast.  We had managed our cash usage pretty carefully, so we’d be out of British currency just before we left. But, with “ones” being coins, it is almost inevitable that you end up with pockets full of jingly coins after very few transactions. So, we solved that problem by paying for breakfast with coins!  I’m not sure if the restaurant folks loved us or hated us!

By the time we finished eating we knew what gate to head to, and by the time we traversed hallways, and people movers, and escalators and elevators and a tram, our flight was boarding when we arrived.  The giant maze of jetbridges was amusing, and of course, the seats were small and storage was at a premium, but we were on board and headed home.

At that point, I have no defense mechanism against the sad, except to focus solely on the good things on the other end of the flight:  good friends many of whom are chosen family, the cat and the dog, and high on the list–our incredibly comfortable mattress!  I had already cried during the drive south from Scotland, and leaving London isn’t quite as hard, but still … Texas is never our favorite destination.

Luggage CarouselWe watched a couple of movies on the flight, had a couple of mediocre meals, read a bit–all those things you do to attempt to make the miserable time pass.  I am most decidedly NOT a British Airways fan. All in all it was, at least, an uneventful flight (just the way you want them to be) and our pass through customs and border security was, as well. The biggest hitch was a sizeable delay in luggage showing up at the carousel, but our dear Scott waited patiently for us, and delivered us straight to our favorite Tex Mex restaurant!

A couple of margaritas and some enchiladas and suddenly Texas is a whole lot more palatable. So, here we are … back in the Lone Star State. Bring on 2016!

~MB

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5
Jan

Bittersweet

   Posted by: MB    in Daily

Monday, 4 January 2015

Labels at The Harp

Kyle and the Babes 2015. Day Nineteen

A bittersweet veil covered our last day in London. It’s time to go home, but it’s never going to be time to leave. We awoke in our little hotel in Southwark and had breakfast in the below-street-level bistro of the hotel, which is beautifully decorated in Persian style to match the personalities of the wonderfully kind family who owns and operates the place.  We couldn’t dally long, though, because we needed to get on the road to drive across town.  We carefully timed our journey from northeast to southwest to fall after rush hour traffic and yet well-before our noon deadline to turn in the hired car, and therefore coincide with the new hotel check-in time.

Kyle dropped off “the Babes” and we settled into our rooms while he did the round trip to the airport and returned the car.  When he got back, we all boarded the bus to the airport tube station, and rode the Piccadilly line from zone 6 all the way to zone 1 and Leicester Square. We had a banking errand and then a post office stop, and then we were free to do as we pleased. Unfortunately, we missed the start of the walking tour the girls had scoped out. So, we were all disappointed about that. And, we verified that the merchant we were seeking at Covent Garden was indeed not there on a Monday. Two strikes.

That’s when we decided we needed to find a pub.  And Kyle had spotted one he really wanted to check out—a huge and beautiful place owned by a Dublin Brewery—The Porterhouse. We had snacks, including our last real Fish and Chips meal, and some good beer.  And, as we defined our hopes for the day, we realized that our best plan was to split the group in half and pursue our own goals—and turn this final day into more of what we all wanted it to be.  Roxy and Mandi went off in search of souvenirs and Persian food.  MaritaBeth and Kyle headed back to enjoy the antique market and the pub culture of Central London. One of those pubs we visited was The Harp, a favorite from previous trips, with the distinction of having great swaths of wall space covered in the beautiful tap labels that are common all over the U.K. I cannot go in there without taking pictures.

At six o’clock, we all converged again at The White Swan where we were meeting a friend from days gone by at renfaire. Faith had moved to London for her man nearly seven years ago and we rarely get to see her when she comes to the states because her family is in the Houston area. She had been watching our travels via Facebook and reached out to us to try to get together so we could catch up a little and meet the husband.  They live in Kent and work in London, so they each caught the tube and came to a place we knew.  We are so grateful for them taking the time to do that and so glad we got this fun evening with them. We talked everything from sports to Iris and Rose, and took turns buying rounds. They send their love to friends in Texas, especially The Blazing Sun gang. And we all look forward to our next visit, where I suspect we’ll take them up on their offer of a place to stay and tickets to an Arsenal game!

We did have to finally part company with an eye on an early morning flight. We said our goodbyes, and headed for the station, but soon realized we were hungry. So, we went into one more pub, and had a marvelous little fish sampler platter and a pint and still made it all the way back to the hotel before midnight.

Finished the packing … planned the travel day wardrobe … and … zzzzzzz…

~MB

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3
Jan

Back in London

   Posted by: MB    in Daily

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Ordering Beer

Kyle and the Babes 2015. Day Eighteen.

We left our little four-room inn in Wetherby by noon, and drove south toward London.  We’d conferred during breakfast and booked rooms in an unknown little hotel, sight unseen–always a bit dicey, but especially so in a giant city. So, we were hoping to arrive before dark, but heavy holiday-weekend-ending-traffic prevented that. The worst part of the drive was of course, after we hit London—some crazy zig zagging happened! But we finally made it to The Bridge Hotel. As it turns out, we’re in a nice part of town, and the rooms are adequate and clean, and the staff here is very nice.

After we settled in a little bit, we headed to the nearest tube station–Elephant and Castle, and took the Bakerloo line in to Picadilly Station. There, we switched to the Picadilly line and got off at Covent Garden. We’ve gotten to where we’re almost good at the whole underground thing. And, it’s fun!

At the beginning of the trip, we had tried to get to the market stalls there, and had arrived just as everything was closing.  Kyle has a very specific purchase he wishes to make from a vendor/craftsperson we’ve bought from before, so we had a mission. Today was our second chance.  But, between the rain and the traffic today, and earlier closing time on Sundays (that isn’t a part of the information we could find online), we missed her again, today. Sometimes, it seems the plans one makes are just not meant to be.  Mondays at the market are completely different–the venue becomes an antique market one day a week–and while I’d be thrilled to check it out, our crafter we want to see will almost surely not be there.

We popped into Punch and Judy’s for a snack and yet another beer we hadn’t had before, and then went in search of a little Tapas restaurant Mandi had located online.  It was a unique and mostly delicious meal of meats and cheeses and breads. We found two more sweet little pubs before finally entering the Leicester Square Station and heading back to the Bridge Hotel.

As of right now, we can get everything into the suitcases we brought. (But, I confess, we shipped a box of stuff from Edinburgh.) I simply don’t seem to be able to not bring at least one too many sweaters and probably more than I really need of just about everything else. That means any new aquisitions need to find a way home.  The last trip, we actually bought an extra suitcase! But, this time, we’re on British Airways and the extra baggage charge is crazy, so shipping seemed the better answer.

Someday, I’ll pack lighter and allow for the extra stuff that we accumulate … I obviously need more practice!  Time to plan the next U.K. holiday!

~MB

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2
Jan

A Scotland-shaped Hole in Our Hearts

   Posted by: MB    in Daily

Saturday, 2 January 2015

Our Last View of Edinburgh Castle

Kyle and the Babes 2015. Day Seventeen.

Saddest. Day. of the Trip. Time to head south.

But, first, we planned to tour Edinburgh Castle.  Kyle and MaritaBeth haven’t done that since 2008 … and Roxy and Mandi had never been there, before … so after breakfast and packing, off we went.

We did get there later than we’d hoped and while the girls went on inside, Kyle and MB opted at the last moment to forego the castle itself and spend more time in town.  So, we walked and shopped and worked our way a couple of blocks down the High Street, had a beer in the Albanach Pub, and then walked back up the hill to rejoin the girls. They seem to have had a good time there, despite it being too short a time.

IMG_1793

Erlend and Helene

We were all packed before we left the house, so the departure was easy … except for the goodbyes, themselves. We have (even Roxy and Mandi) come to absolutely love Erlend and Helene. Our first stay in their home was incredible.  The second stay was ten times more!  If ever our friends and readers find themselves in Edinburgh, we HIGHLY recommend “2 Cambridge Street” as the perfect place to call home.

As we write and post photos tonight, we sit in the lovely little pub at the Swan and Talbot in Wetherby. We are about halfway back to London–we’ll do the rest of the drive tomorrow. Tears were shed as we crossed the border into England. A piece of our hearts remains in Edinburgh … in Scotland. Until the next time.

~MB

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

24
Dec

We Made it to Scotland!

   Posted by: MB    in Daily

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Lochmaben Castle Ruins on Castle Loch

Kyle and the Babes 2015. Day Eight

Our day of driving from Nottingham to the North, was made a bit more challenging by some rain and a lot of very high wind. The winds of winter storm Eva, as they whipped across the moorlands and dales of Northern Yorkshire were so strong they buffeted the car about the highway and prevented good photography. We got pretty good shots of the sign welcoming us to Scotland, though!  And, we did the happy dance in our seats.  The wind died down and the rain and flooding took over as the main attraction as we made our way to our destination town of Peebles. Less than twenty miles from town our proposed route was closed due to flooding and we did two legs of the triangle instead of only one.  But, we finally made it, checked into our little rented house, and went to the grocery store.

Grocery store trips here are rather like safaris…you know what you want to see, but you have no idea if it will be there, or exactly what it will look like if it is. (I call my fabric shopping trips “safaris,” too, for the same reasons.) We knew we needed to find food and drink to get us through this evening (Christmas Eve) and all of Christmas Day, as well as the morning of the 26th.  On this island, they take Christmas very seriously, and we’ve learned on previous trips that we cannot count on ANYthing being open on the 25th or 26th.  This is a bigger problem in England than in Scotland, (even the trains and undergrounds and buses don’t run in London on Christmas!), but we figured better safe than sorry!    The house came with the basics, like coffee and tea and sugar and cereal.  And we have stocked up on amazing local cheeses at various places. So, we bought some meat and veggies to prepare for dinner tomorrow. We bought milk and eggs and orange juice and avocados … you know the staples one cannot live without. 😉  And, we bought wine and beer and gin and tonic … you know, the staples one cannot live without.  😉 😉 I also succumbed to a salesperson offering samples of an amazing Irish Creme-like liqueur with a “salted caramel” flavoring!  We should be able to get through the day, watch the queen address her people on TV, and never run out of yummy things.

Our one real distraction from our day’s goal, was also the highlight of the day. As we found ourselves on familiar roads passing familiar places, I voiced a wish, and my husband granted it.  We made the last minute detour to share one of our very favorite places with Roxy and Mandalyn–Lochmaben Castle. Lochmaben is a sweet little burgh near Dumfries and right down the road from Lockerbie, which many folks know of for its unhappy involvement in a 1988 plane crash. Lochmaben Castle is nothing but a ruin of a medieval castle believed to have been the childhood home of Robert the Bruce.  Kyle’s family, the Caruthers, are in Scottish terms, a sept of the Clan Bruce.  So, we have an historical connection to the place.  And, since the very first time we ever happened across it (on our honeymoon) it was so completely by accident and without proper signage, that almost anyone would have to agree that we were simply meant to find it, we also have a very deep emotional connection to it. It sits on the shores of a small lake known as Castle Loch, completely hidden, especially when the trees are in leaf.  It is sadly, greatly diminished even in the twenty years since we first found it, with areas we’ve climbed all over, now fenced off due to unsafe masonry and being allowed to be engulfed by ivy and weeds. But, it is truly beautiful, nonetheless, and will continue to be on our travel plans any time we are near. We walked around for a short bit as the daylight faded, shot some great pictures, and logged this sacred place once again into our memories.

The little detour didn’t prevent us from getting to the house in time, grocery shopping before the stores closed, or even getting to our favorite local for dinner and a pint before retiring back to the house.  And almost immediately upon settling in, we found ourselves enthralled in first a trivia show all about Tudor times (!) and then a lovely little BBC film called The Scandalous Lady W. starring Natalie Dormer.  We recommend it!

The clock tells me it’s after midnight, so I’d better get to bed or Santa will be put out with me!  Happy Christmas to All … and to all A Good Night!

~MB

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

23
Dec

Nottingham: Mischief Managed

   Posted by: MB    in Daily

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Nottingham

Kyle and the Babes 2015. Day Seven.

The first thing on today’s agenda actually began last night:  get some sleep!  We’d been running a pretty fast pace, with fairly early mornings and (at least for me) crazy late nights since we arrived.  This morning, I think we all actually started the day out fully recharged and ready for running amok.

We had knocked three pubs off the ten-pub list, last night.  So, today, the goal was to see and experience as much of Nottingham as we could, by finding each of the other highly recommended places on the list.  We sallied forth with enthusiasm, and were successful in our task.  And, we even fit in a Christmas Market and some good shopping, as well as a delightful lunch. Along the way, I took a few photos of architecture and Christmas lights and such.  This beautiful building above most effectively stole my heart.  All my people out there who know or have read about my obsession with the Galveston News building, will understand and not be surprised.  This one is much bigger, of course, and has the added appeal of the Tudor half-timbering on top … but it *feels* similar to me.

Tomorrow we once again travel north, and by sundown we’ll be in the country of our hearts: Scotland.

~MB

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

20
Dec

Stonehenge!

   Posted by: MB    in Daily

20 December 2015

Stonehenge with Bird in Flight

Kyle and the Babes. Day Four.

One word understood the world over:  Stonehenge!

It was not in our original plan to visit Stonehenge on this trip.  But, about three weeks ago, trip plans were being bantered about one night at faire, and Roxy said she really wanted to see Stonehenge.  Nobody should come all the way across the ocean and not get to do something that’s at the top of their list of important. And, really — who needs much of an excuse to visit a World Heritage site that many lists include as a Wonder of the World?

We started our day with a wonderful full English breakfast at our hotel.  Then, we did our best to second guess the weather we’d encounter on the Salisbury Plain, and set off to fulfill Roxy’s wish.  Unfortunately, Mandi didn’t feel well this morning and felt it might be best if she opted to stay in and rest. We missed her, but since her hunch turned into a full-blown migraine– and she was feeling better by late this afternoon– she obviously made the right decision.

So Kyle and Roxy and MaritaBeth made our way to one of the most famous places in the world–and we had a blast!  We took loads of photos, got a little bit silly, and even got caught in a quintessential British rainstorm! We enjoyed souvenir shopping, and perusing the exhibit at the Visitor’s Center.  One fun highlight in particular:  the current special exhibit entitled “Wish You Were Here.”  As early as 1836 Stonehenge was a popular tourist site complete with a guidebook. And this exhibit artfully presents that side of this famous place. Postcards from decades of visitors, souvenirs ranging from clothing to china to decks of cards, examples of Stonehenge as pop art in comics and record albums, all help to show that not only is Stonehenge important geologically and historically, but that it continues to be important sociologically.  And it continues to be a fun, amazing place to visit.

Salisbury Plain Goof That’s my guy!

From Salisbury Plain we headed further afield with an eye on Avebury.  Specifically, we wanted to have a late lunch at The Red Lion–the only pub in the world located within a neolithic stone circle.  The food was exceptionally good and as the sun was setting we managed to get out into one of the fields of stones to touch them and take photographs.

After driving back home, we discovered Mandi had fully recovered and gone into town for food, so this time Roxy bowed out and Kyle and MaritaBeth went to the High Street to experience a couple more of the cute pubs this lovely little city of Winchester has to offer.

It was a full day of wonder! Earlier to bed tonight, and tomorrow we drive north and prepare to celebrate the Solstice.

~MB

Tags: , , , , , , ,

6
Jan

Kenilworth and Farewell

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

A Tower of Kenilworth Castle

6 January 2009

Epiphany

We need no “epiphany” to tell us that our holiday is ending and it’s time to go home.  There is no describing the feeling of melancholy that accompanies the last day of a trip like this.  There is so much joy in what has gone before, and so much sadness at what can never be.  So much thrill and excitement at the plethora of new experiences and yet there is fear and a sense of dread that such experiences may never come again.    I am so glad that we got to end this trip by visiting a place as special as Kenilworth.

I have marvelous childhood (I was eleven) memories of being here with my family.  Kenilworth is one of those specific places from that childhood trip,that stands out  so clearly in my memory, along with Stonehenge (in the days when you could still walk among the stones and touch them) and Coventry Cathedral (I was in a phase where I was very interested in WWII history, and very moved by its stories), and the beautiful heather-covered hills of the Highlands of Scotland—so clearly it’s like it was a year ago, instead of more than thirty-five!

Why Kenilworth made such an impression on me then, I cannot say.  But, I do know that now, with all my historical research and interest in things Elizabethan—especially the relationships of Elizabeth and her favourites—it certainly means ten times as much now as then.  I was so happy to be there, today, I was giddy!

And, there was snow!  Again, not a lot, but a powdering of snow covered the ground and much of the stonework.  And, because of the cold, and the time of year, in general, we had the place practically to ourselves.  It was a lovely time, and a perfect final sight to see.  My  photo of the day, and the  others that I took there today, are very fun.  It was difficult to pick just one.  I’ll have the others up on Flickr in a day or two.

When we had exhausted all our camera batteries and a little more than our budgeted amount of time, we pointed the car once again toward London.  Less than two hours later, we were pulling into the American Airlines Cargo facility, where Kyle had been asked to  put in an appearance and see if he could fix an issue that had just come up yesterday.   After all—he was already in town!  He only worked a little less than an hour, and once again we were free of commitment.  We secured a hotel room, and endeavored to find some lunch.  Three pubs and a couple of jacket potatoes later, we were sated, and it was time to return the hired car to the folks at Avis.  With that done, we headed back to the hotel again, and learned a valuable lesson:  It is not enough to simply know what bus number you need to take to your destination; it is also important to know which direction you need the bus to be headed!  Eventually, we got back to our hotel, and they corrected a problem with the plumbing in our room, by completely reassigning us a room.  And that done, we headed for our last meal at the Pheasant—a walking distance event!

I am packed now, all ready for departure, except for toiletries and such.  I am reluctant to give up on the day, for I know it is the last.

But, alas, tired wins out, and and sleep must be the answer.

The next time I write for The Daily KRuMB, I will likely once again be back in the good ‘ole U.S. of A.  I will take this moment to thank all of our dear friends and readers who have followed our adventures, put up with our long-winded posts, looked through our photos, and even encouraged us along the way with comments on the  KRuMB.    Those  comments mean so very much to  us, especially while on this trip.  It has added a level of enjoyment to this holiday for us, that we never expected—being able to share our joys and our experiences with you, has been an amazing thing.  Thank you so much,

~MB

Tags: , , , , ,

29
Oct

Early Morning at Heathrow, London

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

21 October 2007
The day I’d been looking forward to and dreading simultaneously was here. Terrill, an excellent, travel companion, rang me up to make sure I was awake at about 0445. I’m hoping he went back to sleep. I was so tired, I can’t actually recall how I got to LHR, but I think it was by taxiservice. I checked in with the ticket agent, and asked her to make sure I was on the upgrade list, dropped my single bag of luggage and stumbled on. Got into the quick-moving, but very long security queue. Interestingly, I didn’t have to mostly undress; I didn’t even have to take off my shoes. After getting through that line, it was time for the (oh my gosh!) long walk to the gate. Finally, I arrived there, stopping once along the way to divest myself of the remaining coins in my pocket by purchasing a cup of Americano Coffee. Now, for the secondary queue. Finally, I got to the gate agent who verified my passport and ticket matched. She motioned me through into the waiting area, but before I left, I asked her what my upgrade options looked like. Apparently, the ticket agent had not entered me on the upgrade list, but this kind agent did so for me now. I wasn’t in the waiting area for more than 2 minutes, before my name was called and I was issued a new seat assignment. Seat 1J was now mine, and I was suddenly very thankful and very tired. Minutes later we boarded and I took my seat in a newly-configured, beautiful 777. What a wonderful bird she was. Outside, the day was dawing pink & pretty, but I wasn’t long for the world. I had two pictures left in the life of my battery, I took them and sat back to relax.
Early Morning at Heathrow
I’m not sure we were in the air three minutes ere I was asleep. With about two hours to arrival in ORD, I woke. The wonderful flight attendant brought me a delicious (radish-topped) lunch and I watched a movie. A decent end to a trip, if only it were the end. One of the worst things about flying for work is the class of ticket available. Yes, I do get lucky sometimes and get first class, bt more often than not, there are no employee class tickets available so, I have to fly standby. That happened in ORD. I rolled across three flights, but Chicago being what it is, it’s a little easier. I bought a beer and walked to my gate. When my gate changed, I moved to another gate and, if need be, bought another beer along the way. Finally, I did board and was landing in DFW before 1700 on Sunday evening. A long day, but made better when I went and picked up my pups. The only downside was that MB wouldn’t be home until the next day. Ah, yes, the joy of the working class couple and their travel schedules.
Cheers.

~KR (21 October 2007)

Listening to:
Calling Dr. Love by Kiss
on Alive II(Disc One)

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/320)
Aperture: f/3.2
Focal Length: 8.6 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

29
Oct

Fulham Football Club & Me

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

20 October 2007
Finally. A day I’ve awaited for many, many years, arrived. I was headed to a Live top-flight football match in England! Despite the late night and the forthcoming short night, I was awake and ready by 0800. Even knowing that our ride wouldn’t arrive to pick us up the hotel until near noon, I just couldn’t go back to sleep. What if I should sleep through my alarm and miss the day? The horror kept me awake. I went downstairs and had breakfast while watching some cricket on the telly in the lounge. Finally, (finally!), our ride showed up. The Saints trucking company had secured Terrill & I tickets to go watch my first live Premiership match. They had also arranged transportation to and from Craven Cottage, the home of Fulham Football Club. Goodness was I excited. We clambered aboard the shuttle and were greeted warmly by four youth (of middle to late teen years) and two gentlemen of years slightly surpassing ours. We chatted amiable, enjoying the drive through London to Fulham and Hammersmith. The youth behind me, two of which were Fulham supporters while the other two were fans of the Owls (the day’s opposing team) chattered on about the lineup and who should play and who should be benched; was Clint Dempsey really worth the money paid out by FFC to secure his services; was the new manager any better than the old; and so on and on. It was delightfully amiable and I was, somewhat surprisingly to our hosts, able to join the conversation with knowledge and thought. It felt good! Finally, we got to Craven Cottage. What a beautiful building. Constructed in the 1860s, it’s one of the oldest stadiums still in active service in England. It is looked upon and treated with respect by all who visit its grounds. Perhaps it’s the fence that engenders this respect.
Our seats were in the home section of the grounds and elevated to afford an excellent view of the entire pitch and surrounding stands. Immediately to our right was the Thames river affording both a refreshing breeze and a beautiful vista.
Although the match ended in a rather disappointing 0-0 draw and the teams played with grim acceptance rather than any sort of determination, it was an exciting place to be. The atmosphere of a live Premiership match is something to experience rather than read about. No creating wrangling of words can reproduce that glorious, resounding experience. Here in the U.S. there are some that equate the Collegiate football experience to that that I witnessed at Craven Cottage. And perhaps, at some locations, that may be true. But, neither the single 1984 UT vs (someone) game that I went to nor the TCU vs (someone) game that I went to in the late 90’s could match that intensity and passion from the fans that I witnessed at Craven Cottage. Even though Fulham are prime candidates for relegation and were playing a considerably lesser team that are almost certain to drop back to the Championship at season-end, neither group of supporters gave up voice or hope through the entire 90+ minutes of game time. Passion.
Fulham FC and Me
Terrill took this photo of me with my camera just before the match started. Thanks, mate!
When the match was complete, we, Terrill & I decided to bid our hosts a very, very thankful farewell and strike out on our own in a section of London we’d not yet seen. First, a quick stop at the Souvenir shop to pick up a much-needed strip for myself, then off to locate a pub or five. We walked down the banks of the Thames for a short while, and then decided to turn inland. Sadly, my camera battery had decided it was time to quit (my only real complaint about my new camera was the severe lack of warning I got on the battery life. I managed only eight shots after I was first warned the battery life was going), so I got precious few photos of the remainder of the day. We located first a pub called the Crabtree. Had a refreshing pint then moved on. We were looking for someplace to camp for a few hours because at 2000 that evening, England were playing South Africa in the Rugby World Cup finals. All of England was Rugby mad, and in the photo, I’m wearing a supporter shirt for the boys of England. We finally located a Sports Bar called The Puzzle that looked inviting. We didn’t stay; there must have been 700 people packed in there watching the ManU vs Aston Villa game on gi-friggin-normous tellys. But, it was very, very loud and very, very trendy. Not our style not what we wanted. It is the first bar that Terrill & I have walked into together and immediately left. Rude or not, we didn’t want to stay. We walked a little further on and found an inviting place called The Distiller’s. They were showing the Rugby match upstairs. So, we each got a pint and waited for the upstairs to open. When it finally did, we went up to grab seats…too late. Already crowded, we nearly left; but we rationalized that any such place was going to be nearly as (or more so) busy. So, we slotted into the bar space and stayed put. What an amazing experience. The England v Russia football match on Wednesday was great, but England were playing poorly and the pub was quiet because of that. Not so tonight. The match was tight, the rugby was breathtakingly beautiful to watch, the tension was palpable. And, although the room was split along fan lines with England fans taking approximately 65% of the room, there was no animosity to be found. It was genteel, if boisterous (can those two go together?) crowd. A few spilt beers here and there, some genuine tears of frustration (or joy if you were a South Africa fan) and lots of camaraderie made for an absolutely unforgettable experience. If only my camera battery had held out. Finally, the day had to end. Terrill & took the tube back to Central Bus Station, then got a ride back to our hotel. We said our goodbyes and I was off to my room. I was leaving to return home in but a few short hours while he was off to Bern, Switzerland. A long hard week of work, interspersed with some truly memorable events was over. I was sad and excited to be headed home.
Cheers.

~KR (20 October 2007)

Listening to:
Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World by U2
on Achtung Baby

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire, auto mode

Tags: , , , , , , , ,