Perry Moffitt

April 9, 2008

The lovely UK – volume 2

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my most favorite road sign in the whole world. Found in Oxford. It just sums up everything really!

So- Day 3 started a little rougher. It had snowed, which put the Brits in quite a state. Arctic Blast was what everyone was calling it. Damn Cold is what Paul kept saying, he left his coat at home thinking he wouldn’t be needing it.

The National Rail had snow related problems and so we spent a while on buses trying to get to London. In the end we spent about $50 to get to london only 45 minutes before the rest of the company. That taken into account, my incredible deals on clothes at Petticoat Market were not so incredible. I spent $32 total on some very lovely finds.

Then we set off to Brick Lane for Indian food with some of the company where Paul enjoyed a very spicy lunch and I learned chicken kebob is really a chicken sausage, although delicious.

A short jaunt down to the Thames to poke around the boats, we got there too late to get into the naval history museum but we had a nice walk on the river.

In keeping with doing whatever Paul wanted we jumped the tube for a ride in the London Eye. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I mean, the whole idea of seeing things from above has worn thin on me after many, many trips to the top of bell towers to look down at the pigeon filled square. But there is a lot of construction going on in London and we could have easily counted 100 cranes all over the city which was phenomenal.

We met up with another company member and headed to a pub at the foot of the millennium bridge where we drank the cold away, Cider black has a lovely way of keeping me warm,

st paul’s at night

tower of london at night

that is until we walked a million miles back to the hotel because the previously mentioned company member didn’t want to spend money on the tube ride. In retrospect I should have bought him his tube fare and saved my feet because my left foot has still not recovered from the 3 mile jog in the cold!

Paul started the show at the Barbican on Monday so I was on my own again. The Tate Gallery, a little underwhelmed. National Portrait Gallery, great as always, although I was sitting down a lot and rubbing my foot. I skipped St. Paul’s because of the – gulp – 10 pounds entrance fee (bear in mind the museums all have a 3 pound requested donation). Ubiquitous gift shop- dear god, should I mortgage the house to get a tee-shirt for the cat sitter?? A quick dinner with Paul and then then scurried to the West End to buy a last minute ticket for Avenue Q.

Where I finally found a break in the weak dollar! I got a ticket for 10 pounds (yes the same price I skipped at the cathedral) and got a box seat with a slightly restricted view. Good show- funny puppets- amazing singers. Back to hotel where I had another cider with Paul and then packed to come home. Flew all day yesterday, re-assembled the dogs and cats, did some hurried laundry to have some clothes to wear to work today. Whew- talk about whirlwind. But I don’t think I could have afforded another day!

April 5, 2008

I love the uk!

Filed under: Uncategorized — perrymoffitt @ 7:51 pm
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So I arrived early yesterday morning, took a bus from the airport to Oxford and met Paul in the hotel. I managed to sleep on the plane so we headed right out and did a little walking tour.

Passed up a couple entrance fees (the weak dollar makes this trip a little like window shopping) but splurged on a 2 pound fee for the Sheldonian Theatre built by Christoper Wren.

Well worth it, the view from the cuopla was awesome.

Then we hit the cutest pub in the whole town. We know because we walked the whole town looking for ambiance. We found it at Turf Tavern. Chock full of college atmosphere but it is Oxford so it felt like we were surrounded by geniuses.

Then Paul went to work and I did a little more wandering, finding the Oxford franchise of Wagamama, a noodle house that was my favorite restaurant when I studied in London years ago.

I wanted a tee shirt when I was in college but could never bring myself to pay the 12 pounds, but since it has been years and I found I still wanted it, I splurged and spent 15 pounds. Gulp!

Then I went to see Paul’s show, although very honestly, I was so tired that I wasn’t following very well. The actors were fanastic but I am not current enough on my greek tragedy to follow it in one viewing. I will get to see it again in Philadelphia in a few weeks. Dreaming of crumpets for breakfast, I turned in early. Resulting in waking early and I jumped a bus to London, leaving Paul in Oxford to work. I inadvertently saved 3 pounds on the bus fair when the driver mistook me for a student. Nearly 30 and still able to pass for a student! Hooray!

First thing I bought an all day tube pass which has more than doubled in cost in the last 9 years. It used to be 2 pound 40 p and it is now 5 pound 40p . All day on the tube is still worth the 11 American dollars. I started the morning at the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was like visiting an old friend. I don’t think I knew how lonely I was when I studied here years ago. Now, I enjoy companionship of a friend or Paul at a museum but it felt totally right visiting these rooms again by myself, and it felt like I was here so recently the way I remembered particular pieces.

I restrained from buying myself one of these Pantone colored coffee mugs, the conversion to dollars made them $19 each. Ouch.

Then I tried the first fabric store I had researched. But sadly, it was not really quilting cotton and the prints were nothing special but still expensive.

Back to the tube and I retraced my old walk from Covent Garden to Baker Street , passing though Leicester and Piccadilly Squares, Carnaby Street, Oxford Circus and Marylebone High Street. I was amazed at how much and how little London has changed. On the way I saw my old flat, exactly the same, in a neighborhood that has changed quite a lot. Mostly the scaffolding has all come down. Funny what a diffence that makes! 2 more fabric store failures and I decide to give up. No one knew what I was talking about when I said quilting cottons anyway. I made it to Baker Street by 4 so I decided to squeeze in another sight. I just google mapped my walking route and it was almost 4 miles one way! No wonder I was so skinny then!!

I hopped the tube again and headed to Westminster. When I came out of the tube station it was poaring! It was crazy to see this big ferris wheel but it is placed nicely across from Big Ben and I didn’t hate it as much as I thought it would. A quick look at Big Ben and then a dash to Waterloo to escape the rain and hail, seriously, hail.

I dragged myself, dripping wet to Marble Arch and got on the Oxford bus to come back to Paul. I arrived right as his show was finishing and managed to get a bite to eat with him before he had to strike. I found this poster on the way back to the hotel.

Tomorrow the whole company moves to London. I really want to go to Petticoat Market, but aside from that, tomorrow is Paul’s choice in sightseeing. I suspect he will have some ship and boat related destinations and some searches for Admiral Nelson. Ahoy!

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