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Royal Wedding Fever, Part II

Apparently my Olympus Mμ 3000 takes video in Mp4 mode (aka Apple format) and though Windows Movie Maker let me drag the Mp4s in and let me edit things, it wouldn’t publish the final video. This was frustrating me to no end yesterday as I tried about three times to edit the footage together, only to have it stall all three times at 20%, 46%, and 24%. I gave up and decided I would try again tomorrow, not realizing the video format issue.

I discovered the issue today, when I was looking at the files and noticed they had the Quicktime symbol on them….ooops. I converted the Mp4s down to wmv files thanks to a free program called Prism, and finally got it edited and up on YouTube*. So, here it is. My video from Friday!

Link if the embedded video doesn’t show up: http://youtu.be/F1TDnVX42B8

*I’m sure there are easier ways to do this, but what can I say? I like doing things the hard way!

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Royal Wedding Fever, Part I

I woke up at 4AM on Friday morning and Tim drove me to the train station where I boarded a train headed for Newark North Gate (followed by a train to London King’s Cross). Yes, I was going to join the crowds outside Westminster Abbey. I didn’t expect to get close enough to see much, but I was going for the experience and so I could say I was there.

I will write a post later describing my day, but for now, here’s a copy of my Twitter feed from yesterday:

  • 05:20:35: People on train with bacon buttys. Makes me hungry!
  • 05:29:14: Wave at the signalling centre!
  • 06:05:04: Snagged an unreserved seat to london
  • 07:38:54: Have met two lovely people on the train. We decided to stick together for a bit
  • 07:52:02: Mcdonalds at kings cross has free loos. (Bought a cup of tea though) #london
  • 08:30:27: At big ben. Trying to get close to westminster
  • 09:01:22: Amidst the crowds at westminster
  • 09:04:23: Anyone know where nbc is camped out?
  • 09:07:40: Cant see a thing but this is so worth it!
  • 09:21:00: Beckham has arrived
  • 09:29:30: American stations need to find me!
  • 09:37:32: Mayor of london arrived
  • 09:50:25: Just got interviewed by fox 11!
  • 10:03:48: On the move again. Can’t see anything anyway!
  • 10:18:17: Can see prince charles and harry’s car
  • 10:35:46: Saw princess anne!
  • 10:53:07: Oops. Walked in front of a ‘news caster’ who had a cheaper camera than me
  • 10:59:04: Found nbc but they are on the roof
  • 11:12:38: Passed a few regiments of marching soldiers.
  • 11:43:10: Listening to wedding in the park
  • 11:53:14: Whole crowd singing along to god save the queen
  • 12:07:14: Walking, walking, walking
  • 12:15:32: Ha! Knapsack got caught in cop’s handcuffs as i squeezed past!
  • 12:26:28: Omg. Just saw the queen!
  • 12:32:30: I’ve lost my new friends. 🙁 oh well it was a fun few hours
  • 12:35:34: Not going to see the official wave. Had enough of crowds. Might find a bench and have my lunch
  • 12:50:06: My bottle of sparkling water exploded on me and person next to me. He was a good sport though
  • 12:53:05: To rosa and arthur of grantham- thanks for making it fun. Sorry we got separated
  • 13:11:11: Is westminster abbey open to tour this afternoon?
  • 13:15:41: Have taken off and put back on longsleeved undershirt in public without flashing thank you hhs marching band!
  • 13:27:57: And a cheer went up! Must be the wave
  • 13:31:23: Amazing flyover!
  • 14:04:45: Should have stayed in park longer! Too many people
  • 14:14:33: Just walked past downing street
  • 14:31:01: Abbey not open 🙁
  • 15:19:28: Twit on underground giggles everytime cockfosters is announced
  • 15:39:59: In the loo at st. Pancras giving myself
    Wet wipe refresh. Sweat=more infections in armpit
  • 15:54:36: St pancras so much quieter than kings cross! Love the hubs for suggesting it
  • 16:18:52: Ah. East midlands trains…smooth and quiet
  • 18:28:35: Almost home…the rapeseed is killing my nose!
  • 19:33:27: Fine alk day and my knee goes at st mark’s in lincoln
  • 19:47:23: Uni campus is dead
  • 20:45:40: Should i be concerned that the door to the ladies loo at frankie and bennies reads ‘dies’?
  • 22:12:28: Home from my big day out after a wonderful meal with Tim. off to bed for this sleepy commoner! Will update with pics and blogs tomorrow!

You also can watch parts of the Royal Wedding on their official YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheRoyalChannel including THREE HOURS of coverage via this link: http://youtu.be/schQZY3QjCw

I do have a vlog I took while in the crowd, it’s in the process of being uploaded now.

For other more official coverage, see:

BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11767495
Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/royal-wedding/
And another person who was amidst the crowds: http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2011/04/29/135834585/the-royal-wedding-a-crowds-eye-view

My photos are available on Facebook via this link: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/fbx/?set=a.10150235908637160.371117.522022159&l=9961b76489 but I will post highlights when I write my longer post!

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Photo at the top of this entry © The British Monarchy and may only be used for media purposes.
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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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London Transport and War

It’s no secret, my husband is a big transport nut. And surprisingly, I’m starting to turn into one, too. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, one of Tim’s job benefits is rail passes. We get a certain amount per year, but each time we use it, it’s valid for 48 hours. We try to plan overnight trips or back-to-back daytrips to make the most of our passes. I put in a request to go to London, as London is in my top 5 places to visit in the UK, and I hadn’t been to London since I moved. Tim agreed, and I’m sure I shocked him when I told him where I wanted to spend the day – The London Transport Museum and the Imperial War Museum.

The London Transport Museum is in Covent Gardens. If you’re approaching the market from the underground station, walk around the left side and you should see the entrance straight ahead. Admission to the museum is £13.50 for adults, but this includes an annual pass to return at any time in the following 12 months.

The museum has everything and anything related to transport in London, including old underground cars from the ages complete with models dressed in the fashion of that era. When you walk into the museum, they have the walls decorated with maps of transit systems all over the world, and imagine my surprise to see a corner of a New Jersey Transit map!

In addition to underground cars, there are plenty of busses, trollys, trolly busses and trams on display – even some horse-drawn vehicles from the 1800s! They have over 80 assorted transportation vehicles in their collection, 20 of which can be seen at the museum daily. If you want to see the other vehicles, you have to pay a visit to the depot Acton Town. Many of the vehicles are open so you can climb aboard and see the interiors.

There is so much to see at the Transport Museum, if I went into detail you would feel as though you were reading a novel, so I’ll let you go down and explore it on your own.

Our second stop for the day was the Imperial War Museum. The IWM is surrounded by the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, a perfect spot to have a picnic lunch before entering the museum. This museum is free, however if you want to see one of the special exhibits there might be a charge.

I wanted to go because they were having a Ministry of Food special exhibit showcasing life during World War I and II, including the “Dig for Victory” campaign and the Women’s Land Army, two topics that interest me.

By the time we got to the IWM, I was very tired and I was starting to not feel too good, so I skipped out on parts of the museum in order to make it to the MoF exhibit. The MoF is running until 3 January 2011 and there is a small fee (less than a fiver). To be honest, the exhibit didn’t have anything “new” in it. Everything that was on display was something I had either seen elsewhere or read about, but I think that was to be expected since this is a major interest of mine. I even have been trying to decorate my kitchen in the post-war style. But if you are unfamiliar with the MoF, this would be a great exhibit to take a look at, and you don’t have much time left to do so!

After the IWM, we wandered over to the Thames, and I debated getting a ticket for the London Eye. Tim doesn’t want to go on it, so I would have gone up on my own. I decided not to, and hope that I can ride on it when my mom visits in December.

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Royal Observatory at Greenwich

[This entry refers to a day trip taken in January 2009. As requested, I will be going back and blogging the trips I only posted vlogs about January – April.]

Back when Tim and I started planning my trip, he asked me to make a list of places I’d like to see. The list was in no way a guarantee that we’d go, but it was a good jumping off point for making plans. I can also proudly say that after 6 months, we did nearly everything on the list!

One of the places on my list, was the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. The map geek in me was overjoyed that I was going to be traveling from 100 degrees (when I was in Manitoba last summer) to 0 within a matter of weeks (and, at the beginning of 2008 I was almost at the Equator, too!). When I was doing some research for my UK trip, I discovered that you could go to Greenwich and stand on the Prime Meridian…thus being in both the West and the East at the same time!

When Tim and I planned our weekend to London this past January, we included a trip to Greenwich. We started our trek by taking the Docklands Light Railway, which is a light railway that does not have any drivers on it! (You might remember my vlog I made that day, viewable here.). The DLR doesn’t drop you off right at the observatory, of course, so we had a bit of a walk through Greenwich (though we could have taken the bus, we opted to walk). Once we got there, I also discovered you need to walk uphill to get to the observatory. By this point in our weekend, my legs were really hurting from the prior days, so we took it slow, stopping to sit on benches along the way. Our goal was to get to the Prime Meridian before 1300 GMT, as we wanted to watch the red ball drop at 1300, but we had plenty of time.

Believe it or not, I was actually pretty awe-struck finally getting to see the world clock and getting to stand right on the Prime Meridan. There are few things that can excite a map geek as much as being able to be both East and West at the same time!

We went into the observatory and got to see a huge display about clocks, and learned about the first clocks ever built. After we watched the red ball drop, we decided to head to the Maritime Museum. Tim wound up going through this museum mostly on his own. My legs were just too tired to take it all in, but the museum had a small cafe, so I was able to sit at a table with a drink and I read and listened to music (and I think I might have even fallen asleep at one point!). I felt bad leaving Tim to look at the museum on his own, but I was glad he was able to get the chance to do it.

After closing time, we decided to take a bus back over to the DLR (yay!), and then the Tube back to Victoria Station for the short walk back to the hotel.


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The Royal Observatory

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I’m standing in the East and the West!

More Photos


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London, Day 2

We really packed a lot into day two, without actually planning on it. We wound up going to the Tower Bridge, the HMS Belfast, Big Ben/Parliament, seeing Oliver! in the West End, and Piccadilly Circus! Thanks to our daypasses for the Underground, we didn’t have to do a whole lot of walking, either.

The first thing we wanted to do was to see about getting theatre tickets for Oliver!, the production Burn Gorman is currently appearing in. Fortunately, there was a discount ticket booth right in the Covent Gardens tube station, and thanks to the person behind the counter calling the theatre, we scored high balcony seats for that evening’s performance. With tickets safely tucked into my camera case, we headed back onto the Tube to start our day.

Our day started with the trip to the Tower Bridge. I had discovered the Tower Bridge has a tour where you can walk along the top of it, and I really wanted to do it…and somehow I convinced Tim to go along with me! It was really neat learning about how the Tower Bridge was built and why, and then getting to walk across both sides of the upper bridge to take photos and video of London. We had a great time doing this, and fortunately, the Tower Bridge was a short walk away from our next stop. We decided against the Tower of London, since we both had already been there and I knew when I come back this fall with my mom, I’d be taking her there.

Just a short walk away from the Tower Bridge is the HMS Belfast. Again, I don’t know or remember much about it other than it is a 1930s warship. They were testing out a new route for their tour, so we got a little confused walking around and I kept feeling like we were places we shouldn’t be since there was no organized tour like with the HMS Victory. We did a lot of climbing up and down ladders, which I wasn’t a fan of, and had to squeeze past a lot of really tight locations to see it all. We learned all about how the sailors lived on the ship, as well as how the ship itself worked. We also stopped to eat on the HMS Belfast, and we purchased cups of tea to go along with the sandwiches we had packed.

From the HMS Belfast, it was another short walk to the London Bridge tube stop. When I saw we were going to be near Westminster, I asked Tim if we could stop to take photos of Big Ben and Parliament. I have photos from my first trip back in 1997, but there’s something about going to London and taking photos of all the important landmarks that appealed to me, so we stopped and after shooting short videos and taking photos, headed back onto the Tube to go back to our hotel to change for the play!

We stopped for dinner at a chippy around the corner from the hotel. I can’t rave about the food, because I really didn’t enjoy it all that much and ordered a hot drink when I wanted a cold drink, but it didn’t matter – we were off to Oliver!

Sadly, we didn’t get to see Jodie Prenger perform and saw Tamsin instead. I was disappointed, as I was really looking forward to seeing Jodie after watching I’d Do Anything. Tamsin didn’t impress me much. Her chemistry with Burn Gorman, who plays Bill Sikes, seemed non-existent to me. But Burn was amazing as Bill, and Rowan Atkinson gave a very hilarious performance as Fagin. Burn even managed to sing a bit of “My Name”. The character is so dark and cynical and I think Burn pulls it off well. The music cues when Bill comes on stage are sinister and dark, but it also takes a good actor to be able to take those music cues and actually make the audience fearful of him. Amazing performance, I loved it.

But perhaps the best part came after the show. I ran around the corner to the Stage Door, and got to catch Burn long enough to shake his hand and tell him who I was. It really made my evening! He was in a hurry to get home, but he still took the time to respond to my “Excuse me, Mr Gorman” and came over to say hello.

Needless to say, I was flying high after this and convinced Tim we should stop at Piccadilly Circus to take some photos before we headed back to the hotel for bed. We returned to the hotel, exhausted, but still flying high (at least for me!) after the performance.


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Previously posted video logs can be found here:
http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/2009/01/more-vlogs-from-london/
http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/2009/01/more-vlogs/

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UK by Rail: London, Day One

I was waiting to post about our London trip until I had copies of Tim’s photos to post with mine, but he’s been busy with his workshop and other stuff, and I thought I’d get up at least the first post before we head out traveling this weekend. I’ll post photos later, when I have Tim’s.

We were looking for something to do over a long weekend, and after rejecting a trip to the Lakes District (nothing was open, and it would be too cold), as well as the Norfolk Broads (same reason), we settled on going down to London and spending a few days there. I previously visited London back in November, but we did a theatre trip with Tim’s siblings and met up with one of my friends, so we didn’t do as much touristy things as I’d have liked, so we decided to do a real tourist weekend in London!

I scored us super cheap accommodations at a Bed & Breakfast (Belgravia Hotel) near Victoria Station. Because it was the off-season, the B&B was charging £100 for the 3 nights (less than £35/night for two people!), when their usual rate for the room we had (a deluxe double) was £80/night. I can’t remember which website I found it on, I just remember googling “inexpensive hotels London” and google spit back a few sites and we had them all open in tabs to compare the places. There was one other place that was cheaper for the three nights at £85 for all three, but that location did not serve breakfast, and had a kitchenette instead. While we could have stayed there and paid £15 less, I think our included continental breakfasts were worth the £2.50/each per day…and we’d have spent more on breakfast probably if we had been cooking it ourselves. (Plus who wants to cook when they’re staying in a hotel?)

We decided to take the train down from Lincoln, and while it was a crowded train, it was a pleasant journey. We had to switch in Newark from the local train to a National Express train, but we were lucky to only have to wait about 5 minutes. The National Express train even had wifi! I didn’t pull out my laptop, but I used the wifi on my iPod. We had packed some sandwiches for the trip, but wound up saving them for the next day.

We had to switch to the Underground at King’s Cross. A single fare cost me over £4! Insanity when the day pass is only £7, but since we only needed it for one trip, the daypass was pointless. Our hotel was located about 3/4 of a mile away from Victoria Station….which wasn’t bad, but it felt like a mighty long walk carrying luggage!

It was coming up on dinnertime, so we checked into our B&B, got ourselves settled and discovered both the smallest bathroom I’ve ever seen (even smaller than the bathroom on the cruise ship I was on!), as well as a mini fridge to keep our snacks cool, and headed out in search of dinner.

We wound up at the mini mall connected to Victoria Station and had a great dinner in one of the restaurants. After dinner, we returned to the hotel, grabbed our cameras, and walked down to Buckingham Palace (about a mile from where we were staying), and shot some photo and video in the dark. The evening wasn’t cold at all, but we were getting tired, so we retired back to the hotel around 10. We knew we wanted to get up and out early the following day (plus didn’t want to miss breakfast!), but my stomach had other plans for me. We still got out on time in the morning, but for about half the day my stomach was churning.

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The bathroom was so small, part of the toilet tank stuck into the shower and the shower stall was so tiny, neither one of us could really turn around without getting the entire bathroom wet! (And I’m a small person!) If you shut the door to use the toilet (like most people do), your knees almost touched the door and I kept banging my knee on the sink. We barely had any room to keep our toiletries and towels in there!

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Buckingham Palace!

I fixed my photo posting, so you can now click on images again to get a larger pic.

If you want to watch the video logs from the first night again, you can find them here: http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/2009/01/two-vlogs-from-london/

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More London Vlogs!

I promise a real entry soon!

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More Vlogs….

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More Vlogs from London

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Two Vlogs from London

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UK Road Trip Part VIII, ii: Doctor Who Exhibition!

The next day, we took the train back into London to meet up with our Assistant Admin for burn-gorman.com, Xenutia. Xenutia and I dragged her dad and Tim to the Doctor Who Exhibition at Earl’s Court. We both were afraid the men would be bored, but they seemed to get along well and even enjoyed the exhibition! I was quite excited to get to go, as the Cardiff Doctor Who Exhibition was closed the day Tim and I were in Cardiff.

When Tim and I exited the Earl’s Court tube station, we immediately spotted the exhibition hall…with the front entrance roped off and a gaggle of young teenage girls wearing spanky pants and sparkles. Turns out, auditions for “Britain’s Got Talent” were also taking place at the hall. We had a funny moment when Tim and I walked up to someone “official looking” to ask them if they knew how to get into the Doctor Who exhibit and they asked Tim if he was there to audition! We were directed to go down the side of the building, and along the way we spotted a very sullen-looking 8 or 9-yr-old boy all dressed up in his Sunday best, flanked by his parents. We were taking bets that he was being forced to audition. Rumor had it (and Xenutia’s dad said he saw him) that Simon Cowel was present! Glad we didn’t run into him!

It started to rain, so we decided to go inside to wait for Xenutia. It was fairly empty, not surprising for a Sunday. The people at the box office almost were unable to process my US credit card (since I was dragging Tim along, I decided to pay for out admission), but it finally went through, and tickets in hand, we headed into the exhibit!

The exhibit was a bit jumbled, to be quite honest. It starts with Ten (David Tennant), and we see the costumes worn by Donna (Catherine Tate) and Martha (Freema Agyman), then we go into a section about Series One and Rose (Billie Piper). Very little about Nine (Christopher Eccleston) or Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman). Fortunately we rectified the lack of Jack by making sure we took photos of my mini-Jack with everything.

Both Xenutia and I enjoyed the costume section more than the other sections – They even showed the mock-up drawings and fabric swatches used for costumes. Quite useful for cosplayers!

The other section we had the most fun in was the Dalek section. They had a dalek you could crawl into set up with a similar microphone to the one Nick Briggs uses to distort his voice. Tim got into it and started making random train station announcements with the dalek voice. Sadly, my video of this picked up all the background noise in the exhibit and you couldn’t hear him on it :(.

The exhibit empties out into – what else? – the gift shop. Surprisingly I used lots of restraint and only purchased some stickers. I was disappointed with the lack of Torchwood merchandise, but I assume had we been able to go to the exhibit in Cardiff, we would have found Torchwood items. Oh well. Tim picked up a handful of the old Doctor Who books, and he and I have been reading them the past few days.

After the exhibition, I had agreed to go with Tim to a garden railway show at the Kew Pump House. Tim has his own garden railway and it’s one of his main hobbies, so we figured it was a nice trade-off. I actually enjoyed myself. The show itself was actually inside the pumping house museum, so while you were looking at the trains you also could see the exhibits..and possibly the largest steam powered water pump I have ever seen. I’m still working on getting those videos up on YouTube. We decided to take the train back into London to get our connection back to Shoreham instead of the tube, and had dinner in a small restaurant in Waterloo station before heading back to N’s house for sleep.



Xenutia, Tim, and me outside the exhibtion


Xenutia, Captain Jack, and I pose with a Dalek.

More photos: http://photos.beccajanestclair.com/uk-trip-2008/doctor-who-exhibition/

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UK Road Trip Part VIII, i: London Calling

We started our long weekend away with a drive down to Shoreham-by-Sea, where Tim’s friend, N, lives, and where we would be sleeping all weekend.  We didn’t arrive with anytime to take a look around, but headed straight to bed because we needed to be up early for the next day!

Saturday morning we headed for the train station and purchased a “combination ticket” for me that would give me unlimited access to the trains, underground, and busses in London (Tim didn’t need a train ticket, as he works for the railway).  Once we got to London’s Victoria Station, we had to sort out finding the loo (us: bathroom) for me as the loo on the train was broken.  We had to pay 30p (US $0.45) to use the toilet!  Tim explained to me they charge for it to discourage people walking on off the streets to us the toilet.  Makes sense to me.

We didn’t have to meet Tim’s siblings for another hour or so, so he decided to surprise me and told me we were getting on the Tube (Underground) and would be getting off at King’s Cross.  I immediately perked up, as I knew what was at King’s Cross I wanted to see!  We exited the Underground and headed into the station and immediately started heading towards the signs for Platforms 9-11.  In case you haven’t figured it out yet, we were in search of Platform 9 3/4, the mysterious portal into the wizarding world (as seen in the Harry Potter movies).  We soon found it, and of course had to take a picture of me pushing the cart through.

We received a call letting us know Tim’s siblings were running late – part of the Underground was closed for maintenance and they were going to have to alter their route.  We didn’t mind, and when we got to Covent Garden, we headed into the first pub we saw.  I’m almost ashamed to admit I had a half pint of cider before 11 in the morning!  (but so were plenty of other people!)

The five of us (Tim, his sister, his brother, his brother’s girlfriend, and me) headed for Lunch inside the market and then split up.  Tim and his brother, B, headed to the transport museum and S, M, and I went shopping!

…Or at least, we tried.  The trouble was, the shops were so crowded you could barely move around to look at things, let alone actually *buy* anything, so we wound up just walking around until it was time to meet the boys to head to the theatre.

Tim’s parents got us tickets to see Spamalot, the musical based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  The show was hilarious, and thankfully not a word-for-word recreation of the movie, but it still managed to have in it all the best bits from the movie that were well-loved, such as the “bring out your dead” scene.  I was highly disappointed though to find they had skipped over the entire witch sketch!

After the show, we were meeting M’s brother for dinner.  Originally we were going to get Mexican, but the restaurant offering’s didn’t quite match up to my food restrictions, so we wound up at the Italian restaurant next door.  We all had very fulling meals, and after taking some silly photos, we all split up.  S, B, and M back up to Lincon, M’s brother back to his home, and Tim and I back to Shoreham-by-Sea.


For more photos see: http://photos.beccajanestclair.com/uk-trip-2008/london/

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Made it to the UK!

For those of you wondering, I made it to the UK! 😀 I even managed to get the last seat in Business Class for the flight instead of having to fly in Economy Plus. Woot. United has incredible service (at least in Business Class). I don’t think my water glass was ever empty, and they were constantly trying to push glasses of wine!

The food was alright, but I wound up having to have the steak wrapped in bacon, which as a vegetarian was a no-no. So I ate the salad, the veggies, and potatoes. Fortunately, I had planned ahead for this and packed a bento so I had plenty of food.

We actually got to London around 5:30, but because planes aren’t allowed to land until 6, we had to circle around. 6 was still early for our flight, and we were the only international flight heading to immigrations/customs.

Going through Immigration/Customs was a breeze! Tim wrote a letter stating he had invited me for the length of time I was staying, and that *really* helped.

Of course, this meant I was ready to go by 6:30, and Tim wasn’t coming to get me until 7:30!

Tim and I decided we would make afew stops on the way back, and after trying to stop at two different manor houses that were both closed for the season, and being unable to locate the castle he wanted to take me to, we headed to Stamford for a few hours. We walked the town and the shops – a lady in a store selling hair clips convinced Tim to buy my clips (75p), and we went in a few used bookstores.

I loved Stamford. Such a lovely old beautiful town with even prettier buildings.

A sneak peek of some photos:


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