Sunday, June 17, 2012

trip to England

This is my first time using Blogger's new format.  I don't like it.  I find it much harder to find my way around.  Why do all these companies update with making things harder, rather than keeping things simple?

I recently spent 2 weeks in England, visiting Kate and family. (Geoff, Sarah, Olivia, Alex).  With three kids, it was as usual a boisterous, busy visit.  I had one week on my own, as Kate and the kids were still in school.  The weather that week was wonderful - in the 70s with no rain.  I went on a day trip tour of Salisbury (Cathedral) and Stonehenge.  Our guide (from London Walks) was very knowledgeable  and provided sometimes humorous cometary.  I took scads of photos, which can be found on my Flickr site:   I also did a tour of London which took in a number of oddities.  This included memorials to Gilbert and Sullivan and Oscar Wilde.  Also one for the British Camel Corps.  That one consisted of a statue of a camel, created by the military man who was in charge of the Corps.

The week when the kids and Kate were on holiday had much worse weather.  There was a street party on Sunday to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  Lots of food and drink under a tent, because it was drizzling and chilly.  We watched the boats and the Royal Barge sailing on the Thames on the telly.  You couldn't have paid me to be in London during the celebrations.  We also watched the celebration outside Buckingham Palace, at home on the telly.  The Brits sure do put on a good celebration - especially lights and fireworks!

Kate and I and various kids went to an historic home - Polesden Lacy.  It's a beautiful home, although the decor is not to my taste.  Lots of crystal chandeliers, gold framed mirrors and antique furniture.  Rather overwhelming, but very impressive.

 Kate, Alex and I went to Wistley Gardens.  I love those gardens!  They are spectacular and quite large.  We didn't try to see all of it.  Roses were blooming along with azaleas and rhododendron and much more.  It rained just a bit, but luckily we were in a wooded area at that time, so didn't get wet.
 This is one of the rock gardens.
Another day we went to the British Museum.  It was a mob scene outside when we arrived.  Hundreds of people under umbrellas (it was raining a bit) waiting to get inside.  Evidently there was some sort of security problem, but eventually the lines moved and we got in.  The most popular exhibits (Magna Carta, mummies, etc.) were overflowing with visitors, but we went upstairs to the Mexican exhibit and some other less popular areas and were practically the only visitors there. I find the place overwhelming and can only enjoy a few hours, which is about Alex's limit as well.  

The day before I left, I went back into London to visit my favorite museum - the Victoria and Albert.  I took photos and gazed longingly at ceramics and glass and also  enjoyed a room featuring very early photography.