Sunday, December 31, 2006

Two Travel Oopsies

First, from, an unruly traveller slaps an undercover air marshall.

Second, also from, a German man meant to fly to Sydney, Australia but typed in the wrong thing and landed in Sidney, Montana.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Candles, Candles, Candles

St Philips - Carol Service - 3On Sunday, I went to the St. Philip's Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. Actually, I didn't just go, I helped set out a few candles. And by a few, I mean hundreds. Literally. Possibly thousands.

St Philips - Carol Service - 5

It involved more than six people,

three different ladders, and hours of work.

St Philips - Carol Service - 4

Each window looked like this.

But, after all the candles were lit, the service began and the music was wonderful!

A Community Carol Service

On Monday night, the University of London Church Choir (my choir) sang at the St. Anne's Community Christmas Carol Service in Soho, London. This year, they decided to move the service out in the community and hold it at Kingly Court on Carnaby Street. (Photo'll notice both the distinct lack of church building as well as the somewhat absent roof. There was a tent-like covering that night, but we were still basically singing a shopping mall.) In addition to our choir, the choir from Soho Parish School sang as well. The Lord Mayor of Westminster also spoke, as did other community members. Oh, and there was a raffle!

The St. Anne's website says this:

11th December at 7.00pm
“Light in Darkness”

The Carol Service of the House of St Barnabas-in-Soho
A traditional carol service in the beautiful surroundings of an Oxford Movement


Monday 18th December (in Kingly Court at 7.00pm)
“Here we come a wassailing”

A Community Carol Concert for Soho
With Choirs from Soho Parish School and the London University
Church, Readers and performers from the Soho business and residential communities
Soloist Paul Martyn-West.
At this concert there will be a collection and raffle (Santa’s Sack) for the Bryan Burrough Memorial Appeal - a New Hall For Soho Parish School
After the concert mulled wine and mince pies will be served in Kingly Court

(We actually sang at both of these services - the other is mentioned below.)

The Dales

Last Saturday, I took the Blue Pullman train to the Yorkshire Dales. We had a leisurely full English breakfast as the train wound its way from the London area north to Skipton.
Blue Pullman - interior - 1

Skipton Castle - 38

Once in Skipton, we took a short coach trip to Grassington for its annual Dickensian Christmas Festival. The small village was filled with stalls selling hot toddies, mince pies, crafts and gifts. Villagers were dressed like Dickensian characters (complete with shoe shine urchins - a huge number of shoe shine urchins). There was a town cryer, carolers, music, stilt walkers, and some Morris dancers.
Grassington - Dickensian Festival -  04
After a couple hours in Grassington, I returned to Skipton where I climbed about in the castle for a while. The web site says this:
Over 900 years old, Skipton Castle is one of the most complete and best preserved medieval castles in England and is well worth a visit at any season of the year.

Skipton Castle - 08

In December, the castle is cold, drafty (that's 'draughty') and probably pretty authentic. It's also pretty dark at 4:00 in the afternoon.

Soon, we headed back to our train for the trip back to London...and a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

More photos on flickr:
Skipton, Grassington, the Blue Pullman.
Hertfordshire Rail Tours

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

2005 - A Retrospective

Yes, that does say 2005 - A Retrospective. Let nobody accuse me of being too timely with things,
I dug up a bunch of old pictures (well, old as in 2005) and posted them to flickr. But since I know everyone else has a life and nobody really wants to spend hours trolling through my old pictures, here are a few highlights.

A rainbow over Greenwich park -
April 2005.
London - Greenwich - Rainbow - 4
Visiting the Top Secret
Nuclear Bunker in April 2005.
Kelvedon Hatch - Top Secret Nuclear Bunker - 02
Cardiff Castle - April 2005.
Cardiff - Castle - 05

The SS Great Britain
in Bristol - August 2005.
Bristol - ss Great Britain - 21
Salisbury Cathedral -
March 2005.
Salisbury - Cathedral - 11

Stonehenge - March 2005.
Stonehenge - 07
Seeing the Queen twodays
after the July bombings in
London - July 2005.
London - WWII - Summer Remembrance - 060
Elderly People sign in
St. Albans - March 2005.
St Albans - 03
Stained glass colours at
St. Giles Cathedral,
Edinburgh - April 2005.
Edinburgh - St Giles Cathedral - 10
Trooping the Colour - June 2005.
London - Trooping the Colour 2005 - 077
A small church on a tiny island in
Montenegro - August 2005.
Visiting Mostar Bridge
in Bosnia - August 2005.
A Croatian fish picnic - August 2005.
Inside the Lloyd's Building
in London - September 2005.
London - Lloyds Building - 26
I was one of the only people in
Salou, Spain in February 2005.
Salou - 27
Visiting La Sagrada Familia
in Barcelona - February 2005.
Visiting the Sinn Fein gift shop -
I had to be buzzed in (that should
have been Clue #1) - and then realizing
I was headed back through the wrong
neighbourhood to be carrying that stuff.
Belfast - August 2005.
Seeing sleeping pipistrelle bats at
Durham Cathedral, September 2005.
Getting rescued from the middle of
the Thames by the RNLI - March 2005.

The Peterborough RailWorld Museum -
August 2005.
Peterborough - Train Museum - 2

Seeing a giant UFO in Docklands - October 2005.
Watching Hare Krishnas dance
at Piccadilly Circus Tube Station -
January 2005.
Hare Krishnas - 06 - In Piccadilly Circus Tube Stn
Visiting the Temple Church -
January 2005.
Temple Church - 01
A marching accordian band
at the Apprentice Boys of Derry
parade - Derry, Northern Ireland -
August 2005
New Years 2005 Fireworks.
London - New Year's Fireworks - 4
Old Town Stevenage on my first
day there (okay, so technically that's
the end of December 2004).
Stevenage - Old Town 2

So, what have I been doing since October?

Let's see...there's work. And work. And more work.

But I'd be lying if I said that work was all I've been doing. So, let's begin...

Lisbon, Portugal - for an European Union eTwinning Workshop
Amsterdam, Holland
Oslo, Norway
Copenhagen, Denmark
Calais and Lille, France, and Brussels, Belgium - breakfast in England, lunch in France, dinner in Belgium
(pictures here on flickr)

Chelmsford Cathedral
Southwark Cathedral
St. James West Hampstead

St Barnabas, Soho Square

Seeing, Going, Doing:
Windsor Castle - several rooms from the residence are now open!
St. George's Chapel
The Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret
The Golden Hinde
The Tate Modern - new slides!
The Lord Mayor's Show in London
The Lord Mayor's Fireworks
(some pictures on flickr)

Starter for Ten
Wyrd Sisters
Grantchester Grind
Adrian Mole, the Wilderness Years
Ultraviolet (can't find a link...sorry)
Cold Comfort Farm
Number 10
A Dog Called Demolition
The Last King of Scotland
My Life in Orange
Utterly Monkey

Around the World on Expenses
Merde Actually

plus...the Guardian and London's two new free papers, thelondonpaper and London Lite

Edited and posted pictures from various trips in the past two years.

(a very edited list)
Mexican food from Charley's Horse in Windsor
Mince Pie donut from Krispy Kreme (only one, honest!)
Marks and Spencer Turkey and Trimmings Wrap (turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, and pork chipolata all in a traditional flour tortilla wrap)

Shoot-Out Cards (ugh...don't starts with confiscating one card...then grows...)

Lice (worst case ever EVER on a kid in my tutor group)
Tornadoes - the London Tornadoes missed me

A Slice of England...

Can't get to England any time soon? How about Shanghai?

The city of Shanghai is building nine new towns, each inspired by a town someplace else. Thames Town looks just like some places here - cobbled streets, Tudor houses, pubs, even a church (which creates an interesting socio-religious-political conundrum, when you think about it).

But to be really authentic, you'd need an M&S Mostly Food, a PoundLand and six or seven fried chicken places.

Oh, plus some stumbling drunks on the weekends.

Here's the link from NPR.