Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A trip across the sea


These could have been the sounds heard when I laid down in my much missed bed Sunday night. Our trip was wonderful, but English hotel beds are brutal. In case you were wondering, red-eye flights are for the birds. Great in theory, awful in practice. We slept our first day in England away. I am okay with it, otherwise I would have been drooling on myself in public. It is much better to do it in a dark hotel room.

Hyde Park Gate Lodge

This was our first glimpse of the things that awaited us. The weather was glorious, sunny most every day and mild temps. I am told that this is unusual in springtime England. I will accept it as a gift.

Beefeater sharing a word with young visitors

We saw the Tower of London, Big Ben, the Crown Jewels, etc. and lots and lots and lots of people. Taxis by the thousands and buses everywhere in London itself. Not as much in Cambridge.

Liberty of London

Of course a visit here was necessary. I didn't buy but two pieces of lawn. I bought prints I really liked, but the fact that we are such a global economy means that there is always another day to buy more. It is only a mouse click away when I want it. The store is a treat though. We tend to only think of Liberty of London as fabric, but it is so much more.

A pub catering to tourists expecting to find 221B Baker Street.  
(Psst, the address is as fictional as the character)

We did the bus tour and this was a sight we saw on the way. 

Unusual seating at an outdoor cafe.

We also went to the Camden Market. Oh my! All I can say is, "Toto, we aren't in Kansas anymore."

King's College Chapel at dusk

Our trip then took us to Cambridge. LOVED Cambridge. Loved.

A few of millions

Two words would describe Cambridge, antiquity and BICYCLES! Bicycles everywhere. They are leaning against almost every building, speeding down every lane, passage and roadway. I will say though, they are mostly polite.

King's College Chapel

To think that Henry VIII could come back and find this chapel unchanged, is mind boggling. The fan vault ceiling is much more impressive in person. As was the sight of seeing Anne Boleyn's crest and initials in the carvings of the organ screen. I took the opportunity to attend Evensong one day. The choir was wonderful and the spirit of the place was awe inspiring.

King Henry VIII over Trinity College Gate

Of course college students can universally be

 Is something amiss here?

pranksters. Instead of a sceptre, he is holding a chair leg! Early last century a student took away his kingly sceptre and replaced it with a chair leg. Any bets on whether he had partaken of a pint or plenty?

Clare College gate

Punting on the River Cam

There is much to see in Cambridge and it can be done leisurely.

Egyptian Escalator

We returned to London for a few days and a trip to London is not complete without a stop at the world famous Harrod's.

Harrod's Food Hall

Harrod's and Selfridges both are HUGE. Both stores are known for their luxury goods such as Prada, Chanel and Tiffany's. What many don't realize is, after you purchase your £50,000 diamonds downstairs, just jog upstairs and grab cereal and milk for breakfast in the morning. The food halls in both stores have exotic foods from all over the world right alongside the milk, bread and cereal.

English pram

I could NOT convince my husband that our baby needed one of these to the tune of £2500! At today's exchange rate that is almost 4K. He thought that was a tad indulgent. Men! 

The Orangery at Kensington Palace

I did drag him to afternoon tea again though. Sadly, I may have played that card for the last time. He is just not a big fan of tiny sandwiches and tarts. I am not really sure where his mother went wrong in his raisin'; he just doesn't take delight in that ritual as much as I do. I will say, the tea!!!!! Was. Delightful. No matter where we went, I didn't have to ask for cream/milk. Ever. It was assumed that I would want it. Of course I did! It was brewed just the way I like, hot and strong. And those cordless kettles, heaven.

Changing of the guard

Can any trip to London be complete without a trip to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard? I say NO! Of course this shot doesn't include the throngs of people there with you.

There is a drawback to a trip to England..

Kensington Palace

Hampton Court

Kensington Palace

Hampton Court

it will make you want to come home and plow up your yard!!!!! These are formal gardens, but the gardens everywhere were beautiful. Tidy, precise, green and flowering; whether it was a palace or a small back garden seen from the train.

I am home again and in case you were wondering how long it takes to smock a baby bishop? One transatlantic flight and a layover in the sweltering Philly airport. I hope to get the construction finished on it and the coming home dress this week.

You were all missed and I am glad to be home. 

And just a tiny FYI, it is time to register for SAGA National Convention. I have chosen my classes, have you? I will be spending my week in classes with Judith Adams, Gail Doane, Judith Marquis and Jeannie Baumeister. I hope to see you there. Perhaps my poor stumps, aka feet, will have recovered by then.


  1. Enjoyed reading about your trip!! Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You came at the right time! It is cold and grey at the moment.

    The Silver Cross pram is great, but surely you need a Norland Nanny to go with it! ;-)

  3. Welcome Home Martha...what a wonderful trip diary! Glad it all went so delightful! See you soon in Norfolk!

  4. Wonderful, wonderful photographs, Martha! You have a wonderful camera, and a terrific "eye!"
    Ditto on all you said about London, tea, Harrods' food court, and gardens. You make me wish we had gotten to Cambridge. The ceiling of the cathedral is amazing.
    Welcome home!

  5. Welcome Home Martha!!! I have missed you. Thanks so much for the photos and commentary from your trip. I am glad you had such a nice time!!!

  6. Welcome Home, Martha! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. :)

  7. Beautiful pictures, Martha! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Glad you had a good time. I am going to SAGA convention too!

  8. Martha,
    Welcome home. Seeing the pram brings back memories... My Mom had a pram just like that for my brother and I... it would make the rounds to whom ever needed it and then come back to our house when I was a child. I think we used it for our son Andy... I will say it was big and not very practical...only good for neighborhood walks since it would not fit in the back of the car. It was passed on to a friend of my Mom's in the end.

  9. Thank you for sharing your trip with us!

  10. Will have to check with the man and see if he had tea while he was there... he did say coffee in Paris was wonderful. I sure missed you and glad you had a great time!

  11. Now I wish my Mum had kept my pram! It was Silver Cross and I lived in it everyday until I could walk! Great photos, Martha and glad you enjoyed the trip. Gardens are what I miss seeing, especially in spring.

  12. Martha,

    What a fun trip -- I love that pram and Henry VIII's statue!

  13. What a wonderful trip and you deserved every moment of it! What a wonderful opportunity. Thanks for the tour, I live through the eyes of others on trips like that. Maybe one day?!

  14. Welcome back, Martha! Your blog tour was wonderful, great photos. The fan ceiling is aweinspiring but that pram, OH, MY!!

  15. Ouch on the jetlag and sorry to read the bed there are brutal. Nothing like home. Looks like you had a good time and walked your feet off. Bikes hum? Between walking and biking, you can burn some calories.

    I have looked over your flicker pic's. MY goodness you talented one. I cant decide which I love the most but the bunny jacket just made my heart sing. I am not good with hand embroidery but you have a knack for it. Love and adore your creations. The recipient of your creations are so blessed.

  16. Oh I am so jealous!! lol My mom is from England but I haven't been back there since I was 10. :o( I tried to get her to go with me last summer but she wouldn't budge. She said England has changed so much that she doesn't want to go back anymore. I would LOVE to go back. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely photos.


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