We had the ‘time’ of our life

February 9, 2009 at 1:58 pm (Uncategorized)

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It’s hard to visit Greenwich, in South East London, without thinking up about a hundred ‘time’ puns. High up on the hill of Greenwich Park is the very spot where ‘Greenwich Mean Time’ was born. We visited at the weekend and it was really much more exciting than I ever imagined. You can also stand on the Greenwich Meridian, where the longitude = 0 degrees. The Royal Observatory there has been used by astronomers since the 17th Century, so it’s packed with history and interesting exhibits, including ancient telescopes and the incredible Camera Obscura. There was a cool wall of postcards where guests finish off the sentence, ‘Time stood still when…’ which are mostly about falling in love but there are some pure genius answers, especially from the kiddies. One was really touching and funny at the same time. It was talking about how his Grandmother passed away and he finished it off with ‘And that was the end of my Nan’. Awwww.
But the main attraction (for Tim especially) was the planetarium, where we took comfy reclining seats in a state-of-the-art (as they say) theatre and watched a mind-blowing film about Mars. I learned it has a canyon in it which would stretch the length of Australia!
There are beautiful views of London from the Royal Observatory hill and we had a lovely day strolling through the park, which was mostly still covered in snow and had the remains of a week of snow play – giant snow boulders in the middle of footpaths. We fell in love with Greenwich and have a summer trip planned to make more use of the park.

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Why we love the weekend

February 9, 2009 at 1:41 pm (Uncategorized)

As is the case anywhere, we live for the weekends here in London and the one just past was a super duper fun situation for all concerned.

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Walking through Canary Wharf.

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Having Kelly’s birthday dinner at the Tikka Hut – value for money.

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A man who should have thought about necking the whole jug. Eek. We carried him home.

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The 20 minute power ballads went down a treat.

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Kelly walks home down ‘Walkabout Alley’ where all sorts of dodgy things happen, including drug dealers getting arrested as we saw on Saturday night.

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The boys take a ringside seat to watch us ice skate and take photos. They were trying to get us falling over but they were sadly disappointed. Although Tim did get a great one of a girl falling over!

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Me trying not to look too uncoordinated on the ice.

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Waiting at Baker St for our beloved Hammersmith and Shitty line.

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Quidam!

February 5, 2009 at 4:25 pm (Uncategorized)

I can’t really describe Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam but if you get the chance to see it – do it! Such an amazing night. I was rendered speechless, which doesn’t happen often.

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picchewers

February 3, 2009 at 2:47 pm (Uncategorized)

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Every snow pun in the book

February 3, 2009 at 2:40 pm (Uncategorized)

I never knew snow could change a city so much. On Sunday Tim, Kelly, Martha and I went to the Chinese New Year festival in Leicester Square. We knew it was going to be cold and so we rugged up in every layer imaginable. We could barely get out the door as we were so busy showing each other just how many layers we managed to fit on our bodies. But we knew it was going to be cold.
Despite a lot of people, the square wasn’t too ‘happening’ when we first arrived but we entertained ourselves watching Tim return to his childhood and scour the stalls for ‘loud poppy things’ and finger traps. He found the poppers – hilariously called Fun Snaps – and was a happy man making loud bangs in Leicester Square. And then the snow started. It was so exciting. There we were surrounded by all the iconic cinemas and touristy hot spots and the snow was really coming down. It was the first time it had snowed like that since we got to London.
We stood there with big smiles on our faces, dancing around as it poured down and then we realized it was incredibly cold and we took off in search of a warm coffee shop. Once it got dark we ventured out again for the fireworks, which were the reason we were there in the first place. People were huddled around the centre of the square and before long the place felt like it was being bombed. It was a really impressive fireworks display, with a ‘waterfall’ of fireworks strung up between trees and some very flashy displays.
When we arrived home it started to snow again and we sat around watching Come Dine With Me and waiting for it to build up enough to play. Tim, Kelly and I went out in the dark and ran around marveling at how different Shepherd’s Bush looked – there was quite a lot of snow. At least we thought it was a lot. We made a snowgingerman in honour of Red who was sadly stuck at work and it was a fine looking specimen with mandarin peel as hair.
Monday morning we got ready for work as usual and then looked out on to the main road we live on and couldn’t believe what we were seeing – more snow that I’d ever imagined could ever fall in London was there. The news was telling us it was the heaviest snow parts of London had seen in 18 years and the internet was telling us all buses and most trains were cancelled. Then I got the coolest call ever – my boss Tom telling me not to bother trying to get to work. I remembered that episode of the Simpsons when Bart is dreaming of a snow day – I felt like a kid again. Tim tried to get to work because he desperately needed to do some important stuff, but he soon returned home after realizing it wasn’t going to happen.
So we put on our layers (adding more this time) and went running around Shepherd’s Bush which had turned from a regular London suburb to an incredibly beautiful winter wonderland. We headed for nearby Hammersmith Park, getting bombarded by strangers on the way when they realized Kelly F was carrying a bucket. We were laughing about how London, which is normally so standoffish, had turned into a fun playground, with complete strangers getting into snowball fights.
I was totally marveling everything I saw. Having never seen the way snow falls and piles up on every surface, it was like being a kid again. We were kicking through the snow, heaping piles of it on each other, smacking each other hilariously in the face. When we reached the park there was the most incredible atmosphere – everyone was behaving like a 5 year old. Dads were obviously stoked to be at home with the kids for one more day and to teach their kids all about the joys of snow. Kelly figured out a great rolling technique and our next snowman, Frank, was seriously awesome. She even made a baby to go with him.
After a rest and dry-out period we went to see Kate and friends down the road and had a snowball fight with them in Shepherd’s Bush Green, which was transformed from a dark and dingy park to a light and awesome playground. Everyone there was fair game and there were snowballs flying everywhere.
So that was our funnest time ever in London. Everyone grizzles about the weather but it provided so much fun for a couple of days – no work, hours of entertainment and pretty scenes everywhere. Oh and about a million puns along the lines of ‘Snow Work Today’ and ‘We’re Going Snowhere’. Hilarious.

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