Saturday, November 20, 2010

uk trip -- days 5 and 6 -- reading and resting

due to my foot issue, leff and i had a change in plans. we had originally chosen sunday, a day that is difficult for public transportation the world over to be our buffer day. you know, a day to veg out and watch the beeb.

however, monday we were slated to head back to london for the british museum and some shopping. (yes, even with the vat tax we were going to shop!) buuuut when i placed my foot into the emergency shoes that leff had purchased for me at primark (the clodhopper boots were not to make it onto my feet again this trip!) and attempted to walk around the kitchen, i almost started crying. again.

need i remind you that i don't cry?

so, glew. (if you're reading this) we missed the british museum. one of the major, MAJOR things on my to do list simply because i couldn't walk. sigh...i'm still depressed about it.

still, we're not the sort of people to stay down for too long. i got kev's permission to do some laundry at his flat! it does too warrant that exclamation point because i got to use one of the british style washer/dryer combo machines!

i'll admit, it did baffle me for a while. there was a period of time where i sat on the floor in front of the machine trying to figure out why there was no water entering the equation. (i had it set to a dryer cycle. der!)

since i had some time on my hands, i took photos of everyday british stuff that fascinates me. like, washing detergent. in the u.s. we have these bombastic names for cleaners like tide! surf! gain! erm, snuggle? in the u.k., there is the lovely daisy.

a name that is not only multisyllabic (which we don't tend to do in the states. (exempting snuggle, of course)) but one that conjures up dewy meadows and fields of flowers instead of the pounding of huge, destructive waves off the coast of california or possibly the nefarious joy of getting an insider tip on the stock market.

the 24 hour clock is another thing that i enjoyed. (although i never quite got the hang of it as i was never in the military/did not grow up british/think the equation "minus 10, then 2" is not super eloquent (but, hey, it's better than that celsius to fahrenheit one! sheesh!))

it is a better system than using ante and post meridiem though, if you really think about it. noon and midnight aren't nearly as confusing at first glance. (first glance at the clock. if you glance outside, there's really no doubt.)

the settings on my borrowed mobile included an "excuse message".

i really have no further comment except that i wish my crap dumb phone had one as well.

also, current episodes of "top gear"!

oh, hush. you've been waiting to see when the stig entered the picture, admit it.

i watched the hell out of "top gear" while i was resting with my stupid foot elevated. see, in the states, we're only on season, what? 11? 12? it's like living in the past when the stig's identity has yet to be revealed!

i also watched a lot of bbc 4. you know, to balance out the brain rot of "top gear". (martin clunes posed for gilbert and george! were you aware? i wasn't until i saw it on bbc 4! ha!)

leff spent our down days more productively. he ventured out into reading where he found the aforementioned primark as well as a lot of victorian era buildings.

and st. mary's butts. hur hur hur

groc joined leff on his day excursions once he had returned to reading from his trip south. they went to marks and sparks and tesco where leff went cheese and pickle CRAZY!

(leff's photo)

(leff's photo)

can you blame him? i mean, the brits really know how to do cheese and pickles. i would love to have some more cheddar! (i'm kicking myself for not making it to the borough market. we were RIGHT THERE! they have a cheese shop that is supposed to be stellar!)

leff also picked up a chicken tikka masala since he figured we weren't going to be able to fit in a proper curry during our trip.
we *did* have fish and chips though! leff found the chippy (kev's not had his flat in reading for very long) while he was out wandering! i'm SO glad that he did! just look at this deliciousness!

we even had mushy peas

and shandy! honest to god, decent shandy!

a brief aside/tip: when i've had u.s. attempts at shandy before they have been barfingly terrible. this is because i've only had shandies where people are mixing american style lemonade with ale. SO WRONG! if you'd like to approximate a british style shandy in your american home, mix an ale with some sprite (half and half ratio works well although you can go a little lighter on the sprite if you'd like) and you've got a decent knock off. i've been drinking them like crazy since we've been back. what? don't look at me like that.

leff also found some bitter with a fox on it!

groc and leff also went to a pound shop where they got a lot of delicious candies and fun things like reusable mustaches and cat toys. i really wish that i could have gone with them!

but no worry, we still had fun at kev's flat. one night the three of us played exquisite corpse while kev looked on and laughed. here are two of my favorites.

i also spent a considerable amount of time texting andi since we weren't able to make it to up north this trip. (how much do i owe you for texts, groc? heh. sorry...)

see? not so boring as you'd thought it would be, was it? tomorrow's recap is even better as leff, groc and i head to bath! the abbey! the roman baths! pip posing for his book cover! french food! our last full day in the uk is chock full of things and stuff! check back, why don't you?

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