Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dickens and London On A Saturday

Hello all! So as I mentioned in my last post, Brit Boy and I headed to London on this past Saturday, despite not going ahead to see “Sister Act”. We had a good time and it was good to have a day out.

We took the train into Paddington Station. Since we were arriving a bit before lunch-ish, we headed for the tube so we could make our way to Sophie’s, which is one of our favorite places to eat nowadays :-) We had a wonderful waiter. We got seated and served very quickly since we beat the rush. We got a prime spot up front and when I looked out of the window over Brit Boy’s shoulder, I caught sight of this blue plaque.

All around London there are these blue plaques which mark different locations of interest where certain well known people lived or worked or where something occurred. This one marks the building that housed the offices of Charles Dickens’ magazine “All The Year Round” and his private apartments from 1859 to 1870. The magazine was a weekly publication and featured essays, poetry, serialized fiction, and other writings. I just happened to notice the plaque after I noticed that there was a coffee house there that was using his name. Who knew? :-)

We’ve eaten at Sophie’s before, but we are usually there after dark when we’ve gone in the past and everything is so busy, so it’s easy to miss things. That’s why I really loved getting a chance to sit there in the daylight and take a look around. So as a lover of literature, I was truly excited to be around where Dickens once walked. By the way, the light bulbs that you see in the photo are inside the restaurant, but I thought it would be fun for you to see the plaque the way I first saw it.

And here’s a better view of the plaque from outside and a view of the building from down the street…

After we had lunch, we took a walk around Covent Garden. I love strolling around the market there and doing some people watching. Here are a few photos of the sights…

Check out the tasty looking cupcakes above, all lined up and ready to be sold. I wanted to taste all of them ;-)

Below is the entryway of a lovely shop called, Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop. I thought that this display looked so inviting for a child of any age from 5 to 105. To the right of this display there were stairs that led up to the shop. It seemed all beautifully Willy Wonka-esque to me and I loved it! :-)

We walked along to another section of the market and I told Brit Boy that I wanted to check and see if the palm reader was there that I visited a couple of years ago. The palm reader was very intriguing and it was all in fun, but some things that he said did resonated, so who knows??? :-) Sadly though, he wasn’t there anymore. We did see someone else we remembered from before though. There was an artist that we met before and we bought a print from him. It made me happy to see that he was still there using his creativity and doing great work :-)

After our walk around Covent Garden, we decided to head to a museum. We decided upon the Science Museum. I’m usually one more for the art-filled museums, but this was a very interesting place. It was a good change of pace. There were loads and loads of exhibits. There was a lot about NASA and a bit about everything and I mean everything that has ever been created. I came away with one main thought about the whole experience. Humankind has created so much and it boggles my mind to think of what it must’ve been like to create things that had never existed before. It's something special to have the faith to see it through in bringing new things to the world.

There were day to day items and big things to see, but what also stuck with me was that it made me see our place in the passing of time. One day, some of the things that we use in our homes everyday may be in a display case for others to see. And feeling that connection to the thread of history, even as an everyday person, made me feel a bit in awe. What a glorious feeling that was.

It’s hard to really share representative photos since there was so much, but here are a very few.

Above: Ford Model T - 1916

Above: Panhard & Levassor car - 1895. This is an example of the type of car that won the world's first motor race in France in 1895.

Above: a Royal Mail coach

Above: Apollo 10 Command Module - 1969

As our Saturday in London drew to a close, we strolled back along the edge of Hyde Park and the leafy surroundings. The light was beautiful as the sun was retreating. Take a look…

Below are our feet, you have a Dori foot and a couple of Brit Boy feet ;-) This is a photo I took while we were taking a breather and sitting in Hyde Park.

It was a wonderfully varied day and I enjoyed our trip to London as I always do. We made our way back to Paddington Station and caught our train back to Wiltshire. I hope you enjoyed coming along with us! :-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Going To London Tomorrow

Tomorrow Brit Boy and I were supposed to be going into London to see Whoopi Goldberg perform in the West End musical, "Sister Act". I’m sure that many of you will remember her in the movie role of Deloris, the singer who hides out in a convent, in order to not be found by criminals. Well Ms. Goldberg is one of the producers of the musical and had decided to step into the role of the Mother Superior in the last few weeks since the previous actress’ run ended. I was SO EXCITED when I found out that Whoopi was going to be stepping into the role and we promptly got tickets.

I was going to post about it today to share my excitement, but this post has to go another way sadly. Whoopi Goldberg’s mother has suffered a stroke, so she has flown back home to the USA to be with her. My prayers certainly go with her. Parents are so precious, and since neither one of mine are living now, it always hits me when I hear about things going wrong with other peoples’ parents. It hits me in a place that will be tender forever because I miss my parents everyday. So I just pray that all goes well with Whoopi’s mother.


On a lighter note, after Brit Boy and I found out about this turn of events this afternoon, we were wondering what we should do…go to the show or do something else. Well, since my WHOLE reason for going was to see Whoopi Goldberg on stage in the musical, I was kind of neutral and so was Brit Boy. Therefore, we decided to skip the performance since they were inexpensive seats anyway, and yet we’re still heading to London for a bit of a hang out. So it’s all good! :-)

We haven’t been to London, since we went to see "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof", so we’re gonna just enjoy a day of no real plans and just seeing what we get up to. I'm going to try my best to come back with some photos to share. Until then, have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Photographing Rainbows and Inspiration

Yesterday, in the late afternoon, I was working on some writing upstairs and Brit Boy was downstairs watching television and doing his Brit Boy thang ;-) Even though in reality it’s simply our bedroom, I often call this space my ‘garret’. LOL. That name really means an attic of some sort, but I’m cuckoo like that and like to imagine that it’s an attic. When I was growing up, I always wished we had an attic. So I let my fantasy side come raging out and it's an attic. LOL. Anyway…it’s my space :-)

So back to my story…I was up here yesterday alternating between working on some writing and playing games on Facebook ;-) I looked out of the window and noticed these beautiful pink and orange clouds against a turquoise-colored sky. It was breathtaking!

I got up out of my chair and stood at the window and then hung out to see as far as I could down either end of the street. It was just one of those simple pleasures, but it made me feel so good. Sometimes you just have to pause and take a look around, you know :-) After a few minutes I started to wonder what it looked like out back, so I went downstairs and saw that it was even more beautiful in that direction because of the setting sun.

Then I glanced to my left and there it was…a rainbow! What is it about rainbows? :-) They always have the power to inspire awe. All other thoughts just go away as you gaze at them. I also think that some of the magic of rainbows is that they show up when you least expect them. We hadn’t had any rain, so it was a great surprise.

Here are some photos that I took. I was snapping very quickly so they look very similar, but I wanted to capture every bit of this beauty so that I could remember it. And now I want to share them with you. Please forgive the semi-duplicates, but I figure that lots of rainbow action is always a good thing :-) The whole rainbow wasn't visible, but hey, a big chunk was right there to enjoy...so I was thrilled. The light in the sky was amazing and there was just an ethereal atmosphere all around. It was so calming. I hope you enjoy taking a look!

An extra piece of good news…that rainbow showed up on a great day for me. I am currently featured on the People You Need To Know website. It’s a great place that celebrates and highlights women from a variety of fields. I have always admired this website for the way it presents people who are doing so many interesting things and succeeding. So I was VERY honored and surprised to get the invite to be featured. Being in such great company is inspiring to me and will definitely push me to do more and more with my life!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Photos of Wiltshire and Watching Meteors

So last night I watched the meteor shower and it was fabulous. Did any of you watch it? Usually we miss a lot of what goes on up there, because it never fails that we have a cloudy sky on the night when something is happening :-)

Earlier in the evening, they were kind of giving a 50/50 chance of the sky being clear enough. I figured that I’d just show up and see what happens, so I set up my spot to watch ;-) I was gonna go outside to watch, but then I realized that I could see just as good out of our back window. It’s a big glass window that stretches over most of the back of the house and this side of the house is away from the street light, and it would be a better view. So I turned off all of the lights and lay down right up next to the window and gazed out at that awesome sky! I was in luck and got to see several streaks of light go across the sky. It was a great show and a perfect ending to the day!

To rewind a bit, earlier in the afternoon, Brit Boy and I went for a walk. I took a few photos that I’d like to share. In these photos you can get an idea of just how windswept it can be around here sometimes. The landscape in some areas of Wiltshire is very wide open. I thought that I'd share a bit of what some of the landscape looks like around where we live. The weather was quite breezy and cool yesterday and today too. I guess that autumn is on its way here soon. It certainly felt like it. :-) Anyway here are my pics that I took along our walk out in the fields of Wiltshire.

Above: Here's a cuckoo pic that I took of my reflection in a mud puddle ;-)

Above: And a bit of green along the way...

I hope that you enjoyed seeing a tiny bit of Wiltshire. Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Great News!

I just wanted to update you all on what has happened since my last post. Well I’m pleased to share that I have found out that not only did I pass my course, but I’ll receive a Diploma with Distinction for completing my course! :-) Finding this out was beautiful icing on an already wonderful cake. As I said in my previous post, I already felt like I’d made the grade even before I knew how my result would be. I learned a very valuable lesson.

Still, I’m very pleased with my result and now I’m just looking forward to whatever is next. Brit Boy and I went out for lunch yesterday to celebrate my accomplishment and it was just really wonderful to do that. Life is amazing and it should be celebrated and I think that when you reach milestones like this, you should take a moment and enjoy that moment, so I did :-)

I hope that everyone has a great weekend and hey, if you have a moment, stop by my other blog. I like to post music there from time to time that I have fond memories of, so I hope you enjoy my offering for today!

Monday, August 02, 2010

It's All About the Journey

Just wanted to share a sunny picture. Hope you enjoy it!

I had a pretty great weekend :-) Brit Boy and I didn’t go anywhere special or doing anything out of the ordinary, but it was a good quiet weekend and I had a chance to reflect on something I just accomplished. So all weekend, I was basking in the glow :-)

For those of you who are new readers or those who may have forgotten since I didn’t bring it up much ;-) , I was taking a freelance and features writing course over the past several months, well it was actually a year and a half. I didn’t bring it up a lot because there wasn’t much to tell from day to day and also I’ll admit, it was a bit of a struggle sometimes :-) But here’s the absolutely beautiful thing that is bursting out of me right now as I write these words…it was difficult, but I did it! And I don’t say that to say “hey look at me”, I say that because I am just so darned proud of what it means for me as a person…something that I needed to prove to myself…that I can see a difficult task through until the end.

I don’t know if I would have been so candid with you all when I began my course eighteen months ago, but it is SO SO TRUE…the truth does indeed set you free! :-)

See, I know me and I don’t have a great track record with things like this. Oh yeah, I’ve gotten through life fine, but I’ve never really made it through the tape at the finish line in this way for a long, long time. So this milestone lets me know that I still have drive within…something that I thought that I’d left in my wake too long ago. But the beauty is that “she” is still in there…the authentic me that I forgot in the flurry of moving across the water and becoming a wife. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret my journey over here at all, but some days it has seemed like my determination dropped off somewhere over the Atlantic. Well, with the completion of my course, I feel that I went diving deep and found my drive again. Hallelujah! :-)

I turned in my final lesson on Friday and I immediately began to smile on the outside, the inside, and everywhere possible :-) I know that this may seem a modest milestone to the wide world, but in essence it is EVERYTHING, because today I join countless people all over this planet who are celebrating something amazing in their lives…whether it is large or small. We all wake up every day and are bombarded with terrible news and so I think that this makes it even more important to celebrate those joyous moments in our lives that make our hearts sing! :-)

I haven’t found out my final grade and of course I’m intrigued to find out the result. However, I mean this with the truest honest heart…I have already made the grade. I took the journey…so the destination is just the icing on the cake. I’m truly grateful in this moment and I just wanted to share my joy with you all.

Have a great day everybody!