Sunday, August 30, 2015

Reading, home of our EE

We went to Reading with renewed determination: We were going to find a Staples. At home, Staples is where I can print out the odd doc for work and where I can buy tech stuff like SIM cards, phones, and tablets. James had to print out an email about the festival tickets, and we needed some sort of resolution to our tech dilemma.

We entered so confident. The staff were pleasant, even borderline helpful. One drew us a map (typical for the locals providing directions, he drew us exiting the parking lot via a branch off a rotary, which is not humanly possible and made us go through the directions on the ground a few times). But James was charged about $6 for printing an email. And they had nothing that we needed or that could help. But they did know that there was an outfit in town that could, one that Victor had already told us about but that we had seen nowhere: EE.

EE saved our butts, once we found it. Of course, it cost us 50 quid. But we were happy. We went off to eat, noting a strange set of robotic moving legs pedaling a bicycle first.

We had hot meat pies--beef and horseradish for me, with cauli and cheese, venison and boar with chips for Judd. Alex ordered roast pork with cracklin'. They were all so, so good. And treacle tart with cream for Afters. Alex is in love with treacle tart.

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GPS and Wombats

See Alex and James's blog for information on this title!

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Beachy Head

The morning we spent in Beachy Head was glorious. It was warm, we got to see paragliders taking off and flying about, and the kids' responses to the chalk cliffs were heartwarming to witness. Of course, my knees weren't thrilled. It was an ibuprofen evening.

NO, I did not let them get too close to the edge! They walked on the 'other side' of the walk where it was unfinished. Here, it was cemented, solid--reinforced against erosion. And I certainly put the fear of crumbling into the ocean into them.

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Uxbridge for the birthday

Two days ago, for Alex's birthday, we ate Italian food. She wanted chicken parm in the worst way. They didn't have it on the menu, so she ordered the chicken cutlet with mozzarella on top. They brought her a chicken cutlet, a side of spaghetti, and mozz balls cut in half on top of the pasta. However, the mozz was delish, so no complaints.

So were the mussels (delish), and Alex feels they were "today's special" in honor of her. I felt like the chocolate sponge was also in honor of her, but she ordered a pot of banoffee, which she ended up loving.

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Chocolates and Luxury what?

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Saturday, August 29, 2015


We saw the best books (gift books) waiting inside the Cambridge University Press store--it was actually a good thing that it was already closed when we got there.

We saw a Jamie Oliver joint as well. Alex said she didn't know who that was!

King's College was wicked nice; I'm letting the kids post all that stuff over on their blog,

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Breakfast at 2pm

We got into bed last night at 4am this morning. It's a long story, but English road signs, T Mobile's falsehood regarding my ability to use its data over here (preventing planned access to GPS), Verizon's falsehood to Alex regarding her phone's utility over here (preventing us from calling anyone to update or inquire), road work on the M25, closed-off roads in Hayes, poor directions from locals, no directions at all from the hotel manager, phone boxes that are no longer useful, and "diversions" that lead you in endless circles around the same neighborhood all conspired to make a half-hour trip into a 4-hour one. Gah.

We got up at nearly 1pm and went to The Flying Egg for brunch, where this poster was on the wall. An odd choice for a breakfast spot, dontcha think?

We went to Cambridge also, James and Alex both emailed me pictures. But we only have Wi-Fi here at the hotel, and nothing has come through yet. Perhaps tomorrow!

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Location:Breakfast at 2pm

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Arrived, if late

No cellular data, no matter what T Mobile had to say. Wi-Fi is as scarce as the sun in London. I was 2.5 hours late meeting James & Alex because customs took 1.5 hours (in a stuffy room in a ranch-style queue) and so did renting a car--I had to take a ticket like I was in a deli, then wait through nearly 30 customers who arrived before me. BUT NOW WE ARE GATHERED TOGETHER. Below, an image of England appearing below the plane, then several of London.

Gillian, you should have been there in Halifax: The pilot advised us that there would be a "short taxi" on take-off...boy, was that short! Blow-your-hair-back with the 0-to-zenith change in engine power, then we were in the air!

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Location:Arrived, if late