Cool Britannia (sort of): the British thread 2019

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  • Ooh, exciting! Happy birthday @Heavenlyannie
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    Happy birthday, Heavenlyannie, and many more years of happy tutoring and happy Tudoring! :)
  • ThomasinaThomasina Shipmate
    Happy Birthday, Heavenlyannie, and happy exploring!
  • *sings*

    Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes!
    Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes!
    Hippo, Birdie, Heavenlyannie!
    Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes!

    Have a good day!
    :wink:

    (BTW, 50 is the new 30...)
  • If you're talking about the value of ££money, that's certainly true ...
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 13
    :lol:

    As you, of course, realise, you Naughty Person, I was trying to cheer Heavenlyannie up, as she reaches her half-century!
    :grimace:

  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    Happy Birthday, Heavenly Annie!
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Happy birthday, Heavenlyannie!
  • Tree BeeTree Bee Shipmate
    Happy birthday from me too Heavenlyannie!
  • Thank you everyone. I’ve had a lovely day walking with my family, finishing with a very posh afternoon tea in Mayfair.
    At home I now have a lovely little electric spinning machine to play with.
  • Sounds lovely. Happy birthday, Heavenlyannie.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Thank you everyone. I’ve had a lovely day walking with my family, finishing with a very posh afternoon tea in Mayfair.
    At home I now have a lovely little electric spinning machine to play with.
    Lovely. I used to have an Ashford wheel which disappeared from my house one day when I was not at home. Husband had given it away. I have been thinking wistfully of it lately. I am resisting such thoughts. The yarn I have already unpacked caused my family to raise their eyebrows. Stash is very definitely SABLE, Stash Abounding Beyond Life Expectancy. I have given some away and am doing more knitting for a drought relief charity run in Alpine areas here by a Shipmate. Warm hats, gloves, scarves etc.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Happy birthday, Heavenlyannie - welcome to the world of SAGA holidays! :mrgreen:

    We're briefly home from the Choir School (which has paid D. very decently for his services - he really had no idea how much he'd get). As he's needed at the Cathedral in the morning, we're back at the château tonight and will be hot-tailing it back as soon as we've sung the morning service, to be in Saint John (about an hour and a half away) in time for the final Evensong with the Choir School people.

    It's been quite fun, and I've now got a medal on a ribbon to wear with my choir robes, but whether I'd go if D. weren't training the choir, I'm not sure.

    We're both knackered - we're not used to having to be anywhere at 7:30 in the morning! Next week's going to have a lot of zzzz in it!
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    Where we hope that those zzzz are not buzzing mozzies, but the emanations from copious snorage. (And well-deserved it is, too.) :)

    I'm on my summer break, over here in Continental WesShire, where the temperatures luckily have now dropped to more reasonable levels, such as 24 to 27°C daytime and down to the low double or even high single digits at night. Refreshing. There's also been a light breeze from the north, which is pleasant.

    I'm finally catching up with some work around the flat that has been left to better days, which, I assume, means 'now'! For the more lazy moments, I'm afraid, I've been delving into a YouTube series called 'All The Stations', where a young lady and a young man are travelling to, or past - on stopping trains! - all the more than 2000 railway stations in Britain. They did that adventure in 2017, and have just finished a follow-up, that is, All The Stations Ireland/Northern Ireland.

    As a train enthusiast, the videos make for fantastic viewing, but can also teach you a thing or two about slowing down and re-learning patience because slow trains are, well, just that. And that's probably a good maxim for a holiday of any sort. (As I don't do knitting. :) )

    Have a lovely Sunday, all and sundry. :)
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I've had a busy Sunday (see previous post above). Everything went very nicely - even the weather co-operated. We left a very hot, sticky Fredericton (24° but feeling like 31) after the morning service, and when we got to Saint John it had cooled down considerably, to a comfortable 17°, and with a little breeze. The service went very well (apart from the electronic organ playing silly-buggers and starting to make chiming noises while D. was accompanying the choir singing Blessed be the God and Father by Wesley), and it was nice to meet @Caissa again afterwards.

    When I was leaving the church, I must have miscalculated the bottom step, as I suddenly got a searing pain in my left knee, and it felt as though it was going to bend the wrong way. I'm now dosing it with Tiger Balm and hobbling like an arthritic eighty-something, and walking Really Hurts. :cry:

    We decided we deserved a treat, and one was duly provided by Decimal 81. Their daily special on a Sunday is a five-course meal for $30 (£18.30), which comprises any of the starters, main courses and puddings/cheese on the menu, plus an amuse-bouche and a sorbet. Considering their regular prices (several of the main courses on their own are over $30), this was the bargain of the century. And the food was bloody marvellous.

    The amuse-bouche was sweet-potato crisps with a chipotle dip, which were much nicer than they sound, and then I had a green salad with roasted pears, lovely mild blue cheese and cranberries, and D. had white risotto with broccoli and a red wine reduction, which was divine. After a mango sorbet, our main courses were duck (me) and chicken (him), again both delicious and served with nicely-done veggies; and then he had a Smores crème brûlée* and I had a cheeseboard.

    With two glasses of wine, the bill came to $112 (about £68).

    We'll definitely be going back - it's well worth the hour-and-a-half drive each way!

    * I know it's sacrilege to mess about with CB, but this wasn't too bad.
  • That meal sounds an absolute bargain, piglet, and very lovely too. I hope your knee is recovering. If walking hurts it sounds like some rest with your leg elevated is in order.
    Busy weekend, what with very posh multi-course lunch on Friday, 50th birthday 10 mile walk around London followed by very eccentric and expensive afternoon tea on Saturday, and homemade posh afternoon tea and birthday cake on Sunday. I think I’ll be eating salad for the next week! Today I have a much needed yoga class and this afternoon I will play with my birthday present of an electric spinning wheel.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    Ouch to the knee Piglet. Hope it sorts itself out soon. I've had a lovely weekend in Newark at their book festival. I've been here with an old friend that I used to share a flat with in the 1970s. Fun living together for a weekend.
    I now have a very long list of books to read and after lots of alcohol and food it's going to be a week of salads and tee totalism for me.
  • Greetings from Rouge Heights everyone. You are all welcome to come and admire the view from the 25th floor balcony. Watching the Bastille day fireworks is quite fun up there too. You can take your pick of any of about half a dozen different displays (although sadly not the big shindig at the Eiffel Tower which is inconveniently hidden behind another tower block).

    The stuff is all in and being unpacked gradually. That said, I find that unpacking stuff seems to go much quicker than packing it.

    Poor old Captain Pyjamas is looking a bit lost after the move. I can see him thinking, “Hang on, this is all our furniture, so why is this not our house? What’s that all about? Where am I and when is everything going back to normal?”
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Tres fun! Mr F’s old flat used to command a good view of fireworks off the Castle - though it would have been improved by dynamiting the Barclay Church.

    Happy Homecoming, and may the lifts never fail.
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    I remember climbing (while pregnant) onto the roof of Broughton St. Mary's church to watch the fireworks off the castle for the end of the Festival: I was caretaker there at the time. People were on roof all around (though not as high as ours!) and were playing the music on their radios.....
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited July 15
    Wesley J wrote: »
    I've been delving into a YouTube series called 'All The Stations', where a young lady and a young man are travelling to, or past - on stopping trains! - all the more than 2000 railway stations in Britain.
    I have to say that I find their enthusiasm a bit wearing after a time!

    Yesterday was my last Sunday "off" so we went to our delightful parish church - it's on the edge of the city and, after 800 years, the houses are starting to go up nearby! Lots of lovely flowers and a simple Communion Service - so much better than the Choral Evensong we attended last Sunday at the Cathedral! This week my wife is doing an intensive course (hence out of the house all day). It's warm and sunny, so after I got back from taking her I cleared the living room of furniture and steam-cleaned the downstairs carpets. As a result I am sitting on an isolated chair, with all the doors and windows open, feeling rather smug! It was amazing how filthy the water was when I'd finished - yet the carpets don't look much cleaner!!!

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    BT, you're a candidate for immediate sainthood!

    Congratulations and health to enjoy the new flat, La Vie; I'm sure it won't take Captain Pyjamas too long to get used to it, especially if he's provided with the correct number of teddy-bears. :)

    I'm having a lazy day (already taking Heavenlyannie's advice about resting my knee). It's fine when I'm seated, but when I get to a certain angle in the course of taking a step, it's jolly painful. I hope to goodness it sorts itself out before we go on holiday - I don't relish the prospect of tramping round airports and queuing up in Security and Customs with a buggered knee!

    Lunch, which hasn't happened yet - I told you we were having a lazy day! - will be leftovers of this and that (ham, chicken, tomatoes, cheese, and possibly rhubarb crumble if I can be bothered to assemble it).

    Like HA and Sarasa, I feel as if I've done nothing but eat for the last few days - the Choir School provided cooked breakfast, lunch and supper on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday was too busy to think about cooking.

    Must really get back to trying to be a domestic goddess ... :mrgreen:

  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited July 15
    Piglet wrote: »
    BT, you're a candidate for immediate sainthood!
    Well, She Who Must Be Obeyed seems quite pleased with the result. There's still one recalcitrant grubby patch (tho' it's better than it was) ... I'll need to have Another Go At It when we have another hot spell.

    Or even tomorrow, if I can summon up the enthusiasm!

  • Another exciting thing you can see from the 25th floor: a lunar eclipse. It wasn’t a full eclipse here – I’d say about two-thirds. It was still quite fun to watch it gradually getting smaller though.

    This morning we went off to the Prefecture of Police to finalise my application for French nationality. The file is now registered and off for processing and I should get a passport within the year unless they decide that ours is a marriage of convenience or I have been involved in some flagrantly un-republican behaviour.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Well, what do you know. It's a nice dry sunny day, the office canteen puts on a barbecue, and at about the time said BBQ ends, we have a fire alarm.

  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    sionisais wrote: »
    Well, what do you know. It's a nice dry sunny day, the office canteen puts on a barbecue, and at about the time said BBQ ends, we have a fire alarm.

    Cause and effect? 😬😂
  • Years ago I spent the summer at a Christian conference centre. A lot of the buildings were basically wooden huts, spread out around a grassy campus, Fire was a real worry, so they put in a new fire alarm system. However, it was too sensitive and was often set off by the exhaust from the lawn mowers! This was very disruptive as it meant evacuating the buildings.

    Eventually an announcement was made at lunchtime: "We are experiencing difficulties with the new fire alarm system. From now on, please ignore the alarms unless your building is obviously on fire, in which case someone will come and tell you". Hoots of laughter all round!
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    We had an unscheduled fire alarm during an English class shortly before we sat our O grades. We stood up and prepared to file out in an orderly fashion, and the teacher, who was as dry as dust, said in his drawling, boring voice, "Now ... wait ... a ... minute!" It had to be pointed out that this wasn't a rehearsal ... :flushed:

    It turned out to be a hoax bomb scare - someone with a Northern Irish accent who was leaving school that day had been prevailed upon by another, somewhat disgruntled leaver that this would give the school a final kick. It was 1978, right in the middle of the IRA's bombing campaign in the UK, but I don't think it ever really got as far north as us!

    It's a hot, humid day here - we've got a heat warning and a severe thunderstorm watch - which is making me feel a bit headachy. Hopefully getting my hair cut later will help that - it's a pre-holiday haircut, but had to be early as my hairdresser's going on holiday just before we do, so I'll have to get her to cut it really short so that it's about right when we go away.
  • DormouseDormouse Shipmate
    edited July 18
    Piglet wrote: »
    BT, you're a candidate for immediate sainthood!


    I'm having a lazy day (already taking Heavenlyannie's advice about resting my knee). It's fine when I'm seated, but when I get to a certain angle in the course of taking a step, it's jolly painful. I hope to goodness it sorts itself out before we go on holiday - I don't relish the prospect of tramping round airports and queuing up in Security and Customs with a buggered knee!


    Piglet, if it's still painful (or even if it's not!) a few days before you travel I heartily recommend requesting assistance at the airports. I did this when I was going through chemo - I could walk but it took a lot of effort. In Manchester airport Mr FD was allowed to push me, we got priority through security, and a designated, uncrowded seating area & then priority boarding. Met at Lyon, I was wheeled by a slightly over officious man straight through passport control and to our car. At no time did anyone ask me why I needed assistance - it was great. It cost nothing, but made our travelling so much easier
  • DormouseDormouse Shipmate
    asier.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    It occurred to me that I might have to avail myself of those trolley-car thingies that look a bit like overblown golf carts, but I'm hoping it'll have sorted itself by then!

    At least we won't be arriving at Heathrow Terminal 2, where the Canada flights come in about 15 minutes' walk from Customs and Immigration - the last thing you need after a sleepless overnight flight!

    It's another hot day - 25°, but not quite as humid as it's been. If my knee didn't hurt, I'd go for an amble ... :cry:

    We're meeting up with some of the choir for supper later on, so that should be rather jolly.
  • Just been to the lovely Savoy Theatre in Monmouth to see 'Old Herbaceous' - a most moving single-hander about a foundling who lives through two world wars, working in the gardens of the Big House, and rises to be Head Gardener. Turns out to be an adaptation of a work of fiction, but it's utterly convincing.

    'Downton Abbey with gardening tips' and so well worth seeing.

    Mrs. S, who would be lost without the Savoy
  • Greetings from foie gras land everyone 😎

    We arrived this afternoon after a rather long and tiring train journey and are now set up for some serious inactivity.

    The heatwave is on its way back. Temperatures of 40° forecast for next week. My outlaws have aircon and I am planning to develop a symbiotic relationship with the same.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Just right, La Vie! It's currently 26° here but feeling like 30; tomorrow it's forecast to be 34° and feeling like 39. I'm beginning to think that air-con is the single most important contribution to Civilisation. :sweat_smile:

    Hope you, M. en rouge and Captain Pyjamas have a lovely holiday!
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    I'm afraid I can nowt but confirm LVER's weary heatwave warning. It's the same in Continental WesShire, although 'only' 35 or 36° towards the end of next week (so slightly lower than in Foie Gras Land). - Gaaaah!

    However, the quick visit with Mousethief - see the relevant Shipmeet thread (unfortunately it didn't work out seeing Josephine as well :( ) - was rather pleasant! We enjoyed the Dutch city of The Hague and its sights and museums, and had a long look at, and sit down on, the fabulous and famous sandy beach at Scheveningen. While a bit stuffy in town, as towns always are, there were some very nice parks there, and at the seaside a welcome light breeze coming in.

    When I got back to Continental WesShire, I couldn't help noticing that it was rather warmer there than in the Netherlands! Holland even had a few showers in that week, like I think the UK.

    Next week, another Shipmate visit, this time someone bound for my neck of the woods, and I guess we'll do a few things together. Seeing the weather forecast, one thing we will certainly do is perspire profously! I'm impressed by Piglet, and how she survives them long and harsh winters, and now the really fairly elevated temperatures!

    I hope LVER, Captain Pyjamas (which we hope might be short sleeved for the season), Mr LVER and everyone else in that upcoming heatwave will be all right!
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    The long cold winters do get a bit wearing, mostly because of the difficulties of getting around - and snow loses its charm well before you've had it for six months on the trot!

    A bit of moderation wouldn't hurt when it comes to our weather - the comfortable seasons when you need neither heating nor cooling are painfully short.

    Never mind - we booked the ferry to Orkney today, which, even though we'll be there for less than a week, makes me a very happy piglet. :smiley:
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited July 22
    It's been a hot, sticky day here today; although the temperature didn't get above 26°, it felt like 34 with the humidity, and some blithering idiot* had turned off the ceiling fans in the Cathedral, making it Very Hot Indeed. Even though there were a couple of downpours during the morning service, it was still jolly warm.

    * There was a film crew from Saskatchewan in last night looking for ghosts (!) and D. reckons it must have been them. Of course, assuming it wasn't Mrs. Medley, wife of the first Bishop, who is our resident ghost ... :mrgreen:
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    edited July 22
    Piglet wrote: »
    [...] ceiling fans in the Cathedral [...]
    This conjures up images of Apocalypse Now, and instead of the choppers, you'll have the whop-whop-whop of the ceiling fans, with in the role of Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore (Robert Duvall) a (possibly loose...) Canon exclaiming :

    'I love the smell of incense in the morning!' :D :D
  • FredegundFredegund Shipmate
    We're in Naples, where it got up to 39 yesterday. Thank goodness for catecombs, also granita with vodka.
  • caroline444caroline444 Shipmate
    @Fredgund Eeeek!
  • Same temperatures here today. But apparently it's going to be just as hot in Paris and I'd much rather be here where the houses are built for the heat. We are living like the Spanish*: get up early(ish), do what you need to do, then by early afternoon close all the shutters, turn on the aircon and take a three hour nap until it cools down.

    I have hung the laundry outside, where I am sure it was dry about an hour later. But I'll be damned if I'm going outside to fetch it until at least 7 o'clock this evening 😋

    * and indeed foie gras land is much closer to Barcelona than it is to Paris
  • My sister lives in France (also closer to Barcelona than to Paris), but is coming to Borisumperica on a visit later this week. I have advised her to bring Warm Clothing, as the temperature is not likely to rise above 30C here...
    :grimace:
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    ... the temperature is not likely to rise above 30C here...
    :grimace:
    Please don't take it personally, BF, but if it's going to be ahywhere near 30°, I'm glad I'm going to the other end of UKland from you! :sweat_smile:

    I'm in the process of arranging a mini-reunion with some old schoolfriends while I'm in Orkney, which should be a good hoot!
    I'm trying to be Domestic Goddess Piglet this week: making Interesting Things to use up the food in the fridge before we go away (today's effort will be Omelette Gordon Bennett), and later embarking on Strategic Laundry.

    Currently waiting for some bread and rolls to bake: they'll probably get eaten before we leave, but they can be frozen if not.

  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 22
    Piglet wrote: »
    ... the temperature is not likely to rise above 30C here...
    :grimace:
    Please don't take it personally, BF, but if it's going to be anywhere near 30°, I'm glad I'm going to the other end of Ukland from you! :sweat_smile:



    O I quite understand - and our latest forecast is for 35C later this week :scream: followed by somewhat cooler conditions at the weekend...

    I shall buy more ALE tomorrow, and then take a leaf out of la vie en rouge's book, by turning into an honorary Spaniard. Not so keen on the getting-up early(ish) - depends on the amount of ish - but the rest of the day sounds good.
    :sunglasses:

  • You could perhaps dangle your fingers in the water around the Episcopal Ark ... I assume that Going for a Refreshing Swim in the limpid river is completely out of the question (and I doubt if it is limpid, anyway!)
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Please don't take it personally, BF, but if it's going to be ahywhere near 30°, I'm glad I'm going to the other end of UKland from you! :sweat_smile:
    In fact the weather forecast for the Northlands looks extremely pleasant and clement.

  • @Baptist Trainfan - no, a swim in the non-limpid river is Not Advisable (and, in any case, the tide is likely to be out at the hottest part of the day. The mud is also non-limpid, albeit soft, and clinging...).

    The Northlands are, IMHO, enjoying clement weather as a reward from the EU for wanting to stay.

    BoJo Island, OTOH, is due for Torrid Heat and Thundery Strums, doubtless as punishment for the misdeeds of the Toddlers of Wastemonster.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    edited July 22
    Unfortunately we have to drive down to The Inferno on Wednesday. Thursday I will someplace boring - but it should have aircon. Thursday evening there will be some serious pint-murdering in the village inn.

    Meanwhile, like @Piglet I have to do some fridge clearing. Tonight may be cauliflower & banana surprise.
  • Who will be the more surprised, I wonder? The cauliflower, or the banana (or the recipients of the dish)?
    :wink:

    Chicken in mushroom sauce, new potatoes, and green beans tonight, I think, courtesy of Tessie Cohen's little local corner shop.

    If we do descend into an over-heated Erebus later this week, I shall be forced to subsist mostly on cool ALE.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    ... the weather forecast for the Northlands looks extremely pleasant and clement.
    Jolly good - can you hold it like that for a couple of weeks? :)
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