Saturday, January 03, 2009

What I did on New Year's Day

Husband and I didn't go skating, although we have in previous years, but it was pretty seeing all the skaters against the backdrop of the Thames on one side and Hampton Court Palace on the other.


We had a lovely walk by the river.


We even saw a black swan. I don't think I've ever seen one of those before. Did you know that they have little curly feathers on their backs, just where their wings end? I didn't.



Now, don't you all want to come over to London and meet up in April? Look how pretty England is.

32 COMMENTS:

freddie said...

I seriously want to come to England. London especially, but I want to see the countryside, too.

pjd said...

We've already got our airplane tickets and a place to stay with an American friend living there for the year. We'll be down southwest of London, somewhere in the area of Windsor Castle. We're there from April 10th to 22nd or something, and we're hoping for a side trip to Normandy (Older Son is a WWII maniac and would love to see it). I'd love to connect with our bloggy buddies some time in there.

For you Yanks thinking of making the trek, we found a terrific air fare on Lufthansa which takes us from San Francisco through Frankfurt to Heathrow. It was about $100 less than United, BA, etc. per r/t ticket if I recall.

The only place I've ever seen a black swan is Disneyland, I think.

JaneyV said...

What a lovely walk. Really pretty! I love those house boats on the Thames. When I worked near Wimbledon (BC - before children) we often came off the motorway early and drove through Hampton and Richmond Park. In the summer I used to hope for a traffic jam so I could have a nicer drive into work.

If Daughter sees that there's skating I'll be nagged to death so keep that under wraps OK?

BBJD said...

I would love to come to London. Unfortunately, with my budget, I may as well plan a trip to the moon.

My medieval stories are (very) loosely based on the historic cultures of the British Isles, with some Germanic and French thrown in for good measure.

Love the pictures. My monitor tends to show things dark, but that kind of adds to the mood.
We used to have several travel shows on local television here (they don't run anymore) where the hosts would travel through Europe. I think it would be wondeful to visit places in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. I even have a smidgeon of ancestry from there. (They fought for the throne - my ancestors lost and fled to Canada. I don't recall who won. You'd have to ask my mother.)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Planning our once yearly vecation takes some doing, but we will definitely be looking at this as a possibility. The wife's work schedule is a real pain when it comes to taking time off. And subject to change without notice to boot.

Thanks for some definite dates, Pete. And the helpful airfare note.

I know my wife would love to see where her wool is harvested. She's a knitter. So we'd lean towards some place with that. And vegetarian food, too. If we wind up outside of London, there's always the trains everyone's been mentioning.

JaneyV said...

I just checked and I'm on Easter break from 12 noon April 3rd to 9am April 20th so I should be good to fit in with those dates too.

Hey Sarah - there's an alpaca farm near me. They are the cutest things ever!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Perfect Janey! What's the nearest airport?

Robin S. said...

Thanks for the pics, FH!

I love looking at pictures - and I couldn't agree more - England is gorgeous.

Several years ago, the girls enjoyed the maze at Hampton Court Palace, and Pete, the town of Windsor is darling - take some time to see it as well as the castle, if you get the chance. Just hang out for a while. I think most Americans put too much on their plates when they visit - and don't 'schedule' time to simply be there, and let the culture drift into them.

Pete, what dates are you gonna be around London? My preference would be close to a weekend or on a weekend, so I can come in to the city by train the day or so before, after having visited relatives in Wales and in the county of Somerset, in England.

JaneyV said...

Sarah - Gatwick! And I think it's the closest one to FairyH too.

Whirlochre said...

This looks very scary indeed. I've only been ice skating once in my life and it was the only time I wondered if they got it wrong about the world not being flat.

fairyhedgehog said...

Freddie I'd love it if you could make it to England but I realise how expensive it must be. I've never been to the US at all and it doesn't look likely at the moment.

PJD That's so exciting.

Jane The skating ends in a week or two, so no worries there! They only have the outdoor rink there over Christmas and a bit after.

BBJD When you can afford that trip to the moon you must let me know so we can meet up.

Sarah Hope you can come! Gatwick is very near to us - a 40 minute drive max - and there's a good train service to London from the airport itself.

Robin I'm so excited that we can meet! I can make any day but if it's a Sunday then husband can come. He wants to meet you all.

fairyhedgehog said...

Whirl are you interested in coming to the meet too?

BBJD said...

"BBJD When you can afford that trip to the moon you must let me know so we can meet up.

I'm saving my coins even as I write. How much money are we talking about anyway? Any idea?

I don't travel. No idea how much it costs to go anywhere.

Jessi said...

I've never seen a black swan!

fairyhedgehog said...

BBJD - I think the cost of transatlantic travel is prohibitive but you'd have to ask one of the people who are doing it.

Jessie - It looked a bit smaller than the white swans and much cuter but I don't know if that's normal or not.

pjd said...

@BBJD: I managed to get a Lufthansa fare of $691 round trip from San Francisco through Frankfurt to London/Heathrow. But in looking at the Lufthansa site now, that fare has gone up considerably since we purchased. I could not find any Lufthansa flights from Minneapolis to Heathrow just now. British Airways has round trip flights in the $900 range from Chicago. You could probably find something cheaper, but not much. Good luck.

JaneyV said...

I know that BA often have sales in February. Obviously i wouldn't depend on that but if the current prices are prohibitive try checking back in a month or so or signing up for e.mails when they've got offers on.

BBJD said...

pjd, JaneyV: Thank you.

It's definitely beyond my reach for the moment. Perhaps next year.

FH: You took those beautiful pictures along the Thames. Perhaps you could post some pictures? Or at least blog it up?

Kevin Musgrove said...

Oddly enough, the last black swans I saw were a pair that took residence in a sewage farm near my workplace for a few weeks the year before last.

batgirl said...

Oh now I am all nostalgic. Hey, there's a book market under the bridge outside the BFI on the Thames, which the UK ABE book forumites use for meets. That might be a good place for linking up.
-Barbara

sylvia said...

Count me in! I'd love to meet up, I just need a bit of kicking to actually get organised!

There are black swans at Blenheim Palace.

Sorry for the deletion, somehow I clipped publish whilst storing out the link!

McKoala said...

I can't believe you're all meeting in the UK! Just jealous, jealous, jealous.

But it makes me all the more determined to lure Paca to Sydney...

fairyhedgehog said...

BBJD - I think those photos were the best I had. I'm not very good with the camera yet.

Kevin - Great to see a nesting pair!

Batgirl - Hope that means you're thinking of coming. I was wondering if we could meet at the Round Table, in St. Martin's Lane, as the Nanowrimoers have used that and it's indoors. But the book market sounds fun too.

sylvia - Yay! I get to meet you too!

McK - So sorry we won't be seeing you. I would love you to come but I can see that flying to the other side of the world for a meetup might be a tad excessive.

Andrew - I deleted your comment as advertising your book in your first and only comment looks rather like spam. If you want to join in the chatting, though, you're very welcome.

Robin S. said...

I say again, this gets better and better! Yay, Sylvia!!!!

FH, a Sunday is fine with me, honey.

What date are we shooting for? I'm checking in with Robin, Jr (the one who's with you all in the UK, at school, to see what dates she has off for spring break...

fairyhedgehog said...

Somewhere between 10th and 22nd April, I guess.

Husband said he can join us for lunch if it's a week day, so pretty much any day will do me, although preferably not a Saturday.

If we went for Wednesday the 15th April, how would that suit people? Or would Sunday 19th be better?

Robin S. said...

I checked on Robin, Jr. She has spring break the last two weeks of March - but no worries there - I'll still be able to go down and visit.

If I'm in Somerset and Devon the beginnning of the trip, then over to Wales by train, then to London for a few days at the end, that would work, I think. Or I may wait to go to Wales when we come back for my daughter's graduation in late June. That would make it even easier. (I'm just thinking out loud at this point.)

I'm using sky miles to fly, so that part isn't a problem.

Robin S. said...

Hey, and I just thought of something. The London Book Fair is April 20th- 22nd.

Has anyone attended this? If so, is it user friendly to book lovers that aren't book professionals?

freddie said...

Man, am I jealous.

fairyhedgehog said...

Oh, freddie, I so wish you could be there too. We'll take lots of pictures and think of you but I know it just won't be the same. If it's any consolation at all, we'll miss you.

fairyhedgehog said...

Robin: I know nothing about the London Book Fair except what you can find by googling. It looks like it might not be open to the public, judging by Wikipedia.

Miladysa said...

Great photographs :D

It's sooo cold now though isn't it? -12 last night. We have snow here in Lancashire too! brrr

fairyhedgehog said...

Miladsya It is indeed far too cold - and in my experience Lancashire is always freezing! (Many years ago I did my French degree at Lancaster.)

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