kiwisue (kiwisue) wrote,

England 1

Umm, hello? It's been a while. I owe people emails, and replies to comments (which I'll attend to over the next little while), but first the update:

I am in England! On a train from Stockport to Buxton, actually, and it's sunny outside and beautifully green, with a hint of gold at the edges in Buxton, where it's grey and damp this morning and I'm not quite sure where the bus stops are for the next leg - but I've been here for 1112 days already...

How did this happen? Well, moth2fic and I met up in Sydney last year and paused during our meal to toast the lucky folk who were even then curled up in a lovely place in Derbyshire, with an Aga and hot and cold running Lads, and right there & then I decided that if there was another one of these Pros-y writing holiday events I was going to get there if I possibly could.Then it turned out that the best time for me to take leave also coincided with the school holidays, which meant that B could come along for part of it. The itinerary was a compromise - I'd already seen a couple of things B desperately wanted to see, and he thought he probably didn't want to see things I was determined to - but it worked out really well in the end.

We arrived at Heathrow on a Sunday morning...

...picked up a hire car and drove to Battle, where we stayed the first night. The walk around the Abbey grounds (on the site of the Battle of Hastings) was exactly what we needed after 23 hours cooped up in a plane.

On Monday we went to Brighton where we saw a play *g*

...and wandered up and down the lanes and onto the pier looking at everything.

Tuesday was Cambridge, although Brett spent the whole day at Duxford while I hung about in the room at our pub, fiddling about with story edits, and said hello to byslantedlight who popped in all too briefly before running off to see a man about a car.

Wednesday was also Cambridge, although I slept for a lot of it, and then BSL was poorly and couldn't go out, so we stayed in too and played bar billiards (fun!)

Then Thursday we met up with our friend Peter at Bletchley Park, which I'd been to before but B hadn't.This time we took a guided tour which was very interesting. It turns out they've done quite a lot of changes to the site, especially the computer museum part where they (the 'other' they - very insistent on the fact of being separate from the Bletchley Park 'they' were!) had the Colossus rebuild displayed. The toy gorilla's name is Yuri. He's Brett's travel mascot and has a tendency to pop up in the oddest places

Aaand finally BSL was well enough to join us and we had dinner at the Eagle pub in the RAF bar which was very nice.

Next day we went south again, to Whitstable. I'd tried to contact the people who run the Estuary tours to the forts and wind farms, without any luck. I suppose it's late in the year but you'd think they'd have a notice on their website or something *grump*. Anyway it was grey and rainy and when we got there you could just see the forts (Red Sands I think) through the binoculars (very useful these were, for many things *g*). I liked the town - we wandered around and had lunch at the 'Sea Centurion' pub and by the time we got back to the car the weather had closed in and we couldn't see much at all, but it was still an interesting side trip.

Saturday - Hampton Court Palace. B had a discussion with this historical researcher about the problem of liquid (molten) sugar moulds, which are apparently very tricky things that tend to explode on contact with cool surfaces. And I had a brilliant time wandering all over, but especially in the kitchens.

Sunday - Brett's birthday, so we went on the Eye, met a friend from Australia for lunch, then wandered along South Bank

...before sleepily wending our way back to Kingston in the evening.

There's more - all of this week for a start - but I have to check out and find my bus. I'll post again later.

Also, I'm well occupied until next Friday (15th), then I have a few days until I fly home on Tuesday evening - not sure yet where I'll be for those, but drop me a line if you'd like to meet up & we'll see....
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