Royal Jubilations

An all-American girl explores England

Hever Castle

I have finally arrived safe and sound in London, my final resting place for the duration of my stay in England. I am living in a little village called Edenbridge just south of London, but I will be spending most of my days shuttling children around in nearby Oxted. Pictures of those locations to follow. Read the rest of this entry »
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The Olympics Are Sadly Over…

This Saturday we went into London to hear a lecture at the Christian Science Reading Room set up near the Olympic Park. At first it was hard to find because it was in a sort of shopping mall, but we did track it down just in time to hear Suzanne Riedel talk about healthy competition. There was a good group there – all the seats were filled and there were even some people standing in the back. It was crazy to be in London so close to the end of the Olympics, though. There were millions of people everywhere! The pink people, by the way, are very super helpful and friendly. And very pink. Every advert and ever shop window all over the city is Olympic-themed. There are also a whole lot of foreigners wandering around. If you’re wondering what language they’re speaking at the next table, just look over, because they’re inevitably wearing their country’s flag somewhere on their person. I just have one question:
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The Olympics, etc.

Let the Olympic games begin! This is an amazing time to be in England right now. In a country that’s still skipping after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June, everyone is now absolutely ecstatic that the Olympics have finally begun! I have never seen the British so proud to be British as they are right now. Although we Americans decorate most everything with our flag, the Brits have always been much more reserved about showing off the Union Jack. Not so 2012! There are flags everywhere! Jubilee bunting still hangs over many pubs and I’ve seen whole parks bedecked with London 2012 flags. Storefronts and private residents are waving the Union Jack high with proud in a way I never would have expected from this quiet (ahem!) island nation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are You Going to Scarborough Fair…

Well, there isn’t actually a fair, but I am in Scarborough! It’s a beautiful seaside town on the east coast of England, in Yorkshire. Today a friend and I went for a walk through the town down to the beach. It was packed with holiday-makers. Most everybody was playing in the sand, because apparently the water is still freezing, but everyone seemed to be having a good time in the sun. My friend and I sat on the pier and ate ice creams and watched people on the beach. There were a lot of carnival-like stalls and little shops and arcades, etc. It was all very colourful and a bit noisy.
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Exploring Manchester

Today my friend Stanley and I went into Manchester city centre to explore. First we had a few errands to run. I bought a new phone to use in the UK and then I needed a power plug converter because the one I bought in the UK is in my lost luggage (that’s a rather dull, depressing story I won’t burden you with).

Stan at the art museum

It was a beautiful day – sunny and about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. We saw some street performers and we think there was some sort of Comic Con because there were a lot of people ion costume. We ate ice cream cones. We visited the art museum, which out to be a pleasant surprise, actually. They’ve got quite a few Victorian and pre-Raphaelite paintings. There was also a really neat exhibit on pottery and stoneware through the ages. They also had a random room with bits of random things from history. There was a dolls house and some chairs. The best part was the interactive exhibit where you could actually ouch things. When we went out in the stairwell we got to see a wedding party! The bride’s bouquet was made out of all these glittery white brooches.

The Cornerhouse

After the art museum we went to this place called Cornerhouse. It was kind of a hipster hangout with an exhibit upstairs. Unfortunately, the current display is done in film so you have to sit there and watch it and it was really long, so we only saw about ten minutes of it. It was a really groovy place though.

After that we just walked around a lot, got some Starbucks. We had a great drive in the country. Everything here is so lush and green right now. Apparently they’ve been having a lot of rain so there were a lot of people out enjoying the sunshine. I had a really fantastic time, even though we didn’t do/see anything epicly exciting. I’m still just really grateful to be here and looking forward to the weeks to come!

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FINALLY Arrived in Manchester!

View from my bedroom window right now. The white things are sheep. Loud sheep.

After a grueling day and a half journey to get here, I’ve finally made it to Manchester! I left St. Louis about 4:00 Thursday. We landed in Washington Dulles and I had to hustle to make it to my gate, but since Dulles is my home-town airport, I made record time. Of course, once I got there we were delayed an hour because of inclement weather. When they did board us, they had to take us off again. When we finally got on, our take-off was delayed twice because of the storm. We sat on the runway for TWO HOURS! The winds descended and the floods came and beat upon our plane, but it fell not, because Margaret was too engrossed in watching the Big Bang Theory on her monitor. Read the rest of this entry »

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I’m Moving to England!

Margaret in London  summer 2008

Today is my last full day in America before I make the big leap across the pond! My first stop is Manchester where I’ll be visiting an old friend who’s going to show me around his home town. I’ve only ever driven past Manchester, so it will be cool to explore the city with a native. I will be heading down to London in early August to join the family I will be living with for the next several months. They’ve got three gorgeous kids whom I’ll be taking care of after school. I’ll be living with their grandmother, a CS practitioner, and commuting to and from their school and their cottage every day. The parents work in the city so they don’t usually get home until late. I’ll just be getting the kids to all their extra-curricular activities and make them dinner and forcing them to do their chores and homework. I think it’ll be a lot of fun! I’ve already Skyped with everybody in the family and I’m REALLY looking forward to being with them in person.

It’s been a bittersweet couple weeks as I’ve been preparing for my journey. I FINALLY sold my cutie-patootie purple pick-up truck, which is good because I needed the money, but very sad because now I don’t have a cutie-patootie purple pick-up truck. 😦 I’ve moved most of my stuff from my house here in Elsah to a storage unit for safe-keeping. I think all the things I want to take with fit in the suitcases I’ve selected…. I have a lot of books, but I really do NEED them desperately so they simply HAVE to fit! My flight is tomorrow afternoon, so I feel like I still have a lot of little odds and ends to tie up, but I should be ready in time.

I’ll be updating this blog periodically as I experience great and wonderful new things in England. I’d love it if you followed me via emial or RSS feed so you get my updates as soon as they’re posted – hot off the presses! Loads of love to all of you – the next time you read this, I’ll be in England!!!

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