Saturday, May 17, 2008

Notting Hill

The Saturday market in Notting Hill on Portabello Road is something unto itself.

Of course, Notting Hill brings up memories of this movie:

But until you've actually been there on a bustling Saturday morning market day, well, you haven't really experienced Notting Hill.

Vendors selling everything you can imagine and people are jam-packed into a space that sometimes includes cars and march the long route through the market in a blizzard of language and chatter and noise. It's a cacophony of humanity. I go to Pike Place Market every so often in Seattle and Notting Hill is a completely different experience and quite wonderful.

Today is our last day to run around in London so we are out soaking it up. Home tomorrow.

Currently reading: The Host (Stephenie Meyer)
Currently listening to: Amy Winehouse

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Fabulous Fiver (London-Style)

1. Christopher Wren's architecture

(set to Handel, of course!)

2. Sparkling bottled water

Really, really good water (flat is good too!) provided to us free at the Hilton.

3. My job and colleagues at BMA House (and offsite around the world)

Fantastic! Brilliant and insightful and full of ideas and energy. I'm proud to be on such a team. What a great trip to finally get to meet everyone!

4. Burberry

Nuff said. It just rocks.

5. Marks & Spencer

Clothing, food, you name it. And these are everywhere.

Tomorrow we go to Notting Hill and the remains of Whitehall Palace (also Henry VIII's) and then it's time to pack it up and head for home.

Currently reading: headlines on China and Burma
Currently listening to: Natasha Bedingfield

Thursday, May 15, 2008

All This Christopher Wren Architecture

Yesterday we saw St. Paul's Cathedral and it was stunning.

As I walked in I thought of Prince Charles and Lady Di's wedding (watched it back when I was a girl) and once again marveled.

I have decided to learn more about the genius of Christopher Wren after visiting this cathedral. He was quite a guy!

We also visited Buckingham Palace and took a ride on the London Eye.

Today I am in meetings with my day job and Todd is off exploring war museums.

Currently reading: training class paperwork
Currently listening to: conference instructors

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Technology Mishaps

So, I spoke too quickly yesterday. The sample of Elizabeth George's Careless in Red was good, but then I tried to read the Kindle version of the book itself and could not. Seems Amazon's Kindle version of the whole book had a corrupted file. I emailed Amazon all last evening and got my refund, but now I saw a review in London about the book and now I'm not sure I want to buy it again.

And my cell phone won't work this week (no service) and my webmail keeps crashing my laptop! Argh. Technology.

Otherwise, we've had a very full day today visiting Hampton Court Palace. We took a Thames boat upriver to Hampton Court and it took 3 hours (through a few locks), but just 35 minutes on the rail train home, which we were thrilled with. So we got a nice round trip view of the outerskirts of London.

The Palace was stunning (and Rick Steves termed it "not quite sparkling" in his guidebook) with the Tudor, Georgian, and Baroque sections all just amazing. The gardens were the highlight though. Stunning.

Currently reading: Rick Steves 2008 London (Kindle version)
Currently listening to: CNBC Europe on the telly

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Elizabeth George Is Back (with Inspector Lynley!)

If you've wondered a bit about Elizabeth George's bestselling series (as I have) about Inspector Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers after she allowed someone to kill Lynley's wife and unborn child, well, don't worry. The author has brought the magic back.

A delicious read (and I'm just a bit of the way through!) and I'm so excited to finally be reading an Elizabeth George novel while in England!

And Elizabeth George is a favorite of mine because she splits her time between her Seattle and London homes. Love that idea! Maybe someday.

Currently reading: Careless in Red (Kindle version)
Currently watching: People walking by on Upper Woburn Place

Monday, May 12, 2008

Having A Grand Time In London

Again, I love traveling around the city on the underground.

It is so easy to use and even if you get on the wrong train (which I have done), it's a very simple process to turn yourself back around and go the other way.

Today, we made it to the British Museum and the British Library . . . and Harrods! I love Harrods. Hubby couldn't believe how big it was. We had soup and sandwich at the food court and followed it with Charbonnel et Walker chocolates (2.50 USD) each! Best chocolate I've ever had hands down.

After we looked around at Harrods, we walked through Knightsbridge and then made our way to Hyde Park and then to Kensington Park. It was 8 pm, warm and breezy and almost idyllic, save the police sirens, as we walked past Albert's Memorial and Royal Albert Hall.

Tomorrow, we head to Hampton Court, the last Tudor palace in London (Henry VIII) and then to a pub to watch a UK football game and drink a pint (well, hubby).

Tonight, we are savoring fresh blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries from the Whole Foods on Kensington High Street.

Currently reading: Elizabeth George's Careless in Red (Kindle version)
Currently listening to: BBC on the telly

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday Video of the Day

And we're landing at Heathrow's Terminal 5 right now, so this will be another quick vid.