katherine_b: (Chalet lands)
posted by [personal profile] katherine_b at 08:43pm on 14/01/2013 under

Last night in Europe. Big, long-awaited and much enjoyed trip is all but over. Tomorrow morning I fly out of London to Munich and then catch the plane that will take me to Melbourne via Doha.

Today though? Today I bought a book. (Shocker, I know!) I also bought a couple of DVDs, including a few presents. I wandered a bit and enjoyed the snow, which is something I did not think I would see again this trip. (This is particularly sad considering it's supposed to be 39 degrees in Melbourne on Thursday, my first day home.)

I am not ready to go home yet though. :-(
Mood:: 'melancholy' melancholy
katherine_b: (Chalet lands)
posted by [personal profile] katherine_b at 09:54pm on 13/01/2013 under
Apologies for nothing yesterday but the internet was playing up at the hotel. (Can someone tell me why internet is so dreadful in London?!)

I arrived early at the V&A to visit the Hollywood Costumes exhibition. I had to stand in line for about an hour before I got to the ticket desk, but ended up booking entry for 12.15pm so it wasn't long to wait. I wandered around various exhibitions (I particularly enjoyed the 'fashion' exhibit) before getting in to the display I had paid for. And yes, it was incredible, but one thing would have made it so much better - a conveyor belt like they have for the Crown Jewels. Seriously, how slowly do some people read?! It should not take five solid minutes to read three lines of text.

In the afternoon I had shopping planned - two bookshops and HMV for the DVDs I want to buy and post home. Bookshops first (Daunt and Oxfam in Marylebone if anyone was wondering). Grand result: nothing. 0_o. I know, weird, huh?

After this was HMV, and perhaps I had been saving my money for that because I spent quite a bit there. The only downside is that I still have to post them home. Still, it's a lovely haul. (No, I'm not listing them all, not least because I've already parcelled them up.

One other nice thing happened - as I left HMV, a young man stopped me. I had given him such a lovely smile, he said, and would I like to go for cofffee? Unfortunately I had to decline a) because he looked about 20 and I refuse to date someone a decade younger than myself and b) I was running a little late for...


Yes, my West End visit this year was to my favourite show. The cast was headed by Stephen Tompkinson, probably best known for DCI Banks. I wasn't sure how he would be, but in fact he was fantastic! Actually, the entire cast was fabulous, although my favourite moments were those in which the cast were unable to help laughing when the script didn't call for it (which happened half-a-dozen times). The most fantastic unscripted moment was when, during Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Patsy's umbrella didn't open and so he had to change his choreography to suit its absence. Then, when King Arthur was doing his "shit" line, both of them gestured at the useless, broken umbrella. I did sob at that point...

Today was another museum day - Museum of London and the British Museum. I went to the former to visit the Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men exhibition, which I thoroughly enjoyed! (I love all those weird and creepy things, in case you hadn't noticed.) One thing that did surprise me was that people had brought along three- and four-year-old children. Considering that most of the exhibits were bodies or body parts, as well as about murders and death, I can't help feeling that some children in London will be having nightmares tonight! The rest of the Museum of London was also very enjoyable and I heartily recommend it, particularly to Londoners.

After this I headed to the British Museum, which is one of those places I have been meaning to visit for ages, but never got around to seeing. These are the best of the many photos I took:

Rosetta Stone:

Ramases II:


Only one more full day of holiday left, folks. :-(
Mood:: 'exhausted' exhausted
katherine_b: (Chalet lands)
posted by [personal profile] katherine_b at 08:40pm on 11/01/2013 under
Great day today, despite it being a bit pricey.

I began at the Science Museum, seeing and being disappointed by the Alan Turing exhibition. I would have thought they could give us more information about his life, especially before Bletchley. He was a fascinating person who deserved a better exhibition.

I wandered around the Science Museum and personally enjoyed the history of medicine most. As with Duxford, I'm not mad on planes and other vehicles so that didn't really grab me. The Space gallery was good though.

I stopped in at several bookshops and managed to add to my Alison Weir collection, as well as picking up a book on Austrian history. I also went to Forbidden Planet and bought the following:

title or description

I also stopped in at a post office and posted it home.

After my shopping, I met up with [livejournal.com profile] shining_moment for a lovely Italian lunch and a fantastic chat. This gave me a chance to boast about said bathrobe and to exchange the latest news.

Having farewelled Clare, I went to another bookshop, Stanford's, and spent - nothing. Not a red penny. (Shocking, huh?) I meandered along second-hand bookshops on Charing Cross Road and spent - nothing. Yes, you may pick yourself up off the floor now. Never fear, though, I do have several more bookshops in mind...
Mood:: 'bouncy' bouncy
katherine_b: (Chalet lands)
posted by [personal profile] katherine_b at 10:27pm on 10/01/2013 under
Well, I'm in London and thus have reached my final destination. I go home on Tuesday, but in the meantime I still have lots of things to see here. Today was mostly driving, although I did stop in at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford. (Luckily I hadn't planned to visit the London branch as it's closed until July. 0_0) I must admit it didn't excite me much as the actual planes don't interest me as much as what was done with them. Still, it was very nice to see them.

Tomorrow I will be visiting the Science Museum and the V&A. There are some great exhibitions there so while I will be footsore and tired tomorrow, it will have been worth it!
Mood:: 'tired' tired
katherine_b: (Chalet lands)
posted by [personal profile] katherine_b at 10:27pm on 09/01/2013 under
Well, today was lots of fun, but also very somewhat expensive. After leaving Edinburgh, I headed for Helen Barber's house (she is the author of Chalet School Headmistress and Bettanys of Taverton High) and we had a lovely lunch at her house and chatted about books, politics and all sorts of things.

After this I headed for a highly recommended bookshop called TB Books in Addingham near Leeds. I made the following purchases:

Changes for the Chalet School
The Chalet School Does It Again
The New Mistress at the Chalet School
Summer Term at the Chalet School
Prefects of the Chalet School

In the interests of honesty, I should admit that all five hardbacks cost me a total of £250, the same amount as I saw for Chalet School Reunion back in Hay. This feels a lot more satisfying and far less guilt inducing than that purchase (had I made it) would have done.

Tonight I am in Nottingham, planning to visit the Galleries of Justice tomorrow, before heading for London and the return of my car. (I may also have another bookshop to visit on the way. Somebody stop me please. *g*)
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
katherine_b: (Allo Allo - Only Tuesday)
posted by [personal profile] katherine_b at 07:33am on 09/01/2013 under
Hurrah, I have photos again! Unfortunately the only interesting ones are from yesterday. For instance, this was my morning tea:


I had it here:


I had a wonderful morning wandering around the HMY Britannia, feeling alternately delighted at seeing it all and sorry for the Royal Family at having been deprived of its use. Still, I'm thrilled to have visited it.

In the afternoon I went to Melrose Abbey:


This was an incredible place to visit and I wandered around it for about two hours, listening to the audio guide and looking for the bagpipe-playing pig. Wonderful!

After this, I met up with [livejournal.com profile] debodacious for a lovely afternoon tea and a cosy chat. The perfect end to a great day!
Mood:: 'mellow' mellow
katherine_b: (You made bunny cry!)
posted by [personal profile] katherine_b at 06:02pm on 07/01/2013 under
Today's tally:

Three museums
Two castles
One shop

Owwwww! My poor tootsies!

And now for the details (in chronological order):

I went to the shop first, shockingly a bookshop (!). It was Edingburgh Books, in fact, which deals in second-hand books. And yes, I made purchases:
Chudleigh Hold by EBD
Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie

My next stop was Edinburgh Castle, which I did enjoy, but not as much as I thought I would. I'm not sure why or what I was expecting, but maybe I got so much out of Stirling that this was something of a let-down.

After this I headed down the Royal Mile, stopping at the Museum of Childhood. Thanks so much to the person who recommended the Museum of Childhood, as it was absolutely wonderful. A beautiful collection of toys and books all on display - and free!

Today's disappointment: The Children's Bookshelf is closed today and tomorrow due to illness. *sigh* Still, it's one way to save money.

After this I headed for Holyrood, and it was really worth the wait! (I tried to go and visit it when I was in Scotland in summer 2010, but the Queen had the indecency to be in residence, so I was unable to go inside.) I spent hours wandering around, listening to the audio guide and looking at all of the bits and pieces. Heaven!

Museum number two was the Museum of Edinburgh, which I also thoroughly enjoyed. Very interesting and a chance to see lots of different facets of the city.

The third and final museum was the Museum of Scotland, which was more general than the Museum of Edinburgh. The highlight of this for me was the collection of Lewis chessmen, which I had heard about and wanted to see. I nearly bought some of them from the little shop, but decided against it because they were too heavy. I am, however, already regretting this decision. *sigh*

And that was my long, long day of walking. My feet hurt... *pathetic sob*

Oh, btw, tomorrow I plan to visit Melrose Abbey and also the Royal Yacht Britannia. I will be driving. Thankfully.
Mood:: 'sore' sore
katherine_b: (Chalet lands)
posted by [personal profile] katherine_b at 08:58am on 07/01/2013 under
Oops, I was being all domestic in my little apartment, cooking and washing clothes, and completely forgot to fill you in on my activities!

I arrived early in Stirling, having dropped by the hole in the ground that is the Bannockburn Heritage Centre. On my previous visit I had arrived at Stirling at the end of the day, so hadn't had much chance to look around.

I'm so, so glad I gave myself so much time as I absolutely loved it! I did a tour at 10am, which was only me and two other girls. The guide was entertaining, the views spectacular (particularly the mist) and the entire experience very good indeed. After that I spent three hours going through all of the different buildings, as well as having an excellent lunch at the cafe. Wonderful morning!

In the afternoon I went to Linlithgow, which was fascinating, although I would enjoy these places more if I didn't have such a fear of heights since there are places of being able to see several floors down in between the boards I'm walking over or while looking down through the gratings over windows and doors. I was rather unimpressed that the ticket/souvenir shop closed at 1pm until 2.30pm, and since I'd finished looking around by 1.45pm, I decided not to wait around. (I also watched quite a lot of people able to walk in without paying, which seems incredibly stupid.)

This meant I was in Edinburgh and at my apartment by 2.30pm. I shopped, did some laundry and cooked. I'm also arranging my things in preparation for working out what I need to post home versus carry with him. Sad to think that there's only eight days left. :-(
Mood:: 'chipper' chipper
katherine_b: (Writing)
posted by [personal profile] katherine_b at 09:41pm on 05/01/2013 under
I do have photos from today, but sadly I left my camera cable in the car and I'm in my PJs so they will have to wait.

I spent the morning visiting the following towns: Foveran, Fyvie, Inverurie, Echt.

Any guesses what these towns have in common?


Okay, they are places from which distant relatives of mine have come (at least on my father's side). I enjoyed the chance to look around the churchyards, although I have visited the latter two before. I have one more place of this type to visit in a few days.

In the afternoon I went to St Andrews and visited the remains of the Castle and Cathedral there. Incredible stuff. There is something amazing about a ruin like that.

Tonight I'm in Dunfermline, looking forward to visiting the Palace tomorrow before heading for Stirling and Bannockburn. Hurrah for Scottish history!
Mood:: 'giggly' giggly
katherine_b: (Chalet lands)
posted by [personal profile] katherine_b at 06:07pm on 03/01/2013 under
Well, thank you, LJ, that's been generally useless!

So, what have I been up to for the past four days? Honestly, mostly travel. I am now in the UK and have left Austria behind. On my last full day there (Dec 31) I went around Pertisau seeing it all, taking photos, etc. The wonderful part came at midnight when every hotel, pension, gasthof, etc set off their fireworks at midnight so for about 20 mins the entire lakeside was just a huge burst of colour.

Welcome, 2013!

Jan 1 was a day of travelling - bus to the station, train to the airport, plane, then more buses. Luckily all the connections worked and I arrived safely at my hotel.

Jan 2 gave me the joy of picking up my hire car - no more schlepping around on foot! - and headed off for lunch with the lovely ladies behind Girls Gone By Publishers. Later that evening I headed to the house of my Chalet School editor, who had kindly invited me to stay. All in all, it was a very book-y day.

Jan 3 (today) has been no less so! I went first to Hay-on-Wye, which is Britain's Booktown, and then in Hereford. The latter is, of course, the setting for about half of the British-era Chalet books. I only arrived here at about 3pm, but went and did the walked version of the journey described in Highland Twins. I am also staying in the Green Dragon (called the Golden Dragon in Three Goes) so I am thoroughly immersed.

And that's that! Tomorrow I head into Scotland. I'm hoping to drive from Hereford to Aberdeen, which is almost 500 miles. The AA route planner predicts this will take almost 9 nine hours. People I have spoken to say it will take more than 10. We'll see. I don't feel too bad about it, but I could always stay in Glasgow (only 350 miles) for a night instead, although that will mean a lot of driving on Saturday instead.

We'll see...
Mood:: 'hyper' hyper


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