May 30, 2011

A few more UK photos

I realized I never put up any photos from the London portion of our trip, so here are a few:

First up, here I am at Paddington Station with Paddington Bear.

Here is Noel on the Prime Meridian.

Stacey and I have no photos of ourselves on the Prime Meridian because we are cheap and refused to pay almost $20 a person to go and stand on it when we could see it just fine from the other side of the gate. Stacey and I, it could be argued, are no fun.

Here we are at the Sherlock Holmes pub. If you go, have the tomato soup!

Noel and Stacey inside the pub.

Speaking of Sherlock Holmes, at the National Portrait Gallery, tucked in amongst paintings of royals and other notable figures, we encountered this portrait of Benedict Cumberbatch (who plays Sherlock on the show Sherlock).

And finally, Noel was able to get her photo taken with David Tennant outside the theatre. She was so happy she did a little song and dance afterward. Success!

All in all, a very lovely trip!

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October 31, 2010

Josh does the UK

Before we left for the UK, I asked our trusty dog/condo/plant-sitter Josh what he’d like us to bring him back as a souvenir. In addition to wanting a hot British man and some nice clothes, Josh requested that we bring a photo of him with us and take pictures of it in various spots so he could imagine he’d been along for the trip.

Here you go, Joshua:

Josh, slightly jet-lagged, at Avebury.

Look closely--there's little Josh at Stone Henge!

Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy gazes longingly at Josh in the restroom at the Jane Austen Museum in Bath.

Josh enjoys a Peeptini at the Roman Baths in Bath.

Josh admires the beauty of Wells Cathedral.

Josh quickly masters the maze at Longleat.

Josh explores Caerphilly Castle in Wales.

Josh in front of the Millennium Center in Cardiff, Wales.

Josh catches the eye of a knight in Conwy, Wales.

Josh says, "Rules be damned!" in Conwy.

Josh takes in a Man United game at Old Trafford.

Josh enjoys seeing John Simm in "Hamlet" in Sheffield, England.

Josh enjoys a Peeptini after crossing the stepping stones at Bolton Abbey.

Josh admires the Bridge of Sighs at Cambridge University.

Josh in the London Underground.

Josh at the British Museum in London.

Josh by the River Thames with the Millennium Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral behind him.

Yes, we got a lot of strange looks from people around us. Thanks, Josh!

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July 2, 2006

DocSmartypants in London, Part 3: Hot Hot Heat

It’s 88 degrees here in London and they’ve apparently never heard of this strange invention called “air conditioning.” Last night my room was so hot I couldn’t even sleep. Most places don’t even have a fan. I’m starting to wonder if Londoners are actually human.

Yesterday I met up with Buni and Heather, a couple of London gals I met on Television without Pity. We went to the British Museum and saw the Rosetta Stone and all that. Then we walked around for a bit, had some ice cream, and watched people watching the England match. It reminded me of when the Red Sox were in the World Series, everyone crowded outside of any place that had a TV. Anyway, so we end up in Soho and we come around a corner and suddenly, what the hell?! Thousands of cheering, dancing gay men! Is it another Pet Shop Boys concert? No–it’s PRIDE DAY! So as I’m happily walking through this street in Soho that’s packed full of beatiful men wearing more makeup than me, getting glittered on by a passing drag queen, and admiring the pink Union Jacks, it occurs to me that Kenneth is right: I am a 50-year-old gay man. Because if this hadn’t been the one day I had people to hang out with (and not lose in the crowd) I would have happily stayed there all day. Ah well.

In the evening I went back to the hotel to watch the new episode of Doctor Who because over here you can do that and not be treated like a freak. That’s right, over here they respect their sci-fi (within reason) and they love their Doctor Who. So I watched the show and then realized it was a bit late to do much else but still to early to go to bed, so I went for the first real sit-down dinner I’ve had since I arrived, more out of boredom than hunger.

That was a mistake. I didn’t get halfway through the meal. I’m still too sick and it’s just too hot. So I went back to the room to slowly suffocate for the rest of the night, now with a tummy ache.

Today is even hotter than yesterday so of course I decided to go to the Camden Lock Market. Because what’s better on a scorching hot day than walking around a confined space with everyone else in London? I saw many cool things but didn’t buy much because it just seemed too silly to go to England and come back with a bag full of stuff from India and China and pretty much everywhere but England. I did by a CD in a shop specifically geared toward rave tweakers, from a DJ with a delightful tri-colored mohawk–very nice fellow. Then I thought I’d explore a bit, which was dumb because I walked way, way off in a random direction and now my feet are killing me.

The good news is I have now sweated off half of my body weight. Thanks, London! ]

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June 30, 2006

DocSmartypants in London, Part 2: A heat wave and a thousand screaming gay men

Huzzah! I’m alive! Well sort of. I’m still sick but full of mediciny goodness so now I just feel ill and not like I’m actually dying. I’m also in a slightly less sketchy Internet cafe today because I didn’t feel like being sold to white slavers.

Yesterday I went to the Tower of London and heard many gruesome stories–it was great. Then I saw the Pet Shop Boys in the moat, which brings up a weird mental image if you don’t know that the moat is empty now. Obviously the Pet Shop Boys were fantastic, at least that’s what I (and the crowd of screaming middle aged gay men) thought. Was I the only straight person there? No. Was I the youngest? No. But just about, on both counts. Anyway, the weather was good; it cooled off in the evening in time for the show, which was nice since apparently they’re having a heat wave. Lucky me.

Today I dragged myself out of bed for the least inspiring breakfast I’ve had since I was last at a UU youth conference. If you can imagine a machine that would suck every single last molecule of moisture out of a piece of toast? Yeah, they have that. There were also corn flakes and some dodgy looking fruit cocktail. The breakfast ladies don’t speak English, so getting milk was a challenge but eventually I did a sort of pouring motion over the cereal and they got what I meant. Good thing, too, because the next step from there is miming milking a cow, which I imagine could have looked quite rude. If they are, as I suspect, Russian I might try a little of my vocab on them if I feel desperate enough to get up for breakfast again. I do at the very least know how to say “milk” and “please.”

So after that I bought some postcard stamps and began the somewhat confusing trip out to Hampton Court where I did the hedge maze (oldest in England or something like that) in five minutes. I’d have felt really proud but I saw a thing online about the trick to finding the center and I wanted to see if it worked. It does. Hampton Court itself is very large and impressive and full of over-the-top tapestries and oddly disturbing topiary. It’s one of those places that has been around long enough that it’s had bits knocked down and added so that it doesn’t really mesh anymore, but the overall impression is still grand and regal and reminds you to hate the rich.

I wanted to check out the London Eye today but have decided to save that and do something indoors instead. It really is just obscenely warm and despite all the sunscreen I can feel myself burning. I imagine if I’d skipped the sunscreen I would have just burst into flames the minute I stepped outdoors. Why did no one tell me that England has no ozone layer?

So now I’m off, possibly to the portrait gallery, possibly just to write some postcards. I’d consider hiding in my room and watching the BBC, but you know what? Most BBC programming? Kinda’ sucks. The first night the best thing on was about the guy who brought lap dancing to England. Last night? Documentary on “John Holmes, the Real Life Dirk Diggler.” I will say this, good lord they can show a lot more on British TV than they can on American TV! And on that note…

I hope America is running smoothly in my absense. Oh wait, it wasn’t running smoothly when I was there. Oh well. Hope America isn’t running less smoothly than when I left!]

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June 29, 2006

Doc Smartypants in London Part 1: The eagle has landed

The good news is: I made it to London.

The bad news is: I’m sick as a dog and writing this from London’s sketchiest Internet cafe.

So I’ll keep this brief. Despite taking that over-hyped crap called AirBorn or whatever that’s supposed to boost your immune system, I landed with a sore throat, aching head, and slight fever. By the time I made it to the hotel (which is a whole blog post of its own) I had a full-blown achy head, coughing up ungodly stuff, high fever, chills, sore throat monster of a …OK, sorry, got distracted just now because Supercalifragilisticexpedalioscious just started blasting from the convenience store upstairs. Oh wait, it’s the WHOLE soundtrack to Mary Poppins! The hell?!

Where was I?

Oh yeah, sick. And everyone else in the hotel is 18 and on a drinking binge. At 1 this morning I seriously considered popping out of my room in my hideous new pajamas and yelling, ‘For the love of all that is good and holy on this earth will you please just SHUT THE HELL UP?!?!’ But I didn’t because that would have meant getting out of bed, which still seemed like a lot of effort when I finally managed it around 11:30 this morning.

So on the bright side: I found an Internet cafe just by wandering long enough, I found a Boots (drugstore) so will hopefully feel the benefits of lots and lots of medicine soon, and tonight is the Pet Shop Boys concert. ]

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