United Kingdom
Cromwell Hospital

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    • Day 6

      Museums & Castles

      December 19, 2019 in England ⋅ 🌧 11 °C

      Today was wet! Very wet. The perfect day for some inside exploring. We were off to the British Museum and Tower of London.

      British Museum was up first. This huge museum was a wonder. We could have spent he whole day there and still not seen everything. We only had a few hours though so we prioritised Ancient Egypt, Assyria and Greece. These were all things both of us had learnt about during our year 12 schooling so it was pretty amazing to see things in the flesh. The colossal statues of this powerful Pharaohs and lavish palaces of the Assyrian Kings. It was just so amazing to actual visualise these actual things that existed so many years ago. Even stories from the bible we learn’t as kids, seeing the actual palaces from those times really brings what it would have been like to life. I never really pictured much of the city of Nineveh but seeing the actual palace walls in real life depicting carvings of what life was like there really brought it to life.
      We dove into history for a few hours before time got away from us and we had to get across to the grand Tower of London. Not before a quick pit stop at the local bookshop though.

      We made it to the Tower of London, grabbed our audio guides and set off in the rain to explore this incredible castle and fortress. This was a real step back in time. All the way back to William the Conquerer. Originally it started out as a prison, then part of it became a royal palace, a store house for military weapons and now it’s a museum of war weapons and of course the home of The Crown Jewels.

      After exploring the history for a while we wandered in to see the Crown Jewels. Jo was very excited! We took the constantly moving travellator past quite a few times before we could move on. These jewels were very bedazzling, under all the lights they sparkled like crazy. Some of the jewels were incredible! We found out that this was home to the largest cut diamond in the world, the Cullinan diamond. Originally 3,106 carats and the size of a baseball it was cut down and forms different parts of the crown jewels. Unfortunately Queen Lizzy’s crown was in use so we couldn’t see the state crown. With the latest British election Boris Johnson had stolen it for the day.
      Must admit though, this huge display of wealth was all a bit much I think. Traditions or not you could see why the poorer class would have despised the royal family sometimes.
      We hung around the castle until sunset which was such stunning lighting with the tower bridge in the background.

      From there we were heading home. We were on babysitting duty tonight so James and Jess could enjoy dinner and a show. It was nice to have a night relaxing at home actually. We waved them off, got Hudsy to bed and put ourselves to bed not long after.

      A very historically informative day!

      Asher ☺️
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    • Day 8

      Last Day, Market Day

      December 21, 2019 in England ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

      Portobello Road Markets, Notting Hill… what a crazy place! Hustling and bustling with so many people, store holders yelling out there best selection of produce or latest styled hats. We wandered through, bumping shoulders left and right, soon discovering that we needed cash at most vendors. So we found an ATM, which ended up being out of order. All good, we’ll just go inside and get money out. Oh wait, it’s a 10.5% extra bank fee to withdraw cash… No worries we’ll go to that supermarket… oh they don’t do cash out? That’s all good, we’ll try another supermarket… whats that? They don’t do cash out either? ok….oh look, there’s another atm, lets try that… oh that’s out of order as well? Never mind that security guy said that that other supermarket will do cash out… Ok let’s try that. We can get cash out, yes! Oh… it won’t let us use our Australian cards?!! Ok this is getting a bit annoying, let’s keep walking. Oh let me pop my head into this supermarket and check… don’t even bother, it’s tiny! Wait what’s that in the distance?! It’s glowing light on a wall that reads ‘CASH’. Will it work? Will it not? There’s only one way to find out… Yass! It does, finally we have some pounds to purchase our big delicious market pastries with! Woooo!

      Soon the rain set in and we had to bail. We set off for Harrod’s, the super department store of London. Harrod’s was all a it much, packed tot eh rafters with hectic Christmas shoppers. Jo managed to by a few books and we got out of there. We set off on a bus aiming to do a bit of shopping before we left London for the country side tomorrow. We got a few stops away and just weren’t feeling it. Our feet were killing and we were so exhausted. So we hopped right off and got right on the Underground train heading back home. We arrived home to J,J, & H where we all just chilled out for bit before Jo & I headed to grab a drink with the local Carroll. We met Ben and his girlfriend Kate at an amazing underground wine bar for a drink and serious catch-up.We hadn’t seen Ben for several years and had never met Kate so it was so great to catch them. We chatted for a couple of hours and down a delicious bottle of red before we said our goodbyes and headed back to the apartment. It was pack up time and off to bed for an early night before we hit the road tomorrow.

      Asher ☺️
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    • Day 35

      London Coda 3 - Natural History Museum

      September 30, 2022 in England ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

      We slept in. It was a good thing. We needed the rest. However, not five minutes up and about, we both received the same message from Qantas that our flight home would be delayed by twelve hours and that we would ultimately fly out of Heathrow not tomorrow evening (Saturday), but Sunday morning at 8.40. Three to four hours at the airport before the flight home immediately meant that we would need to stay a night in the airport hotel. So, off to Cafe Nero at Earl's Court we went to provide coffee and croissants while we organised accommodation. Thank goodness for the internet and smart phones. To complicate things, there will be industrial action starting that day which means that there will be no Tube out to the Heathrow. We would have to Uber it. So, we organised that too.

      That left us with a lovely day ahead to do something new and nice. So, we decided we would go to the Natural History Museum, that extraordinary building in the heart of London built in the 1850s. If the building did not have any exhibits in it, you would still go, just to see the building. It is exquisite in different coloured brick work, tiles, and carved animals adorning every column, every floor piece, every section. There are stone animals everywhere you look. The floor is tiled in the best Roman fashion, the ceilings are painted in the best 'great house' fashion. It is a masterpiece of architecture and true beauty.

      The collection is probably urivalled anywhere in the world. The vast and cavernous grand hall at the entrance has the skeleton of a blue whale hanging down over you, while at the top of a grand stair case which goes right and left at its apex sits a white marble over-sized Charles Darwin, looking out over the proceedings as if he were some deity.

      In fact, there is a clear and unmistakable reference to religion and great cathedrals in this building. Grand arches not aisles, vast halls not naves, huge galleries not transepts, statues of scientists not saints. There is a quote by one of the scientists, I think it might have been Richard Owen, the guy who thought up the whole idea for this place, that this building was to be "a cathedral to science". So, it's no mistake or coincidence.

      Chris and I enjoyed the parts of the exhibtion that we looked through: central hall, birds, minerals, the Vault where precious stones are kept (and no mention of monetary worth made at all), and marine life including the great whales. There is a model of a blue whale in this exhibit that I swear I find it hard to believe that it is true to size. Its length took up the whole gallery. Its girth was wider than a B Double truck, about two storeys high. The scientists tell us that the Blue Whale was and remains the largest creature ever to have inhabited the earth.

      We stopped by the cafe to replenish and get off our feet, then had a cursory look through the dinosaur exhibit, but lots of people, plenty of screaming kids, not really our scene. Then off to the Museum shop for the obligatory touristy things that are always fun to purchase and that can only only be purchased in situ.

      Lunch back in Earl's Court, a nap, and then dinner back down in the High Street, just some KFC tonight, but perched up in the window watching passers-by scurrying along in the London rain, the streets shiny and refelctive and romantic. This was our last 'free' night in London and the UK. I loved it. It's been a wonderful day together and a lovely evening.
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    • Day 4

      Dinner with Jacqui & Hayley

      October 4, 2016 in England ⋅ 🌙 9 °C

      We caught up with my cousin Jacqui (and her daughter Hayley) for dinner. It's been over 40 years since I saw Jacqui!

      We met in the city and went to a lovely restaurant.

      It was so nice to catch up, thanks girls!Read more

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    Cromwell Hospital

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