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Archive for December, 2007

London Transport Museum

December 31, 2007 Leave a comment

routemasterbus3

We went to the London Transport Museum on Sunday and saw the history of the impressive bus and rail system that we rely on every day in here in London. This is one of the better museums I’ve been to. I didn’t realize it, but the Routemaster bus was designed and put into production in 1959 and the FX4 black cab in 1958. Since then, they have of course become icons of London. It was interesting to see how suburbs grew up because of the public transportation and eventually engulfed and simply became part of the city.

london-cab-fairway-1

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Our first Pantomime

December 30, 2007 Leave a comment

Our friend Steve is in town so we met up with a bunch of his friends last night and went to the Hackney Empire Theatre to see a pantomime, which is a stage show where the actors encourage the audience to yell things at certain times or when certain things happen on stage. The kids in the audience loved it, and it appears that the parents that were there probably loved it when they were kids too. The show we saw Dick Whittington and his Cat.

We left at intermission.

It was interesting to see, but probably more so if you are a kid. More interesting to me were the neighbourhoods we saw before and after the show. We walked along the river in Wapping and ate lunch at the Prospect of Whitby, which is a pub that has been around since the 1500s. After the show we walked around Hackney and Bethnal Green and had dinner around there somewhere at a tasty gastropub.  

Christmas Day Bike Ride

December 25, 2007 Leave a comment

Cold and rainy days are often good for a bike ride and in London on Christmas day the busses don’t run, which makes for an even better bike ride.

This is a little video story of what I saw on my ride – I basically discovered small neighbourhoods that I had never seen before and came upon Westminster Abby via the Dean’s Yard, which was a fun little surprise.

Learning about Christmas in London

December 20, 2007 Leave a comment

ChristmasLondonDrawing We have noticed a few things that are different about Christmas in London compared to the US. None are bad, just different, which makes it fun for us. These are:

1. Christmas Crackers: As our friend Alan explains, the Christmas Cracker is a fun way to get a little gift. I have only seen this at dinners around Christmas time, but I’m not sure if it is just a meal-time thing.

2. Dinner at a pub:  A month or more ago, you could reserve a table at a pub for Christmas lunch or dinner. You have to reserve early because they do fill up. I think this is partially because many houses in the city are too small to host a big dinner party. So you could have your Christmas dinner at the Crab & Winkle, the Zigfrid von Underbelly, or any other number of strangely named pub names. I doubt I can get lefsa like Mom makes at any of these places though. She makes great tynnlefse.

3. Lights: Most homes in the city don’t have their own Christmas lights, but many of the shops downtown have big light displays.

4. Trees: Of the people who buy Christmas trees in the city, they buy them wrapped up in some netting and often I see people carrying them down the sidewalk. There probably aren’t many U-cut places near London! I saw this in Paris too though, so it might happen in cities in the US too, except Seattle.

5. Ice skating: There are a variety of small ice skating rinks setup around the city, including one in what should be the moat at the Tower of London. We did our ice skating at Kew Gardens. OK, lots of US cities have this too, but there seem to be quite a few; possibly because London is so big.

Thinking of Snowboarding

December 19, 2007 Leave a comment

3 Hikes up and 3 Rides down on April 11 2004

As ski season is here, and I have 2 trips planned for February and March of 2008, I am looking forward to some skiing and snowboarding.

Here is a picture of me in April 2004, I used to spend my winters and springs hiking up "Summit East" (aka, Hyak) in Washington state. This picture is at the top after my 3rd time up that day.

Below is a video of me snowboarding down Mt. Rainier in June of 2002. Some friends and I had hiked up to base camp one day. I was the only one who lugged my board and boots all the way up, but was quite happy that I did. It was perfect slush on a warm summer day. The guy sliding down on a safety blanket is Shish.

Map image

Outsourced Childcare

December 12, 2007 Leave a comment

What is a Piggy Bank called?

December 8, 2007 Leave a comment

Money Box, which we call a Piggy Bank in the US While checking out the Christmas lights in London tonight, we saw a Money Box in one of the department stores. In the US we would call this a Piggy Bank. I think Money Box makes a bit more sense, after all, how many Piggy Banks in the US look like a pig? What’s pictured here is a penguin or something, but there were other animals too, but no pigs.

I have uploaded a few photos of the lights, plus created a map of where these lights are located.

 

 

Map of Christmas Lights

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