Archives for posts with tag: the UK

One of the things I wanted to do while we were in London was maybe catch a show, if I could get my paws on a cheap matinee ticket. I checked at a couple of “half price musical tickets” places, and well, their half price tickets still hovered around 50 pounds. Which is about 30-35 pounds more than I was willing to dish out. Thankfully, the pub in which we spent most of our off time drinking had a poster on the wall for a play called The Children’s Hour, though I only noticed it because Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss’s floating heads were staring down at me from a black background. At any rate, I thought, “Well, I don’t know ANYTHING about this play, but I like Elisabeth Moss and Keira Knightley is really famous, so WHY NOT?!”

Children's Hour

After the Doctor Who Experience, I figured I’d go check out the box office, scope out how to get there and ask about cheap matinee tickets. Which I did and then left. And promptly realized I was just in time to catch that day’s matinee. So I turned myself around, waited in line AGAIN, and asked they still had any of the 10 pound tickets left. And they did! And the show was great! Keira was very … Keira-ly! It’s about two young women who run a boarding school together in the 30’s (or so) who are accused by a pathological lying 12 year old of being lesbian lovers. They lose EVERYTHING, and in the end (SPOILERS) Elisabeth Moss admits that she IS totally in love with Keira Knightley and then kills herself. Happy fun times, FOR SURE. Elisabeth Moss was SUPER moving. It also starred Miracle Max’s wife and Hey It’s That Lady!, plus some other people I’ve never really heard of.

In a Forest, Dark and Deep

I’d also seen signs all over London for In a Forest Dark and Deep with Foxy and Olivia William, who was AWESOME in Dollhouse (WATCH IT, start with episode 5), and I decided that I’d really like to see THAT too! But did I have time?! Or money?! I did when I saw The Children’s Hour after Dr Who for 10 pounds! So the next week, Feller and I headed to the theater to see if we could get the 15 pound matinee tickets for this show. And we did! They were in the front row! We were like 10 feet away from Foxy and his giant, grey goatee! Some guy got whacked in the head when Olivia Williams accidentally threw her phone off the stage! They were the only two characters ever present in the show, and they totally rocked it. It’s about a brother who comes to help his sister move out of a vacation cottage, in the process of which he discovers she’s been having an affair with one of her college students. Then there’s a really awkward moment where I’m not sure Foxy loves his sister like a brother or LOVES his sister. And then! MORE SECRETS ARE REVEALED. Feller and I walked out of the show all, “WHOA. That was … intense. I … liked it?”

Sexual Nature Posters

While in London, I also went to the Tower of London, because my g’ma and I had managed to miss that when we went to the UK together when I was 16, and I made it over to the Natural History Museum for their Sexual Nature exhibit. They had posters for that things ALL OVER EVERYWHERE, which is how I knew about it and why I went to the museum, so I guess their marketing plan worked. And it was TOTALLY my kind of museum exhibit, and I just wish that I had had someone to share it with (Feller was working). They had some awesome displays of insects and animals caught in the act and really beautiful portraits of various animals doing it, and stations where Isabella Rossellini performed short videos about different creatures’ sexual habits, called Green Porno and Seduce Me (GO WATCH some of those videos, seriously, they’re AMAZING. Beautiful and informative and HILARIOUS). Bought the Green Porno book/DVD combo they had for sale and made Feller sit and watch it with me. SO GREAT. BEST THING EVER.



The Doctor Who Experience: AMAZING. It was seriously so much fun and kind of cheesy but totally wonderful. It was one of the few things Feller and I had planned for the London portion of our trip. One of his friends is pretty into Doctor Who and suggested we go together, and then when telling people about our plans, another guy decided to join. He told his boss he was going to see The Doctor. Really. For reals.

The exhibit opened at 10 am, and we showed up early because we didn’t want to have to fight any crowds, and we wanted to be sure we were going to be in the first group in the TARDIS Adventure (half an hour traveling through space and time on a special adventure with the Doctor, facing down his most fearsome opponents!). AAAAAAND we were the only three people standing there at 930 waiting for the doors to open. I’m pretty sure we were there before people who WORKED there. At about 955, more people starting arriving. By which I mean a mom and her two small children.

Our fourth joined us inside the convention center, and we loitered EXCITEDLY for them to open the doors to our TARDIS Adventure! Nevermind that we were there only four adults there who weren’t accompanied by children under 10! There was special wi-fi content to access on our phones! There was Theme Music! And a blue swirly tunnel beyond the door! And … three small exhibits with some costumes and props? Then a video on a projector screen that had a Crack effect as a call back to Season 5?

And let me tell you, right about now, I was getting a LEETLE concerned that we spent all that money on something REALLY LAME. And just as I turned to Friend next to me and whispered “This is it?”, the Crack in the screen opened up to a room full of the Doctor’s junk, including the creepiest creepy coin operated carnival fortune teller thing EVAR, and ANOTHER screen lit up with the Doctor’s face telling us he was separated for his TARDIS, and we had to help bring it back to him! And then the TARDIS itself appeared and opened up to us! It REALLY IS bigger on the inside!

And we all stood around the control panels and pushed buttons and made lights light up, and the floor started shaking the way it always does when the Doctor is flying it. Then small children started crying! It was SO COOL!

We left the TARDIS and went somewhere where one of the Taste the Rainbow Daleks was shouting at us; I think he was looking for the Doctor? And we were really focused on His Shoutiness that we didn’t see the other two Daleks come in behind us, and SERIOUSLY, I jumped a little. I might have yelped.

And then we were walking through a smoky, creepy forest full of Weeping Angels, and it was LEGIT terrifying, though it could have been longer. Although…children were crying during our TARDIS flight; I don’t want to IMAGINE the shit that would have been lost had the Weeping Angels section been longer.

Inside the Tardis

After the TARDIS Adventure, during which they didn’t allow any pictures, WOE, we were loosed upon a hall full of memorabilia from the entire run of the show. A lot of it focused on the newest run, and the Eleventh Doctor in particular, but there was a lot of stuff from the classic episodes as well: TARDIS keys, sonic screwdrivers, costumes from all the Doctors, all sorts of villians, including examples of the evolution of Daleks and Cybermen. It was awesome. We got to take pictures with actual set pieces and work the arms of a Dalek. Once we had our fill of all that and spent a good amount of time perusing the gift shop, Feller, one Friend and I wandered down to Earl’s Court Station, outside of which is an actual blue police box. A TARDIS in the wild!


It was so much fun, and not at all even a tiny big lame like I thought maybe it was perhaps going to be at first. Hooray!

A Police Box in the Wild

We took a little side trip while in the UK to stay with one of Feller’s good friend in Cambridge, and he was a wonderful tour guide and host. The weather continued to cooperate with all our plans, thankfully, and we had such a great time.

We went PUNTING! And it was SO MUCH FUN! We drank a lot! Tried some Pimm’s (general consensus: too sweet)! Feller dropped the punting pole in the water! We crashed into other boats a lot! They crashed into us! I nearly wet my pants from laughing so hard! It was so much fun. I did not try to punt because I knew I’d be shit at it, but it was certainly fun to watch Feller punt us around! Surprisingly, his skills did not improve the more we drank.

Punting up the River

The day on the river was so relaxing and fun and warm and delicious, and thankfully, not sunny enough to roast our lily white skin. Unfortunately, I did get a little pink the next day when we walked to … somewhere nearby … (brb, Googling Cambridge) … Grantchester! It was a gorgeous walk, and we walked through a pasture with some large brown cows! Which made getting back into the US sort of … hilarious. Feller told me not to check the box on the Customs (?) form that said I’d recently been in a pasture/on a farm or had any contact with livestock. Thankfully, I’m charming and adorable (and also already a US citizen), and when the Guy asked me about, he just laughed and welcomed me home.

Hello, Sailor

We tried to get scones at The Orchard, but everyone else in England had the same idea, so it was CRAZY busy and then they ran out of scones. So we sat for awhile and rested up for the walk back home, after which I slept. A lot. It was glorious.

It was such a pleasant vacation-within-a-vacation, we were so sad to leave and ended up taking the last possible train back into London, though we were looking forward to being back in an actual bed in an actual bedROOM after spending two or three nights on the living room pull out bed.

After our Cape Town adventures, Feller and I headed off to London for about two weeks for some business related stuff. Not MY business, obviously, since I was still an unrepentant bum at this point and happy to just enjoy London with no agenda or any real plan. Which was great, but also meant that I didn’t DO very much. There were quite a few days of snoozing and drinking and not doing much else, which was okay! But sometimes I do feel like I should have more to show for this portion of the trip, like there should been Stuff! To Do! Everyday! But you know what?! I had a great time and did most of what I wanted to do, though I would have liked to make it to the Victoria & Albert Museum. They have two exhibits that I wish I could have seen, but OH WELL.

I spent an afternoon wandering down Oxford ST and Regent ST, stopping in Hamleys (I only visited one of it’s SIX FLOORS; that was a time suck I did NOT need) and my first REAL LIFE Lush. This same afternoon I spent an ungodly amount of time wandering around Forbidden Planet, this monstrously large comic book and sci-fi/fantasy store and HOLY GOD, IT WAS DELICIOUS. I was really glad I didn’t have any extra money because I could have spent IT ALL in that store. There was cool comic book memorabilia and Dr Who stuff and Star Wars stuff and an entire floor of BOOKS. Signed books, new books, comic books, Dr Who and Torchwood spin off books. It was amazing. AMAZING.

One day, Feller came with me to climb the St. Paul’s Cathedral dome. We wandered around the crypt and saw various famous British people’s tombs and sarcophagi, like Admiral Nelson and … someone else … Wellington, maybe? Some of the plaques were really beautiful and there was a lot of history down there, but the main attraction for me was the dome.

St. Paul’s has three levels to which one can climb: the Whispering Gallery, the Stone Gallery and the Golden Gallery at the very top. We decided to go all the way, which involved climbing up a total of 528 steps (and then climbing back DOWN those 528 steps).

London Skyline

The view was GLORIOUS. It was one of the few overcast days in London while we were there, but you can see so much from the Stone and especially the Golden Gallery that it didn’t matter. (The view from the Whispering Gallery is the INSIDE of the dome and allows one to see the amazing artwork up close, but they didn’t allow any pictures, so we only briefly paused there to make sure we only needed to climb an additional 271 steps to the very top rather than 376 to the Stone Gallery and 528 MORE to the Golden Gallery.)

St. Paul's Cathedral - Stone Gallery

The Golden Gallery viewing platform was TEENY TINY, and I have a touch of the Afraid of Heights, which made climbing the second half of holey metal steps interesting, so there was a lot of cringing behind my hands and making Feller take pictures because I couldn’t bear to hold my camera out over the ledge in order to get the shot I wanted. I can always just imagine fumbling my precious electronics and helplessly watching them plummet 528 steps down to the ground, so I can’t actually stand the thought of sticking my hand over the abyss. But he got some great pictures.

View from the Golden Gallery

After that bit of fun was over, my legs were jelly. I was standing waiting while Feller used the toilet, and I kind of thought I was going to collapse. Apparently my legs aren’t so into the idea of climbing 528 up and then back down. WHO KNEW.

And, OH GOD, THE WALKING. SO MUCH WALKING. AND STANDING. AND BEING ON MY FEET. My poor little feets were just NOT prepared. It had been a VERY LONG TIME since I’d spent more than an hour or two on my feet, and HOLY COW. OUCHIES. I felt like a jackass complaining about my feet so much, but they HURT, and I couldn’t help myself. I’ll suffer through all kinds of pain, but you better believe Imma bitch about it. But I figure all that walking balanced out all that drinking and all that eating that we did.