Thursday, January 18, 2007

last day in london

i bet y'all forgot i hadn't actually left london in that last post. well, here is my last day. it started with the hard farmer jogging to the post office to pick up the christmas package the girls had sent. oh, we had so much fun unwrapping all the things. thankyou hughie, tine and missmojay! (sorry it has taken so long to acknowledge - aaagh) i keep virg in my office to freak out my students. here she is saying "i can't work under these conditions!" (quoting me as i stomped through the snow to class thismorning):

to infinity and beyond!:

i have the bark hanging up on my bookcase, and look out for the rubber stamp on a postcard near you. . .

anyway, so after we extracted ourselves from presents we hit the road (poor old tofu went to work, still crook). first stop was buckingham palace, via st. james park, where HF sometimes does marathon training. we arrived for the changing of the guards and stayed around to watch the brass band and the guards getting ready. the outfits were fab:
there was a lot of stamping and shouting and about face-ing. the whole thing was fascinating and incredibily pompous.

then, after a quick stop to buy a toy bus for me:
we went to westminster abbey. i recommend this website. it has virtual tours and weird 360 degree video clip things. westminster was huge and wonderful and packed with tombs. lots of amazing ppl buried there, like queen elizabeth:
who is buried with her half-sister mary, who she hated. the other mary is across the way.

there's the famous poet's corner, where chaucer and t.s.eliot and dickens and austen are memorialised, if not buried:
lots of really cool sculptures (nice skeletons) and the coronation chair and other historical things. lots of marble and gold and enormous vaulted ceilings and medieval clay floor tiles. stunning stuff. and we went into a little basement bit (see, this is why i should have done this a fortnight ago, so i could remember all the names) where they kept the wax/ceramic funeral effigies of the kings and queens, in their original robes. (none of these are my photos, btw. my camera battery died.)

that was all a bit amazing. we grabbed a quick lunch from boots and headed out to the british library for the afternoon. british library is neat. the treasures exhibition is amazing. and, incidently, their webpage is also amazing. they have a cool interactive reading thing, so you can read, for instance, william blake's notebook, turning the pages virtually. go, see.

among the amazing things we saw:
shakespeare's first folio

earliest surviving copy of beuwolf (my medieval lit prof most cranky that tourists can see it but no-one's allowed to study it)
leonardo di vinci's notebook
orginal letter-version of alice in wonderland (read online! do!)

contemporary copy of chaucer
gutenberg bible
captain scott's diary (just going outside, may be some time)

manuscript of jane eyre
magna carter
masses of wonderful illuminated manuscripts

beatles draft lyrics
draft of elizabeth the first's "of course i'm gonna get married, get off my back!" speech, with all her corrections

gosh, it was speccy. after two or three hours my eyeballs were about to fall out - low lighting and lots of reading - so HF and i headed back to the flat.

tofu made us a lovely dinner and we hit the bubbly and talked and talked and played w our presents. it was a perfect last day.

then the next morning i got up early and headed off. cried a bit. as i do.

miss you guys.


missymojay said...

Wow! Look at all that stuff. Aw, the amate and virginia are all settled into Vancouver... you are welcome and two people to whom I don't now how to refer (one of them has pink hair and the other is my girlfriend, aka handy, are also responsible).

And the hair! Still looking fabulous! I like how you have the vancouver weather update on your sidebar. I think I am now fully caught up on your blog - much more fun than looking for jobs. All right, time to go meet hughie (see, see, I'm catching on) at Choc Buddha before the Midsumma opening.

Love you and miss you muchly.

gtg said...

missymojay! hi!

thankyou for yr letter too, pet. v. nice.

oh dear. hair is going to change soon. like tomorrow. eee! cos rain makes it flat and snow makes it flat and hats make it flat, of course, so a losing battle. i'm sure i'll go back to this style again some time - maybe summer.

glad you enjoy the weather. me too. but it doesn't show enough snow. *pouts*

good luck for the job hunt. you get back to that, missy!

aw. . . midsumma opening. boo. can you send me photos? have fun at the chocolate buddha and say hi to hughie.

love you too

Caroline said...

My great-uncle has a memorial in Westminster Abbey - I should have told you to look out for it!

itchy fingers said...

how'd you get photos inside westminster, you naughty thing?

Tuchfrau said...

I miss you too though have just said goodbye to you on skype!

Tuchfrau said...

I miss you too though have just said goodbye to you on skype!

gtg said...


ya big duffer! you should have! where is he?

hey, if you thought of it, could you ask yr fraternal figure where he got that screengrab of stargate w my uni in it, pls? i wnt to post it here.


gtg said...


i didn't, silly. remember the bit about my camera battery being dead? got them off the interweb, the joyous interweb.

gtg said...

thankyou, tofu!

i worked out how to pay my fees (me and the bank lady spent about half an hour on it) - all good!

Caroline said...

He's Sir Frank Whittle - he invented the jet engine. His memorial is in the Royal Air Force chapel part of the Lady Chapel. So there you go!

grot said...

i remember that memorial, because a jet engine seemed such an extraordinary thing to 'invent'!

how would you even begin to think about inventing one?

guess if i knew that, i'd have a memorial in westminster...

gtg said...


how entirely random. good for you!

tine said...

pressies are from miss b and superbutch too!! isn't virg just too adorable??!

gtg said...

virg is adorable, though her nose gives me the freak out.

i had a lovely time running up and down the corridors showing her to everyone.

thankyou to ms b and handy superbutch then!!!!! aaargh!

gtg said...

she was yr idea, wasn't she??? from readings?