A Travellerspoint blog

July 2010

BLOSSOMS, SOAP SUDS AND MUSEUMS

Devon, London and West Yorkshire

On our return to Ebford, we spent a couple of days catching up with ourselves again and sorting out MOT, road tax and insurance renewals for the van. The country garden flowers in Judy's garden and elsewhere were gorgeous and Sandi, as usual, was entranced by the lushness of the plant life, and so much clicking was done.
IMG_2595.jpgIMG_2598.jpgIMG_2602.jpgExtravagant Clematis flowers

Extravagant Clematis flowers

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We enjoyed a wonderful meadow walk with Judy and her walking group, followed by a ploughman’s lunch under the trees and home-brewed cider [an acquired taste - not quite Hunter's Gold!] supplied by the farmer.
Sandi leading the way with our wild flower manual being put to use, and of course, many more happy snaps along the way

Sandi leading the way with our wild flower manual being put to use, and of course, many more happy snaps along the way


IMG_2623.jpgIMG_2624.jpgIMG_2626.jpgIMG_2629.jpgWild orchid

Wild orchid


The organiser, David, mentioned there was an excellent cream tea to be had on a neighbouring farm, which naturally we could not resist, so off we traipsed and had tea in grand style!
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Then it was time to head up to London for Sandi’s courses. We camped at the lovely Crystal Palace campsite again, and made forays into the city with bus and underground passes.

The London courses, which took about 1 ½ hours to reach by public transport, were rather underwhelming, and chaotic at times. In general the presentations were simplistically repetitive, particularly the excessive time spent on skin diseases. On the up-side, meeting a few delightful delegates from UK, Holland, & Spain, was relative compensation.

During day-1, while Sandi was occupied, David amused himself by visiting the Tower of London.
The very entertaining guide

The very entertaining guide


The Queen's House within the Tower grounds

The Queen's House within the Tower grounds


Henry VIII suit of armour - note how he protected his family jewels!

Henry VIII suit of armour - note how he protected his family jewels!


How Elizabeth II protects her family jewels

How Elizabeth II protects her family jewels


Tower bridge

Tower bridge


We managed to get tickets for Swan Lake that evening, presented "in the round" by the English National Ballet, at the Royal Albert Hall. A real treat for us both.
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On the second day of Sandi's course David browsed through the Natural History Museum. The building itself is as fascinating as the extensive exhibits
The beautiful and intricate brickwork inside and outside

The beautiful and intricate brickwork inside and outside

Dusty monkeys climbing up the walls

Dusty monkeys climbing up the walls

Monographs of herbs on the ceiling

Monographs of herbs on the ceiling

He then spent a couple of sunny hours in Hyde Park.
The impressive Prince Albert memorial

The impressive Prince Albert memorial


The new Princess Diana memorial fountain

The new Princess Diana memorial fountain


A new statue - the Ibis

A new statue - the Ibis

On Sandi's final course day, off went solo-tourist David again, this time to the British Science Museum. However, as he was rapidly tiring of museums, he just looked at the fascinating medical history section.
An armrest for blood-letting

An armrest for blood-letting


He captured several curiosities around London.
IMG_2672.jpgShip-in-a-bottle at Trafalgar Square

Ship-in-a-bottle at Trafalgar Square

Busker at Covent Garden

Busker at Covent Garden

Pavement art on the Embankment

Pavement art on the Embankment


Elephants are all over town! Painted in many different ways, they are raising money for green causes.
IMG_2674.jpgIMG_2679.jpgThe three political leaders

The three political leaders


We then met up with Buz [old CT buddy, now living in London] for dinner and catch-up in the Chinese quarter.

With anticipated fun on the horizon we headed off for Sandi's long-anticipated 2-day workshop. After a hair-raising 90 minutes crossing London, we emerged unscathed on the A1 northbound for West Yorkshire. By early evening we eventually reached and checked into our farm campsite, which was in a meadow, with six Charolais bullocks [les blondes, those beauties from our Vendee days] grazing next door.
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It was lovely and quiet after the hustle of London, and we enjoyed our few days there - in spite of the rustic toilet facilities. We could write a Treatise on Toilets & Travels by this stage!

Sandi's bespoke soap workshop was a delight. The teacher, a really special person, was very willing to tailor the workshop to Sandi's rural soap-making interest.
Sarah in her studio

Sarah in her studio


Learning some new skills was great fun, with David enjoying his new shaving cream, even though it’s a bit gloopy! The next batch will have to be tweaked a bit, but at least it’s all natural and good for the skin, which can't be said for commercial shaving creams and foams.
Soap slices drying in the kitchen in Vendee

Soap slices drying in the kitchen in Vendee

Posted by davidsandi 12:55 Archived in England Comments (0)

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