Monday, July 23, 2012

Are You Going to Scarborough Fair...

Well, there isn't actually a fair, but I am in Scarborough! It's a beautiful seaside town on the east coast of England, in Yorkshire. Today a friend and I went for a walk through the town down to the beach. It was packed with holiday-makers. Most everybody was playing in the sand, because apparently the water is still freezing, but everyone seemed to be having a good time in the sun. My friend and I sat on the pier and ate ice creams and watched people on the beach. There were a lot of carnival-like stalls and little shops and arcades, etc. It was all very colourful and a bit noisy.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Photos from Manchester (via Flickr)

ManchesterManchesterManchesterManchesterManchesterChina town in Manchester
Stanley in a chair in ManchesterArt museum in ManchesterManchester100_0128Public speaker in ManchesterStreet performers in ManchesterManchester
ManchesterManchesterManchesterStanley driving into ManchesterThe Shakespeare pub in ManchesterView from my bedroom in Bolton
Another view from my bedroom in Bolton

Here are some photos from my travels in Manchester. Enjoy!

MargaretPerryKH's photostream on Flickr.

Exploring Manchester

Today my friend Stanley and I went into Manchester city centre to explore. First we had a few errands to run. I bought a new phone to use in the UK and then I needed a power plug converter because the one I bought in the UK is in my lost luggage (that's a rather dull, depressing story I won't burden you with).

Stan at the art museum
It was a beautiful day - sunny and about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. We saw some street performers and we think there was some sort of Comic Con because there were a lot of people ion costume. We ate ice cream cones. We visited the art museum, which out to be a pleasant surprise, actually. They've got quite a few Victorian and pre-Raphaelite paintings. There was also a really neat exhibit on pottery and stoneware through the ages. They also had a random room with bits of random things from history. There was a dolls house and some chairs. The best part was the interactive exhibit where you could actually ouch things. When we went out in the stairwell we got to see a wedding party! The bride's bouquet was made out of all these glittery white brooches.
The Cornerhouse
After the art museum we went to this place called Cornerhouse. It was kind of a hipster hangout with an exhibit upstairs. Unfortunately, the current display is done in film so you have to sit there and watch it and it was really long, so we only saw about ten minutes of it. It was a really groovy place though.

After that we just walked around a lot, got some Starbucks. We had a great drive in the country. Everything here is so lush and green right now. Apparently they've been having a lot of rain so there were a lot of people out enjoying the sunshine. I had a really fantastic time, even though we didn't do/see anything epicly exciting. I'm still just really grateful to be here and looking forward to the weeks to come!

Friday, July 20, 2012

FINALLY Arrived in Manchester!

View from my bedroom window right now. The white things are sheep. Loud sheep.
After a grueling day and a half journey to get here, I've finally made it to Manchester! I left St. Louis about 4:00 Thursday. We landed in Washington Dulles and I had to hustle to make it to my gate, but since Dulles is my home-town airport, I made record time. Of course, once I got there we were delayed an hour because of inclement weather. When they did board us, they had to take us off again. When we finally got on, our take-off was delayed twice because of the storm. We sat on the runway for TWO HOURS! The winds descended and the floods came and beat upon our plane, but it fell not, because Margaret was too engrossed in watching the Big Bang Theory on her monitor.

It was great finally seeing land after being over the Atlantic for so long. We saw Ireland first - at least I think it was Ireland. It was very green and very pretty. Then there was some more water and then we were over Wales, I think. Then England, which was greener and prettier than all the rest because that was where I was going!

Naturally when I got to London they had to give me a new ticket for my connecting flight to Manchester, then that one wouldn't work so they had to give me another one! Then from Manchester airport I took the train and there was a very cute little boy sitting next to me. His name was Hamish and he was from Edinburgh (I'm not making this up).
View from my other window.
My friend came to collect me at the station and our first stop was Morrison's to do some grocery shopping. My first two purchases upon returning to the UK: Ribena and Cadburry Flake bars. Yum! After a luxurious hot shower, I had a good natter with my friend's mother in the kitchen while she prepared dinner - feta and spinach quiche. Double yum!

Now it's 8:00 PM and I am about to bed down for a solid 10 hours. There are sheep outside making a heck of a racket, but I don't really mind.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I'm Moving to England!

Margaret in London  summer 2008
Today is my last full day in America before I make the big leap across the pond! My first stop is Manchester where I'll be visiting an old friend who's going to show me around his home town. I've only ever driven past Manchester, so it will be cool to explore the city with a native. I will be heading down to London in early August to join the family I will be living with for the next several months. They've got three gorgeous kids whom I'll be taking care of after school. I'll be living with their grandmother, a CS practitioner, and commuting to and from their school and their cottage every day. The parents work in the city so they don't usually get home until late. I'll just be getting the kids to all their extra-curricular activities and make them dinner and forcing them to do their chores and homework. I think it'll be a lot of fun! I've already Skyped with everybody in the family and I'm REALLY looking forward to being with them in person.

It's been a bittersweet couple weeks as I've been preparing for my journey. I FINALLY sold my cutie-patootie purple pick-up truck, which is good because I needed the money, but very sad because now I don't have a cutie-patootie purple pick-up truck. :( I've moved most of my stuff from my house here in Elsah to a storage unit for safe-keeping. I think all the things I want to take with fit in the suitcases I've selected.... I have a lot of books, but I really do NEED them desperately so they simply HAVE to fit! My flight is tomorrow afternoon, so I feel like I still have a lot of little odds and ends to tie up, but I should be ready in time.

I'll be updating this blog periodically as I experience great and wonderful new things in England. I'd love it if you followed me via emial or RSS feed so you get my updates as soon as they're posted - hot off the presses! Loads of love to all of you - the next time you read this, I'll be in England!!!