Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Borough Market Continued

Hello again! I apologize for the lack of posts but bobcat became extremely ill and required a lot of attention from both of us for awhile.  On top of the caring for bobcat I was also extremely distracted working on school and job applications.

Bryan and I have now been to the Borough Market three times, once while it was closed and twice for lunch.

The Best time to go, based on our very small sample set, is during the week as it is open Th, Fr and Sa.  The first time we stood in line for a sandwich for around 20 minutes.  But I assure you it was worth the wait.  This creation came from Guildable Manor, which is actually a brick and mortar shop under London Bridge instead of the free standing stalls found through out the market.  The sandwich was a venison and pork kebab that had fresh apricots cook in with the meat.  It came on a hoagie type roll and had harissa and a cilantro sauce to accompany it.  Bryan got a slice of pizza from an Italian place also under the bridge.

His was good, but mine was way better.

After lunch we wandered around seeing what the vendors had to offer and ended up at Vinopolis, a wine museum, where Bryan bought a bottle of scotch to take home.  We finished this visit off with a visit to the Rake where we enjoyed two hoppy brews from the Pacific Northwest with sharkbanana.

The Borough Market, a success!

It only took two tries. We walked to the Borough Market and had lunch and soaked up the sites. Here is a picture of sharkbanana and me with the biggest meringue I've ever seen! More to come later after we get back home.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Life is like a jar of beetles.

Oh wait, I think that saying is totally wrong, anyhow below is said jar of beetles. This post contains an teensy bit of a science lesson.  As many of you know I love science so today's adventures were right up my alley!

Today consisted of a visit to the Grant Museum of Zoology or as I like to call it, the great collection of dead stuff.  It was a nicely presented collection of specimens, both extinct and extant, but the lighting was amazingly poor. Although I will mention that the curators were actually working on that very problem as I was perusing the goods. The pictures aren't very good due to the fact that most things were behind glass or too dark to photograph well. Below is a Japanese spider crab which is the largest extant, known, arthropod reaching up to 3.8 meters in width. I would lose it if I ever encountered one of these in the water but have no fear as you won't be running into these puppies while snorkeling as they live at depths between 160 - 2000 feet. 

The next is a Galapagos tortoise shell.  This thing was massive!  The case it's contained in was taller than my waist.  According to the museum the biggest danger to the survival of this giant tortoise, which can live up to 100 years, is the domesticated cat; it eats the young while they are small. 

The last picture from this museum is a picture of a kiwi skeleton.  These birds never evolved flight because they had no natural predators.  Now they are endangered due to invasive species predation.  Isn't globalization amazing?

The next stop on the museum tour was one I stumbled upon while I blindly searched for the zoology museum.  I briefly looked at the Wellcome Trust's, Medicine Now exhibit.  There were interesting installations regarding current problems like obesity and mental health issues.  There was also a lot of interesting information malaria.  Below is a map of the world made out of mosquitoes glued to a paper board.  Even after reading the exhibit information I didn't really understand why the artist chose to make a map with the bugs but I still thought it was worthy of a look.

I will be returning to the Wellcome Trust exhibitions when I don't have a date to meet Bryan for coffee. I will leave with a picture of the beloved Ms. Bob.  She is exhausted after a day of eating and laying around the apartment.  Sometimes it is too hard to hold up that big, adorable head!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The first weekend

Hello everyone! Bryan and I were really busy this weekend and have some pretty sore feet.  Yesterday we walked 8.9 miles and today we walked a mere 7.2 miles.

Yesterday consisted of walking to Regent's park to do one of our first London City walks, thanks a bunch to Micah and Cori Barfield for the lovely gift.

On the way B and I saw some of the fattest pigeons we've ever seen.
Once in the park we first stopped at Queen Mary's garden and saw a ton of dormant roses. The amount of roses in the garden is truly astounding. I'm sure it will be amazing once they come into bloom.  One of the best rose names I saw reminds me of one of my favorite people.
After the rose garden was a huge fountain to commemorate one of the benefactors of the park, Sigismund Christian Hubert Goetze (what a name!)
  Along with the planned attractions there were many wonderful dogs and a ton of interesting water foul.

Today we attempted to do the Borough market walk but neglected to find out if the market was open on Sundays.  Luckily for the shop owners the market shuts down on Sundays but unlucky for us after walking two miles just to find out what could have been found out with a bit of research online. Even though the plan was a bust we saw some neat things besides.

We stumbled upon St. Mark's Cathedral.  I think I'll take mom here when she visits.  It's massive and there are improvement works going on on the grounds now so I'm sure it will look better once summer rolls around.

After finding that the market was a no go for the day we wandered back toward our apartment and happened upon "The Monument".
 £3/person and 311 stairs later we were at the top with about twenty other people in a very small space.
The views were good, but not as spectacular as I was hoping for.

On our walk back to the apartment from the monument we passed a building that had the name of my hometown on the front so of course I took a picture.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What's the difference between jam and jelly?

Shopping in jolly olde is interesting to say the least.  We bought bread that was unsliced, which can be seen here. Eggs are not refrigerated, not that I'm surprised, but we did have a devil of a time trying to find them.  I think the most notable thing is that the Sainsbury's we shop at is amazingly busy all the time and small hand baskets should be used as the larger push trolleys (see what I did there?!?) would be impossible to get through the store with. Bryan and I just need to be patient or find a time to shop that isn't quite so trying.

Vocab switch ups that we'll have to get used to:
Laundry detergent = washing powder
Bacon = smoked back bacon
Shopping cart = trolley (but hey I noted this already)

I have arrived!

Touch down!

Well after two flights and some delays I've landed safely.  It's so nice to be back in the company of Bryan and Bobcat.  We didn't do much when I got here as I'd been up for nearly 24 hours already.  We did go food shopping which was much more interesting than I thought but I have a ton of pictures and details on that for later.  But for now we are off to explore and buy fruit.