Monthly Archives: September 2011

When I was in England I

…saw Mel’s dad David and stepmother Margo, went to Bury St. Edmunds and saw the market, the Abbey Gate, Abbey Ruins, Abbey Gardens, the St. Edmunds Cathedral and St. Mary’s, the Angel Hotel, The Nutshell, the Old Cannon Brewery, toured the Greene King brewery and tasted all of their various delicious ales, saw the great eyesore (Debenhams), saw Mel’s sister Lynn and her husband Ted, saw Mel’s childhood home, her former family estate Red Castle, Pakenham Windmill, Pakenham Water Mill, Wyken Vinyards (la-dee-dah-bucks), saw Mel’s uncle John and his wife Hilda, saw a topiary maker which made me want a giant spider for our yard, spent an amazing hour amongst the megaliths at Stonehenge, went to Bath and saw the Royal Crescent, The Circus, the Pultney Bridge, the Roman Baths, Priory Park, almost got lost on the way to Poole where we met Mel’s cousin Hazel and her daughters Laura and Natalie, walked through Poole Park on our way to The Quay, went to Brownsea Island and saw red squirrels (got an amazing picture of one), peacocks, and chicks, had a picnic in Poole Park by the fountain, saw Kingston Lacy, went to the New Forest and saw wild horses, saw Natalie’s horse Twister, went to Burley, went to the Norfolk Broads with Mel’s friends Julie and Darren and their kids Toby and Chloe and their dog Sam on their boat Magnum, met a very wise man who is a great champion of truth, went to Cambridge and saw Syd Barrett’s childhood home, the art school where the guys in Pink Floyd went on Saturdays as kids, Roger Waters’ childhood home on Rock Road (Fleetwood), the school he went to where his mom worked as a teacher, the home Syd Barrett lived in for the last several decades of his life, Grantchester Meadows (the childhood home, street, and neighborhood of David Gilmour), King’s college, The Anchor pub, Lord Archer’s house, The Tripoli, the Ali Pali (The Alexandra Palace, site of the 14 hour Technicolor Dream), the house that the members of Pink Floyd lived in when they formed in London, the Rainbow Theatre, Joe Meek’s pad, a Banksy original with the Queen riding a motorcycle, Regent Street Polytechnic, Brittania Row Studios, Parliament and Big Ben, Lords Cricket Grounds, Paul McCartney’s house, got video of me moonwalking across the street in front of Abbey Road Studios, got video of Mel walking across that same street with three identically dressed gentlemen, saw the former offices of IT (International Times), the studio Bob Marley recorded at, the place Robbie Williams used to live, the studio where the film “Let’s All Make Love Tonight in London” and definitive version of Interstellar Overdrive was recorded, the house where Jimi Hendrix died, the place where Freddie Mercury died, David Gilmour’s house, Simon Cowell’s house, Paul Allen’s house, Jimmy Page’s house, Earl’s Court, the place where Syd Barrett lived in London after getting booted from Pink Floyd (where he painted the stripes on the floor which was pictured on the album The Madcap Laughs), the place where Malcom McLaren had his Sex shop (where his wife Vivian Westwood sold her wares and the Sex Pistols began), Eric Clapton’s house, the Pig’s Ear pub, Battersea Power Station (where the Animals album cover was shot), the MI6 building, Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, Ian McClellan’s pub, The Mayflower pub (on the Thames River where The Mayflower left for the new world on September 6, 1620, the Australian Embassy (used in Harry Potter films as Gringott’s Bank), King’s Cross Station (where Harry Potter’s platform 9 ¾ can be found), the London Eye, rode the tube and minded the gap, rode the train on the Docklands Light Railway, saw the O2 Arena and the Brittish Music Experience, saw the Tower of London, rode the clipper on the Thames, saw Leicester Square and didn’t see a cuckoo clock, saw Covent Garden and a man juggling knives and eating an apple while riding an 8 foot high unicycle, saw the Maritime Museum, the Grenwich Royal Observatory and world’s prime meridian, went to Framlingham Castle, Stonham Barns, Needham Market (and ate at the Limes Hotel), Alder Care Farm, saw Lavenham (which I nicknamed “Wonkyland”), saw Mel’s mother Patricia and her husband Ron, saw Mel’s sister Theresa and her kids Kieron, Heather, Patrick, and Euan, met Mel’s aunt Shirley and her husband Les, went to Rye (in 1066 country where new buildings are 500 years old), met Mel’s cousin Stewart and his fiancée Lisa, saw Sissinghurst Castle, went to but didn’t go in the Hops Farm, went to Yalding, got stuck in traffic on the M25, saw Mel’s friends Tony and Angela, their daughters Charlie and Billie and Hannah (Tony’s niece), saw Mel’s friends Bill and Jeanette and their son Harvey, saw Tracey’s brother Robert and Mel’s former colleague Sue Bush unexpectedly at dinner, saw Mel’s uncle Fred and his wife Pauline, went to St. Ives, had a drink at The Dolphin on the River Ouse (pronounced OOZE), met Mel’s cousin Sarah and her husband Joel and their daughter Yasmin at their lovely home amazingly converted from an old pumping station, met Mel’s cousin Anna and her boyfriend John, saw Ted’s band (No Excuse) play at the Onley Arms pub in Sisted near Braintree, saw John Major’s house, saw Tracey and Andy and their kids Paige and Charlie, went punting on the Cam river around Cambridge University, had a Cornish Pasty, met Mel’s friend Stuart and his wife Sarah and their son Lewis, went to West Stow (ancient Anglo-Saxon village), went to West Row and saw where Mel’s grandmother’s house and school are, saw Livermere (Mel’s dad’s school), met Mel’s cousin Adrian and his son Paul, and met Dave Bullet at their house by chance, attended Margo’s 75th birthday party at The Beehive where Mel tried Thai food for the first time in her life (and loved it), had two jars of jam from Adrian’s farm confiscated by airport authorities, and at some point became comfortable driving on the left, realizing it is actually a preferable system, and resolved that I shall do so from now on.  Whenever reasonably possible that is…

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Yesterday in London

I met a kind man who gave me a book.  Sadly, the companions I was with at the time and our tight schedule prevented me from really having a chance to speak in depth with this gentleman.  I had a chance to look at the book on the train, and I found it to be indeed wonderful, and now wish I’d had made the time.  On the slight chance that man should read this, I would ask he please accept my apologies for my brevity.