06 January 2008

We went to London and Paris and all I got was this lousy...

...junk food!!

Specifically, French Pringles:

(Mediterranean and paprika flavours. Who knew?!)

Oh, and some British crisps:
(I must confess that this does not constitute the sum total of the crisps I bought. I had to borrow an extra suitcase to bring them all back - I ignored the refrain "Ah didnae bring ye across the Atlantic to buy potato chips, lassie!!!". Let's just say that the chip cupboard in the apartment currently cannot be closed).

And, of course, British candy:

Dairy Milk with turkish delight centre!!! How could I resist? I don't know why they bother to print "More to share" on the top though... who would share it?

Then again, everything is different over there - even the street signs:

... and other parts of the English language, apparently:
My American friends will be happy to know that even US money looks different in the UK:

American pounds! (this is a six pound bill issued in New Jersey in 1776 - sometime before 4 July, I take it!)

The train stations look quite different as well:

(this is the new St Pancras rail station in London - the Chunnel train departs from there)...

And the subways:
This is at one of the Metro stations in Paris - if our stations looked like this I wouldn't dread the commute so much, I can tell you!

However, there are some similarities between life in Europe and here:

This photo was taken in London. I didn't bother taking any in Paris because the Starbucks look the same around the world, I can assure you. The only difference: the coffee cost double in London and triple in Paris what it would here. And they're still lined up to buy it!

And - not a Tim Horton's to be found!


Having said that, this is what I found around the corner from the Starbucks pictured above:

So, things perhaps are a bit different after all.

But I digress. So, what did JJ and I do on our big trip? Well... we went to some pubs:

...went to some more pubs:

(and, just for laughs, this photo was taken at the Maple Leaf bar in Covent Garden, where I hastened to say I was drinking proper British pints. Everyone else in the place, including JJ, was drinking Sleeman's, though).

The following, please note, is a history-making photo in yet another bar (Harry's Bar in Paris, to be exact). Why history-making? I am smoking one of the last cigarettes to be smoked in any bar in Paris - they banned it on 1 January.

I don't look too happy in this photo, do I? I did, however, enjoy my four days or so of smoking indoors after a couple of years.

We also went to a Greek drinking party:

This was our host:

...but it wasn't actually a real Greek drinking party as we were not allowed to smash any plates:


In other words, we did pretty much the same thing that we do in Toronto the Good. So, if you've managed to make it this far, by this point no doubt you're thinking the trip was all a big fiction and we just hung out in TO the whole time.

In that event, here are some tourist photos to prove that we actually did go away:

Me by the Thames. Behind me is the Tower Bridge which perhaps they used to use to transport all the baddies to the Tower Dungeon. The hat I'm wearing, I should note, is a crocheted hat with freeform applique very kindly mailed to me by an online friend from the UK while I was there. I'll take a better photo of it when I unpack it - but it was lovely.

And here I am with some of my ancestors:
These are some of the Elgin Marbles. You know, the stuff that the British stole from Greece?

And finally JJ at...
Well, you know where that is.

So, a good time was had by all, I think - and I even managed to do some knitting while I was away:

This was mostly knitted on the flight over using my lovely Malabrigo! The cap is a Moebius cap by Cat Bordhi - now that I've got the hang of the Moebius knitting, it's rather fun. The scarf is of my own design:
If you've never used Malabrigo, shut your computer off and go buy some now. You won't regret it.

I also knitted a Moebius scarf, again by Cat Bordhi, using Noro Kureyon:

Isn't it purdy? But you will note that despite 356 photos shot on our trip, my photographic skills have not inproved any. Sigh.

Aside from this I couldn't get too much knitting done. It is hard to knit when drinking, eating and smoking. There are very few photos of me from the vacation because none of my clothes fit any more.

Well, I'll sign off for now. Time to start the new knitting project (a Nina scarf from Mason Dixon Knitting) and think about getting back to work tomorrow. SIGH.