Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Disapparating, reapparating

Been awhile. Let's see...

Kids finished the school year.
I did more laundry than I thought possible, in order to pack for a three-week trip to Europe.

Here's what I did on the airplane (shocking, isn't it?)

First stop: London. I abandoned the extended family (there were 12 of us there) for a day to take a train north to see my friend Rachel in Yorkshire. She dutifully attended to my needs for the day, such as driving here:

for a tour and a half-pint. Next, we headed toward the Dales, stopping at some abbey ruins. I didn't realize how noisy my life was until we were wandering around the abbey. All I could hear were humming bees, twittering birds, and these:

Sheep! Wool on the hoof!

While in the Dales, we stopped to get Wensleydale cheese (Gommit's favorite) and drove up some rather steep hills to this place:

It's a farm track, basically, but you know what else it is? An ancient Roman road. And guess what we saw up there?

Sheep! With tails! And look at this...

Just like Qiviut, only without the musk ox.

Truly a wonderful day.

In London, we had a private capsule for the lot of us while we rode the London Eye. We got to go around twice, and had tea and scones and little finger sandwiches. Very fun.

We went to Hampton Court on a little bus, escorted by our guide Encyclopedia Leone, who knew every bit of the Royal Family Tree, including the juicy bits, and who could answer every single question we had in an informative and entertaining fashion. Another stellar day, marred only by the torrential downpour when we left, which actually wouldn't have been so bad except for the car that drove by that didn't just splash us, but nearly drowned us with a 10 foot tsunami-like wave of black water.

I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum to see the oldest samples of actual knitting that they have in their collection and came away bitterly disappointed. It seems that just because something is in their collection doesn't mean they have it on display.

I bought some Rowan DK superwash at Liberty of London (this country would be a better place if our department stores carried yarn, too). I dragged the girls with me because I wanted them to ride the Tube. A great idea with less than desirable results, as the Tube stop closest to our hotel and the two lines that would have provided the most direct route were closed for the weekend to upgrade tracks. This perked up the girls, though:

one of two giant walls of buttons. They got to pick out four or five each to take as souvenirs for their scrapbooks. Well, I did make one of them exchange a $25 button for a $1 button, but she still ended up with four or five.

Next, Barcelona and socks I knit while I was away.