Sunday, June 29, 2008

3 Weeks And Counting

Hi Everyone!

I finally got internet access in my flat so from now on, I am going to try the blogging route. I'm not sure how long this will last but I will try and keep it updated so that I'll leave it up to you if you want to see what I am up to. This way, I am not spamming people who don't want to hear how I got stuck in a roudabout or literally took 3 days to figure out how to use the dishwasher (and even then I had to call in for help).

Now, I'm no Sean Cutler (for those of you who have seen Sean's blog - you know what I mean) but I'll do my best with the photos and topics.

Please enjoy and feel free to email me and make fun of my ludicrous attempts to fit in with British culture. By the way, anyone who can explain the differences between Great Britian, the United Kingdom, the British Isles and England - gets a postcard from me in the mail. Future quizzes to follow.....

Okay, so this picture wasn't taken in England, but I just wanted to share one my last group rides in California. This was taken on Memorial Day, the day after my going away party. Mark, Janet and I are smiling despite the morning hangovers.

Just a quick pic of my new room. The rental furniture looks kind of nice, doesn't it? (The stuffed lion isn't rented. It is my Tucker stand-in for the moment)

On my first weekend here, I went out to take care of some errands and thought this made a good picture. This pedestrian area is a mere two blocks from my flat with good shops and restaurants. You can see Windsor Castle at the top of the street. (Notice the sun IS shining)

Also on my first weekend here the city hosted the Windsor Triathlon. I walked around the expo for a bit and almost registered for the race and geared up! I was missing my bike and althletic equipment (which by the way, both bikes have now arrived, yeah!) and almost purchased this combo. Looks like a good deal, eh? Don't forget - always take that cost and double it to get to dollars.....

My wanderings also took me down by the Thames. I hope they flushed the river before the triathlon started. Ewww!

Here is another shot of downtown Windsor. The original train station has been converted into an open air type market - again with shops and restaurants. By now you might realize that I am going to have no problems eating or spending money.

One of the oldest streets in Windsor. You'll notice the cobblestones - this little alley is right by the castle. You'll also notice when the sun comes out - everyone - and I mean EVERYONE - is outside having a pint. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

One of the views into the grounds at Windsor Castle. This is the view if you look to the left...

and this is the view if you turn to the right. At the end of this path - called The Long Walk- is a monument located in The Great Park. Pretty descriptive names, don't you think? I can only imagine how excited my dog Tucker is going to be to 'christen' this lawn.

At the end of all my wandering, I decide to stop in at one of the local pubs and grab a pint. And lo' and behold, who do I encouter but Barry - my upstairs neighbor! Barry is a retired gentleman who has lived in his flat for 10 years. He has already offered to be my dog walker and dog sitter and I in turn have offered to supply Barry with wine. Notice the number of wine glasses to my beer glass? Yes, I think Barry can drink me under the table.

So ends weekend number 1... here is weekend number 2 -

On weekend number 2, I received my first visitor. David Maurice of NYC, one of my relay running buddies, decided to connect through London on his way back from Oslo. David graciously helped me run some errands and explore London. Here is our self portrait in front of Windsor Castle (we were too cheap to actually take the tour on this day)

When we hit downtown London, we found out that we were just in time for a parade. We got to see Prince Charles and Camilla whiz by in a car and then some 'classic' military equipment was paraded about. I'm not sure where the modern stuff was hiding but it was quite entertaining to see the old tanks and trucks.

After the parade went by, we caught some of the changing of the horse guard. Or not - we weren't quite sure what was going on here aside from some guys in funny hats on horses. We concluded our day with seeing a musical in the West End and then ended up playing trains, trains and more trains as we tried to navigate our way back to Windsor. Leave it to the London transportation committee to close tube (a.k.a subway) routes on a Saturday night.

Tube map: just for reference. Really, it is so easy to follow. You just have no idea when they decide not to run the train. Doh!

This concludes weekend number 2, on to weekend number 3....

For weekend number 3, I decided to head to Wimbledon. Home of the 'The Championships' as they are referred to on the grounds. Wimbledon is one of the last few major sporting events that has ticket sales to the open public every day on a first come, first serve basis. Although I did not camp out, I was still able to get in later in the day. Here you can see the line I waited in and the Centre Court stadium in the distance. Yes, the line goes all the way to the stadium. I only waited 2 1/2 hours and I brought a book so it really wasn't that bad!

One of the matches I saw was the 13th ranked player - Stanislas Wawrinka - and it was pretty amazing how hard these guys hit the ball when you see it up close. At one point he served 122 mph and I had no idea where the ball landed.

One of the other matches I watched turned out to be fantastic. Although I did not get to sit as close this time, Marat Safin defeated M. Seppo in great 4 set match. Shell and Jen - this picture is for you. Wimbledon is amazing when you actually get to be inside!

Lastly, I just wanted to share a photo of my new TV that I bought this weekend. Notice how it is not on? As usual, it will take a few days to actually execute the television watching piece. Similar to the dishwasher, telephone line, internet and oven - nothing seems to work out for me the first time around. The TV what as know as Freeview enabled. Freeview is essentially basic cable that is free. You just plug in and go - apparently it is a national concept since everyone has to pay for a TV license. I guess it is the governments way of giving everyone someething for their money. Anyway, I get the TV in hopes of watching the Euro 2008 finals tonight but to no avail. No TV. I have a feeling that the cable is also not hooked up similar to the phone line. When British Telecom arrived to figure out why they could not get a dial tone, it was discovered that the phone lines were run to the outlets but never actually connected. Silly me - why did not I not think the same for cable? Alas, I will call the landlord tomorrow and find out where my free, but purchased television license, TV is.

More to follow as fumble through my new country. I hope you enjoy my rambling and feel free to check in anytime.....


Anonymous said...
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boog07 said...

Too bad you missed the Euro Finals. It actually was a pretty good match and the Spanish didn't choke! I look forward to the updates, so keep blogging!

Michelle said...

hee hee...."flat". you sound so british!

Rick said...

Very cool, Lynda, thanks for sharing...

That cobblestone alley looks so inviting, enjoy your time in jolly old London! But, don't get too attached, we miss you already!!

Bob said...

This is a great idea Lyn. It looks amazing there! Talk to you soon!

Lon said...

Well done on the Blog Lynda! Keep it up -- I feel like I am there. I was cracking up with your appliance challenge. I went to a Hotel in Arlington and couldn't figure out how to get the showerhead to spray water. I was just standing there thinking "Sheesh... 18 years of formal education and I can't turn on the shower". So I spent 10 minutes going over every fixture because I'll be damned if I can't figure out a shower. Eventually I called the front desk and they walked me through it. My reward: Cold water due to hotel construction!