Monday, February 23, 2009

All the World's a Stage. . .

At least it is according to the great bard himself. You know, that lovely poet and playwright who spoke in that olden day English that most people find hard to understand, well, interesting point; he was born in this country that we are currently stuck in! (I know, surprising isn't it? LOL).
So last weekend Mel and Mike said that they had found a cheap motel not far from said poet's place of birth and would we like to stay the weekend there and visit the town? We, being the Shakespeare nuts that we are, jumped at the chance. So off we drove for a couple of hours, past Oxford, to the little town that became famous simply because a certain person was born there over four hundred years ago. And what a pretty little town it is! It's full of Thatched roofs and little bendy houses and beautiful architecture, and LOADS of Shakespearean references. Nearly every shop has used a Shakespeare quote or title as the shop name. There was a cafe called "The food of love", a jewellers called "Othello Jewellery" and so on and so forth.
There was an absolutely GORGEOUS little book store that was just dedicated to the bard's works. There were postcards were the image and words were taken from The First Folio. There were bound copies of the works as they appeared in the First Folio, complete copies of his poems bound in a beautiful cover, commentaries on the plays, the plays themselves. And then there was this little guy:

He is called "Shakesbear". . .Isn't he so adorable??? Ok, so moving on from the wonderful shop were we just wanted to buy everything! We'll come to some of the houses and buildings you can visit around the town. We didn't go in any of them cause they're a little too touristy and expensive for us; but they're still very pretty from the outside!!

This one is just to show what I was talking about with the town being pretty - this is their LIBRARY!!!

This is the house Shakespeare was born in.
Us in front of said house.

These are the foundation stones which are all that remain of "The New Place" (for those from Waikato Uni, that's what the theatre is named after) which is the house that Shakespeare bought for his daughter and her husband where he lived with them until his death.
The garden of The New Place.

The gardens were open to the public and free to roam around in. So in we went and found these awesome statues dotted around. For those of you who know your Shakespeare you may recognise the above from A Midsummer Night's Dream where Bottom becomes an Ass. Unfortunately the English have funny closing times over Winter so even though it was only 4pm they shut the garden up and kicked us out of it so we couldn't get good photos of the other statues, but they were really beautiful!
Last but not least we have the church, inside which, Shakespeare is buried:

We actually kinda wanted to go in and see his gravesite, but, as mentioned, the English have silly closing times in winter and the church closed at 3.40! So, that plan was dashed. Oh well, I'm sure we will be going back there at some point in the summer. . .

Okay, time for a random segway here (and those who know me know that those happen quite a bit!). The last time we were in London we went to a gorgeous Patisserie - actually we've gone there every time we've gone to London cause it's THAT good - but this time, the food looked so good, Shelley had to take photos of it. The ONLY time Shelley has ever felt moved to photograph her food. . .She's been meaning to put it in a blog for a little while now but keeps forgetting. So I'm going to leave you with this tasty image to drool over. . .
Missing you all, love and hugs.

Fun without passports

Ok so for the two or three of you that are following us and our misadventures across the U.K, you will be aware that we still have no passports. (Yay for the Home Office).
Anyway in such a large country much fun can be had without travelling across borders. So last month we went to Winchester for a farmers market and while we were there we visited the cathedral. A farmers market overhere is amazing. The first stall we stopped at sold Mulled Wine and as it was wet and freezing we decided that drinking warm tasty wine at 10am was perfectly acceptable. Other new experiences that day included the yummiest red meat we have eaten since we came to this country. Water Buffalo. mmmmmm. My mouth starts watering just thinking about it. Also Shelley had to buy so much bread that she could have started up her own shop. there was also fresh vege and cheese and you name it.
So in the courtyard to the cathedral was this thing. (refer photo) We believe it had something to do with the aliens trying to contact the mother ship. Seriously though guys, this church is like 600 years old. It is a perfect example of gothic architecture and it is now sharing space with a 'sculpture' that looks like a giant finger. (E.T phone home)
The cathedral was very pretty. If you have read previous entries then you would have heard us mention bendy buildings. This cathedral was so bendy I don't know how it managed to stay up.
There is a momument to a man who gave his life to prevent the church from collapse. One corner was built under water and he dived down to re-enforce the structure to stop if from collapsing further and he ran out of air but remained down there to finish the job. It is still very bendy however.
Anyway now I will (hopefully) locate the photos from said church.

Sorry the last two are a little fuzzy but I guess my photography skills were off that day. The last one is me trying to show you the bendyness of this place. It might help if you look at the ceiling.
Winchester is also the final resting place of Jane Austen. This is the outside of the house she dided in. It is now a private residence so we couldn't go inside.

We went for a walk along the canal. The houses that are on the waterfront had their own entrances to the water from their gardens. 100's of years ago they would have used boats as a means of transport. (think Shakespeare in Love) Some of the houses still have the gates in place though they are now obviously not used. They still make for a pretty photo.


The last photo is of the canal looking to the mainstreet of the town.
Anyway that is about it from Winchester. Looking forward to going back there for more tasty food. mmmmmm food. Okay now I am going to eat. Talking about all the tasty food has made me hungry.
Loves

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

GRRRRRRRRR

Ok, so this is going to be a big bitch session. . .
First of all I'm going to explain our living situation and how it's been since we moved in. . .first of all after we had seen the place and told the landlord we wanted to move in he said he wanted to clear it with the people who lived here first as he wanted everyone to be happy - which we were cool with and completely understood, until they came back saying they were uncomfortable with it, why you may ask??? Because they've never lived with a same-sex couple before and "didn't know what to expect". . .I say diddims and if you knew any homosexual couples at all you'd know we're just like any other couple and there wouldn't be an issue, but anyway our landlord turned around and said "I'm black and I don't do discrimination in anyway at all so if that's all the 'issues' they have then you're free to move in". But we knew that it would be a bit uncomfortable. . .Little did we know how.
We move in, and pretty much from the MOMENT we move in, if we're here they hide in their room, we don't socialise at all. (not by our choice though, we'd be happy to socialise with them if they ever wanted to) So anyway, if we're ever in the lounge they're not here, not because we don't want them to be but because THEY don't want to be.
You may all be wondering where this is going. . .So, about two weeks ago they come to us and say "we're not comfortable about the way this room [the living room] is being shared, you always seem to be in here" (we were thinking, well duh, this is a living room, we LIVE in it) and so we asked what we could do and came to the "compromise" that, except for Tuesdays and Thursdays when we have TV shows we watch, we will leave the lounge to them after 9pm. We were under the impression that this meant from when I came home from work till 9 the living room was "ours", we weren't happy, cause we feel that if you want privacy, go to your own room, but we were willing to give it a try! Only, they kept being in this area and weren't giving us the same consideration as we were giving them, so we were about to talk to them about how it wasn't working for us. (And for those of you who understand what this means - they were playing chess and talking during "Once More, With Feeling"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Well, tonight they come to us again and say that the whole thing isn't working for them and they want us to spend the majority of time in our room and only be in the living room when we are watching tv and they will do the same!!! Have these people NEVER lived with anybody before?!?!?!?!?!? You SHARE the living room in the sense that you all occupy the room at the same time, you want privacy - go to your freaking room!!!!! (I'm a little peeved at the moment, hence the excessive use of the exclamation marks, I apologise for that fact) You don't have "seperate, private" time in the living room!!!
Anyway, we made suggestions as to how things could be fixed, they made suggestions, basically neither of the couples is going to back down and it comes down to one of us moving out, and we like this place WAY too much and we're not going anywhere baby! If anyone has any ideas/suggestions as to how to deal with this issue, please help!
Not too mention the fact that I'm the ONLY one who puts out the rubbish and their freaking CHRISTMAS tree is STILL UP!! It's FEBRUARY for BEEPS sake!!!

Anyway; in an attempt to lighten the mood, I'm going to put some photos up of the SNOW (little excited squeal) we've had! (the snow which has meant a day and a half of work for me!!)

So first up, this was the view out of our kitchen window on Monday morning. . .
and this:
was the view out our lounge window and across the road.
This is my school from the car as we were coming up the driveway:
Isn't it pretty? and such an old building too!!And last but not least we have the school grounds as they looked from the carpark (or at least, some of the school grounds, it's a BIG school!!)
When we went into school we discovered that we only had the 21 termly boarders (kids who don't go home for the weekend) and that none of the day kids or the weekly boarders (kids who do go home for the weekend) could make it in. Nor could half the staff. . .Our school is kinda in the middle of nowhere with loads of windy, dangerous, country roads and a very steep, long driveway. So, we figured out how to get the 21 kids home and the senior management said, come back Wednesday, enjoy the snow!!! So we did!!! And it was proper powdery, soft snow too!!! I had a mini snowfight with one of my boys and made a snow angel too!!! It was so awesome!!!!
Anyway, thank you for listening to my rant and staying all the way through till the happy stuff at the end!!
Please leave comments, we really enjoy them!!

Monday, February 02, 2009

And We're Bac k

Hello, and now just a few words from our sponsers. . . .
video

So it is now doing the equivalent of pouring execpt it is not rain it's snow!!!
As I am kinda sick Amber wouldn't let me stay outside and has insisted on staying warm and dry. But little does she know that I am plotting my escape later on.

We have been unable to post or read emails or go on facebook or do anything that involves a computer due to ours gettting broken, but thanks to the wonderful Mike we are back and our computer is all better!

I have now got photos to show you of our apartment (well our bedroom anyway)
We did try to make a video of the apartment but we yammered on for too long and after 40 minutes it still hadn't finished uploading to our blog so we had to let that idea go.