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Vacation notice


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It sounds interesting, actually. I've always been fascinated by history... old cooking recipies have to rock :D. Anything spectacular/interesting among them? :D

'Eleanor Fettiplace's Receipt Book' and 'Mrs. Cromwell's Cookbook' - both date from the 17th century and both are still in print. The former is easier to get hold of than the latter but both also have a fascinating social commentary in them. EFRB was written by a modern descendant of Eleanor's from EF's original receipts (recipies); MCC was written at the time in an attempt to discredit Oliver Cromwell's wife as a penny-pinching old harridan but for us, it has done just the opposite. It shows just what a good housewife she was and, because it was written as a political attack on a household, it gives us a true window into 1640s life.



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We've been back for couple days now, we've jut been incredibly busy in catching up with everything that we haven't got time to do much else. This week was really packed with events too: on top of my school and Darios' work on Tuesday we had a pre-screening of the movie I was costuming assistant for, a friend had a party (ironically it was a tea-party with scones and cucumber sandwiches) on Wednesday and it wasn't till yesterday we got a chance to unpack and wash laundry.


The trip itself went really well, Darios got his work done in the library and we had the chance to visit some really interesting museums and beautiful historical sites in London, Durham and York. Only thing that went wrong was when we were on the way home: the ever lovely London traffic played a really ugly trick on us and we had 45 minutes till plane take off when we reached the check-in desk in Heathrow. Only the sudden appearance of miraculously short line for security check saved us from missing the flight (all the other lines had about 40 to 50 people, this one just 5).


I'll promise to torture you with (selected) photos shortly; we took about 500 of them.

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Okay, here we go...


Durham is (as you can see) a city where you get to climb up the hill. On top of the hill the Castle (left) and the Durham Cathedral, which is said to be the finest Romanesque Cathedral in the world. The Cathedral was built as a shrine for St Cuthbert, who - as far as I can see - would've been a ranger-cleric had he been an AD&D character.



A closer look of the Castle.



They were kind enough to give us keys to the castle!


In truth Durhan Castle = Durham University College, and we were accommodated in the University's student dorm (the posh one, they told us...). Breakfast was served in the Castle's great hall...


The heart of the city (including the castle and the Cathedral) is located on a high and narrow peninsula formed by the river Wear. The riverside footpaths offer beutiful scenery of land and tree trunks covered by evergreen ivy.




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In York our hostel was located near Micklegate, which apparently was the gate were heads of the executed criminals were displayed back on the day.



All that is left of the York Castle besides the city walls is the Clifford's tower. Like Micklegate, it too has a very bloody past.



One of York's narrow streets and little shops in houses that seemed to lean dangerously much over the walkway.



Walking along the city wall is good way to see the city. It was quite chilly in York and even though I wore layers and layers of clothes I was still freezing...





Of course visiting York without seeing the York Minster would be rather pointless. The Gothic Cathedral was absolutely huge and the amount of details was overwhelming.


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Next some of the items we saw in a various museums and the like.


I love British Museum's Lewis chessmen - they're so adorably cute. More detailed images of them can be found here.



These viking age drinking horns (also from British Museum) were made of glass. Though you can't tell that from the picture they were quite sizeable and I think it's amazing how they've survived to see the present day.



This is one of the two pieces of medieval hardened leather (Cuirboulli) armour that has been found. Cuirboulli is like medieval plastic - light and durable.



Detail from a glass window in York Minster. If my memory does not let me completely down this dated from 12th or 13th century. Much of the Glass windowns in the Mister have been at least partly replaced over the years but few relly old ones have survived.



14th century ivory comb picturing lovers in a garden from Victoria & Albert Museum in London. There are so many ivory objects there both small and very large that it makes you shudder to think how many elephants they've killed to make them. The items, like this comb, are really beautiful, but I'm glad that they're not in a fashion anymore. :D



This curious vessel (a replica of the original one) that we saw at Barley Hall, York features two swimming elks that emerge when the liquid is drained from the vessel. The scholars believe that this might have been a part of some kind of a drinking game. :D


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Last but not least, a bit of insider 'fun'.


Black Books is probably the funniest little tv comedy series ever produced. It's about a bookshop and it's peculiar owner Bernard Black. The outside shoots were filmed outside an actual bookshop in London, near Russel Square tube station. Of course we had to go and photograph the site since our hotel was just a short walk away, near Euston Square. :D



The front of the pub across the street can be spotted in the series too.



Even though the (real) bookshop was on Leigh street just across the corner there's a familiar name on the plaque...


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Ah Black Books... One day I must go and see that. Oh, and all that other stuff too. :D


Interesting to see the old city walls still in reasonably good condition. It looks like they've also preserved the defensive slope going up to them as well. I'd hate to be mowing that.


Breakfast was served in the Castle's great hall...


I hope they had the place heated somehow, can't imagine it would be very warm in a castle great hall in winter.

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Breakfast was served in the Castle's great hall...


I hope they had the place heated somehow, can't imagine it would be very warm in a castle great hall in winter.


Oh it was warm enough. Not t-shirt warm, but far from being chilly. :D As was our room in Durmam. York was a different matter, though the hostel was very affordably priced, so what can you expect... :D

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Nice pics indeed. I've never been to Northern England myself (Cambridge is the northernmost place I've visited so far), so it's interesting to see some unofficial photos from the area. :D


When I was younger, I had time to travel but not enough money to do so very often. Now I have the money but not enough time... :)


Anyway, welcome back and good luck with Amber development. :D

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Vacation notice 19-23.7.2006


We'll be leaving for a short holiday this week. So if we fail to answer your question between Wednesday and Sunday, that's because we're in a place without internet (or running water for that matter). :)

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