England

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I’ve compiled some of my favorite pictures from my trip to England.

The Tower Bridge (look familiar?)
London Fun 7

Bill, my and Alba’s host in Cambridge, who indulged me an an hour-long conversation about my favorite British TV shows
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A much deserved beer at the end of a long day of biking around Cambridge
London Fun 1
How much I adore a decent half-pint!

My tower of coasters
London Fun 9

Self-portrait at Picadilly Circus
London Fun 2

Getting attacked by a street performer
London Fun 3

Lovely shadowplay on the Houses of Parliament (courtesy of Alba)
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Self-portrait in front of the Tower Bridge
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An alley cat I made nice with in a pub in Harrow
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See the guy in the back, on the right? Later that day, he gave me his match ticket from the match that had played that day in Wembley Stadium – what a lovely souvenier!

The only rain I saw during my whole trip was as I was about to board the plane home ūüôā
London Fun 8

It took some time, but I have finally compiled my post about Harry Potter in England. And let me tell you, fellow muggles, it’s true! Below you will see proof that J. K. Rowling is writing about what really goes on in England. I think all that talk of “fiction” is just a cover story so us muggles won’t know what is going on.

We passed a witch and wizard while touring one of the colleges in Cambridge.
HP London 3

And here, someone left their FireBolt just laying about. It probably has some spell on it to keep us from seeing the brand name and stirrups.
HP London 1

And I think this must be Hogwarts.
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The difficult-to-spot Platform 9 and 3/4 must have been malfunctioning because all of these tourists had crowded around it.
HP London 6

We also found the British version of the book for sale, everywhere we went.HP London 4

And I couldn’t help myself but I bought a whole sheet of First Class stamps, featuring the British book covers. HP London 2

UPDATE
This cover from the Ziggy Stardust Cover Contest really shows how the cover relates to the scene now. Apologies for not giving props to whoever created this – it’s not listed on the site that I could fine. Hi-C, thanks for pointing this out to me!!
Ziggy Cover Mod

So, while in England Alba and I visited the site where the photo for the cover of the Ziggy Stardust album was taken.

Here is the original.
Ziggy Album

It took us a bit of time to find it. We were wandering around holding the picture above, squinting at all the building facades, when a helpful passerby said “It’s over there.” I think he worked there and must have been used to seeing people hunt for this landmark.

This is from the end of the street. You can see the site on the right-hand side of the street. On the building at the end of the street (which is The Living Room), note the wood framing over the first floor and the side-by-side rectangular windows at the top of the building. You can see those very clearly in the album cover. Strangely enough, what Graham told me didn’t really jibe with what we saw – the site does not really appear to be part of the building that houses The Living Room.

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Here is a sideway view of the building, looking to the right corner. It’s not clear which doorway the picture was taken from.

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Looking down the street from the far corner of the building. The picture was taken further down the building, but all of the markers, the light, the K.West sign, the boxes, are all gone.

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So, we found it! With the restaurants that lined¬†the entire street all¬†filled with patrons, it was impossible to get in to the actual site, but we got close!! It was fun to have a mission to accomplish, and satisfying to have accomplished it. I probably should have taken more pictures, but I’m happy with what I got.

So, on my flight home I intended to get in about 6 solid hours of HP Book 7. That didn’t happen, due to my interesting seat neighbor.

Nick is a professional photographer who splits his time between London, France, and wherever the jobs take him. He’s got an unique outlook on life and seems to both send and receive information from a different perspective. I certainly didn’t mind that he stole my Harry time from me.

His hobbies are quite varied and he makes for an interesting conversationalist. (Plus, he’s met David Bowie.¬†It’s like I’m that much closer to living my dream.) He didn’t make too many enquiries into my life, which I hold as the most important skill of any talented conversationalist, but I think that was probably appropriate, seeing as how we were perfect strangers and it could be construed¬†as creepy to do so. He was a perfect gentleman, even letting me eat off his plate. It was really a lovely trip.

I have rudely stolen two images from his site to post here. I strongly encourage you to check all of them out yourself. You will appreciate his sense of humor, I think. Also, give his iN-PUBLiC street photography website a look.

(Note: If you are on¬†low bandwith and/or your monitor resolution is at or lower than 1024 x 768, find another computer for your visit to Nick’s site.)

A Camera in the Tate: An exploration of the relationship between people and art at London’s Tate Gallery.

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Trading Life: Street photography from the Financial District of London.  

Turpin_Hats

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While Alba and I were in Cambridge, we toured several of the Colleges of Cambridge, including St. John’s, Trinity, Kings’, Queens’,¬†and Clare College.

A very fun thing to do in Cambridge is to punt down the river. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was sunny, mid-70s and simply gorgeous. Alba rented a punt from her alma mater, Clare, and punted us the whole way. The river was quite crowded.

Alba did such a good job! It’s a rather difficult thing to do. According the the guide book, “no one else knows what they’re doing, either.” You can hire professionals to guide you down the river, but what’s the fun in that?

It was wonderful to be in the boat, gently rocking, feeling warm under the sun and getting to take in all the sights along the Cambridge River. I could have fallen asleep, laying there.

The Bridge of Sighs¬†(St. John’s College)
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Magdalene Bridge
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Clare Bridge
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The Mathematical Bridge
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Trinity or Kings’ College Bridge?
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A Pirate Punt!
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For MFA…
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Proof that you shouldn’t do Sudoku, even a gentle one, at 6 AM when you’ve had only four hours of sleep.
BadSudoku

The inflight status tracker was very accurate, including the two circles we made to kill time because we arrived early.
Circles

Thursday night, I arrived around 8 PM and caught the 2 1/2 hour coach up to Cambridge. Alba met me at the bus station and we took a cab home. Then we went to sleep!

Friday morning, she made me a lovely breakfast with coffee, fresh fruit and eggs.
Friday Breakfast Prep

Friday Breakfast

London

I went, and now I’m back! Pictures to come when I can get around to it.

LondonFlight

“You got a toothbrush? We’re going to London. Do you hear that, Doug? I’m coming to London!”¬† (NSFW)

Remember that soundbite from the Snatch sountrack? Well, it’s true!! I’m going to visit my BFF Alba, who is from Colombia but is visiting Cambridge for a summer research program.

We are going to be spending two nights in Cambridge and two in London.

The one thing I want to accomplish while I’m there, besides QFT with Alba? I was inspired by Cristin’s Bowie album cover recreation. Now, I don’t have the mad skillz she possesses, but I will be in London so I want to revisit the site of the Ziggy Stardust album cover.

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