Sorry for the gap in posting –we just got back from our Visa renewal interview, at the US Embassy, in London. The USCIS kindly granted us the max five-year extension, meaning they won’t be asking us to leave the country (phew!) and regular posting can resume.
With our Visa status secured, we spent a few days in London, soaking-up some British culture, while getting soaked, literally. This gray, soggy backdrop reminded us not to take our sunny California weather for granted.
But rain was the perfect excuse for shopping –or looking, at least. We started with Habitat, a familiar haunt, where we’ve bought plenty over the years, like this Robin Day sofa, which you may recognize from our living room.
We have this exact flip-clock too (the black one) though ours needs repair –the large number is stuck on “18”, making it right only once per month. I must get round to
fixing it asking someone (who knows what they’re doing) to fix it.
Next stop, Heal’s, home to some familiar designs, at far from familiar prices –most are near double what you’d pay in the US. If we ever move back to England (and it’s not in our current thinking) our furniture collection will need to be complete.
And our Craigslist steal Nelson Saucer looks like even more of a bargain here, when stacked-up against the English retail price –£545, equating to a mammoth $900+ (at current rates). Seriously? We paid just $50 for ours. A serious deal.
Heal’s also stock our tea vessel of choice –the PANTONE mug. We have about ten of these, and
Karen has destroyed we’ve parted with many more over the years. We love this very British display, complete with tea bag backdrop.
We met a friend for lunch in East London, so took-in (nearby) Old Spitalfields Market, which has been running for centuries. These days, it’s a treasure trove of vintage goodness. I don’t have a pic that conveys the scale, but it’s big.
Rummaging around amongst vintage clothing and dusty LP’s is more my ‘thing’ than Karen’s, so we weren’t here quite as long as I’d like. But it reminded me, we must attend more garage/yard/estate sales back in California.
On the other side of London, in Chiswick, we found this old cinema, turned vintage store. We didn’t think much of the painted dresser out front (why do people do that?) but we went inside regardless. This store is much bigger than it looks.
As is typical for most of these antique/vintage places, there’s a real mix of styles, and plenty of garbage to wade through. You need a keen eye. That said, without much room in our suitcases, we didn’t look too hard.
After London, we visited our home town of Cheltenham, to say ‘hi’ to family and friends. The architecture here is mostly Regency and Victorian, but impressive in its own way. Here’s a typical Cheltenham terrace.
While there, we couldn’t resist meeting-up with another old friend –proper British fish & chips. They just aren’t the same in the US, so we had to get our ‘fix’. Lucky for us, this Cheltenham chippy was named best in England for 2013.
An impressive accolade, in the home of fish & chips. And they seemed (and tasted) like worthy winners. I’m missing them already. Our friends say that Sacto has some decent F&C offerings –we must check those out.
Time flew, then so did we. Thanks to British Airways, we missed our connection and had to stay over at LAX (not fun), which is home to some comically-priced bottles of whiskey –guess there’s plenty of money passing through.
While we’re on airports, Sacramento’s is pretty cool, though obviously tiny by comparison. We flew in and out of Terminal A, which has some interesting architectural features, including this butterfly style roof, and (vaguely) Eichler-esque ceilings.
Funny, the above pic was before we left, and the weather was deemed “cloudy” –it’s all relative. Inside, they have these cool baggage sculptures, just so you’re 100% clear where to collect your bags. Hey, that’s my case!
As usual, I could go on…and on. But I’ll leave it there. Needless to say, we were deliriously happy to get back. Now we can restart work on the house, and I can start catching up on blog posts –so much more to share with you. And it’s so good to be home.