Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Where to Begin?

I'm facing a bit of writer's block as I sit down to put my London trip experiences into words. This is a new experience for me; I'm not one to suffer from writer's block. Usually, I just begin. The beginning is seldom the same when I end, but it is a start.

The trouble here is that the trip was so incredible, I don't know if I can truly capture the experience in words and images. A bit daunting, really. Nonetheless, I'll stick with my tried and true method, and just begin. I'll begin where I am....

I am still unwinding and recovering from jetlag. :-) And during this time of transition, I'm floating in wonderful memories. At the moment, I'm indulging in some treats I brought from London.

The teacup is an indulgence from the trip. I love its coloring and the details inside the rim. The tea tin was an impulse buy. I became enamored with phone booths in London, and had to have this. To my delight, the tea inside is actually pretty good! It's a ceylon blend with light bergamot flavoring. I can't really call it Earl Grey because the bergamot is very light. The tea tin calls it "Afternoon Tea." The "biscuits" (cookies) are called "chocolate digestives" and they are heavenly! They are made (partially) with wholemeal (what we call whole wheat) and have this incredible texture. Not too sweet. Just right! I brought back a whole suitcase of biscuits!

These are great gifts because the British take their tea and biscuits very seriously, and the biscuits are significantly different than our cookies. (I think I prefer the British ones). For a bit of fun, check out the Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down blog. You'll learn a lot about biscuits!

As I float in memories, some of the things that struck me as the most interesting about London are the following:
  • It's a very safe city. The police don't even carry guns. I felt much safer than in any comparably-sized US city.
  • It's an incredibly diverse city.
  • It's the world's biggest financial market. Bigger than any US market. London is where the world's money exchange happens.
  • It's a very, very expensive city. A starter "semi-detached" is about $500,000 US. Think of a semi-detached as a duplex, except you own your half. This is the most common suburban housing style.
  • It blends well the old and new. London was a Roman city, and there are many artifacts of that. Lots of history and beautiful architecture. Also lots of cutting-edge, modern style.
  • Londoners, regardless of gender, love their tea and go to tea rooms!
  • In our hotel room, there was no coffee pot. Rather, we found a hot water boiler and a proper cup, saucer and spoon for tea. I love this!!!!

Well, that's a beginning....


Anonymous said...

Great beginning, Stephanie. It will be such fun to share this experience with you vicariously.

linda in delaware

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to hear more interesting tidbits from your time in London! The teacup looks lovely.I'm so glad the weather cooperated and you had such a fine time...I'd want to bring back jewlery (reproduction Crown Jewels) and you bring back teacups and biscuits - go figure!
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