Thursday, September 27, 2007

Life in a Whirlwind

As previously mentioned, things have been a bit crazy around here lately. And it's not about to slow down anytime soon so I figured I'd better get while the gettin' is good, so to speak, and post while I had the time. Jason's mom and stepdad left this morning and tomorrow Beth and I are going to Fashion Weekend and Saturday night is Mo and Murray's leaving party and Monday is Jason's birthday and must. breathe. now.

Anyway, here are some highlights of the weekend...

Friday night - The crazy Indian production of A Midsummer Night's Dream we saw at Richmond Theatre (which I would totally recommend but not for your first viewing of AMSND because half of it isn't in English so if you don't know the story, you're screwed).


Saturday - To Salisbury to marvel at Stonehenge

The terror that is known as "An American's First Time Driving In The UK"


Stonehenge


Jason and his mom


Like mother, like son


Since Stonehenge is a mecca of sorts for hippies, I did my best dirty-hippie-Lillith-Fair dance


See all the Stonehenge photos here...

Sunday - We road tripped to out Canterbury and Dover with Monique and Murray.

Canterbury Cathedral





Presenting: Murray and Heather starring in "Fun with Street Signs"



More Canterbury photos here...

Life's To Do List: See the legendary white cliffs of Dover. Check.


Windy!


The Fab Four


I feel like a North Face advert


Rest of the Dover photos here...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

So, what did YOU do this weekend?

We:

1. Went to Hampton Court Palace with Jason's parents
2. Saw an Indian production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Richmond Theatre
3. Drove in England for the first time (Well, technically, Jason drove and I screamed and/or covered my eyes intermittently but let's not fuss over details.)
3. Visited Stonehenge
4. Went to Bath for the second time
5. Daytripped to Canterbury with Monique and Murray
6. Saw the White Cliffs of Dover

I'd say that's a pretty good showing for three days. Don't worry, photos will follow. Tomorrow, I'm taking Jason's mum and stepdad to Buckingham Palace and after that, I should have some time to post properly. Until then...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pop quiz

You've got about 24 hours until your in-laws arrive for a visit and the bathroom needs to be cleaned, laundry needs to be done, kitchen needs a good scrubbin', and the whole flat is due for a vacuum. All 5 rooms, 2 levels of stairs and 3 landings of it. Not to mention that it is absolutely necessary that you review your Italian notes from last term before class starts up again or you will be shamed before your classmates when you're expected to tell everyone what you did over the summer. In Italiano, per favore. Do you get straight to work or do you pour yourself another cup of coffee and settle in for a pre-recorded episode of Ugly Betty?

As an adult, you'd think I'd make the right decision here.

Yeah.... you'd think...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Sartorial Smorgasbord


It was, in six words, everything I dreamed it would be. The clothes were gorgeous and well made and (best of all) at American prices.

Just in case it isn't yet clear what I'm talking about, here's a clue:


They even had them on real Target hangers! Joy of joys!!


And to top it all off, I got to chatting with one of the reps from Target about how I loved the line and how excited I was to have a little piece of Target over here. Then later, when I was waiting to pay, she came over and said "Can I borrow you for a sec?" and she took me over and introduced me to Alice Temperley herself! Alice asked what my favorite pieces were and wanted to see which ones I was buying. I was so proud of myself because I actually said something that made me sound like I really knew what I was talking about. "I love all the different inspirations that went into the collection, especially the military and formal wear touches. I think it's just brilliant!"

And here's what I got. Two coats (one black dressy and one navy-ish/royal-ish blue funky), a sweater, a dressy victorian-style top, and a quasi-tuxedo inspired layering tank. All for about 100.00 GBP.


After I left Selfridges, the sun was out and I was feeling very inspired so I decided to stop off at the V&A...


...to check out the New York Fashion Now exhibit one last time before it closes.


And although I knew it was going on, in my shopping-induced euphoria, I had totally forgotten. Ladies and gentlemen, it is London Fashion Week. Next door to my beloved V&A. I was truly tempted to just hang out outside the entrance all afternoon. I mean, Marc Jacobs has to come out of there sometime, right?


But as Tim Gunn would say, "Carry on." And so I did. Because I worship at the altar of Tim Gunn.


Zac Posen is one of my favorites from this exhibition.


All in all, it was a glorious but exhausting day. And now, I have two days to prepare for houseguests so I'm out like Carson Kressley.

Monday, September 17, 2007

History, schmistory

Guess what, London. I know why summer has suddenly decided to come out of hiding. Because I gave up hope a couple of weeks ago and moved our summer clothes into the guest room and pulled our fall clothes out of storage. Evidently, this single action affected the weather for the entire country. It's like the butterfly effect or something. You know... a girl in Richmond flaps her wings and causes the sun to come out in the Cotswolds. Anyway, you're welcome.

So we decided to get out and enjoy it this weekend. Saturday, we cycled to Richmond Park and stopped at King Henry's Mound. It's the highest point in Richmond Park and is a protected view directly to the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, 20 kilometers (about 10 miles) away to the East. It's through the center of this cut-out in the hedge.


We see it! We see it!



View to the west - the Thames Valley towards Windsor and Strawberry Hill.


The we rode through the park for a while and took a break at the adorable cafe in Petersham Nurseries. It's a plant nursery, a cafe, a separate posh restaurant and a shop that sells all sorts of gardening things, cook books, and really nice house stuff. Given half the chance (and an AmEx credit card) I could clear that place out.


Just what is Victorian Lemonade, you ask? Well, it's fermented so it's fizzy and very slightly alcoholic (less than .5% per bottle though). Oh, and delicious!


Then we were off to Ham House which, much to our great delight, was free to get into because of some annual open house event at all the National Trust properties.


Cheeky monkeys!




Then Sunday, I went with a couple of girls from my bookclub to Hever Castle because we had just read "The Other Boleyn Girl". Hever was the summer home of the Boleyn family.



Our picnic


The gardens were some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. The flowers were amazing!




Since I took in so much culture and history and other smarty type things this weekend, I'm going to balance it all out tomorrow by showing up at Selfridges at 9:30 in the morning for the unveiling of the limited edition (...........drumroll please.......) Alice Temperley for Target collection! I know! I could hardly believe it myself! A little piece of Target! Right here in London! This could make my head explode! I mean, I nearly lost consciousness for a few minutes when I opened up the email. At the very least, my vision was temporarily compromised. Let's just hope I make it out of this alive, shall we?

Friday, September 14, 2007

No way! Oh, yes way! Norway!

Ta-daaaaaaaa! It's The Heather Show comin' at you live from Norway! With special guest appearances by Jason aaaaand well, just Jason really! Buckle up, kids. It's going to be a wild ride!

So, let me just start by saying that, somehow, the stupid, red, ugly poo-poo head date stamp on one of our cameras got switched on so a lot of our photos have a stupid, red, ugly poo-poo head date stamp on them. However, the good news is that Monique's husband Murray, who is seriously the best amateur photographer I know, is going to help us fix them. Three cheers for Murray! But I wanted to go ahead and post about the trip while I had the time so here they are, in all their stupid, red, ugly, poo-poo headed glory...

We left it a bit late booking our hotels for this trip so we were definitely prepared for...how shall I put it?...well, let's just call it "Not the Ritz". So imagine our delight when we found that we were in for a real treat in the form of a "Business Class" room! You thought business class was just for planes? Well not anymore it's not! Notice the lovely placard on the door. Just so no one confuses this with a regular old hotel room. Since we were in a business class room, I decided to get right down to business with some serious fake note-taking.

What exactly are the many benefits to a business class room, you ask? Well, clearly, a Times, a Herald, a Julia Roberts, and a Richard Gere delivered right to your very door.

And we're off to Myrdal to catch our train to Flam. What? A girl needs her Doodles. Fake note-taking really takes it out of me.

The trip really got started with our train trip to Flam on the Flamsbana which is a really cool old-style train. They call it (along with the tracks) "a marvel of engineering" because of the way it winds around the mountain, in and out of tunnels and whatnot. The views are absolutely amazing.

They stop the train at this waterfall for a photo break. I've never seen anything like that up close... Beautiful!

She'll be comin' 'round the mountain when she comes! (Did anyone else sing that song when they were little? Or was that just me? Anyone? Ok, we'll just consider that an inside joke. Between me and myself.)

A little village at the foot of the mountains

So this is a bit blurry because I snapped it while the train was moving but look at how aqua blue that water is. Juuuuust look at it!

The bridge in Flam.

Jason made me do it.

Jason made me do it.

Jason made me do it.

We took a hike in Flam and can you believe we were lucky enough to get to see these brown bears catching fish?!? We were in absolute awe...

HAAA! Gotcha! That's a picture of a photograph from a wildlife exhibit in Oslo! Oh man! That was a good one! You fell for it! I can tell!

The boat we want.

The boat we can afford.

The boat we could afford to ride on for 5 hours.

The view as we were pulling away from the port at Flam...

When the boat was going fast, it was really cold! Those North Face jackets came in rather handy.

That wind is excellent for styling one's hair. Doesn't mine look awesome? You, too, can achieve this look by standing in a wind tunnel for a few hours.

I loved how the clouds would sit just below the mountain peaks.

Some miscellaneous views during the fjord cruise...




Jason in his very cosy and warm Norwegian sheep's wool slippers. I was so jealous. They didn't have any in my size.

Near the end of the cruise the fog settled back in but I love how it made this photo look all hazy and misty.

I'm the king of the world! (Yup. Jason made me do it.)

I really wish I could claim that Jason made me do this but the fact of the matter is that I did this completely of my own accord. In my defense, I wish to state that I had just disembarked from a boat that I had been on for over 5 hours. I claim sea sickness. Oh, what the hell. Walrus tusk straws are hilarious! Admit it!

After a good night's sleep in our business class room, a cinnamon roll the size of my head was a perfect way to start the day.

Some photos taken around Bergen...





We were walking around and came across this bunny-lympics. I'll say that again. We came across the bunny-lympics. This is not a joke. There were actual bunny game competitions going on. Marinate on that for a few minutes.

How lucky is this dog? And how unfair that a dog gets the boat of our dreams.

Back to the airport to fly back to Oslo. Jason made me do it.

Let's just say the hotel in Oslo was a wee nicer than the infamous business class room in Bergen.

However, I do think the housekeeping staff are up to some serious shenanigans. (I swear to you we did NOT do this. It was 100% exactly like that when we walked in. Hand to God.)

Jason made me do it.

My favorite thing about this hotel - a chair in the elevator! A girl can get awfully tired on the long ride from the 7th floor down the the 1st.

The Oslo city hall - Radhuset.

Pics of the harbor area...





A viking ship in the, you guessed it, Viking Ship Museum!

The gates to the Vigelandsparken - a sculpture park. All the statues are by the same guy. And let me tell you, there are A LOT of sculptures in there - 212 to be exact.

By far, the funniest - known as "Little Angry Boy".


One side of the "sculpture bridge".

Some pics around the sculpture park...




And that, people, is it. Dunzo. Audi 5000. Peace out.