Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Technical Errors and a Letter to the Masses

Hey guys! Sooo, I have been having some problems getting certain items off of my SD cards because of the whole camera issue, but I will try and take care of that--mainly it is just the videos that I have to get off, but they are worth seeing! There is a really spectacular one from Edinburgh, and a couple from York... anyway, I also only have a few days till finals (you guys forgot I am going to school, too, I bet! Funny, so did I...), so I am doing my best to get everything done before finals occur. That being said, my blog is likely to go by the wayside for a few days so that I can catch up on all my schoolwork (I haven't done much of anything, so it will be a LOT of catching up!). I love you all and sorry that it will take a bit longer than expected! Oh, and for those who don't know, I will be back in Georgia as of July 6th. XOXO


PS--
They call a cash register/cashier a "till"... I've never heard that before. So you don't check out at the cash register... you check out at the till!

Monday, May 26, 2008

More Lingo

British--Pronunciation/defintion
________________

  • rubbish/rubbish bin--trash/trash cans.... they never say the word garbage. it's always rubbish! :P
  • queue--line (such as a grocery line... "Are you in the queue?" Threw me for a loop the first time I heard this.)
  • garden--yard (apparently it's really insulting if you tell a Brit you like their "yard"; it's always a garden)
  • jumpers--sweater
  • trousers--pants
  • life buoy--life preserver (the ring kind that you throw at people in movies)
  • cheers--kinda like a thank you or good bye... people will say "excuse me... cheers!" and stuff like that...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Some Lingo and Pronunciation

British--Pronunciation/defintion
________________

  • Southwark--Sutherk
  • Leicester--Lester
  • Gloucester--Glosster
  • bird--girl (not a nice word for a girl, either)
  • git--annoying person, jerk... i feel the exact definition varies.
  • bugger--idiot (now, if you say "buggered" that's not a good word... it means to be a homo or something like that)
  • truly--really
  • subway--tube
  • tea--tay
  • pastey--past-ay (long ay like in acorn but I've also heard it pronounced past-ee; I use the second pronunciation)
  • love--term like dear, sweetie
  • "mind the..." gap, child, step, stair, purse, doorway,--you name it, they mind everything.
  • bill--your receipt or check... if you say check, they don't have a bloomin' clue what you're talking about.
  • toilet/loo--restroom... they say the Toilet more than the loo. I have only heard loo once.
  • chips--french fries
  • crisps--potato chips
  • quid--pounds (as in £)
  • hob nobbs--an English biscuit which is made out of oatmeal and very tasty
  • biscuit--a cookie.
  • knackered--really tired
  • lift--elevator
  • randy--er, maybe i shouldn't say, but it means horny (essentially)
  • Edinburgh--Edinbruh
  • fag--cigarette (i've never called them that but I've heard the term once or twice... can't get the American definition out of my head to ever use it for real.)
There's a lot more but i can't think of any others off the top of my head.

WORDS NEVER TO SAY!
  • wanker (this is a really bad word and i'm not going to tell you what it means, just don't use it!)
  • bloody
  • buggered

7 May 2008: Beachy Head

Beachy Head is a 536 ft cliff that is part of the same chain of cliffs that the White Cliffs of Dover are a part of (in the south of England). They are white chalk cliffs, just like Dover's. Beachy Head is also the last part of a chain of hills known as the Seven Sisters. It was really beautiful, cold, and WINDY!

There wasn't much to do but walk around up there. however, it had a lovely view of the English Channel. Apparently on a really clear day you can see France! As you can tell in the pictures below, it was clear, but a little hazy toward the horizon line. Enjoy!


I guess that building far off in the distance is a lighthouse, but I LOVE this photo!


The scene that I came from... the coach is over by that building.




It's a looooong way down to that those rocky shores below! Don't slip!






















video
My first view of Beachy Head! (Or rather, my first view of the English Channel from the top of Beachy Head!)

video
That weird noise is the sound of the wind!


And this would be Kaleb (top), Zac (middle), and my professor, Joe. Kaleb and Zac are Joe's boys. This reminded me of Daddy. :D I LOVE YOU PAPA!

And that's Beachy Head.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Camden Town & Camden Market

I love Camden Market and Camden Town. I think it is by far one of my favorite spots in London. There are two types of Brits--the really quiet, reserved type and then the ones who are the exact opposite. Pretty much all of Camden Town is inhabited (or so it seems) by the latter rather than the former. The whole things is a blast, plus the majority of the stuff there is dirt cheap. Mom, India--we are DEFINITELY coming here! Forewarning you!!!


Camden Town... this is just the main street


Another shot of Camden Town


Hee hee... This is sorta like Robocop meets Goth chick. LOVE it!


Some sweet shoes that I refrained from purchasing... I liked the yellow ones and the black & white ones.


Thought the shoes were pretty awesome. Not only were they plastic platforms, but they have glittery plastic butterflies too! I belatedly realized that the "peace" sign in America is the Bird in England... whoops! So yeah, that's me, flipping the world off! TWICE!

My favorite person that I saw at the Market... We were trying to be inconspiquous, so I had Jenny "pose" for me while I took a picture of this dude. Sadly, he turned to the guy on the right just as I was snapping the photo!!! I was saddened by this... His face was awesomely decorated, too!


I just thought it was.... gleefully colorful?


I thought this dress would be pretty awesome on Brittanie and would have bought it for her had I known her measurements.


An Earth Goddess in an organic food restaurant---I took it for Kate!


A beautifully embroidered and beaded skirt from India.


Another beautifully embroidered and beaded skirt from India.


Sweet!


We thought it might look better on me. As opposed to changing in the open (which is not uncommon, actually), we decided a hold-up shot was more appropriate.


I wish I had gotten more photos of Camden Market, but seriously, it's like the place where all the goths, punks, wackos, and druggies get together and sell things. It was FABULOUS. SO much random stuff, and some really beautiful stuff, too! Plus, they have some of the WEIRDEST stores. Like this one called Cyberdog, where they sell clothing that looks like it walked straight out of the movie Fifth Element--funky neon orange crotch suspenders and white strategically-placed strappy outfit and all. Apparently there isn't any photography allowed in the store but I didn't catch that sign, so I caught a brief--and I do mean BRIEF--video of what it was sort of like before the curiously dressed girl with the nose ring yelled at me in a British accent. But seriously.... Fifth Element. Watch it. Totally the same type of style. Or better yet click here!

video

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Scotland here I come!!!

I have been looking forward to Scotland for-EVER! I am sad I will only get a chance to see Edinburgh, but at least it's SOMETHING!

Friday, May 9, 2008

05-07-08 Canterbury Cathedral


This is the courtyard in the city surrounding the gates of the Cathedral. The shops in the square actually act as a wall for the cathedral. The gates are literally encompassed in the wall of shops and is rather unnoticeable until you realize what it is.


The left door (it's massive probably four or five of me, if not more)


The right door.




The gates to the cathedral from the square.


Close-up of the Christ statue. This is actually a replica of the original statue that stood there... I think this one was placed up there within the last century (and I am wanting to say it might even be within the last 20 years).


Another shot of the rather creepy copper Christ figure above the portal entrance.


The Cathedral from the outside.




This is the entrance to the Cathedral.


This is only a small portion of the ceiling that is beneath the archway shown above (the entryway).


From left to right--Jenny, Jessi, Me, Whitney, Josie


One of the aisles as you walk into the cathedral. Did you know that before the reign of Henry VIII and the splitting of the Catholic church, that this entire cathedral was painted from top to bottom? After Henry split with the church and the Catholic cathedrals of England became Anglican, Henry had all the Catholic images painted over. At one point, the entire inside of this building would have resembled the paintings below.


These paintings are from the 12th or 13th century and can be found in the crypt of Canterbury... I think these are the right ones. I wasn't allowed to photograph it, so I had to get an image off the web.

PS-- I haven't researched this info myself (and I intend to, eventually), but Dr Talbot is... well, crazily educated and a little enthusiastic about..... everything. He is a true scholar--and by that, I mean he embodies everything you could possible imagine an over-educated human being embodies. But I think he is AWESOME. And hilarious!


Stained glass is one of those amazing things that I can't fathom creating myself. I hope everyone gets a chance to study a 500+ year old window made of lead and bi.


I don't know what you call this--the pulpit?--but I imagine it's the same thing in the Anglican church as the Catholic church.


Pretty decor!


I don't know if you can tell, but those flags are made of lace. They looked ancient. I have no idea how old they are, but they were incredibly delicate in appearance.


A close up of the flag. Sorry, guys, I have a point and shoot---it doesn't lend to beautiful photos and relies entirely upon a flash... someday, I will own an SLR.


Stuff.


Um, not sure what this is called, but is it the Alter?


The nave of Canterbury Cathedral.


The area where the shrine to Thomas Becket stood.


The candle marks where the shrine stood before Henry VIII had it destroyed.


A tomb of an archduke whom I don't recall the name of.


Another view of the same tomb.


Headstone.


Tomb.


Edward Plantagenet (1330-1376), the Black Prince, is buried here. The stuff in this picture that he is wearing are copies. The originals are pictured below.




If I took the photos correctly, this is the tomb of John Peckham of the Orders of Friars Minor, Archbishop of Canterbury... he wasn't anyone I know of, but the awesome part of this is that this tomb originates from 1292 AD.... amazing, eh?! That means he has been buried for 716 years. WOW.


Henry II... At least, I THINK this is Henry II. Blast, I don't remember, but the history behind this tomb and the one in the background (the Black Prince's) is interesting. Essentially, these two were arch rivals and couldn't stand each other in life. The one in this picture essentially usurped the throne from Richard II, Edward's son. Now they lie together for eternity within several feet of each other. Curiously ironic, eh?


These steps were once flat stone. Just to let you know, Canterbury Cathedral was built on the foundations of an Anglo-Saxon church that originated roughly around 597 AD. It became a center for pilgrimage after the murder of Thomas Becket, which I recounted below. Think how many thousands of people--of pilgrims--had to cross these steps to wear down the stone so? 1411 years... thats how long some of the stones of this church have been standing on this ground. Incredible, eh?


Another Archbishop's tomb, this one originating from around the end of 1100s.


The grave of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.


Close up.


This is the door that leads out to the cloister (a covered walk often found in cathedrals that have an open arcade or colonnade that opens onto a courtyard.) From what I understood, Thomas Becket was murdered on the other side of the door, in the cloister. However, it might have been next to this door, in the little chapel-esque area... I got a little confused which it was. It's a fascinating story, really. Apparently Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was friends with King Henry II. From what I understand, Henry believed that by having Becket in the top post of the Church, he could easily impose his will upon the church; however, he was sadly mistaken. Becket's allegiance shifted from the court to the Church. To make a long story short, Becket and the king fell out with one another, and the king became very angry with Becket. Becket initially fled to France and stayed in exile for six years. In 1170 they seemed to resolve their dispute. However, earlier (one of the causes of their initial argument) Becket had excommunicated several bishops belonging to London and Salisbury and when he returned to England he refused to absolve the bishops. This news threw Henry II (still in France) into a rage in which he was said to shout: "What sluggards, what cowards have I brought up in my court, who care nothing for their allegiance to their lord. Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?" Four of Henry's knights seemed to take this as an OK to rid the king of Becket. The four knights sailed over the Channel and arrived at Canterbury during the afternoon of December 29 and immediately searched for the Archbishop. Becket fled to the Cathedral where he was brutally murdered. This caused a huge sensation throughout Europe and Becket was quickly sainted and eventually had a shrine built to him, which is why so many of the pious went on a pilgrimage to Canterbury. This is where Geoffrey Chaucer got his inspiration to create the Canterbury Tales about the varying people going on a pilgrimage to Canterbury. Interesting, huh? Speaking of interesting, here is something that you might find enlightening that I found on the web:

Observations of a monk, Edward Grim, observed the attack from the safety of a hiding place near the altar. He wrote his account some time after the event. Acceptance of his description must be qualified by the influence that Beckett's sainthood had on Grim's perspective. However, the fundamentals of his narrative are no doubt true. We pick up the story after the knights have stormed into the cathedral.

"The murderers followed him; 'Absolve', they cried, 'and restore to communion those whom you have excommunicated, and restore their powers to those whom you have suspended.' "He answered, 'There has been no satisfaction, and I will not absolve them.' 'Then you shall die,' they cried, 'and receive what you deserve.' 'I am ready,' he replied, 'to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace. But in the name of Almighty God, I forbid you to hurt my people whether clerk or lay.' "Then they lay sacrilegious hands on him, pulling and dragging him that they may kill him outside the church, or carry him away a prisoner, as they afterwards confessed. But when he could not be forced away from the pillar, one of them pressed on him and clung to him more closely. Him he pushed off calling him 'pander', and saying, 'Touch me not, Reginald; you owe me fealty and subjection; you and your accomplices act like madmen.' "The knight, fired with a terrible rage at this severe repulse, waved his sword over the sacred head. 'No faith', he cried, 'nor subjection do I owe you against my fealty to my lord the King.'


Then the unconquered martyr seeing the hour at hand which should put an end to this miserable life and give him straightway the crown of immortality promised by the Lord, inclined his neck as one who prays and joining his hands he lifted them up, and commended his cause and that of the Church to God, to St. Mary, and to the blessed martyr Denys. Scarce had he said the words than the wicked knight, fearing lest he should be rescued by the people and escape alive, leapt upon him suddenly and wounded this lamb who was sacrificed to God on the head, cutting off the top of the crown which the sacred unction of the chrism had dedicated to God; and by the same blow he wounded the arm of him who tells this. For he, when the others, both monks and clerks, fled, stuck close to the sainted Archbishop and held him in his arms till the one he interposed was almost severed. "Then he received a second blow on the head but still stood firm. At the third blow he fell on his knees and elbows, offering himself a living victim, and saying in a low voice, 'For the Name of Jesus and the protection of the Church I am ready to embrace death.' "Then the third knight inflicted a terrible wound as he lay, by which the sword was broken against the pavement, and the crown which was large was separated from the head. The fourth knight prevented any from interfering so that the others might freely perpetrate the murder. "As to the fifth, no knight but that clerk who had entered with the knights, that a fifth blow might not be wanting to the martyr who was in other things like to Christ, he put his foot on the neck of the holy priest and precious martyr, and, horrible to say, scattered his brain and blood over the pavement, calling out to the others, 'Let us away, knights; he will rise no more.'

The cloister and courtyard. There are people buried in the courtyard and cloister... and everywhere in the church, for that matter.


The cloister. The courtyard is to your left.


Wall of the cloister... wonder what is bricked up?


View from the cloister.


Those flowers are literally growing out of the building... there is no pot!


Another view from the cloister.


Another view from the cloister.


Another view from the cloister.


This is called the Chapter House. I believe this is where the important clergy of the church meet for meetings or something. It was built much later than the rest of the cathedral. The door to it is out in the cloister.


The School and private houses where the clergy live are behind the cathedral.


Not sure what this is... but it's part of the complex of houses. I thought it was pretty.


Canterbury Cathedral from the outside again.