I started out in Edinburgh. I tore around town, the high points of which were Edinburgh Castle; Holyrood Palace & Abbey; and St. Giles Cathedral; did a little tour of Castles of the Highlands (Doune, Inverary, and Kilchurn), and just generally had a great time. Then I headed down to writerconuk and met up with shapinglight, gillo, bogwitch, lilachigh, speakr2customrs, along with some newer friends. It's all a bit of a blur, honestly. At the end, gillo gave us a whirlwind tour of the local sites, including Kenilworth Castle and the Bard's birth and burial places.
I dragged poor shapinglight all over the place. We walked all over her very beautiful city, Chester. Totally recommended, btw. The tour guide in Bath called it "the competition" and I can see why. Roman city walls, canals, the most amazing cathedral ever, and a ton of Tudor and Victorian sights of note. We drove around Northern Wales, checking out Conwy Castle, the genteel seaside town of Llandudno, the Great Orme, and the amazing "Stream in the Sky", the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, an 18th century working canal system that is over a hundred feet in the air! The original log ride, I'm thinking.
We ran off to Bath and did all the Bath things: the Roman Baths, the Pump Room, the Abbey, Pulteney Bridge, the Assembly Rooms, the Fashion Museum, the Circus, the Royal Crescent, and tea at Sally Lunn's Buns! It was great. We also dd a silly "Bizarre Bath" tour, which ended with shapinglight in the stocks. She was very brave. Then we went off to see Stonehenge, the Avebury Stones, and the beautiful villages of Lacock and Castle Combe, both of which were absolutely gorgeous and in some cases, delicious. Do try the bakery in Lacock, if you're ever there. Both have been used as locations for films you've seen, like Pride & Prejudice (the good one) and a Harry Potter or three.
Then we were off to London, for an evening at the Victoria & Albert Museum and dinner with the beautiful and intelligent P, SL's daughter. The next day we met up with brutti_ma_buoni for a walk along the Southbank, including the Globe, the Tate Modern, and gorgeous views of all sorts of Thames-side sights. We ended up attending Evensong at St. Paul's Cathedral, because we were in the neighborhood and because those little choirboys were adorable.
On my birthday, we went to the Wallace Collection and the National Gallery before heading off for a wonderful Sunday roast at a nice pub with P and her fella. I even got a present! The Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch, a tale of a modern London copper who ends up in the 2-person supernatural crimes division. Recommended!
I beat my end of trip blues by scheduling fun things for the very last day. Besides going to the Tower of London and getting the tour from Billy Beefeater, I attended The Libertine starring Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark in the MCU, as well as the eponymous Preacher) and Ophelia Lovibond (Kitty from Elementary). For once, I wasn't moping around the last few days, wishing I was home already. In fact, on the way to the airport I was wondering if it would be so bad if I accidentally-on-purpose missed my flight. I didn't, being a responsible citizen and all that. Tsk.
While there I got a sunburn, so you can all just stop lying about the weather. I am no longer fooled. Scotland in particular is heaven on earth. I'm going back soon, just to make sure.
I've been buried in work since I got back, but last night I got tickets to the touring show of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (thanks feliciacraft!) and I just found out that they are doing a drag version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a couple of weeks at our local drag emporium, so I'll be going to that. There's also a wedding coming up and our buddy's Friday DJ slot.
In short, my reality is brighter and more musical than that "other" reality. *hand waves* What are you guys up to?
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