Friday, 11 April 2008

Afternoon in Cirencester

Well, I am trying to get all of my pictures caught up onto the blog . . . and I'm doing it in order. So naturally everything is several weeks outdated. But better late than never I suppose! A couple weeks ago we had a fabulous little Sunday afternoon excursion to Cirencester . . . which is the old Roman city of Corinium. It was apparently the 2nd largest Roman city in Britain, with London being the largest . . . and it was built throughout the first century. There is a fabulous museum there, featuring all of the things that they have found in the city . . . enormous mosaic floors, jewelry, column capitals, weapons . . . all in all it was loads of fun. There was even a section for the kids to try on Roman armour. (Although, is it just me, or does it seem a little funny to have the Romans wearing chain mail? I kind of thought they did the big breastplate and shin-guard jobbies.)
Here is Knox putting on his best fierce Roman soldier face.

Jemima testing out how she'd like to be a warrior princess.

Belphoebe . . . dressed like her namesake from the
Faerie Queen! (Although missing the
leather breeches.)

Hero looking very ferocious indeed.

. . . . and Judah, feeling exceptionally pleased with himself.

And finally, Daddy is incredibly authentic, don't you think?

Then we stopped and looked at the Abbey. It had just closed, so we couldn't get in . . . but we enjoyed the outside quite a bit. It almost looks like it has a flying buttress that has been worked in as a wall to another portion of the church . . . weird. We haven't seen any others like that.

Here are the kids, huddled in the corner and freezing to death . . . .

And here's what the picture looks like zoomed out.
There is also an old Roman amphitheater in the town, so of course we had to stop to see that. If you really squint there are small colored dots in the background that are actually our children, terry-hooting around on the far wall.

This is what the amphiteatre looks like as you approach it. And then when you crest that big hill you look down into the amphitheater itself.

All in all, it was a spectacular Sunday afternoon! And Knox is reading The Eagle of the Ninth right now, so he's hoping to catch a reference to Corinium.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Boat Race!

These two pictures are simply to prove that Ben was there at the race. You have to squint to find the boats in the background, but they're actually there if you look hard enough.

And here I am. The boats are much easier to spot in my pictures!

No we didn't take this picture. But it's the Oxford team nonetheless.

Well here's a wild one. Ben and I got to go watch the Oxford / Cambridge boat race, and not only that - we got to watch it from the London Rowing Club balcony which is right near the start line at Putney Bridge! Ben got an invitation because he's on the Christ Church team, and given a code word to say at the entrance to get us in. How Wodehouse is that?! I felt the evening really wouldn't be complete unless we tried to steal a policeman's helmet . . . but we ended up not doing that part of the traditional Wodehouse Boat Race Night. (Actually the rest of the traditional Wodehouse Boat Race Night would be to fail in the attempted theft of the helmet through forgetting to do the sharp thrust forward to disengage the chin strap and having the policeman come with it. The next step is getting arrested, spending the night in the jug, and showing up in court the next morning, giving a false name, and then getting fined five pounds. We skipped all that bit and just watched the race.)

We were on the balcony for the start of the race and watched them row past, and then when they went around the bend in the river the whole mob of us (and there was a mob) went running back into the clubhouse to try and watch the rest of the race on the large TV. Unfortunately however, the gang was so big that people were standing on chairs and things and I absolutely couldn't see squat. I had my face pretty much smooshed into the ribcage of an eight foot tall German wearing a Cambridge blazer so I got a good look at the tailoring of the coat and that was pretty much it. Mom called during the race - they were watching it on TV, and so of course they got a much better view of the whole thing than I did! Ben could see a bit . . . and kept me informed of who was winning. And the good news (in case you hadn't heard) is that Oxford won! And the other part of the good news is that Ben and I got a fantastically fun evening out and now I can say I've been to the Boat Race!