Cream Tea Anyone?

27 Jul

I can still taste it. It’s sitting in my stomach, reminding me not to devour it so quickly next time. Sensible tip: don’t keep eating something when you’re about to burst, especially English cream teas (devonshire tea to us Aussies) and they are delish. It seemed very appropriate to sit under the trees at the Mad Hatters Cafe in Bourton-on-the-Water in the Costwolds and have something quintessentially English in this quintessentially English village. Bourton-on-the-Water is one of the three Costwold Villages we visited yesterday on a day trip to this area, which is located west of London. We felt the need to get out of London for a bit, to see something other than the city. Our small bus also took us to Burford and Stow-on-the-Wold, both picturesque postcard villages you imagine old England to be like. Some of the villages in the Cotswolds date back to the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries and there are special requirements if you want to build there now – like using local stone only. The villages are filled with tea shops, craft and antique shops, gourmet delis, beautiful churches (of which most of the villages were built around) and old English pubs. Stow-on-the-Wold (Wold meaning hill), claims to have the oldest pub in England dating back to 947AD and by the way, you have to be a hobbit to walk around inside. We spent our Sunday strolling around the villages, having Cream Tea, eating olives and taking in the beautiful surroundings. I had to keep reminding Matt where we were and to take photos other than Ferraris and Porsches that seem to be here by the dozens. I’d be looking at the market square and all the cute shops, while Matt has his eye stuck to his camera, taking yet another photo of a car!

Both Burford and Stow-on-the-Wold see a steady stream of visitors (surprisingly, not because of the Ferraris!), but Bourton-on-the-Water was very crowded. It’s known as the Venice of the Cotswolds and even has a scaled village replica of itself as an attraction (we couldn’t resist going!). Being summer (pfft.. hardly!), Brits flock here to have picnics and a paddle in the canal, the main reason people visit here. We tested the water… freeezzzinng! I would not have put my toe in there, let alone my whole body! And Remember Brum (cute yellow car?), well, it was filmed here.

Other than our delightful Sunday, we spent our Saturday strolling around the British Museum, one of the few free attractions here in London. I’m such a nerd for museums and galleries – love them! – most of the museums are free here, so it’s great for us to do on a low budget til we start getting an income. We also hung out in Hyde Park for a bit with Kristy, Aims and Troy, and also went on a ‘Jack the Ripper’ walking tour that night. The tour was based in East London, known as the slums at the time of Jack the Ripper. We went to the actual sites where two of the murders occured and we followed in Jack the Ripper’s footsteps as he made his way around East London, knocking off prostitutes (very harsh, I know!). Very interesting tour and hard to believe that Jack the Ripper physically existed in London in the 1880s, and that there is quite a lot of information about what he did – apart from actually WHO he is – obviously, he was never caught. Although Matt is convinced there was a stalker following the group and perhaps a decendent of Jack the Ripper! He crept up behind us in a narrow alleyway and startled Matt and kept a short distance behind us for a bit more of the tour, until he eventually found the other tour group he was meant to be part of (hahahahahah!).

During the week, we also saw Wicked, the musical about the two whiches in the Wizard of Oz – great storyline, great characters and great voices. Definitely worth seeing and only one of the hundreds of musicals we could see here! Sister Act, Billy Elliot, Oliver, Avenue Q, Chicago, Mamma Mia, Priscilla, We Will Rock You (Queen the musical!)….. take your pick.

Matt and I are timesharing the laptop to apply for jobs. It’s taking longer than we had hoped, but we’re staying positive about finding a role soon. I’ve had two interviews and have two more this week, plus being put forward for another two. Most of the jobs are contract, so it works well for us. We’ve also developed the bad habit of sleeping in past 9 and is going to be a very bad shock to the system when we have to start rising at 6 to get ready for work. With the sun not going down until at least 9:30pm, it’s easy to stay up very late and sleep in. Our housemates all have their own character and we like to refer to them as ‘the students’ or the ‘the kids’ – all students on 4 months holiday from uni over the summer. They love watching Friends, so we’ve got an instant connection and it’s great getting an insight into life as a local here. There is also two Italian girls who have come over for the summer to work. They enjoy their singing and are very cute to talk to in English! Our least ends in the middle of August, so we’ll be house hunting again very shortly. Again, the shorter lease is better for us so we can figure out where we’ll be working to avoid hours-long commute to and from work.

This week will be another week of eyes glued to the screen applying for jobs and on the phone speaking with agencies about potential interviews. Plus, organising more sightseeing for the weekend!

Love to you all – till next time,

Mel and Matt xox

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One Response to “Cream Tea Anyone?”

  1. Saira July 30, 2010 at 9:47 AM #

    I know what you mean about sleeping in past 9… Back to uni now and my earliest starting time is 1pm so I usually get up around 10 these days. Quite a shock this morning coming into work!!

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