Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Around the office

Our building, Old Broad Street House, is in the financial district of the city of London and is a very boring, plain building. However, nearby are some widely varying architectural wonders. A few blocks away is Leadenhall Market, a beautifully restored lane of modern shops (including a yummy cheese shop and a pen store - yes, a pen store, we're in the financial district after all):

Just next to the market is the Lloyd's building - you can find a lot of amazing pictures of this building, which has all of its infrastructure (ductwork, stairs, etc.) on the exterior of the building, so I'll post only one of mine:

And around the corner is one of the newer, more recognizable buildings in London, nicknamed "The Gherkin," which sits a block in front of a beautiful old church:

I think it would have had a different name in the U.S., don't you?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Belgium, Holland and Woo!

This past weekend, I used a visit to our offices in Belgium as an excuse to head over to visit Rebecca, Dan, Miles and Amelia in Holland, by way of the Eurostar to Brussels. High-speed trains are The Way to Travel, seriously.

We took some fun strolls around their village:

We went to Antwerp, where we saw the Cathedral of our Lady, both far away and up close:

We also visited Hulst, where I bought some fabulous Belgian chocolates and where there are some very, um, large lions:

Thanks to Rebecca and Dan for being such lovely hosts - they even put flowers in my room!

Friday, August 15, 2008


Thought I'd share the first picture (IMG_0001.jpg) I took with my new camera while I'm waiting to take some new pics. Yeah, that's my awesome husband.


I let my camera battery die. Every plug in my office is embedded in the floor, where my converter won't reach. So I have to wait until I get to Rebecca's (in Kloosterzande - he he!) to charge it. Dang.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Being a real tourist

Finally took the opportunity to get some sight-seeing in, along with approximately 236 miles of walking this weekend. On Saturday, I spent a wonderful day at the Victoria & Albert Museum of art and design, which includes collections of jewelry, textile arts, ironworks, and at the moment the fashion history of The Supremes. Some of my favorite items:

This was part of a large display of historical biscuit tins:

This "chandelier" is hanging in the main entryway - it's composed of hundreds of black glass pieces suspended from the ceiling:

The giftshop may be the best museum shop I've ever seen, and they don't even force you to go through it in order to exit the building.

Sunday the weather was actually sunny(-ish) so I went to Regent's Park, which is a block from my hotel. It is more than 400 acres of the most beautiful public land I've ever seen. Seriously, it's HUGE:

There is a boating lake, athletic fields, an English garden, several small snack bars, multiple buildings, and more goose poo than you would ever believe. The flowers are the most amazing part to me:

There are even black swans on the small lake:

Lastly, I did my tourist duty and headed down to Picadilly Circus:

It was a real zoo, though, so I trekked further down to Trafalgar Square, where they'd set up a huge screen to watch the Olympics. I caught some women's field hockey - Great Britain vs. Germany:

In the square in front of the National Gallery, there were many artists (and their dogs) creating mostly amazing sidewalk chalk art:

More walking took me to the Royal Mews, where some guards and horses patiently put up with tourists and their cameras:

And then I went home. Whew.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Zach Morris, is that you under there?

Seriously, is there an '80s heartthrob under all that mess?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The office

Our office in London is set up very differently from the cubicle farm we have in Atlanta. In fact, it's got no cubes at all:

But that's not the biggest difference. Take a look at the break room:

Filtered water, hot water...notice anything missing? Like maybe a coffee machine? Oh they do have "coffee" - freeze-dried, mixed with hot water, and horrid.

Thankfully, there are shops selling actually brewed coffee nearby. However, most Starbucks here, for example, close before it even gets dark. Weird.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

One week down...

After nearly a week, I finally got some time to put a post together. Kind of a "duh" statement but London is a really busy city. I arrived safe, sound and utterly exhausted at 6:50am last Thursday morning. Settled in at my home away from home. Worked for two days. Got a tour of the South Bank on Friday evening, including a lovely view of the London Eye:

It's bigger than it looks here - each car carries 20 people. And it's surrounded on the sidewalk by street performers, including about 25 different people painted like statues as well as this gentleman walking around with a bike balanced on his head:

Saturday, I took a stroll through the Portobello Road Market, three streets full of displays by seemingly every clothing 'recycler,' jewelry maker and hawker of second-hand stuff in all of London. It was incredibly crowded, no matter where you were in the sprawling stalls:

You could even buy a bike from a stall...though the van carrying the bikes to the market was a bit more interesting than the bikes themselves:

Interestingly, some of the original designers have created an online storefront for their wares as well.

On Sunday, my boss arrived for meetings this week and he decided we needed to 'see the sights.' So off we went to see, in no particular order, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre:

The Tower of London (and met the only female Beefeater, though I didn't get a picture):

And a pub on the Thames that was originally built in 1610 or something. I don't have a picture of the pub, but I do have a picture of my favorite part of it:

On the subject of food and drink, since my arrival, I've eaten pub food, Spanish, Lebanese, Moroccan and plain old sandwiches. My diet will probably get a bit more boring as soon as my boss leaves and I'm back on my own, though. And people aren't kidding when they say curry is the national dish here. You can get a bowl for next to nothing on just about every block.