My first breakfast in England was a full English breakfast at this bar called The Slug and Lettuce.
I love the wacky names of English pubs/bars/taverns. They’re always The Something or The Something and Something. They always seem so random and never make any sense, but I find that very endearing.
It’s especially exciting for me to experience traditional English culture because the medieval fantasy games I’ve played and books I’ve read are always based off that culture.
Being in England is almost like being in a magical, fantasy world, a fairy tale come alive. So much history has been retained even in this science-age millennium and I am filled with wonder experiencing it all.
Well, I suppose my breakfast was quite modern but it was no less delicious.
By Singapore restaurant standards, I think this is quite cheap at £4.95 (S$10.15) and includes tea or coffee. It’s massive. I couldn’t finish it. Neither could Piers.
The view from The Slug and Lettuce:
You see those cathedral spires in the far left of the photo above? That’s an old church that’s been converted into a disco. It’s really weird, but it’s cool. Except one of the posters out front looks a bit sleazy, spoiling it a bit.
The inside is nice, quite funky, maybe a bit scary. I took a picture but it was very dark so I had to screw a bit with the brightness and contrast, so, well, it’s a bad picture but you get an idea.
I had expected a lot of rain in England. That’s what people have been telling me all my life, that it rains in England all the time. That didn’t bother me. I brought my cutesy frilly umbrella (from Seoul) and looked forward to using it.
But it hasn’t rained at all so far. There were just a few moments of light drizzling that ended as soon as they started. And the temperature has been hovering around 10°C, which is awesome in my opinion.
So, when I was having breakfast with Piers and we looked out the window and the sky was a bit grey and overcast, what Piers saw was shit weather. What I saw was England. The gloomy sky made it more English, more authentic, and absolutely lovely.
I said, with a tinge of delirious bliss in my voice, “The weather looks excellent and perfect!” and Piers looked at me like I had come from outer space.
We took a walk around town after breakfast. Piers was quite concerned with showing me places where I could entertain myself or get supplies while he’s away. He even gave me surprise pop quizzes. “Okay which way is home from here?”
I tried to take it all in but got horribly confused after a while. I was too busy enjoying the scenery, in any case.
Within walking distance is the beach. A long, literally endless, stretch.
Okay, it’s not really endless. It’s seven miles (11.3 km) but that’s endless enough for me.
Of course, it’s winter, so the beach is practically empty and the sea is a dull grey-green with no sunlight to reflect. But I thought it was great. It was frightfully windy (a toddler could get blown away, I think) and the waves wouldn’t stop crashing at the shore.
I love waves even if I’m not so much into beach culture. They sound nice. But I’d love to see the beach here during summer when the sea is sparkling blue. The sand is so soft and fine I wouldn’t mind lounging in it.
We paid a visit to the house I was originally supposed to babysit. It’s Piers’ parents’ house and it’s beautiful, outside and inside. It’s like a typical English home I often read about in books or see in pictures and movies. I couldn’t quite believe I was actually in one.
It’s a bit disappointing that I won’t get to stay in it but, at the same time, it’s also a relief because I think I might be quite frightened staying in such a big house on my own. I imagine it would be quite scary at night.
Or maybe it wouldn’t be so bad with Basil around. Basil the dog is so cute, friendly and affectionate. He followed us around the house as Piers showed me all the rooms.
What a cutie!
Piers’ parents live in the neighbouring town of Poole, also a resort town boasting beaches, harbours and quays.
I’m not much of a bird person (more a dog lover) but swans are just so beautiful.
I was near enough to actually touch them, but Piers said they might get aggressive so I didn’t.
They didn’t spook and waddle away when I went near to photograph them. I loved that.
You can drive right up to the edge of the water to feed the swans and the other birds. There was this flock of birds hovering around a van where a mother and her kid were feeding them.
It was so awesome to watch.
There was also a bunch of them standing in the carpark looking out at the swans in the water. They were standing in some kind of strange formation, unmoving for ages. It was really weird but fascinating.
I would have stayed there longer but it was really cold because the wind was blowing nonstop. The wind chill felt like about 0°C and it was hard to stand outside for too long.
Another stretch of beach. Those cute little houses are apparently beach huts which you can rent and put your stuff in or whatever.
It’s really quite fun driving through the town. You can stop just about anywhere that looks interesting, hop out of the car for a bit to admire the scenery.
I think Poole is smaller than Bournemouth, so we ran out of things to see after a while. Next stop was Christchurch, even smaller than Poole, but so beautiful and rich in history.
It was starting to turn dark by the time we arrived, making things look a bit creepy but I loved it.
We visited the ruins of Christchurch Castle, built in the 1100s. There wasn’t much to see, just two crumbly stone walls which were once part of a tower.
But there’s a great view at the top.
Away in the distance, you can see the Christchurch Priory. It’s huge and so beautiful and surrounded by graveyards, which gives the place a melancholic feel.
All these old buildings! I could just about die happy here.
We came across some medieval stocks along the way. Criminals’ hands or feet (sometimes the head also) were locked into these things in public places. Passers-by were allowed to abuse the criminals physically and verbally to humiliate them.
Haha. It was very tempting to abuse Piers while he was incarcerated but then I decided not to because I needed him to drive me home.
Anyway, Piers is now in Bulgaria to ski so I’m all by my own lonesome in England for a week. Yay!
I’m not sure what I’d do. I might even stay indoors all week because his apartment is nice and cosy.
I asked him to bag a Bulgarian vampire for me as a souvenir but I’m not sure if he’s having any luck finding any.
Oh, I just Wiki’ed Bulgaria and saw that the Bulgarian president looks a bit like Simon Cowell.
Sorry, is that very rude? Sorry. Anyway I didn’t mean any disrespect. I think they’re both very good-looking. =D
Ima go now. Past my bedtime. Weather makes me sleepy. Update again soon!