Sunday, November 28, 2010

Paige, Paige, Paige

No Muss, No Fuss, Just Paige....

She's been hitting the bottle pretty hard lately.

Happy Baby!

Just like mom!

Dad's okay too, I guess.

Paige has been rolling over in her sleep a lot lately, this is becoming a pretty common sight.

The Tragedy of Reversed-Binky Addiction

"Mom & Dad are out, know one will know if I turn this sucker around. Heh heh heh..."

"Uh-oh! Busted!"

"Listen Pops, it's my binky, and I'll do what I want with it!"

"Ahhhhh...that's the stuff...."

Big Girl Time!

How to Entertain a Baby, or, The Many Faces of Paige.

Paige: "Zzzzzzzz...zzzzzzzzzzzz...."


"Hmmm...should I be happy, or sad?"

"I think...happy!"

"Yeah, definitely happy."

"Hey look! Something interesting!"

"Hold on. I'll get it!"

"Oh...I guess not."

"I guess I'll just have to....lick you finger!"

"Oh no! Too slow!"

"Hmmm...what should I do now?"

"Wait a minute, I'm starting to get an idea...."

"Oh yeah! I'll just suck on my fingers!"

Speaking of fingers, Paige as been fascinated by them lately:

Finally, we've been trying to figure out what color Paige's eyes are going to be:

The best we can come up with is 'browinish-greyish-greenish." What do you think?

My walk home from school

So you've probably noticed that there aren't really any pictures of London on our blog - I blame this on Rebecca and me being just-get-to-where-you're-going-and-don't-dawdle-on-the-way kind of folks. It strikes me that this is a fine way to live, but a lousy way to manage a blog about your exotic adventures in a foreign land. Having decided that I need more adventures, here is a photo diary of my walk home from school!

...that makes this sound dumb, so let me explain! Rebecca and I live in CENTRAL London, by which I mean Buckingham Palace is about a five minute walk from my front door. This means that if I want to go pretty much anywhere I'm probably going to have to pass at least one sexy historical place to get there. At the moment my best and favorite walk is the route I take to and from UCL, one of the two schools I attend. Why the best? Because it takes me through many of the classic London historical sites, which in turn makes me feel like a member in some kind of secret cool guy's club. This is especially true at night, when most of the tourists are inside eating expensive pie. Not only am I an evening kind of guy, but the big city is quieter at night and it's easy to feel like you've stumbled onto some type of wonderful secret place that has been hidden in plain view. Of course, taking clear pictures at night without a tripod is almost impossible, so this is also a blog post about using your imagination. Sorry about that.

(I should say that 'night' is a relative term. It gets dark early here; I get done with class at 4pm at which point it's 'sort of' light, but by the time my 3 mile/45 min. walk home is finished it's definitely dark. That is why these photos get darker as they proceed.)

Let's start at UCL:

Pretty isn't it? This is the central building of the University and it is considered one the classic Classical facades in London. I'm told that this portico has appeared in many films, although I have no idea which ones.

These next two pictures are a bit of a detour, but I simply must show you the College's central library - it might well be the prettiest place I go to on a regular basis.

This is the central dome of the library, which is the same dome that is seen in my first picture.

This is the Flaxman Gallery, which is situated immediately beneath the dome shown above. For those of you who have seen Inception, this is the place that Michael Caine introduces Ellen Paige's Character to Leonardo DiCaprio.

And, of course, no photo tour of UCL would be complete without a proper homage to the University's founder, Jeremy Bentham - so here he is:

Oh, and when I say "here he is," I mean it quite literally, as this is, in fact, Bentham's corpse - minus the head (because it kept getting stolen) - which was preserved and put on public display in the college, as stipulated in Bentham's will.

Leaving the main campus we look across the street to the Cruciform Building, so named because of it's X-shaped floor plan. Historically speaking, one of the primary roles of UCL has been as a major medical school - and the Cruciform is the University's original teaching hospital.

Walking south along Shaftesbury & St. Martins-in-the-field, in about 20 minutes we come to Trafalgar Square - which many of you probably recognise as the large courtyard with the enormous lion statues.

No lions, I know - but this is the National Gallery, the real purpose of the Square - and it is one of the finest art museums in the world. If any of you ever come visit us we're definitely coming here.

From Trafalgar we walk south along Whitehall, which is the central promenade for the various Parliamentary Offices. I took the following photos while walking, so you'll have to excuse the complete lack of focus - it was cold, and I wanted Cocoa.

This is looking south along Whitehall, you can see a blurry Big Ben in the background.

Much like the National Mall in DC, Whitehall is filled with monuments and memorials to various peoples and wars - such as this monument to the women of World War II. (in case you can't tell from the photo, it depicts various types of uniforms - both civilian and military- hanging from pegs)

Some of you may recognize the London Eye, a gigantic ferris wheel along the Thames (pronounced 'Tems').
This is the clearest picture I got of a typical parliamentary office building - you can barely make out the ornate frescoes and colonnades which typify the style - you can also see good ol' Queen Victoria yelling at her loud neighbors while lounging in a massive throne atop the building.

And here we have the center of Whitehall, 10 Downing St. - an address that means as much to a Brit as 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. does to a Yank. You got it, this is where the Prime Minister lives. I saw him once, getting into a Royles Royce - or at least I like to tell myself that. If I want to be completely honest, what I actually saw was a bunch of British folk taking pictures through a gate and pointing excitedly ata figure about 30 meters distant. It might have been David Cameron, so that's the story I'm telling.

And here we have the bell tower of the Houses of Parliament, which is often mis-identified as 'Big Ben.' In actuality Big Ben refers the main bell of the bell tower. The Houses themselves are one of the grandest architectural sites of London (I hear the interior is magnificent, but I'm too poor to find our for myself). Unfortunately, the highly ornate gothic architecture all but disappears in low lighting, so you'll have to make due the following fuzzy photo.
And last, but certainly not least, we have Westminster Abbey, famed resting place of Newton and Darwin and site of the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, yay! I include a few more photos of the Abbey simply because it's well lit and my pictures came out more clearly.

(That last one is a photo I couldn't have taken during the day anyway - sunlight prevents you from being able to see the incredible patterns of the stained-glass windows from the outside, but at night the backlighting from the interior of the building let's you catch glimpses from the road)
So, there you have it! What did you see on your way home from school today?