Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or something?

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Madge
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Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or something?

Post by Madge » 25 Jan 2013 04:40 am

Hey folks - I'm going to be in London from the 8th to 18th of May, and will then travel through France/Switzerland to Laussane for a maths conference my partner Paul is attending (he's coming on the trip too, hehe). Then I'm flying out of Geneva on the 30th or something.

Does anyone want to say hi, have an awkward cup of coffee, or anything like that? I'm not quite sure where you all live, ha? But I think there was a London meetup at one point; maybe we could do another since I'll be coming ALL THE WAY from Perth, Western Australia. (And I'll bring vegemite, timtams, and any other souvenirs you specifically request)

But yeah, I thought it'll be a great way to finally meet some people from this forum and assure you I'm just as creepy as I seem :D

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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by EofS » 25 Jan 2013 02:56 pm

I would definitely be up for that. Realistically it would have to be a Saturday - I'm so strapped for leave this year due to wedding/honeymoon that I think the only way we can even attend all the meetings we need to ahead of the wedding is to schedule them all for my birthday :0P

So that would be Saturday the 11th I suppose.

Train tickets aren't available that far out yet, but as long as we confirmed plans within the next month or so I could pounce on the cheap ones as soon as they're released - the only way that a day trip to London is affordable. (Still knackering though - 3 hours train each way.)

Anyone else?

(Oh and don't feel the need to bring vegemite, we already have the superior version here ;0)
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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by Jazzy » 25 Jan 2013 05:37 pm

I'm not allowed vegemite, it could give me a stroke :P

But I am definitely up for meeting in London. I live about 1.5 hours from there so could easily come along. I am free on Fridays (I only work Mon-Thu) or most Saturdays, though I'll have to be a bit careful about scheduling cos I work 1 in 5 Saturdays.

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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by EofS » 25 Jan 2013 08:48 pm

(Fwiw, I do also currently have every other Friday off - but I'm hoping by May that that won't be the case any more! Although I might retain the Fridays even after that.)

Jazzy, do you have any control over which Saturdays you work? ('cos if not, I'm a bit concerned about a Saturday a few weeks later...)
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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by Madge » 26 Jan 2013 02:10 am

Holy crap, 3 hours on train each way?! I am honoured.

Also, just realised I said "awkward cup of coffee" when I'm a tea drinker and I have a sneaking suspicion any brits in the group would likewise imbibe hot water poured through leaves with milk, squirted out of a cow.

We don't have any super fancy plans yet; we're going to see The Residents on the 17th or 18th (I don't know what date that is), want to spend a day or two in the Natural History museum, and I also want to see The Lion King musical. So if either of you two want to select an activity in London that you enjoy/want to try/want to see two nutty Australians try, we're totally up for that since we're really bad at making holiday plans.

EDIT: Oh, and we both love Indian food and have heard London is the best place in the world for it, so curry is going to be our friend.

Do you guys know of Tim Tams? They are hailed as wonderful delicious things and I am inclined to agree. They're a type of chocolate biscuit.

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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by AngharadTy » 26 Jan 2013 11:30 am

Do you know if the Tim Tams we have in the States are the same thing? I love them, regardless, but I'm curious if they're identical. The pictures look the same--that's all I know.
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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by Madge » 26 Jan 2013 11:32 am

I'm not sure, having never been to the states myself! Are they arnotts brand?

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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by Jazzy » 26 Jan 2013 01:58 pm

Are Tim Tams the same as Penguins? I think they're fairly close in terms of what's in the biscuit but the big question is, do they have a joke on the packet?

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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by Miguel » 26 Jan 2013 02:06 pm

I'd be up for coming along! Given that I live with Jazzy, my travel arrangements would be identical (I work Monday-Friday so weekends are not a problem). If you bring TimTams, do we have to use them like straws to drink our tea? :)

(hot water through leaves, cow squirting, etc - HHGG reference unless I'm much mistaken?)
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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by Fury » 26 Jan 2013 04:05 pm

Heyyy this sounds cool! I've never met up with you guys and this sounds like a great opportunity. I don't live too far from London, only a hour and half train ride away, so I could easily travel in.

Likewise though I could only manage a Saturday realistically, as I work Monday - Friday.

How exciting! Please let this happen!

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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by EofS » 26 Jan 2013 07:23 pm

I bought Tim Tams in Sainsburys once and they were very similar to Penguins. (I originally wrote that with a lower case p. But they were not similar to penguins.) In fact, they were so similar that I bought the caramel ones because I couldn't see the point in buying an imported not-penguin. They were nice though.

As for activities, one of the great things about London is that there are lots of fun, free things. I'm surprised the Science Museum isn't already on your list because I'd imagine it's right up your street. (There are also lots of fun, very expensive things.) For Lion King tickets, try lastminute.com but do have a good Google too - when I was in London for the Olympics we missed the deal we wanted through lasteminute, but ended up finding an almost as good deal through... Time Out I think it was.

And three hours on the train? A lot shorter (and cheaper) than flying to Australia. Well, a little bit cheaper.
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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by Madge » 27 Jan 2013 12:59 am

This is going to be awesome. I'm still not sure where we're going to be staying yet; I'm hoping to get invited to stay with my second cousin once removed in Kensington, which I hear is quite a nice area? Otherwise we'll find a crummy hotel or classy hostel, depending.

As far as flights - it's costing us about AUD$1,750 each return, but Paul's tickets are paid for by his university (well, I think he has to pay $80 out of pocket because he's flying to London instead of Geneva, the closest airport to where his conference is), so the flights are actually not too much of a cash drain for us personally. (Not to mention my in-laws, who are wealthy, have offered to put up a bunch of money when they heard us agonising about whether we could afford to go for three weeks or not). Still a far sight more expensive than train tickets within the UK, I'm sure. (I think tickets for a half hour train here would be $60-$100, and that's with our shitty regional train transit "three trains a day" system since the second biggest town in WA has like 300,000 people in it).

Tim-Tams come in a wealth of flavours! They're all limited edition so they change all the time, but they have rum and raisin, tia maria, and I even saw white chocolate ones once. I will buy as many as I can fit in my suitcase and we will pig out, I promise. (I don't know about drinking tea with them; it has to be milo, or at the very least hot chocolate. But you guys get milo over there, right?)

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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by Miguel » 27 Jan 2013 03:37 pm

I hope this doesn't change your mind about coming, but I had to look up Milo...!

We do have a malted hot drink called "Horlicks", and hot chocolate, but I've never had a mix of the two myself. That said, Jazzy does recall a Chocolate Horlicks so it might exist, but finding it in cafes is probably unrealistic.

Kensington is nice. You're easily close enough to central London to do all the touristy things there. If you do end up looking at hotels, definitely pester one or more of us who can help with good/bad areas and the location vs travel price tradeoff.

Are you making a list of sights to see yet?
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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by Jazzy » 27 Jan 2013 11:07 pm

It would be great to see you, Fury, I love meeting new NC people :D

I recommend the Science Museum, Gelupo (amazing ice cream shop), Tate Modern/National Gallery/Courthauld Gallery if you like art (ranging from most to least modern, left to right). The British Museum has mummies and things which are quite cool. The Twinings shop on the Strand does free tea as well as selling tea. Covent Garden is usually good fun, too. And if you like shopping, there's Oxford Street, the Westfields in Stratford or Shepherd's Bush, and generally around Piccadilly Circus. If you want a quiet day looking at pretty flowers and stuff, Kew Gardens is lovely. Oh, and as for what to avoid, I would personally not bother with Madame Tussaud's as it's extremely overpriced and the queues are massive.

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Re: Madge is going to London/France, can we say hi or someth

Post by Wingsrising » 28 Jan 2013 12:26 am

I see London, I see France, I see... OK never mind.

Well, I'm not in either London OR France, but I'm dredging stuff up from WAY back when, when I did a work exchange in London. (Good lord, that was almost 15 years ago, now!) So keep in mind this is all out of date. :-)

I really loved the Tower of London. Yes, it's touristy, but there's a reason for that... because it's awesome. :-) Ravens AND weapons AND a castle! I suggest either skipping the Crown Jewels or going first thing in the morning or last thing before closing, when WAY back when there wasn't usually much of a line. They're shiny and all, but not worth waiting in a huge line for.

The British Museum is fantastic.

I don't recall being that bowled over by the Natural History museum, but then I was lucky enough to grow up in a city that had a very good natural history museum that they've kept very well funded, so it takes a lot to impress me, natural-history-museum-wise. And I don't know how much has been done on it since then.

Depending on your interests, there's the Royal Observatory in Greenwich or the British Library (the former for Observatory-related stuff and Harrison's chronometers, the latter for old books, letters, illuminated manuscripts, etc.) If those are the sort of things that sound interesting, you'll probably find them interesting. If not, you won't. :-)

I recommend against The London Dungeon (tacky and not actually informative) or the Toy Museum (heavily advertised, but boring, or at least it was then).
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