My Journal on a home exchange in London

Apr 18th, 2004, 01:29 PM
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Greatly enjoying your report and looking forward to reading all future installments.

Thank you!
Apr 18th, 2004, 01:36 PM
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Thanks Uncle Art!

I should warn you that a recent translation of the Koran has revealed that martyrs were actually promised 77 RAISINS, not VIRGINS. I kid you NOT!!!
OReilly is offline  
Apr 18th, 2004, 04:05 PM
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Thanks...raisins really are a disaster for me... but then, so are virgins. I have many raisins much to my regret but only one virgin also much to my regret. I saw an original Koran--spell Quran from 1399. I'll tell you the trip to the British Library, but now I must recover from 77 raisins.
Apr 18th, 2004, 05:39 PM
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Topping for myself so I can ea it in the morning when I'm wide awake!
jody is offline  
Apr 18th, 2004, 06:36 PM
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As someone who has done 25 home exchanges, I am enjoying your report. 4 of my exchanges have been in the UK, by the way.

Since 9/11/01, I have found exchanges overseas much harder to come by because no one wants to get on planes.

You are lucky to have found a swap in England.
LaurenSKahn is offline  
Apr 18th, 2004, 09:54 PM
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Thank you Famousuncleart for the, except I can't get into the actual ActorZ photos unless I key in your "password"?? or email address. Please have patience with this blonde and try and give me a step by step?? Thanks.
I'm glad you liked Canterbury Cathedral. I took my mom there some years ago to see a family plaque on the wall.
tod is offline  
Apr 19th, 2004, 12:38 AM
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Amusing report. I must say that the good citizens of Canterbury would be slightly surprised to hear their city described as a little village. I suggest that you try and get out into the countryside to see some real little villages. At this time of year, many are really worth seeing.
Apr 19th, 2004, 01:13 AM
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What group or website do you use for home exchanges? I have often thought about this but felt my place may be too small or too "city" for some here in Dublin. I really like the report.

SiobhanP is offline  
Apr 19th, 2004, 04:16 AM
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Like poster tod I also would like to have step by step directions to look at your photos.

Also am interested in who you use for the house swap.

Poster tod I am interested as to where is your neck of the woods?

Look forward to reading this after work today.

SandyBrit is offline  
Apr 19th, 2004, 04:36 AM
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For Sandy..go to, click on the Community tab, scroll down the page, on the right hand side there is a Searcg for members box , type in actorz.

For Uncle Art!.. I have loved reading of your adventures . More please, Sir!

Your pictures are really good1 I love they way you did the old and new pictures od places you visited as a soldier. Aren't you lucky to have such a great travel companion in your daughter!

Hope you have many more trips in store for you!
jody is offline  
Apr 19th, 2004, 05:05 AM
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Thanks everyone. To see my albums go to
I use and I have only good luck with them. MOre to come
Apr 19th, 2004, 05:37 AM
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To SandyBrit, We stay in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Everyone wants to go to Cape Town where it is very cosmopolitan.....and the wine farms.....and best of all THE MOUNTAIN! Our town is the Capital town of KZ-Natal and quite Victorian in architecture but streets quite filty which is a pity, and no public transport that is safe. Durban is the nearest seaside resort. We are nearer the mountains.
Thank you JODY for the advice on how to....I'm going to give it a try in a minute.
Cigalechanta - Le Tran Bleu is on my list of eateries in Paris for June. In the Gare de Lyon if I'm not mistaken?. I'll remember to get a window seat.
tod is offline  
Apr 19th, 2004, 06:48 AM
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To FAMOUSUNCLEART: I did it! Got to take a peek at those incredible photos - thank you so much. The best for me was 10th November 1944; I was blowing out 2 candles on my cake!
tod is offline  
Apr 19th, 2004, 08:09 AM
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A glitch in travel plans

I've been under the weather. (Why under? why not over?) More about that later.
I've told you about this interesting neighborhood is, a mixture of different cultures surrounded by the English Culture. There are as many different restaurants from all over the world here. I have had a Halah stew, it small cuts of tender British lamb, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and some herbs which can't place. At a small, busy and clean called Metro Kebab, a Turkish run restaurant. I watched them preparing a dish called Lahmacun, they rolled out a thin layer of dough, slightly thicker than a fillo dough, it was topped with mincemeat, onions, peppers, tomatoes and again seasoning I've not tasted.
It was then rolled like a wrap and it was delicious, crisp outside and when I bite down, all the mincemeat etc melded together. I have been back three times.

As some you might remember that whilst (love the English) I was in Amsterdam I found a Greek Take Out which had excellent food--even as good as we get in Astoria (a part of Queens). I had looked around but could not find a take out restaurant until I happened to walk down a different street. (I do that often just to see what's on the streeet. The man was delighted to see me since I spoke Greek, he gave me ahuge portion of the stew. I took it home, and it was stringy, too much cumin and I tossed. Maybe on the next exchange.

When I first got here I went to the Southbank along the Thames. It was a perfect day to walk over the newly built pedestrian bridge, and on the other side I walk along the bank, pass the Globe Theatre, and went into The Royal Festival Hall where I heard a jazz band--all free.

Finally I went to the Heyward Gallery when I saw an exhibit of Roy Lichtenstein works. I had seen a few of them but was the most complete exhibit I had seen. I realized how good he is. A lot of the paintings were large paintings some taking up the better part of the wall.

I think I was the only one with a benign smile on my face. I am sure you've seen his cartoon paintings. He was making fun of the original pulp comic book version. They used a system called Benday (sp?) which were sheets of colored dots which were cut out and used to shade a character. He painted each dot and they were perfect, round, the exact shape and I wondered if he, too, had some sort of sheets of holes to make the dots.
I did not make it to the Tate Museum because I was exhausted from the miles I had walked. I thought it would pass

Anyway, after a day or two of walking, I wasn't feeling well at all. I emailed my one doctor and spoke to another thanks to Connie. There wasn't much I could do. To cut to the chase, I called doctors that my host had left for me. None of them would see me since I was not a National Health member.

I went to the Whittington Hospital ( Isn't a rhyme about Dick Whittington) I went into ER, registered and waited It was, of course, crowded and one had to wait some time.Luckily I had my Reader's Digest with me. Finally,they took me a bed, gave me an ekg, took bloods, took an ex-ray, and discussed what medicines I was taking.

(If you go to Europe, make sure you have your doctor's numbers with you and have a record of the drugs you have, not the Brand name but what chemicals are in the medicine. This doctor who everyone called "Mr Heaton" had to spend some time talking to the pharmacy department to find out what I was taking If you can put your doctor on your email address, it saves phone calls..)

It seems I have edema and my tight stockings added to the distress. Simple. We chatted a bit and then I said I have my Visa Card to pay or I could go to an ATM machine. Mr Heaton said we don't charge for any emergency. It went much faster and with more care than I had received in the ER of Roosevelt Hospital.

More Later.
Apr 19th, 2004, 08:54 AM
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Your "Mr. Heaton" is probably a surgeon. There is a fascinating inverted snobbery in British medicine. Surgeons originally didn't have degrees but served apprenticeships. They therefore were not allowed to call themselves "Dr."
Today all medical practitioners, whether physicians or surgeons have to undertake training at medical school to obtain a medical degree. Then a further period of postgraduate study and training through junior posts is required before full consultant surgeon status is achieved. Thus the tradition of a surgeon being referred to as "Mr/Miss/Mrs" has continued, meaning that in effect a person starts as "Mr./Miss./Mrs.", becomes a "Dr."and then goes back to being a "Mr"; "Miss" or "Mrs" again!
Surgeons can get quite shirty if you address them as "Dr."
Apr 19th, 2004, 10:25 AM
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"Also, there were at least two groups of young school girls dressed in alarmingly short plaid skirts waiting anxiously to see the Cathedral. Thomas Becket must not only have turned in his grave but popped his head to see the site."

I found this remark about the young school girls to be in exceedingly bad taste. There is at present a trial going on in Belgium concerning the systematic rape of six girls ranging in age from eight to seventeen; four of them were murdered. In one case, one of them was kept in activity and abused continuously for eighty days.

Paedophilia is a poor subject for humour at any time, and never more so than now. Enough already. Far from Thomas Becket turning his head to leer in agreement with your vulgar remarks, I think he would have wept.
Sue_xx_yy is online now  
Apr 19th, 2004, 10:54 AM
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Folks -- I am hoping that we can ignore Sue_xx_yy over-reaction to FAMOUSUNCLEART's over-emphatic phrasing.

In case you can't I am saving this wonderful report offline to repost after it is deleted.
sfowler is offline  
Apr 19th, 2004, 11:55 AM
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If anyone is interested in home exchanging, I have a standard "blurb" I send out in response to email on the subject. Just email me.

By the way, I live in the Washington, DC, area and sometimes get offers from the internet when I respond to posts. While I am all set for 2004, I would be amenable to discussing the summer of 2005--hint, hint--if anyone is interested.

I use Intervac and Homelink. I have listed with both services since 1990.
LaurenSKahn is offline  
Apr 19th, 2004, 12:11 PM
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famousuncleart- as a woman and a mother of a young daughter I read your comment reagrding the school girls with humor. Slow down there Sue! And keep writing ART!
highledge is offline  
Apr 19th, 2004, 01:36 PM
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I also read Art's sentence on the short skirted girls as a humourous commentary decrying the current fashion for showing a little too much rather than a sick paedophilic joke. Sometimes horrors are so much on one's mind that one sees guilt and perversion where none exists.

On another note, Art, Lahmacun is one of my favourite things - we have a few Turkish places near us and I always order a round of Lahmacun to share, as a starter. It's delicious isn't it?

I'm so sorry to hear of your ill health, hoping you're feeling well now and were/ are able to enjoy the rest of your visit to my home town.
Kavey is offline  

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