Thursday, 28 January 2010

Part 5: Dating in London: Finding Mr. Darcy: Do yourself a favor and learn How to Use a Phone

In this day and age, where we rely so much on technology, we are actually forgetting how to talk to one another, wheter in person or on the phone. We rely so much on texting,messenger chat,emailing each other, that we isolate one another,avoid intimacy and connection with another human being.

I had dated a guy one time and of course, had a nice connection.Subsequently,he continued to text me for 5 months. So, by this time I just kind of lose interest and get very frustrated. We had planned on seeing each other and had it all organized and he cancelled on me, of course, via text. That's annoying. Finally, I texted him and said he really wanted to see me, but that his business made him travel alot and that he was a really busy CEO, blah blah blah.He mentioned that we could get together once he was back in town. Fine, that's no problem it's not like I am waiting and holding my breath for him. Like they said,"lots of fish in the sea." Anyway, He didn't text me back until 3 weeks later, by then I was on to the new flavor of the week. He texted me finally after 3 weeks to invite me to his home gym to work out.(Working out and getting all sweaty in front of a man who will possibly be your boyfriend in the future, I am sorry to say doesn't not strike me as sexy or not romantic.)First of all, I am not going to visit a man, ever. Especially those first three or four dates.Of course, once we are an established couple.But, in the beggining, I won't budge an inch from my home to visit a man I am potentially seing. I don't care if he looks like George Clooney(I actually met him once in the Warner Brothers Parking lot, anyway, that's neither here nor there, and I'll save my name dropping for another time). Maybe, I'll compromise and meet someone half way. But, that's a big MAYBE!) You see, where I come from, and (I am sure it's here in the UK too, but maybe not with my generation of men), but the men go out of their way to come look for you. My Great Grand-father Cady drove three days in a horse and carriage to visit my Great Grandmother across rocky mountains,weathered all kinds of capricious weather and possibly rattle snakes.So, why should courting rituals change 100 years later? I haven't changed and I suppose they we are raised is sometimes very engrained in the fabric of our being.

Anyway, after 5 months of him texting me, I finally I was so fed up after 5 months of his texting me I just texted him and said why doesn't he be a man and just call me and ask me out on a proper date.He texted me back to tell me that I was an arrogant princess. Whatevaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!He doesn't know the clues about dating or common courtesy.He obviously was interested in me, or he would not have texted me so persistently. I just boil it down to him being super shy, which he actually admitted.

If a man is shy, it's not my problem.One thing women like about men is there confidence. Confidence is the single most attractive thing about the opposite sex. You could be bald but if you have confidence, you could be very sexy. Or, you could have a bit of a tummy, but if you have confidence you could be sexy. You could be in between jobs, but if you got confidence. Women like the fact that men are confident and sometimes ballsy(supposed to have more testosterone then us ladies whereby making them more ballsy). That's why opposites attract: women want to be with their opposite. If women are supposed to be passive and demure, well they want to be with their opposite of that, which is someone with some masculine drive and a take charge attitude.They want to be with man, not a scared shy little boy.If you aren't man enough to call a woman then you are going to loose out.Because by the time you've mustered the courage to do so she'll probably have lost interest in you. And, no woman is going to want to be with you if you don't have any courage.

I have always liked the quote by the Mexican actress Salma Hayek and I feel the same when she says,"I am looking for a man with more balls than me!"

So,Just pick up the phone and call the poor girl. Swear up and down, drink a half a pint, take some speech classes, hold on to your balls(sorry, I don't mean to be so unlady like, but I haven't said a curse word since I was in high school and so I deserve this one),whatever, just call the girl.It's really not that hard. Most importantly, it will save a lot of time, both yours and hers.

For an interesting book about the courting rituals of the Regency period, read,"Jane Austen's Guide to Dating". I am waiting for the day,when an admirer writes me a clandestine hand written note or invites me to a mask ball on the finest linen paper with old fashion sealing wax, which will be deliverd by the butler. Sometimes, I ask myself, do I fit in this time period? Are my standards too high? Well, whatever it is, I think there is someone out there that thinks just like me and I have faith that one day our paths will meet and when it does it will be magical!

More Tales and Adventures in Sabrina's London Diaries

Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Meaning of the Word Eavesdropping with Letter from Sir John

Did you ever want to know the meaning of the word eavesdropping?I know,I know you've been picking your brain and staying up all night scratching your head.Well, just in case your wondering. My darling Sir John, did his research and I'd like to share the findings.

Here's a letter from my dear friend, Sir John.It is also an example of the English penchant and love for writing letters,a dying tradition.Thus,Sir John is an example of the quintessential English gentleman that you read about it in Jane Austen novels,however, he's very hip,and likes to rock out to Jethro Tull,(lead singer Ian Anderson)and enjoys reading Dan Brown's The Davinci Code and Lost Symbol.

Cheers and Happy Reading!


Hello darling Lady Sabrina

Your trusty research assistant here, braved the cold of the lunchtime period and ventured out into Winchester city centre to take a few photographs for you and your blog. Please find attached.

I have also looked into the origins of the "eaves" of a house. The purpose was not to protect innocent bystanders from what flowed from the contents of householders chamber pots but I was told years ago, people used to shelter under them in case of deliveries from the above windows, should they open and foul bodily waste should spill forth. The purpose in house design was to protect it from the weather.


Outdoor privies called closets­-­of­-­ease were common, but chamber pots were poured into the street, and strangers in Lon­don were warned to walk under eaves lest a housewife dump night soil on their heads. In some more affluent areas the night­-­soil man came by each morning to collect. A century later, post­-­1660, Samuel Pepys in his diary describes the contents of his close-stools and privies being funneled to a receptacle in his cellar, which was emptied periodically by people who did that work . . . which must be high up on the list of the worst jobs in history.

The term "eavesdropping" is used to describe the act of being under the eaves and listening into conversation going on inside the house. But the term was orginally used to describe the water from dew or rainfall, dropping from the eaves.

The word "loo":

An extract from Wikipedia:

"That it derives from the term "gardyloo" (a corruption of the French phrase gardez l'eau (or maybe: Gare de l'eau!) loosely translated as "watch out for the water!") which was used in medieval times when chamber pots were emptied from a window onto the street. However the first recorded usage of "loo" comes long after this term became obsolete."

A chamber pot from the time of Shakespeare,

And lastly from

"Proper manners would prescribe warning unwary pedestrians that a shower was on its way. Thus the cry of "Garden l'eau" (pronounced Gardy-loo, and meaning "Watch out for the water!") would echo up and down the streets. Over time it evolved into English slang for the toilet, or loo."

Have a magical evening and stay under the eaves to avoid a "shower" from above!

Yours sincerely

Sir John


Is that cool or what. I am so lucky, I get my own research assistant.

More Tales and Adventures in Sabrina's London Diaries

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Part 1: The Bloody French in London

So What do the bloody French have to do with London? Well, a lot monsieur et madame. During the eighteenth Century many French aristocrats were exiled in England. They choose in Twickenham and Richmond for their hiding place. The Duke of Orleans lived in Orleans House in Twickenham which now a public museum. I will write more on the Bloody French in London Part 2. In the meanwhile, most recently, I went to the Wallace Collection, I saw some of my favorite eighteenth Century French painters, Fragonard along side his teacher,Boucher .

Fragonard's, The Swing

Take a Good look at this painting. The story behind it is that the man is looking up at the ladies dress and she doesn't even have any knickers on. How Cheeky !The Swing is Fragonard's best-known painting, encapsulating for many the finesse, humour and joie de vivre of the Rococo. No other work better demonstrates his ability to combine erotic licence with a visionary feeling for nature. According to the poet Collé, the history painter Doyen was commissioned by an unnamed ‘gentleman of the Court’ to paint his young mistress on a swing, pushed by a bishop with himself admiring her legs from below.

Boucher - Venus and Cupid

The setting of Venus and Cupid is suitably ethereal, with Cupid handing his cloud-borne mother a golden apple, the prize she had won from the shepherd Paris.

Venus was the Roman goddess of love and fertility, and often symbolised visual beauty. Beauty and desire were central concerns of eighteenth-century French art. Venus often appears in decorative painting of the period, sometimes accompanied by her son, Cupid, and with her attributes, which include a pair of doves or swans, roses, dolphins, a scallop shell, and flaming torches.

Boucher- Daphne and Chloe

Boucher- Spring

The Wallace Collection is a national museum which displays the wonderful works of art collected in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the son of the 4th Marquess. It was bequeathed to the British nation by Sir Richard's widow, Lady Wallace, in 1897.Most famous for our old master paintings and 18th century French porcelain and furniture, the collection also includes one of the finest collection of princely arms and armor in Britain as well as gold boxes, miniatures, sculpture and Medieval and Renaissance.

In addition,I saw Marie Antoinette furniture that she used in her apartment at Versailles.

Claude-Jean Pitoin (active between: c. 1778)
Gilt bronze and blue enamel

Chest-of-drawers- René Dubois (1737 - 1798). France c. 1765
Brecciated Sarrancolin marble; oak veneered with Japanese lacquer, purplewood stained black and mahogany stained black (on the legs); gilt bronze; silk, paper and gimp (lining drawers)

A Portrait of Marie Antoinette

Perfume Burner-Attributed to Pierre Gouthière (1732 - 1813),Jasper and gilt bronze


I know Marie Antoinette or Queen Deficit, as the French called her
wasn't the most exemplary or virtuous Queen, but on the other hand
she was just a horny teenager when she came to rule France.
I don't think her nor Louis Qatorze knew what the hell they were doing
and it's not fair to judge otherwise. It is, what it is.
But, the face of France has never been the same since her.
Queen Deficit contributed much to French History with her
love of macaroons and her tall outrageous hair.(They used to hide their
fortunes and jewels in there).
She will always be known as a fashion icon,if nothing else.

Modern Video of Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette .
The scene where she is driving to Versailles at dawn in her horse drawn carriage is majestic.Immediately, I am transported to the aristocratic court of 18th Century France,with it's glamorous balls and masquerade parties.

Public Tours

Wallace Collection Public Tours
The Wallace Collection
Hertford House
Manchester Square London
W1U 3BN United Kingdom
Telephone +44 (0)207 563 9500
Fax +44 (0) 207 224 2155

Take Bond Street Tube.

More Tales and Adventures in Sabrina's London Diaries

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


The 7.0 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti has left an enormous
mess, but not only that according to the United Nations, 300,000
people have been displaced. And, last I checked 35 English
are missing.

Please help in anyway possible.We are all strugling and have
our own financial responsiblities, but I am asking everyone, including
myself to dig in thier pockets and give even if it means to sacrifice
not drinking a latte or seeing a movie this week.

Every bit helps and here below are some charities that are taking donations.

Please read this article from, to see HOW you can help the HAITIAN VICTIMS!!

Read further to find out what the RED CROSS IS DOING.

This was taken from

What we are doing
In the aftermath of the disaster, local Red Cross staff and volunteers were on the scene and continue to assist the injured and support hospitals struggling. Red Cross worker carries injured child

Drawing on resources around the world the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement responded immediately and is carrying out a huge emergency response operation. Pre-positioned relief goods were released immediately within Haiti and from other warehouses in the region. These consist of kitchen kits, shelter kits, personal hygiene kits, blankets and containers for storing drinking water.

As part of the Disasters Emergency Committee – which brings together 13 leading UK aid agencies at times of major crises – we are appealing for funds.

Red Cross action

* Five Red Cross flights have arrived in Port-au-Prince and three in Santo Domingo with 117 tonnes of Red Cross aid. The goods that have landed in Santo Domingo are en route via road to quake-ravaged Haiti. Further flights are scheduled to arrive over the coming days.
* Pre-positioned relief kits have been distributed to 3,500 families, consisting of kitchen supplies, personal hygiene kits, blankets, tarpaulins and containers for storing drinking water.
* The Red Cross has distributed more than 220,000 litres of water to approximately 24,000 people across six settlements, including some hospitals, over the weekend. Latrines have been built for 1,000 people.
* Red Cross emergency health kits for 30,000 people have been distributed between the central hospital in Port-au-Prince and volunteers from the Haitian and Dominican Red Cross are providing first aid.
* The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has supplied medical kits for 2,000 patients and is providing medical aid for survivors. Hundreds of blankets and plastic sheets have also been distributed and a further shipment of seven truckloads of medical supplies will arrive soon. The ICRC is also engaged in recovering and identifying the dead.
* Thousands of people within Haiti and abroad have lost contact with their loved ones and the ICRC has set up a special website to help them get in touch with each other.
* A Red Cross rapid deployment hospital has arrived in Port-au-Prince and has started treating patients outside the hospital and arranging triage for surgery, while the main hospital infrastructure is being put up.
* Sixteen specialist emergency response units (ERUs) have been deployed from around the world, including experts in water and sanitation, logistics, IT and telecommunication infrastructure, health facilities and medical aid.
* In total more than 400 Red Cross aid workers have been deployed to Haiti from around the world to help with the relief effort and are working alongside thousands of Haitian Red Cross staff and volunteers who have been responding since the earthquake struck.
* As the airport in Port-au-Prince is unable to receive all the humanitarian aid being flown in, the British Red Cross logistics ERU is based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where they are receiving aid and trucking it in to Haiti.
* The British Red Cross has raised over £2m for its appeal and has released £1.6m to support the emergency response. It also released £200,000 from its Disaster Fund to support the relief effort in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.
* The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has revised the target for its Haiti appeal upwards, and is now calling for £63 million to assist 300,000 people for three years.

Security situation

Red Cross teams are focusing their efforts on reaching the most vulnerable first. This means identifying who they are and providing relief in a manner that ensures their safety and doesn’t exacerbate their situation. There are clearly many more in need than those we are currently reaching – we are scaling up our response constantly and the more funds we get the more we are able to do. Woman carrying child

We are closely monitoring the security situation in Haiti and based on current information, the arrival and distribution of vital Red Cross relief items has not been affected.

In the aftermath of a large-scale natural disaster there are always challenges, as roads, bridges and other infrastructure can be damaged. The main road to Port-au-Prince is open, but we are still conducting aerial assessment of outlying rural areas, which may have suffered more damage, and could potentially be more cut off. However, the Red Cross is experienced in responding to natural disasters, and by using experienced logistics staff we will reach the people who need our help.

In the event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters either overseas or here in the UK.

Last updated 19 January 2010


Thank you for reading this!


Monday, 18 January 2010

Part 4: Fashion, So, what is style?

Taken from the tube.

And sometimes, all you ever need to have style is a big huge Cheshire cat smile that beguiles, that alone can speak volumes. The poise. The humor. The ability to laugh at ourselves.The joyfulness we bring out into the world. Our spirit of sharing and compassion.The generosity. The friendliness to strangers. The good manners. These small things that we take for granted these are the best accessory of them all. The cheerful way we greet others in the morning even if we haven't even woken up yet. To hold our tongues when we really want to curse. The courage we show to be our best in spite of not always having things go our way or being millionaires. The small acts of kindness and forgiveness when people aren't behaving their best with us, maybe because they are stressed out or they are feeling low themselves.And, the words I am sorry to others when we behave inappropriately or not our best. And, of course, thank you. To me, this is what makes style, otherwise, fashion and the myriad ways women go about preening and primping themselves,it's all just mere vanity and ever so shallow and silly. What does it all mean if in the end we can't be nice and happy

More in Sabrina's London Diaries

Pubs in Brighton

These photos were taken in my trip to Brighton. The Pubs are much nicer down in Brighton than in London. Many have a roaring fir place and big huge sofas to sit around. The prices are less expensive out of London too. But, what's special about them is this nice old Victorian quality and the coziness. Everyone is very friendly in the pubs, I guess you wold be too if you drank a pint or two of Guinness.

The Victory Inn. I saw this pub and I just had to go in.

I just loved this fireplace and the entire decor of the pub was so charming,
with a undertated elegant old world feel. I decided to stay a bit. Most pubs in London are crowded and filled with drunk or pissed (not pissed off) Londoners, all talking very loudly (which I deplore) and which makes me avoid them like the plague.But, this pub had a friendly atmosphere,yet it was very quiet and relaxed,so when you chat with someone you can actually hear what the hell they are saying.

I met these two really cute and very friendly English girls and had a pint with them and talked about the Queen and the Victorian corset shop down the lane. Apparently, Brighton has the best bespoke Victorian corsets on the planet.
They fit you and they look like you come out of a period movie, but all this period glamour comes with a price. They run about 100 quid.

The Sussex

These lovers can't keep their hands off each other.Whoever said they English were cold.It's not true they're just very reserved until you get to know them. I have to defend them because they have this reptutation of being passionless and cool, but it's not always true. We have to try to defy these stereotypical myths that we create. Although, that whole thing about keeping a stiff upper lip is true, you'll seldom see an English person loosing their temper or showing a lot of emotions in public. I went to the Brompton Oratory for Christmas Carol service, I was so moved by the service and angelic music from on high that I started balling. When I looked around I noticed I was the only one crying. I noticed that people were subtly staring at me. Slightly embarassed I hid my face behind the program. But, once they feel comfortable with you they can be the nicest, most open and warm people I ever met.

I love the kitschey feel of this pub, and all the charming tea cups.

This is Rudolph!

This is what a typical English Victorian pub looks like. I especially
liked The Sussex.

I loved the decor in this pub, it was a bit cluttery, but it worked. It had
a lot of character and charm.

I met a nice English bloke, but we didn't snog or anything like that.

Two English blokes just hanging out.Pubs are great for hanging out,
and catching up with old friends.

Here's another pub, close to the Ocean shore and right next to some hostel,
which I can't remember the name of.I just liked the decor, it was fun.

Wherever, you go in England, the Pubs are almost always downstairs. And, another good thing, if you really have to use one,the staff is really friendly
about letting you use it, even if you aren't a patron.

The word "pub", is short for "public house".The pubs are there for the community.


Dating in London: Part 4: How to Have a Hot First Date

I just started writing articles for and this article is the most popular of the 10 articles that I published. It has received about 300 views in the last 2 weeks.Yes !! Life is so amazing !All my years of being single and looking for Mr. Darcy and coming up short and just finding a bunch of frogs.And, having a string of boyfriends and never ever getting married to anyone, all my years of suffering and frustration not finding the right man.Then, having to answer to my Mother when she asks me if I have a fellow, " No, Mom, not yet, do you know of anyone?" Now, from a Buddhist perspective, I am in the process of changing poison into medicine. Mysteriously, I am helping other people have successful dates.(I am not getting more dates with men, but NOW I am attracting more friends)So, that's good! I suppose I have the experience and now just need to be a bit more patience,(with a capital P!)
to find Mr. Right,instead of Mr.Right now.

Does anybody know anybody know anyboooooooooody?
My priorities and standards are so low now,that it shouldn't be too hard
to set me up on a blind date. The only thing I ask is that he speaks English and has a dowry.

Here is the link to one of my Top Viewed Articles on ( don't ask me why)
How to Have a Hot First Date |

A lot of women complain that men aren't romantic, here's a great article
to bring out your inner Romeo.
How to Be A Romantic Romeo on a Date |

More on Dating
and Romance in Sabrina's London Diaries

p.s. Do not believe a word, I was just taking the mickey, my standards are at
an all time high ( lol !)


Sunday, 17 January 2010

My Trip to Winchester over the New Year Part 2: Gloriuos Food

New Years Eve is time to celebrate with great food and good friends
Party just a bit, so you don't seem like an old fart, but not too
much as to have a miserable bloody hang over.Be festive and happy,
another year's over and and a new one will begin. It's a time of reflection and debauchery, and a bittersweet mix of both is jolly good fun!!

Since I arrived in Winchester a bit late, we ate dinner practically
at the stroke of midnight. He said he didn't want to make the veggies
until I got there, because he was afraid the trains would stall. Fair
enough. Poor Sir John had been slaving away all day long to cook a proper English Roast for his new guest,me,Sabrina,or as he calls me, Lady Sabrina.

New Year's Eve Dinner was Chicken Roast,(which was made in a slow cooker)with English Potatoes.Stuffing Balls,Carrots,Turnips and Goosed Potatoes.

Potatoes made with whisked goose fat, which is great for your arteries.

My sojourn to Sir John's was absolutely exciting!!I was very so HAPPY, because it was my first time being a guest in a big English house. His house is a two story gorgeous Victorian, that he spent the last six months decorating and furnishing.Apparently,I was his first honored guest since he bought it to stay with him.He was such a gracious host, he even let me sleep in his master bedroom on his new mattress called " The Princess", while he slept in the smaller room.What a perfect English gentleman.

This is what an English Breakfast looks like. There have been a great many poems and odes in honor of the English Breakfast. It's very hearty and it's perfect before a day of walking around and site seeing in Winchester.

English Breakfast is very similar to an American breakfast, but look at the portions of the bacon, it looks more like strips of ham and mostly fat. Also, the English Breakfast has tomatoes,mushrooms,beans, and of course, no meal would be complete without tea. English Tea is usually straight black tea or commonly called in England, builder's tea. I opted for the double cream instead of milk,which is great, because it makes me fatter. My New Year's resolution to gain a bit more weight and go from size 10 to size 14.

On Saturday, I made my signature dish, ZUPPA DI QUATRO FUNGHI(4 Mushroom Soup).

It's made with four types of mushrooms: Portobello, Porcini, Shitake, and then
your common chestnut mushroom.

You make the chicken soup first. And,then use the broth from the chicken soup. That's the key to flavorful cooking, always use chicken broth in everything!! Now that's a million dollar tip!

When we weren't site seeing and watching movies.We sat around drinking whiskey sours,(Winston Churchill's favorite cocktail in between his 2 bottles of champagne he drank every day) and listening to old Led Zeppelin.I felt so enriched, because he educated me on a myriad of topics, I personally knew very little about. I love acquiring more knowledge for the sake of it, so he was absolutely a scintillating gem to be around.

Sir John is a master of the Hard Rock genre. He gave me a lecture on Hard Rock 101.I didn't know that Jethro Tull is the name of the lead singer,who also plays the flute and is supposed to be a striking entertainer. I thought he was just someone that sang,"Bungle in the Jungle." Hard rock is not my favorite type of music, but being a big music lover I love hearing about different genres so was quite pleased. Our conversations seemed to overlap, and the only thing we disagreed on for the four whole days was who was going to talk and when, and were we going to interrupt,as we simultaneously spoke on everything: from guitar riffs, to jazz, to how to make beer, women,Italians, Winchester, Da Vinci Code, The Free Masons, World War II,(he regaled me with stories of his Father's stories of being in the Great War).He's also a wordsmith and walking dictionary.I never met anybody who could talk as much as me, so needless to say I think I found my intellectual soul mate.(Lol !)

My clever friend Sir John, not only does he cook and clean,play the electric guitar and wax poetic on everything under the sun. He even makes his own beer!!

Anyone fancy a pint?

Beer is made from firstly steeping crushed malted barley in hot water. This is done to convert the starch in the grain into fermentable sugars. The sweet wort (pronounced wirt as in shirt) is then run off into a boiler where it is boiled with with hops for bittering and aroma. The boiled wort is then cooled and transferred into a fermentation vessel where yeast is added for fermentation to take place. Fermentation is where yeast consumes the sugars and the bi-product is alcohol.You now have beer! Enjoy.

Needless to say, I had a fantastic time in Winchester. Winchester is a heritage
city and replete with history and charm. Seeing Winchester and sharing my impressions with my friend Sir John was so much fun. I am very happy I met Sir John, he's a wonderful companion. I'll never forget my stay with him and his lovely English hospitality. He's coming to visit me this weekend and I'll show him the London I know and make him whiskey sours and will frolic and make mischief. I can't wait!

I remember growing up in San Diego and my Mom used to sing this song
Winchester Cathedral around the house, I had no idea what she was singing.

For Recipes please comment or send me an

More TALES and ADVENTURES in Sabrina's London Diaries

Sunday, 10 January 2010

My Trip to Winchester over the New Year Part 1

Over the New Year holiday, I went to visit my friend Sir John in Winchester.
On New Years eve, I boarded a train from Waterloo station in London, heading South towards Winchester.Winchester is in Hampshire county and is about 1 hour London. I love riding trains and it was the perfect train ride because it was nearly empty and very quiet so it allowed me to be pensive and self reflect about the wonderful year that was coming to it's close, 2009, and to think about my goals in the year 2010 to come!!

My friend Sir John,who is a wonderful host,just had renovated his big Victorian house and I felt honored to be his first guest.We ate typical English fare of Roast chicken potatoes,parsnips and carrots (and some other English vegetable with a very weird name, sorry I'll get back to you).

On Saturday after a big hearty English Breakfast, that he made for us.We journeyed like tourist to Winchester. Also, because Sir John has lived in Winchester all his life, he was the perfect tour guide.

First we hit the Great town hall, and according to Sir John it was part of the Winchester Castle, until Oliver Cromwell destroyed it because he was against anything that had to do with Royalty or the old regime. Apparently,during the English Civil War the Castle was held by the Royalists until its capture by the Parliamentary Forces in 1646. Oliver Cromwell ordered the demolition of the Castle, but the Great Hall was kept as a venue for assemblies and the County Assizes.

Winchester Castlebuilt in 1067.Only the Great Hall exists now; it houses a museum of the history of Winchester.Winchester Castle holds a prominent position in English history. It was built in 1067, within a year of the Norman Conquest. At the time, it was one of the greatest strongholds in England, and for over a century it served as the seat of government, before that position was taken by London.

The Great Hall is all that is left of the Winchester Castle

The first and finest of all 13th century halls, with the greatest symbol of medieval mythology, 'The Round Table of King Arthur'.Winchester Castle dates from the reign of William the Conqueror (1066-1087).

The Castle was made of Purbeck limestone

Tucked neatly in a narrow space behind the Great Hall of Winchester Castle is a quiet gem, Queen Eleanor's Gardens. This peaceful oasis is an accurate recreation of an early medieval garden, complete with many features that would have been present during the 13th century, and all the plants are known to have been grown in that period.

Winchester Cathedralis the Mother Church of the Diocese of Winchester, which is part of the Church of England. The Cathedral has its origins in the 7th century, when a Christian Church was first built on this site. Since then, it has played a fundamental part in the life of this ancient City and a significant role in the history of our nation.

Winchester Cathedral at Winchester in Hampshire is one of the largest cathedrals in England, with the longest nave(architectural-the middle or body of a church, extending from the transepts to the principal entrances and overall length)of any Gothic cathedral in Europe.

In 2005, the cathedral was used as a film set for the The Da Vinci Code with the north transept used as the Vatican. Following this the cathedral hosted discussions and displays to debunk the book.

I saw choral evensong and heard beautiful angels singing.
It's a combined sensual treat to hear gorgeous music and be amidst
such splendid architecture.

Me, visiting Jane Austen apparently she wasn't at home.
My timing was off about 175 years. Oh well, next life Jane. Jane died in this house and she was about 41 years old on July 18,1817 and is buried in Winchester Cathedral. It is said she came to Hampshire county and took this house in her last remaining days so she could be close to the hospital. Janewas smart to do so,because unlike London, the air in Winchester is fresh.

This is an old Gothic entrance to a street.

I love this photo of Winchester Cathedral at dusk.It feels like something out of a Dracula movie.Very Gothic and spooky in an old world way. It inspires me to don a black velvet cape, a candelabra and howl at the moon.

Someone once told me,the best time to take photos is at both dawn and dusk.
Something about the lighting and it's a very spiritual time where the
universe is in the in between.England,has unearthly feel at this time,
you can just feel the faeries and sprites. The wall that you see is a wall of Wolvesly Castle. I am standing on a path and to my right is the
River Itchen which is famous for fly-fishing.Winchester is very idyllic and fairytale like.

This is another cute side street in Winchester. It's filled with charming
shops and pubs and unique and posh art galleries. I was quite impressed by the array of beautiful luminous Christmas lights.

Since there is just way to much see I went back the next day.I was happy to see idyllic Winchester from the vantage point of St. Giles Hill.I must admit,both the scenery and the 30 minute climb up took my breath away. Sigh!

More about Winchester in Sabrina's London Diaries


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