22 March 2015

My Little Box | March 2015: My Little Superbox

So a few months ago I ran across a post from Fleur de Force about a new subscription box that was soon to launch in the UK called My Little Box . I have tried both Birchboxes (US and UK) as well as Glossybox but have always eventually gotten bored while the samples just pile up.

Despite that, because I love Fleur de Force I rushed to My Little Box’s website and signed up for their first UK box back in September. Since then I’ve been enjoying monthly surprises to the office which made all my coworkers jealous. So now three of them have subscribed and two of them have gotten others to subscribe as well! I could be my own case study in the powers of marketing through blogs!

But I haven’t come back to my blog to lecture you on sales strategies - so I’ll save that topic and just tell you about my most recent box.

Opened Box

The theme for March is Superheroes/Superwoman/Wonder Woman. It’s called My Little Superbox and came with lots of goodies to bring out the Wonder Woman in us all - both physically and mentally. Or at least that’s what I’m assuming based on the products.

Magazine and Stickers

The first thing you see when opening the box is the stickers and magazine. We get a magazine every month which has some information about products and cool photos and articles. It really is a mini magazine - everything you’d expect in Elle or Cosmo, just less of it! I especially love when they have DIYs and/or recipes and this month included two the looked quite tasty!

T-Shirt Roll
Bag of Goodies
After removing the magazine and stickers, I could immediately see the bag of goodies and something all rolled up. I went straight for the roll as I was quite curious and it turns out that it was a t-shirt. I like the idea of the shirt even if the ‘I Believe I Can Fly' saying is a bit corny.


Now my issue with this shirt is that it’s one size and we all know one size is not inclusive. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised that I could at least get the shirt on as a plus-size gal, but it’s not flattering and not something I’d be able to wear. However, I would admit that being on the larger size this one size shirt would probably be pretty suitable for most averaged sized gals and a good sleep shirt for those that are even slimmer. The shirt is in collaboration with French brand Gat Rimon and is apparently £29 though I could not find it to purchase on their website which is a shame if you didn’t get the slogan you’d prefer!

But I didn’t worry about the shirt for too long because now it was onto the bag of goodies!

Kerastase Conditioner

And the first thing I noticed was the Kerastase  Cristalliste ‘Lait Cristal’ (£20 for 200ml) Conditioner. I’ve used the Cristallise line before although I bought through Feel Unique and didn’t pay full price. It’s geared towards long hair I think, which I no longer have, but I liked how it was light weight so I think I would still enjoy using it on my shoulder length hair. It’s definitely going to make its way into my shower for a nice treat. Plus, the information card for the product has a 20% code when you order direct through Kerastase, so that’s a nice bonus!

Lip and Cheek Pencil

The next thing I pulled out of the bag was a Lips & Cheek Pencil (£10.50) that is from My Little Box’s own brand. Each month we get to try something from their brand. From the looks of it, the website to buy their products isn’t in English, so I wouldn’t be adventurous enough to try and buy anything - but it’s usually a nice addition. This particular item is a pretty nice pinky peach that feel really Springy to me. It’s got some shimmer in it so I’m not sure I’d actually try it on my cheeks. But it’s reminiscent of the Revlon Balm Stains that I really like. I don’t know how well it holds up as I haven’t been wearing any makeup as of late so I’ve only just tried this out at home so far.

Garnier Miracle Sleeping Cream

The last item in the box was actually a full-size night cream, Garnier’s Miracle Sleeping Cream (£12.99). I’m not the best at the whole skin care thing and rarely use a face cream, but I’m intrigued by this one because it’s actually reasonably priced. I’ve only tested it on my hand and not tried it overnight. But my initial thoughts are that it smells nice though I’m concerned it will be a bit strong on the face. In terms of the texture, it’s quite gel-like in consistency rather than really creamy. I think this contributes to the lightweight feeling of the cream. The box promises all kinds of anti-aging things which I’m not entirely sure I need just yet. But it feels nice on the back of my hand, so I just might give this one a try next time I actually remember to use a face cream!

My Little Superbox - March 2015 | My Little Box

You can subscribe to My Little Box here. It’s just £14.95 per month (including shipping) but since I have it shipped to work I save £1 a month so it’s only £13.95 total! I have to say I’ve been satisfied with each box I’ve gotten so far since September and really feel like it’s worth it. Plus who wouldn't love to get a little box of surprises every month?

Do you subscribe to My Little Box or any other services?

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15 February 2015

A Valentine's Soiree and Fifty Shades of Grey Review

A couple of weeks ago I was taking the bus home from central London and we went by an Everyman Cinema. I've seen these around and was kind of curious about seeing a film at one of their locations. So when I got home I went to the website to see if something good was coming up that my husband and I could go see. When I got to the website I was greeted by an advertisement for their Valentine's Soriee event which was a special screening of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Now I was kind of on the fence about seeing Fifty Shades of Grey. I read the books over the Summer and the truth is while I read them all and they were interesting enough I just didn't think they were well written and certainly no where near the hype that surrounds them. To me the characters were a bit flat, Anastasia was really kind of whiney and annoying and the whole dynamic of if you're rich enough a woman will love you no matter how you behave and if you're persistent enough you can change a man's core beliefs and desires kind of irked me. Also I didn't think the books were as steamy as all the publicity around them would have you believe.

All in all a mediocre series...so I don't actually know what made me want to see the film.

I think the haunting remix of Beyonce's 'Crazy in Love' in the trailer is what really drew me in. And then Ellie Goulding's 'Love Me Like You Do' song was released and I became more intrigued. I liked the song and the scenes from the film that were in the music video looked pretty well done and interesting. So when I saw this Valentine's Soriee event (and it included champagne and surprises) I thought why not and booked tickets for us to go on Friday night when the film opened.

Fifty Shades of Grey Tickets

So we got dolled up and headed to Maida Vale where we were greeted by some scantily clad waitresses and daper waiters serving champagne and toting whips around the lobby/bar.

Handcuffs, whips, and champagneFifty Shades of Grey Film Poster

Kinky ChampagneFifty Shades of Grey at Everyman Cinema

I'd be lying if I didn't say that one of the draws for us was the champagne. I did think that maybe the promise of booze would make my husband more likely to come along. Not that he's a wino - just that I know Fifty Shades of Grey really isn't his thing so this would be a starting point. And I have to say Everyman Cinema certainly delivered on the champagne. When we arrived they directed us to a table where we were each given a glass of Champagne Jaquart.

Jacquart Champagne

Then as we sat and waited for the show they came around and topped us glasses including after we already entered the theatre. And then during the show for anyone willing to go out to the concession stand they'd refill the glass again. I'd say throughout the course of the evening we easily got the extra we spent for the tickets in champagne. So all in all not a bad choice!

Jacquart Champagne glasses

As part of the ticket we also had a little bag of surprises at our seats with a variety of items (though unsurprisingly they are mostly intimate themed).

Everyman Cinema Goodie Bag

We got everything from Yves Saint Laurent Mascara to body chocolate to a blindfold. Truth be told my money was on handcuffs so I was pleasantly surprised there were a few interesting items in the mix.

Box of Grey Samples and blindfold

Massage Candle and Body Chocolate

But what did I think about the movie?

Well as I said before I wasn't the biggest fan of the books. I didn't dislike them entirely but I just wasn't impressed. However, I'm a fairly visual person and have been known to enjoy the film more than the book on several occasions. In this case I would say I enjoyed the film more though I'm still not at fan status - more like interested observer.

Firstly, as far as the cinematography goes the filmmakers were given a lot to work with to create a beautiful landscape for the film due to the Christian Grey character's wealth and power. I think this element was possibly my favourite of the film. The aerial shots, the fantasy of your date flying you by helicopter, the beautiful apartment where so much of the film takes place - these translated so well to film, especially since the popularity of the book obviously afforded a nice budget for the production.

The writing was...markedly improved over the books. This is largely because some things that were said could now be shown and I have a feeling someone did some editing with the dialogue that was kept. There were still some cringey lines - especially when stating the obvious or the innuendos that were rampant in the first few minutes of the film. But I will give them credit that the pacing was better though still slow at times. I'm sure there is plenty that hardcore fans miss from the books but I sure can't think of a single scene that I wanted included but wasn't.

The acting was better than I feared but not great. Some of this could be down to the writing but at times the characters just weren't believable. Not that they were every that realistic to start with. I do think the actors had chemistry which could have gone completely wrong. Jamie Dornan's American accent was a bit of a struggle and caused him to get a bit stiff with some of the delivery of the lines. I don't think it was the director's choice for the character but I doubt it. Dakota Johnson was better I thought....she played the slightly awkward and somehow tiid yet outspoken Anastasia Steele better than I expected. However, overall the acting just felt a bit disingenuous and not realistic.  Then again some of the issues I have with the acting were issues I had with the characters when reading the novels so maybe these actors are actually incredibly authentic to the books!

The sex scenes were probably the most talked about element of the film and thus what I was most curious to see how it was handled. Again comparing it to the books, but I remember while reading feeling like the scenes didn't go far enough based on the hype around them. I think with the film it's pretty similar. However, for an R-rated/Certificate 18 film (rather than something more explicit) they actually handled the scenes very well. Some were certainly racy in the context of film and the ratings associated with it. So I think there is that element to get your heart racing a bit while you're watching the film. But yet it is...tasteful for the circumstances? I mean I wasn't shocked and saying on my gosh I can't believe they showed that at any point.

All in all it was an enjoyable, good enough film. It wasn't excellent but it was entertaining. If you liked the books and can watch it without expecting a word-for-word adaptation then you'll like it. If you hated the books or hate adaptations then this is probably a film you should miss. Like the books the content is largely superficial so there's not a lot of concentration required to watch the film. Just sit back (preferably with your glass of champagne) and enjoy the ride.

Have you seen the film or read the books? What were your thoughts on Fifty Shades of Grey? Have you ever been to a similar event put on by a cinema to celebrate a new film?

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3 February 2015

Overdue Update - Promises of a Bright Future

So my first attempt at this blog didn’t pan out as I hoped. I got myself busy with a new job and didn’t make the time to blog. It’s been just over a year since I started and I really thought I would have a lot more to show for it then I do. But my saving grace has been that the whole time I’ve been away from blogging I’ve had this niggling in the back of my mind wanting me to return. Trying to think of ideas and posts. Or doing something with the full intention to blog about it and then never getting around to it. I know...it’s terrible. 

But I’m not a quitter. I am a procrastinator through and through but I don’t give up. So this is me…getting back on the proverbial horse. 

I’m partially inspired by my involvement in another blog, herfavfood.blogspot.co.uk. I was so happy when I was invited to be a guest writer. I knew it would be good for me as I’d have deadlines (flexible but still present) and someone holding me accountable. I’ve got my first review up and my second submitted. If any of my lovely readers are still around I’d love it you would go check it out. You can find quick links to my posts on her Guest Writers page

I've got a few things in the works though and hope to get back into a schedule of posting twice a month. And if you have any ideas for content you'd like to see on the blog I'm certainly open to suggestions. I would imagine this would be especially helpful in establishing a new routine.

Also, in case you didn't know - you can still find me on all the various social media sites where I have been active during this hiatus of blogging! In fact Twitter is where I always post my food reviews when they go live so I've you're interested follow me so you'll always know about new posts! I've got three or four events I'm going to in the next two weeks - so there's lots to look forward to!

So this is my apology and promise all in one. Sorry I've been terrible - I know I can do better!

Please tell me I'm not alone. What have you started but gotten sidetracked from in the past? How did you overcome the procrastination? 

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5 March 2014

Update: I got a job!!

Hello! I'm terribly sorry to do this, but this week's post is just going to be a very quick update.

As you can tell from the title I got a job! It's very similar to what I was doing in the States before I moved to the UK so for once I was the one interviewing with the experience! My initial interview was last Tuesday, I was offered and accepted the job on Friday and my new boss asked if I could start on Tuesday and as I wasn't working and had no notice period I said of course!

So yesterday was my first day. It went well. There was an event so I mostly tagged along and got to meet most of the people on the team and because of the event I got free lunch. Not bad for a first day. Then I spent the afternoon learning the database I'll be using by doing some data entry. Thankfully my job isn't all data entry, but that of course is the best way to get to learn hot things are input and what it all means!

Today was my second day and I picked up where I left off on the data entry which really took most of the day, though I could feel myself getting better/faster as the day went on and by the last few I wasn't looking at my notes at all. So that's good. I'm certainly not an expert on the database but I've got an ok enough handle on it I think.

Tomorrow I've got some more training on the database, but from IT this time, instead of a coworker, so I'm sure they go over lots of things that don't even apply to my position...but it looked like there were a few other new hires in the invitation as well so maybe I'll meet some more people! Then in the afternoon and all day Friday I'll be training with the woman I am replacing before she moves downstairs (she's not leaving completely, just taking a different role). So tomorrow is when I'll get to really learn what it is I'll be doing on a daily basis for the foreseeable future.

I am so excited and happy to be getting back to work. It's such a relief after such a hunt. I really appreciated everyone's kind words and good thoughts during my job search. Thank you as it seems like it helped!

I haven't gotten the contract yet as this has all been quite rushed to get me in for training before the person in the position currently transitions. But all my references have be received and checked out, they have my credentials, and all that's left is the contract. I'm curious to see how this process goes and what types of things are stipulated in the contract. To be honest I was so excited to get a job offer and knew I would take it if they offered that I didn't actually ask very many questions...so I'm not a very good example of what to do in job hunting situation!

However, the downside is that as I transition from not working at all and spending all day at home into working a full time job...I'll also need to figure out how to work it all out with my blog. I'm still wanting to post at least once a week, and that's the plan, but please bear with me these first couple of weeks if posts are late or something like that. I'll find a groove that works for me pretty soon and then I'll probably learn why so many bloggers can't survive without scheduling posts!!

In the meantime I get to adjust to be a commuter and having to take the tube during rush hour (which I always tried to avoid before!) and scheduled time for tea to be set up for our office staff (9, 11, and 3 apparently!) and brushing up on my British English so I don't embarrass myself in e-mails to colleagues or anyone else! On the bright side I get to start looking forward to payday and finally get to put aside some money for savings (after spending a little on things I've been denying myself of course)!

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26 February 2014

What's in a (blog) name?

That was the name I chose for my blog. I had been considering blogging about life after FLR(M) for couple months before inspiration struck...in the shower no less. So in today's post I hope to explain the terms and why they fit!

For as long as my husband and I have known each other we’ve always made fun of (and admired) the interesting vocabulary from each other’s cultures. I remember one Christmas he wished me a “Merry Crimble”….Crimble?! What a weird name...I’m sure it has it’s own interesting origin, but I want to focus on Blighty.

As we talked he would occasionally refer to his homeland as Blighty. Now when I heard that word it didn’t sound very positive to me...perhaps because the word blight is quite negative.

But according to the Wikipedia Article on Blighty, this isn’t the origin at all. Now common sense sort of told me this all along as I didn’t think Kevin would refer to his homeland as a purely negative nickname. That wikipedia article says it actually derives from a regional variant of an Urdu word (bilayati) that came to be an adjective to describe things as British or English. It goes on to explain it as a term of endearment or British Expats or those on holiday abroad...and that it first came into this usage in World War I as the soldiers were longing for home.

(Also just as a side note, it describes a Blighty wound as something received that meant the soldier must recouperate away from the trenches but not fatal and was something many soliders hoped for. This description reminded me of Downton Abbey when one of the characters stuck his hand up out of the trenches holding a lighter to get shot which subsequently got him sent home. While the Wikipedia article says it was hoped for by many...it makes perfect sense the particular Downton character would have planned a wound such as that as he is quite the manipulative and selfish character! Anyway this has nothing to do with the reason I chose my blog name ,just an observation I made that interested me!)

I’m not sure really why Blighty stuck out to me as a nickname for England that Kevin used. He’s never been an expat, but I’m guessing it’s just the kind of nickname that is used enough that he’s picked it up. Other than the name of the blog I don’t actually use Blighty in any sort of conversation. However, I have to admit that ever since I studied abroad in London back in 2008 I always said there was something about this city and country that felt right, like home. These feelings only grew once I met Kevin as it now felt like a part of me was here in england. So as silly as it sounds maybe some part of me was a British expat stuck in America.  

Plus on a more practical level I think that it just felt appropriate that if I was going to be calling myself a Yank as Kevin (and other Brits) have referred to me as, then it would flow nicely to include another British term. Also I think I thought it would be familiar enough and make sense to my potential local readership base while being a bit familiar but just foreign enough to generate interest amongst American readers.

Now the Yank part of A Yank in Blighty is probably even more obvious, but depending on your side of the pond could determine your view. Wikipedia, of course, has a nice article on the term Yankee where it delves into the origins of the term and it’s cultural significance and it’s usage. But while I felt I need that information to explain the term Blighty, I don’t think it’s as essential here. A Yank or Yankee is an American. At least when I’m on this side of the pond. Going back in American history it refers to Northerners as referenced in the Civil War.

So here’s a confession...I was born in Arkansas. Which is actually the South. And which still to this day has a state flag derived of the confederate flag. So growing up there, if I had met Kevin as a child and he had called me a Yank I probably would have bristled at the thought. Not that I’m wishing for the South to rise again nor will I be flying any confederate flags or anything ridiculous like that, but you just don’t really call Southerners Yankees...it’s just not done. But as it turns out not only did my family move me to St. Louis where I spent my formative years in what I always called a Northern city in a Southern state, but after my mom has done some genealogical research turns out the Southern roots aren’t as deep as I thought and turns out I had Yankee soldiers for ancestors. So now with my time in St. Louis and the knowledge of my ancestors I embrace the term Yank. I understand that British people often use it with negative connotations, but I’m not going to let that get to me. I’m in the expat stage where I’m more patriotic here then I generally was at home. Turns out the Brits like to make fun of Americans...a lot and while sometimes it’s funny or even well-deserved...I find myself getting quite defensive.

In fact, I recently had the opportunity to attend a taping of Top Gear (who make fun of Americans all the time apparently) and when Jeremy Clarkson asked if there were any Americans in I not only was still enthusiastic enough to shout, but when he asked why we put strawberries on everything (which we don’t) I, in my desperate defense mode, replied with because they taste good! While true, probably not the most eloquent defense of my home land...which by the way produces the most amazing strawberries ever in the early Summer (this is in Arkansas mind you) and are always a staple at our house. Thankfully they have strawberries here around Wimbledon so I can still get my fix (and they aren’t half bad, though never quite as good!)

If you like to view the clip I’ve got it timed up pretty close at http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b03vp5dw/?t=23m06s on BBC iplayer or I’m not sure where to watch in the US but it’s probably about halfway through the News segment of Season 21 Episode 2 if you watch it!).

Really what this proves is that I am still a loud American who now wants to defend the reputation of her homeland while also hopefully learning to fit in well enough to become a future citizen in a new country that has felt like home for a long time. So thus I am very much...

A Yank In Blighty

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19 February 2014

A Day Out In Saffron Walden

(Sorry in advance, but this is a photo heavy post and might load a bit slow!)

My husband was raised in a small town outside of Cambridge not very far from Saffron Walden

Saint Mary's Church, Saffron Walden
Because it's so close, we've actually been there a few times with his father to walk around the shops and market on weekends. Every time we went I would see a sign pointing to Saffron Walden Castle and of course being an American with an interest in history I was curious and I don't mind still playing tourist! I didn't know what to expect but a quick Google search told me that it was only a tiny ruin but there was a connected museum as well. So one weekend Kevin and I headed off to Saffron Walden, skipped the high street, and went straight for the museum and castle. 

The museum does charge an entry fee but it is only £1.50 per adult (75p concessions and children under 5 are free), but they do have free parking. It's not a huge lot (or car park) but there was ample space for the number of visitors that were milling about on the Saturday we went. We we're lucky (mostly) because it was a beautiful, clear, and most importantly dry day. However it was very windy! We didn't notice it when we were inside but walking around the castle it felt like we'd just be blow away!

Old printing press
When you first enter the museum there is local history to your left and the beginnings of ancient history (plus right now a special Egyptian exhibit with artwork from local students and others) on your right. We started in the local history area and it had a pretty good range of items. Pieces of old churches, a town charter signed by Henry VIII, the above printing press and below local printed money. That was interesting to me, I didn't realize that money was printed locally, but I guess that makes sense, things weren't always centralized in the US and the UK has been at this whole functioning economy thing for a lot longer!

Old money. It was huge! No wonder the £20 notes are still giant compared to my US Dollars!
Once we made it through the local history we started the trek into the ancient history path. They covered a lot of information and to be honest I couldn't begin to remember it all! I believe most of the artifacts in this section were found in the local area. A couple things that stood out were there being activities for kids (a sandbox where they could have their own archaeological dig) and these below skeletons. There was a plaque telling the gender, approximate age, time, and cause of death - all information gleaned from these skeletons. I have to say science is pretty amazing!

You know as you do, walking along a museum and bam ancient buried couple below your feet. Totally normal. 
After the ancient history there is a section on geological history including rocks (which bored me a bit so I moved quickly through) and animals/insects. I think there must have been a local taxidermist or something because they had huge scenes with many different animals set up to show interactions in the wild as well as a giant Victorian looking office with more exotic animals on display, I think this was fashionable in the Victorian era (but don't quote me on that, I'm not a historian!).

A mummified cat 
A stuffed lion. Perched on a ledge. It was...interesting
Then continuing through the museum there were more lifestyle pieces. So, fashion through the ages, toys and games, china, and some furniture pieces (including a cabinet owned by the man accused of and beheaded for being Anne Boleyn's lover).

A Victorian Wedding Dress
One thing I read before we ventured to the museum is that they have a glove that is believed to have belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots. As I said before I've got an interest (though by no means expertise) in the history of the British Monarchy. I've been watching this CW show called Reign which chronicles  the life of Mary (though it is very inaccurate to dramatize it for a modern teen audience). Despite the liberties they take with the truth I find it quite enjoyable (though maybe best to forget any of the facts you know!). Once of the critiques I see over and over regarding the show is that the fashion is too modern and prom-esque so I was particularly interested to see (even a small) piece of the real woman's wardrobe. Frankly it's quite ornate and beautiful for what I assume to be a daily wear, casual item...so perhaps the show would have done well to make historically accurate costumes as I'd imagine they would have been even more beautiful!

Glove allegedly belonging to Mary, Queen of Scots
When we exited the museum we just walked along a short path to the left to the ruins known as Walden Castle. It was built in the early-mid 12th century by Geoffrey de Mandeville and ordered to be destroyed a short time later by Henry II. The remains are from the keep (which is a term I know well now. Thanks Game of Thrones!) and according to the sign as you approach the ruins, most of what is visible now was underground when it was built. The sign mentions that if you walk inside the ruins you'd be in the basement and if you look above you can see the fireplace from a ground floor room. Unfortunately either this sign is outdated or we were unlucky as there was a fence and gate blocking the entrance preventing us from walking around inside. Based on the litter and graffiti I saw I'm guessing that's an issue (and contributing factor to blocking access), but the fence wouldn't have stopped me climbing over it physically (I'm just not the type to go against posted signs!). I think it's a shame that true visitors can't walk around and yet vandals aren't stopped by the preventative measures. 

But despite that disappointment, it was still interesting to walk around the structure and try and imagine what it was like almost 900 years ago!

Approaching the ruins
I quite liked this sign as it sounds so much nicer than 'Caution Falling Rocks' we'd get back home!
It looks like they've had to add fortifications where the structure wasn't sound
View from the other side
View inside (standing right against the fence)
Still against the fence but a different angle
Steeple through the trees
We had seen it driving in as it shares a road with the museum and ruins, but as we turned towards the car from the ruins we could see the massive steeple from the church and decided to go check it out as well. We figured we wouldn't be gone long so left the car in the museum lot and walked across the street. 

View from the back of the large church
What we found was Saint Mary's Church. According to the website it is the largest in Essex and the spire (or as I call them steeples) is 193 feet. There was apparently a large Norman stone church in approximately this location from 1130 (which means it was there when the Walden Castle was built) and the present church began constriction around 1450. So all in all it's a pretty, old, historical church.

The front. Interestingly it wasn't until after viewing the pictures we noticed the line of red bricks in the clock portion of the very tall steeple. 
We noticed the front door was open and so went inside. At first I wasn't going to take any pictures as I always feel a bit funny and disrespectful and there were a small gathering of people in a couple of the pews. I noticed a table which had a small visitors guide and picked that up and began to just wonder around and enjoy the sights of the beautiful architecture and stained glass windows. I have to say stained glass windows have always been one of my favorite things about church buildings as they are so intricate and beautiful, especially on a sunny day like we had. 

After a few minutes of wondering the small group got up and left and it was just Kevin and I in this massive sanctuary. Once we were alone I felt a little better about snapping a few pictures as I knew I wanted to share but didn't have to worry about disturbing anyone.

Look at this sanctuary with such a long aisle! I think if we did a do over huge wedding
I'd want it to be somewhere like this
Church organs are another aspect that fascinate me as my father had a degree in sacred music and spent several years as a music director for a few different churches (though none of them as grand as the ones I've found in England!)

The beautiful stained glass windows. Could you imagine putting these together? And the scale for such tall windows! It reminds me when I was in high school in French class we learned about the stained glass windows in the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris that I've haven't managed to see in my two trips there. 
Outside the church we found a couple more interesting things. This Tudor style/era house had a sign that said Verger's Cottage and was connected to a couple similar buildings that were also part of the church grounds as they had signage of Sunday School type classes and such. Mostly though I just love these old Tudor buildings that are a bit wobbly and uneven. I think it gives them such character so I couldn't help but snap a couple photos!

A wobbly Tudor style (or more likely Tudor Era) building
On the path leading back to the museum was this old style gas street lamp that has been converted to electric. I think this is an example of what I love about this country. It has such amazing old gems like this that would have been just as easy (and probably cheaper) to replace with a new electric lamp, but they preserved the history and just made it functional for the modern era. Also I think it looks a little like a caricature of a king or prince...tall and lanky with but with short stubby arms and a crown on his head. Just me? Yeah I'm weird. 

Converted gas street lamp
Have you ever been to Saffron Walden to see the ruins, museum, and/or church? I have to say I was impressed to find such a nice little pocket of history that made for a lovely day out!

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