International Woman of Whimsy

keep-calm-and-go-to-england-62-2 In just a few days, I fly across the great big pond and begin my summer studies in the merry old land of England. Can you believe it? I can’t. Especially as I have yet to figure out how to pack for a month long journey, and really haven’t done much of anything in the way of preparation because (here we go, confession time), I’m a huge procrastinator. As in, I’ve won awards for procrastinating. Made speeches. Have trophies. I’m a champ.

In better news, I purchased a 2015 tips book which will surely have me hob-nobbin’ with locals and flitting about London in no time, right? Did I mention that I lived in England as a kid? Because I did.

For the first part of my trip, I’ll be based in Stratford Upon Avon for some study with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The latter half moves me to London, where I’ll be hanging more with the folks at The Globe Theatre and learning what they know. I’ve booked a little time at the end for some extra fun time in the city, and have an overnighter to Paris lined up as well.

But listen, I have lots of goals for when I’m there, as this is valuable time, indeed! I can’t let it go to waste. Here are some personal goals.

  • Visit the Apollo Victoria Theatre where I first fell in love with theatre to begin with. Back then (when I was eight) it was home to Starlight Express. That place has my heart and I’ll need to pay my respects.
  • Have a pint (or 3) at a pub, because I have to.
  • Race around Hamley’s Toy Store just the way I did when as a kid. Do they still have a candy store in the basement? Because I’m all about the gummies.
  • Travel to Woodbridge, a small town in Suffolk, and then not far from that to my childhood home on what used to be Bentwaters Air Force Base.
  • Find an LGBT bookstore and wander its aisles.
  • Eat “crisps” that come in a funny flavor (does England still have Hula Hoops? I ate those as a child. One flavor was ox tail another was tomato. What??? They were surprisingly good. Also, Quavers. Do those still exist? I heart Quavers.)
  • Try fish and chips as an adult and see if I like them any better. I’m feeling optimistic. I can be big about this.

What am I forgetting?!

Question: If you could give me one tip about England, what would it be?




lol a a huge procrastinator myself, your list is very impressive. If I ever get across the pond, I would see Big Ben and all the royals. Really can not think of anything else. just have loads of fun and enjoy your studies.


Oh yes Starlight express at Apollo started my love of musicals as well – I was 13, visiting from Denmark.
I would grap a cap(the old black ones) and then go for some history. You could enjoy some of the old England – tower of London, Westminister or Cambrigde could work.

Beni Pardy

Quavers and hula hoops are still around, but hand cooked crisps seems to be the fashion especially when drinking a pint or 3 of real ale!


There’s a lovely little LGBT bookshop called Gay’s the Word. As far as I’m aware it’s the only one in London. You should definitely check it out, they even offered to order in one of your books for me when I was in there. It has a lovely history aswell, in the 80’s it was the base for a LGBT group who raised money for the miners strike, they got a lot of hassle for it. They actually made a film about it recently called “Pride”, which is a very good watch.
Oh and Hula Hoops definitely do still exist, yum.

Patricia Knight

If you get the time do try and visit Cambridge. It’s less than an hour away on the train from Kings Cross (London). The ADC theatre, part of the University, is well worth a visit. Cambridge is quite a small city so you could do a fair bit in about a day or less. Take a walk along The Backs, go for a punt on the River Cam etc….As a Cambridge resident I am rather biased but it is worth a visit.


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