Goodbye, Routemaster
Photo of the day

One for the road

londonwink 052
Originally uploaded by TwoCrabs.

Inspired by a dude's website that contained a list of 2,000+ pubs that he's visited, I've launched a new Flickr photo set entitled simply "Pubs". It's a photographic journey of the pubs that your's truly, The Two Crabs, have frequented on our journeys around the globe. Take a look!

In the meantime, it's been a busy week. Speckled Hen/Pineapple Princess/She Crab has been sick and had to take two days off work. Meanwhile Old Scratch/Coconut/He Crab has been busy packing for his next adventure to Iraq. Details and photos TK.

After some beautiful weather last month, London has become, well, London. It's been rainy, cloudy all week, and now that the clocks went back, dark very early. Luckily it's still quite warm, about 65-70 everyday.

For foreiginers, it's a crazy time to be in London. This Saturday, Nov. 5, is the 400th anniversary of Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night. It's a combination of American Independence Day, Halloween and New Year's Eve all rolled into one. It's also Britain has to an official national holiday.

In a nutshell, the holiday commeorates the failure of a terrorist to blow up Parliament. Guy Fakwes was a Catholic who, along with a small band of insurgents, planned to blow up the British Parliament building, killing the Protestant King James I and all the politicians inside. He nearly succeeded, smuggling in 2.5 tons of gunpowder into a cellar below the House of Lords. But two nights before his plan was to have been executed, he was discovered. (some say one of the co-conspirators got cold feet and warned his Catholic pals in Parliament, who subsequently told the authorities). Fawkes was tortured until he revealed the names of his co-conspirators, hung until half-dead, disembowled and finally drawn and quartered. King James I declared that bonfires be set on Nov. 5 to commemorate the failure of the "Gunpowder Plot."

In addition to bonfires, cities now burn effigies of Guy Fawkes as well as other people in the news including George W. Bush, Osama Bin Laden, and even the Pope (many have condemned this holiday as anti-catholic.) Before the bonfires, children make their own effigies that look like Guy Fawkes scarecrows and once went door-to-door asking for "A Penny For the Guy" (hence how the word "Guy" came to become known as man/person/dude).

But the real appeal of Nov. 5 are the fireworks displays. Practically every city, town, village and hamlet in Britain marks the anniversary with some sort of firework display. And fireworks are sold everywhere here even in Woolworths. And everything is legal here, including giant mortar rockets that produce nearly the same effects of professional fireworks (for about $35 apiece). Consequently, we've been hearing fireworks and firecrackers going off every night for the past two weeks until the wee hours of the morn! More details TK after this Saturday.

Random thoughts: We have yet to find a stick of butter in Britain. Seriously. All the butter comes in giant blocks. They are the same size as you see in an American supermarket, but instead of four little sticks, it's just a big block o' butter!