Fester, London, England


Posted May 26, 2008, 9:50 pm
Would you be so kind as to host me, and help me complete my life's missions?

Posted May 27, 2008, 2:23 am
olgamaus has agreed to host me first.  Thank you!!  I am going to leave here about mid-week, after I get my tag and such.  Hope more of you will volunteer to host me, and help me accomplish my life missions!
Also, please see Jadzia Tam's travel log and help name all the other TV's rescued by Puny/+/Bumblebee!

Posted May 27, 2008, 5:26 am
I have another host!  So far here is my itinerary:
olgamaus (June)
Michele_one_L (August)
iddewes (September)
If you want to host me sometime, just let my mentors know.

Posted Jul 26, 2008, 4:08 pm
Hi Mummy,
I arrived in Remscheid today. I was welcomed by a lot of ToyVoyagers. I met Wadworth, Sylphide, Barnardo, Hendrieke and Tilda.



My new host Katja was really delighted to get such cute cards from you, Mummy. But she was not delighted when I asked for a cigarette. This is a non-smoker household. Err... Did you know that? Wadworth offered me a beer, but a cigarette would be much better. I had my last cigarette with the custom guys in Frankfurt where I had landed, at least four days ago!

Katja had to go shopping. She took me with her to town.

This is a German cigarette machine. You need a cash card to buy cigarettes here.


If not even worse you have to be adult to buy cigarettes. Of course you have to be adult to smoke in public. I'm afraid I'm not adult yet but I don't need to smoke in public. It would be good enough if I could smoke underhand.

We argued a little bit about smoking and the following health hazards. While we argued we reached the town centre.

Here you can see the town hall.


Because in the shopping mall smoking is not allowed Katja put me into her bag and went shopping. We are back home now. It's really hot here in the attic storey and we had a thunderstorm.


Posted Jul 30, 2008, 1:13 pm
Hi Mummy,
today I met the real rat girls. They are really cute but unfortunately they are all non-smokers. They said I was stinking! Can you imagine this? A rat that is stinking - no, never!

This is rat girl Claire (she's a little bit overweighted).


And this is the first thing that you see when you enter this apartment.


I can't help feeling that Katja has drawn this especially for me.


Posted Aug 1, 2008, 9:19 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we visited a friend of Katja. The two ladies wanted to sit on the balcony and drink a beer. Wadworth went with us also.


I hoped to get a cigarette instead of a beer but here also nobody is smoking. I am really a poor rat!

By the way, here you can see where I'm living at the moment. We live in the attic storey. Inside the apartment it is as hot as outside.



Posted Aug 1, 2008, 9:33 pm
Hi Mummy,
Katja took me to work today. She is working in a law firm. On our way back home she showed me a garage with graffitti.


This is the local court. On the right side you can see the original old building which was enlarged a few years ago. The new part is on the left side.



On the opposite of the local court someone sprayed a slogan onto a wall which makes me hope. (The last word is home)


In the afternoon Katja wrote a few postcards to postcrossing members. I helped her to choose the cards. Yesterday she got a postcard from Pakistan, that's really special. They don't have many members over there. The postcard has the numer 417 while those we sent today were number 194.660 and more.


Sylphide prepared herself to leave tomorrow. She will fly to sunny Florida.



Posted Aug 3, 2008, 3:18 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we took a walk in a large forrest in Solingen-Unterburg. Here are many forrests. Unfortunately you are not allowed to smoke during the summer months because of fire danger.

We saw a memorial for the German journalist and writer Hermann Löns. He lived from 1866 until 1914. He died in First World War. He is most famous as "The Poet of the Heath" for his novels and poems celebrating the people and landscape of the North German moors, particularly the Lüneburg Heath in Lower Saxony. Löns is well known in Germany for his famous folksongs.



We reached the river Wupper. This part of the river belongs to the run-of-river power station in Glüder.




There's a nature trail in the forrest. Here for example you hear trough this ear trumpet the flowing of the water running down the rock.



We followed the river Wupper and crossed it here.


At the end of our walk we reached the town again. From here you can go uphill with a chair lift. On the hill Schloss Burg is located, a medieval castle.




Posted Aug 5, 2008, 10:28 pm
Hi Mummy,
I'm without nicotine for ten days now. I'm really feeling sick. When Katja heard this she immediately cooked an awful healthy soup with red lentils. Fortunately we had a cocktail in the late evening, Katja made a Tequila sunrise so the effect of this soup was decreased. A real smoker has to damage his lungs instead of eating healthy vegetarian soups. A rat is not a vegetarian, I need a little bit of animal protein or a lot of nicotine. I heard that alcohol is as bad as nicotine so I was eager to taste a Tequila Sunrise.

For a Tequila Sunrise you need Tequila, orange juice, grenadine syrup and ice, crushed ice for the glass and ice cubes for the shaker.


First you put 5 cl Tequila and 15 cl orange juice with ice  into a shaker. Then you put crushed ice into your glass and pour the juice with Tequila into your glass, using a strainer.



Then you pour 1 cl grenadine syrup from the rim into the glass. Put in a straw and stirr with caution until the grenadine will give a red shade on the bottom of the glass.


It tastes really good (to be honest, the lentil soup was also good ). Maye I will have another one tomorrow; a cocktail, not a healthy soup.



Posted Aug 9, 2008, 5:03 pm
Hi Mummy,

Lollipop, a care bear, arrived today.


Katja decided to bake wafers. Tomorrow a friend will visit us and then the ladies and the TVs want to eat wafers with whipped cream and cherries.

We helped Katja to put everything we need onto the working space.

We had prepared everything for baking. For our receipe you need

250 g margarine or butter (to make the wafers a bit defatted we took 125 g margarine and 125 g curd cheese)
150 g sugar
1 package vanilla sugar
1 dash salt
4 eggs
500 g flour
1 tsp. baking powder
375 ml water
4 tbs. honey


First we stirred margarine and curd cheese, added sugar and eggs, honey and stirred again. Then we mixed flour and baking powder. Then you have to add a few spoonfull flour and water alternately to the dough, then stirr again and so on.


When the dough was ready we had to preheat the waffle iron.


We filled dough into the waffle iron ...


took the baked wafers out of the waffle iron ...


and piled the wafers.


When we finished work we had to air in the open kitchen window.


Of course we tasted the wafers. They are really good. To eat more we have to wait until tomorrow.

Outside the sun is shining again after a few days of mostly variable weather. Maybe I stay at home and try to get one or two of those delicious wafers.



(Hey, I did not smoke any cigarette since I arrived in Germany!  Even my smoker's cough is getting better.)

Posted Aug 11, 2008, 2:55 pm
Hi Mummy,
today Katja took me, Hendrieke and Tilda with her to work. She is working in a law firm. In her lunch break we made some photos.

Here you can see us sitting on the appointment calendar. Tilda fixed a date, she answered the phone once.


This is a statue showing Lady Justice, the Roman Goddess of Justice. Usually she is holding a sword, scales and she is wearing a blindfold. This statue is a little bit abstract.


I tried to make a picture of me in the photocopier. But it did not work, the paper was all black.




Posted Aug 11, 2008, 3:55 pm
When we finished playing with the office machines we went into the town centre. We had to buy some food like bread, cheese and fruits.

In the basement of the office building a temporary exhibition with implements for smokers is located. You have hundreds of ashtrays, packages of cigarettes and cigars and old advertising signs. It's here because in Germany smoking in pubs and restaurants was forbidden by law. The barkeepers found a way to obviate this law. Smoking was allowed only in so called "Smoker's clubs".  Almost every pub became a smoker's club over night. Every person who wanted to have a drink, smoke or not, had to become a member of the pub's smoker's club.

Last week the highest court in Germany pronounced a new judgement.



This is the town hall with a pillar showing a lion, the heraldic animal of Remscheid. The farmer's market is held here twice a week.


Many town halls in Germany have a restaurant in the cellar, usually called "Ratskeller". We also have such a restaurant.


Opposite of the town hall's rear side you can see the water tower. The drinking water for the town centre is pumped from a dam uphill to the water tower.


Here the pedestrian area is starting. Behind the trees you can see the two giant forceps I showed you already.


Here you can see the entrance of the "Allee-Center", a large shopping mall and more of the pedestrian area.




Posted Aug 17, 2008, 12:43 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we took a walk. We started at Müngsten Bridge, one of the touristic highlights of this region.

Müngsten Bridge is the highest steel railroad bridge in Germany. The bridge is 107 metres (350 ft) high and spans over the valley of the river Wupper, connecting the cities Remscheid and Solingen. The bridge was finished in 1897.

A few years ago a leisure park was built under the bridge.


We walked to Solingen-Unterburg through the forrest.

Posted Aug 17, 2008, 12:56 pm
We crossed the river Wupper here.


Along the path through the forrest you can find rocks with engraved inscriptions or sometime tabletop games. Here is one of them. You only have to look for some small stones or acorns and you can start.


Then we had to walk about half an hour to get to Solingen-Unterburg. This is a very old district of the neighbour town Solingen. It's located in a valley, the river Wupper is running through the district.

We saw a little church and a very old graveyard. The graveyard was established here in 17th century. The gravestones are all made in the same style with a certain sort of sandstone.



First we had to rest for a little while.




This is a statue showing the "Kiepenkerl". In past centuries those men carried all sorts of goods in their panniers to get them to the customers. This one here is carrying pretzels, which are very special for this part of Solingen. They are sweet hard pretzels.



Have a look - this old guy is smoking his pipe for ages.


Posted Aug 21, 2008, 12:39 pm
Hi Mummy,
two new ToyVoyagers arrived today, Lady and Hueso.


Lady's mentor BlackCat made a little lottery a few weeks ago, Katja was the winner. Lady broght the postcards and the magnet that Katja has won.


Look, the magnet is already placed where it should be - on the fridge!



Posted Aug 28, 2008, 10:41 pm
Hi Mummy,
when I walked through the apartment today I smelled a malodour, a familiar smell. I found the source of this smell in the room of Katja's daughter!


As if only nonsmokers were living here!

She managed to keep the cigarettes away from me for weeks.  Now I'm glad that I did not smoke any cigarette during my stay here. I'm scenting much better now than a few weeks ago. Even the rat girls are interested in me now ...


Posted Sep 1, 2008, 4:52 pm
Hi Mummy,
I climbed into my package today and Katja brought me to the post office. I'm on my way to Rome, New York, now.

My passport has a first entry stamp now. We also adjusted my shirt and necktie. We already did it when I arrived at Katja's home but somehow I managed to get them untidy again.

I hope to arrive there soon.


Posted Sep 17, 2008, 1:54 pm
I arrived in New York this morning and I'm happy to be out of my travel box. You know it's a little hard to smoke in such a small space. My new host says she's going to have to help me with this nasty habit.....We'll see!

I'll update soon with pictures.

Posted Sep 28, 2008, 9:44 pm
I arrived safely in New York this afternoon. It was a rough trip as I couldn't smoke in my box. Though it sure didn't stop me from trying. Ha Ha! My new host says she's going to try and help me kick this nasty habit...We'll see! Awaiting my arrival was Mister_Right, Vicky Mouseham and Crocs. They all seem pretty nice.

Posted Oct 6, 2008, 2:45 pm
Today we went to Target with our host. She had a job interview there. She allowed us to ride in her bag, but she said that we had to be very quiet.

Posted Oct 6, 2008, 2:55 pm
At dinner tonight our host told us that she got the job at Target. She seemed excited but we had no idea what it meant. For dinner we shared a big salad. It was delicious!  :p We were all able to try something new with this salad. Yummm.....

Posted Oct 6, 2008, 3:08 pm
We jumped into our hosts bag this morning as we were told we would be going on a short road trip. Our first stop was at Rite Aid. Michele needed a drink and some gum then we were on our way.... We had no idea where we were going, but anywhere was better than no where.

Posted Oct 6, 2008, 3:15 pm
Our next stop was in Syracuse, NY. We were at the Christmas Tree Shop. We all said "Christmas in September?" Our host explained to us that even though the name of the store is the Christmas Tree Shop, that they sell other things. Michele's husband wasn't feeling well so we didn't get to shop for too long.

Posted Oct 6, 2008, 3:39 pm
Tonight we wanted to help cook dinner. Michele said that she had a new recipe that she wanted to try. The recipe is for mini meat loafs.  We weren't sure what meat loafs were but we said we would give it a try. Here's the recipe;

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 6oz package of Stove Top Stuffing Mix
1 cup of water
3/4 cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup Barbecue Sauce

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix meat, stuffing mix, water and garlic powder. Press mixture into 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. Make an indentation in center of each meat loaf with spoon. Fill with barbecue sauce. Bake 30 minutes or until cooked through (160 degrees). Top with cheese; continue baking for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Posted Oct 6, 2008, 3:51 pm
This afternoon we helped make an apple pie. Michele has promised her next door neighbor that she would make one for her so we helped her keep her promise. It was a lot of work but once you get the pie in the oven it smells so good.

Posted Oct 26, 2008, 1:14 pm
Just a little note from Fester's new host. He arrived here in London on Saturday. He's looking well but what happened to his cigar?
It's probably just as well because my housemate doesn't allow smoking in the house ;) I think he is on his way to making friends with the cat here, though, a long haired tabby called Shaggy Marley. I will add photos later!!!

Posted Dec 23, 2008, 5:26 pm
Well, finally, here's Fester again! :P
Sorry it has been so long! My hostess hasn't been too well and the weather has been really awful too...:S Oh dear, so that's why England gets so green - because there is SOOO much rain!!!
anyway...here I am at last!
We went on a really nice day trip yesterday to Brighton, it's on the southeast coast of England, and just takes about an hour from London. :) It's a nice city, but the beach isn't very good - it's all stones!!!
Anyway here I am, by the sea and the famous Brighton Pier behind as well.
The town looked really nice because it was near Xmas. This is the older part of Brighton, where there are very narrow streets that you can barely even walk down!!
After that we visited the Brighton Pavilion. It used to belong to King George IV, who decorated it in really fancy oriental style. He used it as a weekend getaway but it's a really fancy weekend getaway!!! you can't take photos inside, though, but here's a bit of the outside.

After all that it was back to London...here I am on the London Underground!!!
And this is Seven Sisters station, which is the nearest station to where my hostess lives. :)
I'll put more stuff up soon!!!

Posted Dec 24, 2008, 3:03 pm
Well, today we went to look at the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. Trafalgar Square is the most famous square in London. It was named in honor of the Battle of Trafalgar and there is a really tall statue there of Admiral Lord Nelson who won the battle for Britain. Every year they put up a giant Christmas tree in the square, which is given by the King of Norway.
We took one of the famous double-decker buses to get there. Here I am on the top floor of the bus. :)
Wow what a great view those buses have!
First of all we decided to visit Covent Garden. It's a special market and it's usually nice there around Xmas. And yes, it was looking very nice there. :)
From there, we walked along the Strand, a very busy London street, to get to Trafalgar Square. Here I am on the Strand!
Ok, there actually wasn't that much traffic there today!
Then we made it to Trafalgar Square. It's very impressive and there are some beautiful buildings all around it. Here is the National Gallery (closed today though)
And St Martin in the Fields church (which has just been cleaned and looks beautiful!!)
Here's the Christmas tree!!!
Here are a couple of other photos of the square
and little me with a BIG lion!
...and...well, since my hostess is Jewish, I thought I'd point out that not only is there a Christmas tree in the square, there's a great big Chanukiah too. :D It's the special symbol of Chanukah, the candle holder with 8 candles for the 8 nights (plus one in the middle to light the others). here though, they are electric lights. Only some of them are lit, because it's only the 4th night of Chanukah tonight. But I guess not everyone knows about that, because we heard some people saying, 'Oh that's not much good, most of the lights have burnt out already'. Ha ha, they haven't burnt out, they weren't lit yet!!! :D
Hope you are having a good Christmas back home in Nebraska, Mom!

Oh I almost forgot - yay I have made friends with a cat!! :D
He's called Shaggy Marley and he's really friendly. :D
Here we are!
So, another life mission completed :D

Posted Jan 4, 2009, 5:57 pm
Well, I did say the weather's been bad here...
Now it's not raining so much, but it's cold!!!
Here I'm trying to keep warm!!!
At least it was a warm blanket!!! My hostess' housemate's elderly mother used it when she was visiting here from Australia. :)
Well, talking of elderly people, I also visited my hostess's grandmother. She lives in a very nice part of London called Barnes, it's really more like a village, although there's still quite a lot of traffic. But it's quieter, and a lot nicer than where my hostess lives. Of course, that means it's also a lot more expensive!!!
Anyway here are some photos of me there, by the pond there and just walking around.

We also went on a walk along the River Thames. Here's me near Barnes Bridge!
and walking along...
sorry it came out so dark!

Posted Jan 8, 2009, 3:15 pm
Well, here I am again! I guess I'll be going home pretty soon, because there aren't any more hosts for me right now. But anyway, there's a few more places to see here. :D
We went for a nice little walk today in Stoke Newington, it's just down the road from where my hostess lives, but it's a lot nicer, I have to admit. Well, it isn't as nice as Barnes, but it's nicer than Tottenham, which really isn't too nice at all.
Anyway, here there are two churches called St Mary. One is the Old Church and the other one is the New Church, although the new one looks kind of old too! :D We didn't really get a very good shot of the new one, because the sun was behind it (darn sun!). But it was interesting to walk around in the churchyard at the old church.
The sign over the old church door says 1573!!
Graves mostly from the 19th century
And a sign about the church, hope you can kind of read it - didn't come out too well!
And here's the new church!
Next to the churches is a nice park. :) We strolled around there a bit.
Still looks quite green in some parts even though it's winter, but kind of dead in others...
Wow there were even deer there, though the poor things are kept in a pen. :(
It was quite a big one, but really deer shouldn't have to live in a pen...:(

Posted Jan 8, 2009, 4:02 pm
Now here are some photos around the place where I'm staying. :D
Here's the front door!
And here's the street! (in case you are wondering, NO palm trees definitely AREN'T native to England ;) but since it's not THAT cold in this country, they will grow here, they just won't produce any sort of fruit. So some people have them at their houses, like our neighbours.
Here's the back of the house from the garden...
and the garden...
and this is the fireplace in the living room :)
It's quite a typical looking English house. Quite old and not very well repaired, but that's because the landlord doesn't want to spend any money ;) I think that is pretty normal for landlords...!

Posted Jan 9, 2009, 11:47 pm
Ok...so...my hostess wanted to take me on a little adventure out of London, again...since she still had the day off work!
Off we went to Rye, in Sussex. She had never been there before but her parents went there during their honeymoon, and it sounded nice there.
Well, it took some time to get there on the train, about 2 hours!!! We had to change trains once, too.
Here I am on the train!
You can see I'm a little bored already!
And I was anxious about what the weather would be like - during the journey, it looked very foggy and cold outside!
But when we arrived, it was actually sunny in Rye!
Well, I have to say, it was a really pretty and really old little town. I don't think I had been anywhere else so old!
We had a look around town!
It used to be a seaside village, so here is a giant anchor! For some reason, the sea retreated, so now it's not really a seaside village anymore...
And here are some of the really old black and white houses around the town...
I couldn't even believe it when my hostess said they were probably around 500 years old or older!!!
Gosh this one says 14th century on it!
There was also a little castle - unfortunately closed! The museum was closed too! Picked the wrong day I guess. But at least we saw the castle from the outside...
And I got to play with the old cannons!
There was also this stone gate, that apparently used to be part of the wall that was all round the town in the old days!
And then we went for tea in this guy's house!
We had the special English cream tea! You get tea with scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream (that is cream that is as thick as butter!). YUM! It's very typically English. :)
Here I am again inside that teashop that used to be the 16th century guy's house.
After that...we went off back to London...arrived at Waterloo station and then took a walk down the Southbank, which is near to the station - right by the River Thames again, but it looked a bit different than in Barnes.
Here's the London Eye - the giant Ferris wheel that was built at the Millennium - my hostess hasn't been on it though!
It looks nice at night!
And there's the famous Houses of Parliament across the river! The British government sits there.
Here's a couple more shots on our walk along Southbank.
Went home then and watched my hostess' favourite comedy show, the Mighty Boosh, on DVD! It's quite weird but I liked it!

Posted Mar 15, 2009, 7:22 pm
Ok, Fester really IS going home in the next couple of days!!! Sorry he's been hanging around here so long...I know he needs to get home.
But I thought, I'd take him for one last outing!
We went along the Thames...:)
Went down to the walkway from London Bridge..
Then went for a lemonade in nearby pub ;)
Passed by the Clink prison museum (there was an ancient prison there...)
And then the Globe Theatre, which is a replica of the one Shakespeare used to act in :)
Photos by the river...
this one's on the Millennium Bridge :)
Was a nice day out :)