MaryFurr's "Cool Brittania" Tour Album

Being the diary entries by one fox puppet and her human :) MaryFurr returns once again to England, taking up residence on the south coast in Brighton. Once there, she makes new friends and renews acquaintences with old ones...

August - December 2000, January - December 2001, January 2002
[My friends back home]
No sooner had Terry and I returned to New Zealand from Japan than we found we had been reassigned again! This time, we were returning to the United Kingdom for an extended assignment of up to a year! Seeing as it would be such a long time between visits home, I asked Terry to take a photo of some of my friends that I had to leave behind. (L-R)
  • Strelka - a Husky puppy originally from Hameleys toy store in London, England.
  • Colleen (rear) - A Sheltie Collie and another English doggie, she came from a store around Hemel Hempstead, Herefordshire, England on Terry's first trip to Europe.
  • Suzie (front) - A very cute Akita puppy that Terry bought for his wife Stefany in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Rosie - Another Japanese doggie, a Sheltie Collie from a shop underneath Tokyo Station.
  • Svetlana - A cute little Husky puppy from Johnsonville in Wellington.
[Me at Santa Monica, Los Angeles]
On the way to England Terry and I passed through Los Angeles, and this time we were able to take an overnight stopover (particularly as the company was flying Terry Economy Class instead of Business Class this time!). Here I am at Santa Monica beach, with the sea in the background. Luckily it was quite cool as far as temperatures went, so I was very comfortable!
[Me at Santa Monica, Los Angeles]
(I don't know what it is about being in the proximity of Hollywood, but get MaryFurr in front of a camera there and all of a sudden she's posing as a film star! - Ed.)
[Me at Arundel Castle]
After a ten hour flight from LAX into Heathrow, and a rather involved train journey to Brighton (never take suitcases across the London Underground!) soon we were at our home in Brighton. By this time, I was in the mood for more sightseeing! 
Here I am in front of Arundel Castle in West Sussex. The best view of this castle is across the other side of the shallow valley from where the town sits - it's just like a picture postcard, and the sort of castle view that Hollywood might use...
[Me, at Portsmouth, with HMS Victory]
Terry's wife Stefany came to spend Christmas with us in England, so we all did some sightseeing around the place while she was here. A pity it was winter, but there you go...

One trip that Terry, Stefany and I did was a visit to the historic naval base at Portsmouth. Here I am - on a very cold day, mind you - in front of Admiral Nelson's flagship at the battle of Trafalgar, HMS Victory. It was quite a surprisingly small ship for the amount of people it carried in the days of sail!

[Me, at Portsmouth, with HMS Invincible] Another ship involved in British naval history that I was able to see- and a current part of the modern British fleet - was  HMS Invincible, veteran of the Falklands war in the early eighties. The working naval base and the historic dispays at Portsmouth are right next to each other, so it is easy to contrast the historic ships with their modern counterparts.

Did I mention how cold I was in this photo? I guess as it was December, it should have been expected...

[At Stonehenge]
And this is how cold it really got! Snow fell over most of England between Christmas and New Year, just about the time that Terry and Stefany went on an excursion through Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Gloucestershire. 

Here I am at that famous English rock venue, Stonehenge. I had to borrow Terry's scarf so I wouldn't freeze in this photo! Even fur wasn't quite warm enough!

[MaryFurr and Stefany]
After Stonehenge we arrived in Bath - famous for its hot springs and Roman baths. Driving through the countryside in the snow was a lot of fun, with the sun shining it was like being in a picture postcard!

Stefany and I pose for Terry in the city centre. A little warmer than Stonehenge, which was nice.

[MaryFurr at Bath]
I just had to pose for this picture - snow all about, with blue sky and hills rising in the distance. Very nice. Lucky I have fur to stop my bottom from freezing, don't you think?
[Battle of Hastings]
It was all too soon that Stefany returned to New Zealand, leaving Terry and I behind. This didn't stop us from doing more sightseeing as the opportunity arose.

Here I am at the town of Battle, in front of the actual battlefield for the Battle of Hastings where William the Conquerer conquered England in 1066. It seems so peaceful now - and the events so long ago. It is funny how there is so much history here, especially when at the same time in New Zealand nothing much was really happening - for the next 500 years!

Peek-a-boo! Playing hide-and-seek with Terry at Battle Abbey (right next to the battlefield above) was a lot of fun!
[Cadbury factory]
One of Terry's business trips took us to Birmingham, where one of the local attractions was the Cadbury chocolate factory. I never realised that Cadbury (and Bourneville) were actual places and not just a made-up name! Mmmm, chocolate...

Unfortunatly we didn't do the factory tour as a) the factory was crowded, and b) the cost was over 8 pounds (=NZ$25 approx). A bit too much to pay for a factory tour, we thought!

[Me on the Dieppe ferry]
A nice thing about being in England is that the rest of Europe is not very far away. One Saturday Terry and I took the fast-ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe in France for a day trip, which was a new experience and a lot of fun! The first time that we took a boat to a foreign country and returned to the 'home' country on the same day. Whooo!

And of course, you get to meet new people on these trips. What a nice panda fellow, though I can't quite remember his name...

[At the ferry bar]
Of course, when one is on a ferry journey, having a drink at the bar is one of the things one must do. I am a little surprised at the Hoverspeed lady though, has she not served foxes at the bar before?

I do like her uniform though. So retro it's chic - even if I had to restrain myself from calling out "Thunderbirds Are Go!" from time to time!

[Me on a torpedo]
Another day trip we did was to the Submarine Museum in Gosport, near Portsmouth. One of the exhibitions was of various Royal Navy weapons, from WW2- vintage mines to an actual decommissioned Polaris submarine-launched nuclear missile, complete with associated launch consoles!
Here I am sitting on a Royal Navy Spearfish torpedo. It was almost as much fun as sitting astride that 12-inch gun on Corregidor, I find there's nothing quite like having something large and[Censored by the Management - Ed.], it really excites a girl! [Okay, enough of that, this is a family show! - Ed.]
[Land vixen and Sea Vixen]
And on the way back from Gosport to Brighton, we called in at an air museum at Tangmere, near Chichester. Imagine our surprise when we saw a de Havilland Sea Vixen aircraft on display - and naturally, as I am a vixen myself, I just had to pose in front of it.

The Sea Vixen was one of the last Royal Navy carrier fighter aircraft, being decommissioned in the 1970's when the last conventional carrier, HMS Ark Royal, was scrapped. 

[Fly Navy, Foxy Lady!]
"Fly Navy, Foxy Lady!"

[Quite the show-off this time, isn't she? - Ed.]

[My British chums :) ] Here I am with some of my new friends in Terry's flat.
  • Fritz the fox, from Germany
  • Herman Bear, from Rye (he went back to New Zealand for Stefany)
  • Frederika, the Border Collie (rear)
  • Esmerelda, the Sheltie Collie (front)
  • Badger!
[Enjoying Brighton sunshine]
Ahhhh, summer on the south coast of England. Here I am taking the sun on the verandah of Terry's flat in Brighton. The knotted handkerchief is so British, don't you think?
[At a German convention]
In April Terry and I went to Memphit Mini-Con in Seeheim, Germany (an hour's train-ride out of Frankfurt). I met a lot on interesting people there, and had a great time!
[Caught in the act!]
Whaaaat?!? How did this get in here? I thought that no-one was watching, and he is such a nice coyote! [Sorry, couldn't resist! -Ed.]
[Frankfurt Hbf]
On the way back to England, Terry and I stopped briefly at Frankfurt for some sightseeing. Here I am in front of the Frankfurt central railway station. Very different to Hamburg when we went in 1997!
[Duxford, with Vulcan]
Back in Great Britain, one weekend Terry and I went up to the Duxford air museum in Cambridgeshire. It was a very interesting day out for both of us, there was such a variety of both vintage and modern aircraft exhibits to see - including this example of an RAF Avro Vulcan nuclear bomber. This is certainly a case of "aluminium overcast" if there ever was one - it's huge!
[Duxford, with SAAB Draaken]
As well as examples of British aircraft like the Vulcan, Hadley Page Victor, Concorde, the TSR2 and Harriers, and American B52s, SR-71 Blackbirds and B17 Flying Fortresses, there were aircraft from other places. Here I am in front of a Swedish SAAB "Draaken" ("Dragon" I think), which in contrast to the Vulcan seemed to be an aircraft you put on instead of climb into. Just the thing for a Sunday afternoon, eh?
[Eurostar train at Ashford, UK]
The northern hemisphere summer soon came upon us in 2001, and so Terry and I headed off to Germany to attend Eurofurence 7 in Freusberg Castle, Kirchen, Germany. For a change, instead of flying to Germany from England we decided to take the Eurostar cross-Channel high-speed train to Brussels, then connecting Continental rail services to the con. Here is the Eurostar train pulling into Ashford International station in Kent, where we boarded the train.
[Me and John T.]
Terry and I had arranged to meet up with John Tatman, a UK furry fan and representative for the UK-based comic company United Publications, who was also going to Eurofurence. Here we are on the French side of the Chunnel traveling at over 200km/h towards Brussels. What does that gesture of John's mean, I wonder? It must be some kind of greeting!
[In front of Freusberg Castle, Germany]
After a delayed connection in Brussels and manhandling our gear across half of the German rail network, we arrived at Freusberg Castle. It really is a beautiful place, just out of a picture postcard, and in the mornings you can hear the church bells from the valley below softly ringing. A wonderful place to spend the weekend!
[Secret Bunker with Secret Agent Fox]
Later that month and back in England, Terry, some of his workmates and I visited a former British Government nuclear facility north of London. This was an underground bunker that was intended to be used to run the country (or what was left of it) after a nuclear attack. Apart from the irony of seeing tourist signs boldly pointing towards a "Secret Nuclear Bunker" (if it was secret, you wouldn't know, would you?), the main emotion I came away with was the difficulty in surviving such an attack in the first place, even if you were in one of these bunkers. I got the feeling that the best thing to do in a nuclear attack was to run outside, put your head between your legs and kiss your bum goodbye. It'd be quicker.
[Local beers have funny names!]
One thing we found in England was that some local beers had very unusual names - for example, "Old Peculiar", "Nasty Nick", "Bishop's Finger" and "Spitfire". Imagine our surprise when Terry brought home a bottle each of "Fox's Nob" and "Dog's Bollocks"! Frederika and I just HAD to try them...
[September 11 - in Los Angeles]
Like many others, Terry and I were caught up in the events of September 11 – in our case, we were in transit through Los Angeles to Portland to see John Plunkett before continuing on home to New Zealand for home leave. Instead of three days visiting friends, we spend five days waiting for LAX to open and trying to get the next flight back to New Zealand in the turmoil that followed.

This is me in front of the memorial display in the LAX Hilton.

[Meeting LA furry fans]
[Aieeee! Guns guns guns!] On the last day of our forced stopover in Los Angeles, Terry and I managed to meet up with some LA furry fans and artists, including Brenda DiAntoinis (left, front), Chris Sawyer (rear, second from left), Megan Giles (rear, third from left) and Roy Pounds (front, on my right). The chap whose shoulder I am resting on owned a rather impressive piece of military hardware, which he showed Terry – and now I am slightly worried as to whether we should have got a cultural briefing on the effects of such weaponry on non-Americans!
[Safe in the Pacific]
We finally made our "Escape from L.A." on September 15th, and next day we arrived in Rarotonga for a quick stopover. After the security checks and bustle of LAX, it was a blessed relief to arrive in a country – a small dot in the vast Pacific Ocean – that appeared to be untouched and untroubled by recent events.

An hour and a half in Rarotonga, then we flew for four more hours to New Zealand and home – arriving the following day as we'd crossed the Date Line!

All too soon our home leave was over, and it was time to return to Terry's UK assignment. As we'd both got rather sick of Los Angeles by this time, and flight routing via Singapore looked rather too close to Afghanistan for comfort, we decided to travel through Hong Kong. Just as well it turned out, as en route from Auckland the Americans started bombing Kabul…

Luckily, the Conrad International Hotel where we stayed the night in Hong Kong was very good at helping us relax. Right down to the complimentary rubber duck in the bathroom!

[A misty view of Hong Kong]
We had over a day for sightseeing in Hong Kong, so one trip we did was to take the Peak Tram to the top of Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island to see the view. Unfortunately for Terry, the pervading tropical haze made getting a decent photo of Hong Kong and Kowloon extremely difficult…
[Me and Jackie Chan! Or is it?]
One famous Hong Kong person we met was Jacki Chan, the fame martial-arts film star. He even agreed to pose with us! What a nice fellow.

Hmmm, "Madam Tussard's" sounds familiar for some reason. Maybe that's why Jacki wasn't terribly active?

[Communist Party animal?]
At the Madam Tussard's exhibition on Victoria Peak, I got to meet the Chinese Premiere. I was told he was the head of the Chinese Communist Party, and as I like a good party myself (you could even say I'm a party animal!) I though he would be a good person to know!
[MaryFurr and Singapore Merlion]
Another return to New Zealand in December, and as we were preparing to go back to the UK for the rest of the project (Terry was supposed to be there until September 2002) Terry was told that the project was winding up and that he was to pack up and return to Wellington! Of course, we were already in New Zealand at the time, so we had to go all the way back and close down the aprtment in Brighton.

This time we went through Singapore en route to the UK. Here I am in front of that famous symbol of Singapore - the "Merlion". Very nice - but very hot as well!

Return to top of this page

Return to MaryFurr's Index Page

Return to the Welcome page!

Copyright 2002 Terry Knight.
Last Updated January 2002
For more information contact: Terry Knight