Back from England!
I finally got to visit England -- thanks to my parents, who had been urging me to visit for so many years. Of course, I want to go back, even though at the same time, I'm glad to be back to a place where a bottle of Coke costs around a dollar or so and is a full 20 ounces. Sure, I wish I had visited earlier, but then I might not have appreciated seeing the resting places of Purcell and Handel at Westminster Abbey! And others of course, but Purcell and Handel are worth noting because I so often listen to my Purcell and Handel tapes (Russell Oberlin, of course) in my car.
Besides seeing Westminster Abbey, I saw the British Museum (I saw Lindow man, my first bog body!) twice; ate Indian food in Bloomsbury (near the Bonnington); saw the Tower of London (twice, long story); took two Thames cruises (the second one was much nicer); rode the London Eye (my brother John didn't think I could do it!); lost my bearings more than once; saw the Albert Memorial (from a bus, I think you have to put on protective eyegear to see it up close); and visited Charing Cross Road and St. Paul's Cathedral (didn't get to see enough of it this time, though) and Covent Garden and the Theater Museum, among other things. I even rode that thrill ride known as the Tube. And became addicted to black currant juice (Ribena) -- if only Ribena had a bottling plant here!
And as if that weren't enough, I took a train and met Kate in Eastbourne; met her sister and their mother (who is 99) and their cat and the labradoodle Boris, and Kate's friend Pam. I stayed in a house that was built around the 1480s, before my country was even "officially" discovered. (Of course, we know it was unofficially discovered long before that, but...) It was all great, worth even having my allergies rear their ugly head -- yes, worth even having one of those annoying recurring dry coughs that sneaks up on you, and then becomes (ewwww) a productive cough which is still sometimes a dry cough, which then becomes... well you get the picture. Around Eastbourne (and surrounding areas), I saw my first pleasure pier, my first Saxon church, and my first giant carving in a chalk hillside, and had my first cream tea. Oh, and went to my first real pub and even participated in a pub quiz. Then we went on to Brighton and saw Kate's son, and we went on to Salisbury to see Stonehenge (!) and the famous Salisbury Cathedral, as well as Salisbury itself. I explored what England has to offer in bookstores, French markets, and of course, the chemist's shop. I tried lots of difference throat soothers and cough drops, and my favorite is probably the black currant ones.
I also overtipped more than a couple of times (silly Americans!) and explored the diverse range of Cadbury bars not offered in the U.S. and became addicted to British woman's weeklies and the Take a Break Fiction Special.
My tip to anyone planning to visit London... Buy the London A to Z map book!!! Heed my word! Even the Londoners use it!
Oh, and I also brought my eBookwise and used it to reread Gorok and Wulf and made notes on the story. Of course, I found lots of flaws this time around it, which will now have to be fixed. (*whistling nonchalantly*)