Sunday, June 5, 2011

England - Sunday

I'm going to try to be brief on this trip, so as to save myself the aggravation of getting behind.  Great flight, love my family, saw some old stuff, the end.

Okay, maybe longer than that.

I flew in on Saturday afternoon and my parents took me to Drew & Kim's house, where I made polite conversation and tried not to fall asleep sitting up on their couch.  Actually, I was fairly alert for most of the time, and it's easy to stay awake around my family because we talk about interesting stuff.  During yesterday's conversation we talked about dystopian novels, breast-feeding other people's babies, Mark Twain, the guy who invented graphs, doulas, and the gruffalo.  I love talking to my family.

So now I've seen the inside of two British houses (Drew's, my parents.)  For all that they have an identical function, they are quirkily different.  And I'm never quite sure what to do with the new things I find.  My parents' sinks have two faucets--one for hot and one for cold water.  Great for when you're brushing your teeth, because who wants to brush with warm water, am I right?  Washing your hands is a different proposition altogether.  You really have to commit--are you going to take your germ-phobia seriously and risk a second-degree burn to wash your hands in hot water, or are you going to weenie out and wash with melted-glacier water?  Me, I go for the cold every time.  At Drew and Kim's I went to the bathroom and found a cord with a handle hanging from the ceiling.  As I went about my business, I wondered--is it a toilet flushing mechanism? Why would it be on the other side of the room? Or maybe a bell-pull, for calling your butler? Or an emergency rip-cord of some sort?  Turns out it's the light switch.  The Brits don't want you electrocuting yourself by flipping a switch with wet hands, even though the room I was in was a 'toilet' and not a 'bathroom' and as such had no running water and the only way I could have hands wet enough to electrocute myself is if I actually fell into the toilet, so the whole hanging light cord thing was wasted on me.

I went to church with my parents and one woman, who apparently was trying to get on my mom's good side, asked Mom if I was her sister.  A couple other people asked how we were related--apparently the mother-daughter connection is not as obvious as it used to be, back before the years had their way with me.  Sigh.  (Yes, yes, I know that 34 is not that old, but the reminders of being 34 sting a little bit.)

I came home from church and took a nap, which was delightful.  Drew and Kim and Anna came over and we all hung out for a while.  Dad went up to sleep for a couple of hours before his midnight shift started and the rest of us went to Knaresborough castle.  The castle used to be a huge area, but all that's left is the King's tower and some pieces of the wall.  Kim is trying desperately to go into labor so we walked down into the moat (cool) and back around the grounds.  Anna fell on the path--which I will take absolutely no accountability for--and when she went down a second time, she was pretty much done.  (The second time I was nowhere near her, but I don't think it's done much to endear me to her.)

And now I am sitting down to a pint with Mom, she's got Banana Split and I have Phish Food.  (Ben and Jerry's.  I was hoping for a pint=British pub kind of connection, but I wasn't sure if it was clear.)  Tomorrow Mom and I will head south for some sightseeing - Monday is Warwick Castle, Stratford-upon-Avon, Avebury, and Stonehenge.  Tuesday is Oxford.  Wednesday is (hopefully) York.

Without further ado, pictures.  (PS - This is a new photo managing thingy I installed today - it grabs my Facebook photos and automatically puts it in the post, so if you're my FB friend, it's nothing new.)

From England, posted by Emily Simmons on 6/05/2011 (25 items)

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