Edinburgh by Castle

Best pic from our last day in Scotland? Maybe so.

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Sunset over England

This morning we said goodbye to England.  This afternoon we said hello to Scotland.  Here’s a panoramic picture of our hotel in the Lake District: the Whoop Hall Inn.  It was great being back there.  This time included a stroll or two in the area public walking path and a couple of good shots of our second sunset in the area (pictured above).

I type this in Edinburgh, where our night ended in some good Italian food and a nice walk around the city (with beautiful shots of the castle and with music provided by a local bagpipe player).  More on that later, though. 

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York (and back again)

Our fifth day of travel (or fourth, if our first travel day is not included) took us to York, which is always a fun, historical romp.  This day brought a ride through the country before entering the walled city with York Minster at its heart.  The day wasn’t too busy, which is always nice.  Beyond that, there’s a “new” store selling Harry Potter store in the “Shambles” area of the city, which is the part that inspired Diagon Alley in Potter-lore.  I got to eat in my favorite little pizzeria and walk the area between the Shambles and the Minster.  Before dinner, though, we attended an evensong service at the Minster.  It was sung service, which isn’t quite my favorite.  Still, it was good to be in a place of silence and song.  The Old Testament reading was from the time of Elisha.  The New Testament reading was from Jesus’s talk of a kingdom divided against itself.  Here’s a picture of the Minster from just before the service.

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The third day of our tour took us to Stratford-on-Avon.  As with the previous days, there was a certain sense of “always returning” about the visit.  One new thing in particular was nice: we went inside Holy Trinity Church, which is where Shakespeare was buried.  We have often gone to see the graveyard, but never gone inside.  We were there at a time with good natural lighting.  I also go to sit in on a part of their morning prayers.  
There’s one thing that we get to do each visit that always chokes me up a little bit.  At the end of the walk through Shakespeare’s birthplace, we get to listen to actors present scenes upon request.  As last time, I requested Propsero’s final speech in The Tempest, which always brings a tear to my eyes.  Then I requested some banter from Much Ado About Nothing that was brilliantly funny.

We ended the night with a play by Christopher Marlowe, Dido, Queen of Carthage.  Not exactly my cup of tea.  Lots of talking.  Lots of high emotion.  And lots of special effects that were both brilliant and a little frustrating.  Wonderful acting, though.  

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Stonehenge and Oxford

A few days behind posting anything trip-related here.  WiFi has been a little sketchier than I had anticipated, so I’ll try and get a few things ready for the next bit.

The second day “on tour” was a morning at Stonehenge and an afternoon in Oxford. It’s interesting to see how things like time and timing work out in situations, particuarly if you’ve been there before.  Stonehenge was good, as always.  It’s easy to forget that lighting is a big thing for locations like that. Here’s the closest thing I got to a picture that I really like:

img_0068-1It’s a nice blend of blue and green and grey, all a little muted.  It was a beautiful morning.

After a quick lunch at Stonehenge, we made our way to Oxford, where we had a great walking tour by a recent Oxford student.  We covered most of the places I had a seen before and then some.  We also go to see a small free exhibit that had a copy of a Shakespeare First Folio and one of JRR Tolkien’s Father Christmas Letters (which ended up being the only thing you couldn’t take a picture of.  We didn’t get to spend any quality time in the Eagle & Child, which was unfortunate.  I did get to run in, though, only to find that the back section had been turned in to a fine-drinks bar.  Ah, well.

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The Fine Art of Academic Appeasement?

They don’t much make ’em like Linus anymore.  It might no longer be a matter of telling a teacher what they want to hear.

academic appeasement(Peanuts strip from gocomics.com)

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What You Learn

School may be out for fall break, but there’s always something to learn.  Case in point: Sally Brown and the fine art of tossing a bean bag.

What You Learn(Peanuts comic from gocomics.com)

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