>Random bullet points of Britain


  • On my friend’s A to Z map of Leeds and its environs, “built up” areas are shaded in pink, and any collection of three or more residences not belonging to the same farm counts as “built up,” even if everything around it is countryside. I find this charming.
  • While visiting said friend, I went for a couple of runs in her semi-suburban, semi-rural town. These runs included a loop around a “tarn” (which I find cool to say, even though it’s just a pond) and a pass by the end of the Leeds/Bradford airport’s runway. Just as I was going by, a plane came in for a landing. Don’t worry though — Yorkshire is a hilly place, and the runway was actually up above me. I thought it was kind of sublime watching that plane fly so close overhead. The sheep across the road were unimpressed, however.
  • We went for a visit to Harewood House, and I wondered, ‘How did they manicure all that lawn in the 18th and 19th centuries? Would sheep alone do the trick?’
  • There are three libraries in Harewood and I want them all — especially the one with the secret doors.
  • Something I learned: the Leeds to London/London to Leeds train is always crowded.
  • Something I learned about myself: I don’t get the point of Big Brother. But I *really* don’t get the point of Big Brother’s Little Brother. A commentary show on a reality show? WTF?
  • I cannot find my way around the maze of where I’m staying and it’s just one big building built around a courtyard. I have to figure it out tomorrow or it will drive me nuts.
  • There is an angry, or at least irritated, French woman in the room next to me. She’s on the phone chattering away in irritation.
  • I heard 8 different languages being spoken in the Tesco across from the Russell Square Tube station, and then I stopped counting. For the record: English, Spanish, French, German, something Middle Eastern which I’m unable to specify, Cantonese, Italian, and something I couldn’t place at all.
  • Weirdly, I could understand the woman speaking Spanish in Tesco better than I can understand my French neighbor, and I’ve had many more years of French. Hmm.
  • There’s an old man in a flat across from where I’m staying who seems to spend all of his time watching the world go by on the street below. I don’t have a view of this from my room — I look onto a lovely interior garden — but I saw him when I was roaming the halls trying to figure out which toilets and showers were closest to me. If I see him again, I’ll try to snap a picture.
  • I have not changed the time on my computer. It’s still in Rust Belt time. I think perhaps I should change it, eh?

That’s it for now. Must unpack!

10 thoughts on “>Random bullet points of Britain

  1. >Gardeners. Vast, heaving hordes of gardeners, under-gardeners and garden boys, with scythes. That’s what kept the lawns down. After all, the haha kept the sheep away from the lawns next to the house.Not unsurprisingly, the lawnmower was a British invention . . . and a much earlier one than one might think ;-)We apologize for the weather, by the way. We did have some nice weather in April, but we seem to have misplaced it.

  2. >Thanks S — and as soon as I get my head screwed on straight and settled in, we should make a plan to get together.Meli – I’ve been to your fair city many, many times over the years. Although, come to think of it, I’m rarely in Leeds proper — mostly around its edges. My friend grew up near Ilkley and we’ve known each other since we were 15 (we were pen friends!), and except for a few years in Carlisle, she’s been living in one Bradford/Leeds town or another over the years, so I’ve seen quite a bit of that part of Yorkshire, and I’ve seen it change tremendously.Wegie — thanks for the info! It’s no surprise that the lawnmower was a British invention, now that I think about it, even though I always think Americans are more obsessed with lawns than anyone else. But those manor houses have vast tracts of lawn.As for “heaving hordes of gardeners” — why am I thinking of Lady Chatterly’s Lover now? :)And no apologies necessary. What’s an English summer without the rain? 🙂

  3. >Also, please tell if you’ll be there for the Women’s British Open. If so, you might be able to do some live-blogging should you desire to take your blog to the course for the U.S. Women’s Open and the British–not good to spend all your time in the library!

  4. >While you were at Harewood — or if you go back there again, did you go a little off the beaten track? The old castle is still there, just down the hill, towards the River Wharf. There is an even older remains of a wooden fort, just across the River too. It is gone, but there is a woods on the remains and there are earthworks. There is even still a buried room there! It is a neck of the woods I know well. Should you want directions to these wonders, send me an e-mail (the address is available at my place). I hope that you also visited Arnsclife Crag. It is supposed to be an entrance to the Underworld. The Combat Philosopher

  5. >I’m so glad you made it there safely! Have I told you about the really good Italian restuarant in Lamb’s Conduit Road?? And the pub “The Lamb” is also neat.Have a great time!

  6. >Ok, I am *way* behind on keeping up with these comments!Sis — I will post pictures when I finally get around to uploading them!Clio – Well, the “secret” doors were really servant’s entrances disguised as bookcases (complete w/ fake books), but it’s still very cool!Constructivist — I won’t be at Wimbeldon, which is probably a good thing, since tennis is lost on me. Sorry! But don’t worry — I’m getting plenty of fresh air.Combat Philosopher — with my friend’s 9-month-old in tow (not to mention the ginormous stroller) it was hard to go off the beaten path. But I’m sure I’ll visit again, and when the kid’s older, she’ll want to find the castle, too!Medieval Woman — Lamb’s Conduit Road *rocks*. Both the pub and the Italian restaurant were *packed* as I passed at 5pm, which I thought was a good sign, so glad to hear both of them recommended by you, as well. And also, the little shops along that road are awesome – I just both some cool little gifts for the Pastry Pirate in a shop called “Something.” What a great name — “What’s the shop called?” “It’s called Something.” “Oh, I’m sure you’ll think of it.” “No, it’s called Something.” “Don’t worry about it, really.” “No, *really*…” — shades of Who’s On First.

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