Saturday, November 19, 2016

things I've learned in Britain

that are not related to mobile phones:

1. At the feet of the statue of Dorothy L. Sayers, there is a statue of her cat.

2. Sheep may safely graze on the burial mounds at Sutton Hoo.

3. Materials conservation at a historic house converted into a museum is a lot more like housekeeping than it is in the academic libraries where I know it.

4. If the essential eating-while-standing-outdoors food in Hawaii is a shaved ice on the beach at Haleiwa in August, the equivalent in England is fish and chips on the shore of the North Sea in November. I have now had both.

5. The only dilapidated building in the entirety of Stratford-upon-Avon's neat and clean town centre is Shakespeare's (supposed) birthplace.

6. There is an entire book on the history of the London Underground map. I now have a copy of this book. (Are you not surprised?)

7. The Two Noble Kinsmen, by Shakespeare and Fletcher, is a much better Fletcher play than it is a Shakespeare one.

8. On the other hand, the unpromisingly dry Milton Comus was alchemized at the Globe Theatre's indoor playhouse into a riotous hoot.

9. When Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, he had not yet grown his famous beard. You'd never recognise him.

10. A transplanted Yorkshirewoman explained to me that the last words of the song lyric "On Ilkla Moor baht 'at" mean "without a hat." I had had no idea, and had guessed it meant "about eight o'clock."

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