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The flight to London was uneventful. I watched 'Bride and Prejudice', and dozed, thanks to the comfort of a new neck pillow. The flight was thanksfully short, thanks to particularly strong tailwinds. We landed in the pre-dawn darkness. Of course the hotel couldn't check us in a 9 am, so we bought croissants at Pret a Manger and ate them, warm, tender, and tasty, in the early morning light in St. James Park. The air was cold, but the light was lovely, pelicans gliding on the waters, the occasional bundled-up tour group walking by.

The rest of the day was spent in bouts of shopping and sleeping.

In the evening, we went over to a friend's house for dinner. C.S. and I met in a Syntax course at UMass, years ago. We've kept in touch, and last night she hosted us for an evening of veggie curry, mango malai, and wonderful conversation. Her life has been interesting, and usefully for me, her partner is a medieval historian, one with two book contracts and a published book on castles.

My next job application is ready to mail, and I'm off to the British Library for the afternoon.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2004 05:16 am (UTC)
Oooh, I must have missed or forgotten the owlfish coming to London bit... are you going to be dropping in at all to My Place, not 100 miles westerly of the BL, and currently even on the same side of the Euston Road?
Dec. 22nd, 2004 12:26 pm (UTC)
I wasn't too blatant about announcing the London trip. It sort of got lost in all of Colin's moving plans. I went right by your place - shiny! new! not under construction like the last time I passed it! - saw the library sign on the building across from the original building, and thought of you.

I would love to drop by your place. After all, your library ought to have good and useful things on the history of spectacles. But it won't be this trip. My next trip however, likely in February or March, would be a good time!
Dec. 22nd, 2004 01:14 pm (UTC)

I should think we have things on the history of spectacles up the proverbial wazoo (at the moment I'm in negotiation over the papers of a pioneer in contact lenses, to bring the whole thing bang up to date). The website, which you probably know already, has a searchable online catalogue of Archives and Manuscripts (into which we have been diligently inserting subject search terms) as well as the main catalogue and the Images database. We also, largely due to Our Beneficent Founder's eclectic collecting practices, have some early texts on horology.

And if you do drop by, would you be interested in lunch at the S Indian veggie place?

Dec. 24th, 2004 10:02 am (UTC)
I would love to lunch at the S Indian veggie place. I know there are some good ones near your place of employment.

I have diligently avoided looking up anything in the Archives and Manuscripts archive you just sent me, since otherwise I'll spend vacation with my head full of related possible projects I could be working on, and how much more research my dissertation would benefit from before completion. Still, if I really do finish it in the next month, that means I could start working on sibling projects in time for my next trip to London...
Dec. 21st, 2004 06:00 am (UTC)
Plane rides and pelicans
I'm glad the trip was relatively calm. And you got to see pelicans, which are adorable.

I rented teh dvd version of "Winged Migration," and it had a "making of" segment in it. TO film the migrating birds, they raised several birds from each of the species they would film, and led them on their first migration. The migrating is stressful, and a few of the pelicans developed nervous tummies... they were so affectionate and sweet, and they wanted their human mommies to hold them in their laps and reassure them when they were sick. They were the most huggable birds to work with, apparently.

You have an awful lot of people to visit while you're over there, so I won't keep you any longer, peering at your computer screen.
Dec. 22nd, 2004 12:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Plane rides and pelicans
I'm fairly certain I'd not seen pelicans before. They were pretty nifty.

If I were staring at my computer screen, I probably would be about to spend lots of time online, but it's someone else's machine, so not today. You needn't worry.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 22nd, 2004 12:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Dec. 21st, 2004 08:30 am (UTC)
Glad to know you arrived safe and sound! :) (Pastries in the early morning sounds divine.) Have so much fun at the British Library!
Dec. 22nd, 2004 12:23 pm (UTC)
The BL would have been more fun had the little light on my desk which announces the arrival of books ever come on. After an hour and a half, I gave up and asked - and they had my books for me. Unfortunately, I slept in this morning, so I didn't have as much time there as I wished but still - it was useful!

I hope all is well in your life. I might even get to catch up with LJ sometime soon, now that I'm back on household broadband!
Dec. 22nd, 2004 07:23 pm (UTC)
Things are well here (and finally snowy!), and I'm trying to get in all the down time I can before the madness starts up in Jan. *g* I'm saving major updates until the New Year, probably, but am still reading up on your travels (and enjoying the owl & fish's icon adventures).
Dec. 29th, 2004 05:42 am (UTC)
Well, I'm so jealous that you get to play in the British Library.
Your experience with the books taking forever to arrive and then
not having enough time to got through them because of sleeping in
is exactly what happened to me on last year's trip to the Library
of Congress.

I also, as a rookie user of mammoth libraries, gave all my books
back to the circulation desk and then expected to be able to get
them back the next morning! Of course, it can take up to a week
for Those in the Catacombs Below to re-shelve anything. You're
supposed to put things you want tomorrow in the Room of Books You
Want Tomorrow. Fortunately it was a (very) slow day and the most
ancient and learned Director of Special Searches took pity on me
and fished them back out of the re-shelving carts downstairs. He
knew exactly where they would be in the first stage of re-shelving.

Does the BL have emergency door shutting plungers behind all
of the doors in case of fire? The LOC had them installed to allow
super-fast sealing of an area while still allowing them to keep
the gorgeous original doors.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )