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Leeds/Kismet/Bodean's

Medieval Congress at Leeds: I've never been in a conference session, to the best of my memory, which required last minute corrections to be printed in the corrigenda. This time? All four of the sessions in which I am involved in some way or other will be appearing there! (One of those "sessions" is actually a medieval cooking workshop, but it's not the one originally scheduled. My conference paper is a substitution. The session I'm chairing has lost a paper. I'm the only person listed in the program as being on the roundtable who is still on it.)

Kismet: The English National Opera put on a lavish and entertaining production of Kismet, with two notable stumbles which spoke of an inadequate rehearsal period. The production is only one for a few weeks. Some of the music was familiar since I'd seen the musical when I was a young child. "This is my beloved" was ravishingly gorgeous. "Strangers in Paradise" is such an elegant and lovely piece. Most of the rest aren't nearly so catchy, but a great deal more witty.

Bodean's: London is no place to eat barbecue any more than it's worth eating Mexican food here. We have a local barbecue place which is lackluster, but extensive asking about revealed consistently that Bodean's, a small chain of barbecue restaurants in London, was the place to go for it here. I recruited a group largely consisting of visiting Americans (pittenweem, eulistes, morganlf, and Dr. Virago, plus C. and E.) to join me for an evening of meat-oriented feasting. And it was really quite respectable! Service was hit-and-miss, but the food was plentiful without being overwhelming. Meat was a little on the dry side, but the mildly smoky-spicy sauce balanced it out. I had ribs and pulled pork with a side of baked beans, fries, and salad. Dessert was a rich little piece of sweet potato bread pudding. They also had a decent cocktail selection, American exotic root beer, and import North American beers (including Moosehead). The space is easily noisy, with hard wood walls, and only small touches like ironwork lamps and N.A. beer trays keep the decor from being entirely Modern London with art deco touches.