Monday, August 22, 2011

A Couple of Things

I have one day left in London before I head off to the next adventure.

Any last minute suggestions? (I went to Dover today; I'll put some pictures up tomorrow, maybe. Too tired right now.)

What have I missed? If the weather's good, I may go walk around Hyde Park and such. If not, I'm thinking about the Natural History Museum. I love dinosaurs and such.


Stephen Fry is ubiquitous on TV here, it seems. I've seen him on quiz shows, an interview show, ads for a show on gadgets, and an episode of Jeeves. (As an aside, the quiz shows here are ... popular, different, smart, all at once.)


A while back, I talked about a colleague who'd had a serious stroke. I'm sad to say that my colleague has died. We're going to miss P so much in so many ways. P was one of the people whose institutional memory was helpful rather than not, who shared wisdom when asked, but didn't when not asked, and who contributed quietly as well as publicly.

I've been thinking a fair bit about P, since I found out that ze was just 65. Ze was just at retirement age, and that was the end. Ze hadn't (so far as I know) planned retiring soon, and now ze never will. I find that sad, but perhaps I shouldn't. Ze put a lot of self into the university and department.


  1. I'm very sorry to hear about your colleague. :( It sounds like this person was a bright light in the university. Sad - a brief candle.

    As for London - I've heard that the Jack the Ripper walk is pretty awesome, as is Madame Tussauds wax museum. I didn't do either, but I shall someday! Another thing I'd like to check out, though I know pretty much nothing about it, is the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221b Baker Street in London. Looks like it's open every day except Xmas and is 6 pounds to visit. Might be something of interest. Whatever you do, have a blast!!

  2. I'm so sorry about P. That sounds like a loss, and it's probably hard to be reacting to it so far away from your colleagues and friends. {hug}

    I'd probably go to the Keats House--unless I missed that you visited already?

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your colleague. It's always sad, but especially when someone is a constructive presence in the department...

    You've done an amazing tour of London. So anything you do tomorrow is gravy:

    I don't think you have done the Tate Britain as well as the Tate Modern. If you like Turner, it is exceptional.
    You could go out to Ham House, near Richmond -- it's a 17th C house, and has some great portraits.
    If you haven't gone to Kew Gardens, it's pretty amazing, and you can spend a whole day looking at plants, wandering around, etc. It's another way of seeing the empire.

    Or you could just wander --
    The London Walks (of which the Jack the Ripper is one) are all supposed to be excellent -- the guides are well informed, etc.

    If it's a nice day, you might go on the Regent's Canal cruise, or go to the zoo and walk along the canal after. It's lovely and peaceful. If you go on the cruise from Camden Town, it's fun as you go through Regent's Park, then through built up areas.

    Have fun!

  4. There is an article in the NYTimes today about this weekend in London. Apparently a bunch of places, normally offlimits, will be open to tourists.

  5. If the weather's nice, I vote for Hampstead Heath or a walk along the Regent's Canal with the Camden Locks as the starting or ending point and the Zoo/Regent's Park/Primrose Hill as the other end. Go to the top of Primrose Hill for a great view of all of London (Primrose Hill is the park just to the north of Regent's Park) and at the other end, watch the boats go through the lock and eat at one of the many international food stalls in the Camden Markets. (Susan's suggestion of a cruise sounds nice, too!)

    OR, go to Hampstead Heath and go to the top of Parliament Hill (for an even *better* view) and wander around the Heath's many different terrains. Walk *by* the Keats House, but don't pay to go in -- it's full of stuff that's *like* stuff that Keats *might* have owned. Honestly, I don't think it's worth it. But it's pretty outside. And walk around lovely, lovely Hampstead Village.

    If it's not nice weather, I think the Natural History Museum sounds like a good bet for you, though when I was there a few months ago, the dinosaurs were closed off for refurbishment. And it's often full of loud children.

    Have you been to the Museum of London yet? I can't remember. If the weather's bad, that would be a great way to cap off your stay. Or you could do more of the V&A along with the Nat. Hist. and *also* go to the Science Museum -- they're all right next to each other.

  6. Oh, there's also Highgate Cemetery on the east side of Hampstead Heath.

    Wait, I think you went to Kenwood House already, didn't you. So you've probably seen the Heath. But have you had a crepe from the Hampstead Creperie? *Yummy*! :-)