Tuesday, September 19, 2000

"What's in the Blood Pudding?"

Greetings from the land of cold rooms and warm beer, where I have once again somehow managed to sneak away and garner Internet access.

Was it worth it to fly over here just so I wouldn't have to watch the Redskins game?

After checking into the Lypiatt House yesterday, I wandered around, got my bearings and headed into a pub. Ah, England. I ordered fish and chips (avoiding the "American-style hot dog"...authenticity in pubs is sometimes hard to come by these days) and a nice, warm beer. Ah, that was nice. A couple of months ago, I ordered a Bass ale at the Santa Fe Cafe in College Park and was served it ice cold. There and then I vowed to come over here and drink English beer at the proper temperature. (OK, so it's not much of a vow.)

I went back to my room with the intentions of freshening up. Sadly, after watching a few minutes of the Pakistan-UK field hockey match on the BBC, I was overcome with a deep need for sleep. Now, I know that the recommended means of overcoming jetlag is to stay up until the next night, but I was proud of myself for keeping it down to a 2-hour nap. Of course, having terrible nightmares will do that to you, too.

So I headed out again. I made it to the Cheltenham museum half an hour before it closed. That was about 10 minutes too much. They had a lot of artwork I wasn't interested in, and some fairly random exhibits of pottery. The one really cool room was devoted to Edward Wilson, an artist and zoologist from Cheltenham who went with Scott on his Antarctic Expeditions, and died with him after reaching the South Pole. They had some of his watercolors of penguins, and a bunch of his gear. It was pretty neat.

Last night I went out to dinner with a colleague and his wife. For some reason, the age distribution of people at my work is a bit skewed towards the baby boomer era. I mean, I like those people, but well...see my previous thoughts on age and socialization. Anyway, I got to go out with the one co-worker (slightly) younger than me, which was cool. We went to a nice Greek restaurant and had a good time.

This morning was a fine breakfast in the English tradition. I restrained myself from sampling everything offered to me, and restricted myself to the orange juice, toast, and scrambled eggs with salmon. Mmm. Aforementioned colleague's wife ordered the blood pudding, since she had never had it before. After getting it and not liking the looks of it, she wondered aloud what was in it. "Uh, blood," responded the vegetarian at the table. Ah, England.

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