039.November 23

Nottingham, England

London Boots is the name of a boot store in downtown Nottingham. On campus, I see an awful lot of Dr. Martins, from tall to very short. I just got a used pair at a sale in the Portland building for 28 pounds. That's not extremely cheap. They are in good shape, and they are the good ones, 9 hole lacers with air cushion soles, and oh so comfortable. A name written on the inside of the boots is Karen. They are 8's. Women wear men's shoes. The biggest look is blocky. Soles and everything else are black. Oh, some people also have a red leather boot, kind of a mahogany look. They are still blocky though. No one wears Tennis shoes, which I really appreciate, except when I go to fencing and have to. I think I will wear these Dr. M's for that from now on.

Tonight I have play practice. I made cookies for the cast today, and have them in my backpack. I am sure that they will appreciate them. They are Snicker doodles. Liz Bitner made them a few weeks ago for the flat, so I made some tonight. They are great, but they look a little misshapen. I am off to practice. For thanksgiving, we are having a big house meal and inviting a friend each. I have play-practice during the meal, so I will have to leave. We will have a party in the house later that night though, and so I can still get in on some of it. My host family, the Pickfords, invited me over to their house for Christmas Eve. If I'm not traveling, I'll take them up on that.


Cambridge, UK

It's Saturday, and I'm sitting in the Eagle in Cambridge, which is as far as I can tell, the nicest and most student friendly pub in all of Cambridge, drinking a pint of Ruddles' Country Bitter. It is quite bitter, dry, but flavourful. It is a great experience to have a pint like this in a room like this. cockfighting sketches on the wall and all.

After my breakfast of eggs, tomato, mushrooms, toast and tea. I walked to get cash this morning and claimed another 100 pounds to pay for my hotel, which turned out to be 35 quid, despite stating on a board that it would be far more than that.

The TIC must know what they are talking about. I returned, showered, dressed and packed, depositing my money and my bag with the hostess.

Now I'm in The Rose and Thorn Public House. I think I'll go to the service in King's College Chapel at 17:30. There is no reason I can't and still make Kate's well before 20:00, when I shall meet her and go to a pub with a number of her friends.

Another person, a woman with the trace of a mustache, maybe kinda cute, is writing at a table next to and facing me. I seem to excel her in speed. Though we are both simply scribbling on the right hand of our journals.

It would be that nearly all the people I know here, with of course the exception of Malcolm, are drinking very little these days. Claire and Tim are dry entirely. What is wrong with this world? I would die to be here with my siblings.

I finally left Cambridge at 18:30. I'm on a train that is supposed to arrive at 19:30 at Kings Cross London. This should be fine, but I will give Kate a call to let her know I'll be there to drop off my things before 20:00.

After lunch, I went to the appointed bridge, Maudlin, spelled Magdelene, and waited. The were nearly half an hour late, but I waited because I was a little late and thought they might check back. Before they arrived, the rain stopped, and the sun shone brightly and beautifully on me, ducks and swans squawking just below on the otherwise empty river. I said immediately upon their arrival "Shall we get a punt?" Claire asked the rental boatman for details while I used a lavatory, and then I gave them my credit card impression and they gave me a long pole and brief instructions on how to propel the watercraft.

I got Claire situated with my camera, and I attempted to move upstream. I started out horribly, but soon we got going the right direction and at some speed, as in inching forward. I had to duck just under the first bridge, using the ceiling to push the boat along in the right direction, as the pole was too long to use there.

We traded off, Tim taking the pole and I got on the camera, sitting on the only dry pad, sharing a spot with Claire, balancing the weight. We turned around just past King's College lawn, near the chapel. I used the pole to hold the boat to shore when we traded places the first time, but Claire and Tim just switched places. I had Tim pose in frame with Claire as she punted at the back of the boat. Now going downstream, it was a bit scarier, and faster. We made it to dock, she turned us around and around and I paddled some to help guide us in. We didn't get very wet at all, except our hands when the pole was held and dripped water down our arms and up our sleeves.

We went to a nice Greek deli, where they had a dining area upstairs. I had not Baklava, and wonderful Greek Coffee at 3 quid total. Our waitress was awesome, funny, joking me, with a deep voice, very Greek and cute. I was sad to leave her, but she gave me a banana chocolate lollipop. (I just finished it now. 20 minutes until I reach London. The moon is howling.)

We headed off for "The Backs" of the colleges, lawns, off the "Cam. " We pit-stopped at a specialty soaps place. I got a bar of shampoo. I'm excited to try it, probably back in America.

We walked through Claire's college, Queens. It was over the Mathematical Bridge which is where we had intended to head with the punt earlier. We finished up with a long long trip to Fitzwilliam College, which Claire attends. It was newer, and quite cool, but nothing of the majesty of the others. I missed the 17:30 service by a few minutes, and then missed my train by about 1 minute as well. But now I'm on my way and should be right on time. (19:20.)


I rode the BMW K75 into work today. It was about 30 fahrenheit at the time, but I wore gloves and a few good layers. I finished off Rachel's chili for lunch, and had a wonderful day at work, wearing my new black soft leather cowboy boots. I'm so happy for the end of the work week already.