105.September 18

Bath, England

We just had breakfast the next morning as I write this. Now we will walk down to Bath and spend the day walking around. We leave at 12:30 for Nottingham. Cheers! We woke at 06:30 and ate at 08:15. John and I had a quick game of chess before breakfast. We all had cereal and coffee or tea on long tables. Then Kiron drove us to Bath.

Drew Curtis, his stuffed bunny (which he placed in all of his photos), and I walked together with the intent of going to the Naive Museum (because of its name). We stopped at an auction to look around, and at many antique shops throughout town. I bought a 60-300 mm zoom lens for my camera for 58 pounds at a big Antiques Center. We could not find the museum, and didn't much care. We found a market building and many music and clothing shops. They were fun. We went through a graveyard, jumped the wall and down to the river, getting stuck in a few alleys. We wandered back to meet some of the group at the cathedral square on our way back to the bus. I showed them my lens, because they showed interest. Then we went back to the bus, stopping to gawk and take more rabbit pictures when the opportunity arose. One such occasion was a town crier advertising the record sale in town. He had a big booming body and voice. He wore a red tail-coat and a black top-hat. Drew Curtis asked him questions and got a picture of him holding his bunny. He had won the town crier competition in the county. We could understand why.

I had a wonderful time walking around with Drew Curtis. He is fun, and never runs out of anything to talk about, especially when he was telling me about Beevis and Butthead. We did the Butthead laugh all day long, and our humor was gutter-bound. It was fun, because we could voice our interest in things around us without getting slapped by anyone. I don't think I got in his way, and I don't think I would ever let him get in mine, but he wouldn't anyway. He is great.

We stopped, after a twenty minute drive, at a Roman (or earlier) amphitheater of grass. We had to jump a wall and barbed-wire fence. I helped pull everyone over it. I took some pictures of Eve doing a cartwheel with my new lens at 600 mm. Elizabeth Faldet left her teddy bear, so I brought it down to her. We went to the Cirencester Corinium Museum there, which was boring. I think it was another Roman villa or bath. The museum also displayed and sold local art. Nothing was very good. The afternoon started to wear on. It was only a short drive to another place that we visited: the well preserved and in-progress dig of Chedworth Roman Villa.

This villa inspired the song "Imagine" to ring through my mind. "Imagine there's a villa, it isn't hard to do." They had walls and mosaic floors, a well, and were still digging to find more and more, but mostly, they just knew where walls would be. From that they knew what happened inside the buildings. Our tour guide knew his stuff, went very quickly, and kept me interested the whole time. Elizabeth Faldet wanted to be held, so I held her in my arms most of the tour. The mosaic floor was the best I've seen in Britain, especially Old Man Winter.

We started our drive home. I slept on the floor most of the way. We arrived at 20:00. We ate noodles and tomato sauce. Drew Curtis started the Shadow Run with Lisa, Eve, John, Jen and me. We went hunting for penguins in a warehouse where they were accomplishing dangerous feats of chemical engineering with animals like lemmings. Afterwards we went to sleep.


They Might Be Giants were playing in Iowa City, so Sarah, Heidi, and I got tickets and planned out the trip for tonight. We will left Decorah at 3pm, and arrived around 6pm in Iowa City. We went to my favorite Indian restaurant in Iowa City before the concert at the University of Iowa, and then on to a great concert. It was general admission seating. We just stood up near the middle and danced the whole time. We were both trying to be protective of Heidi, since it was a college crowd. It was in the Jessup Hall of the University. We drove back afterwards.


Rachel and I had a leisurely morning and watched some of Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

My parents came over with the John Deere tractor pulling a load of dirt in the manure spreader. We emptied the load at the top of the driveway. Then dad pulled the dirt down, including the load I ordered from the quarey. He leveled it, or rather, pulled it down at a slight slant to even out the gravel drive, from which we had pulled the railroad ties that held it up. We loaded up the rest of the rail-road ties that were in the back yard, and they took off. Rachel and I ate some of the calico bean stew that she made for tonights party. We continued to clean the garage, and I took a load of cardboard out to the recyclers in the truck, and stopped at my parents to help unload the rail-road ties with my father.

We went to a party at Sara's barn, in the Alamo. It was quite a spread of food and pies. We stayed until 22:00, and had a wonderful time with most of our friends.


Looking back over a busy wonderful weekend. Tiresome weekend, but so much good fun, and some accomplishment. Today, I had my first morning as a bell ringer in my church's ringing group. I played C4 and D4. I had a good time, and feel like I may stick with this for a while. We sang in church choir as well, and that also seemed worth while and fun. What is this happening with this life? After this, I did some preparation for another dinner party in the tent for tonight, Gunner was coming over for dinner and to talk about his life and prospects with Rachel and me. But it was still noon, and so after Rachel left for Dean Johnson's funeral, I finished up and got on my F800st and headed to La Crosse for Jen's current play "The Laramie Project". It was fantastic. I thought every moment and stage placement was well conceived, and most everything was well portrayed as well. Jen was magnificent, which I hardly have to say, but every character was both a version of herself and a vibrant character. I can say the same for nearly all of the actors, as they really developed their characters speech patterns and movements from what they could construct from historical records and video's where possible. I was so happy I went today, and got to sit the Jen's oldest kids in the black box theatre.

I went straight from the show back to our tent to continue preparation for dinner, setting the oval oak table and eventually helping bring out the food when Gunner arriver. We had a long and spirited conversation about life, jobs, music, and prospects. I may have convinced him to join Luren Singing Society. All was well in the world, it seemed tonight. Tomorrow we go to work very early together. What a great start of another week.