March 31st, 2007

little review

Greetings from Bath

Saturday we got up, left Catford after a brief visit to the aviary in the courtyard of the place where we were staying, and drove through lovely, occasionally sheep-filled countryside to Bath. We went first to have lunch Seafoods Fish & Chips, reputed to have excellent cod, which reputation it happily deserves. Then we went to the Jane Austen Centre, which was very interesting even though Jane Austen has never been one of my favorites (don't fret, gblvr, I got you a souvenir). We had a very dynamic guide -- even the kids were attentive during the talk on her life -- and there was an exhibit of clothing and costume of the era with exhibitions on her life and the costumes of the new ITV Persuasion. There was also an entire room on Austen, Bath and the Royal Navy with particular emphasis on Nelson that I'm sure would have warmed Patrick O'Brian's heart.

We walked around Bath quite a bit, going to the Circus (a Georgian architectural circle, not a performing show), the Royal Crescent, a Georgian garden and Bath Abbey. We went last to the Roman Baths themselves, since we had visited them in 2003 and figured that if we ran out of time, that was the thing we could most easily miss, but it was still early enough to take the audio tour (which has been expanded since we were last there) and taste the water (much too warm and metallic for my taste but hopefully it has cured all my ills). There was a duck swimming in the central pool, which pleased younger son greatly until he started to worry that maybe it was ill because it seemed to have an injured wing, but one of the people who worked at the baths assured him that ducks come there often to enjoy the warm water. Some of the sections that were being repaired last time we visited were more visible, like the hypocaust, and we had a clear, sunny sky which provided much prettier views of the Abbey and surrounding architecture than the dreary drizzle we had four years ago.

After a stop at a Tesco for dinner necessities, we drove to the cottage where we planned to stay the week, where we nearly had a small disaster by getting a flat tire as we were parking, then discovering that the wrench that came with the spare didn't fit some of the bolts on the wheel. (We met most of our neighbors and spent many dollars calling rental car agencies, repair shops, etc. before tracking down another wrench and getting that solved.) While apaulled fixed the wheel, the rest of us watched the first episode of Doctor Who series three, which was ever so much better than I had dared to hope...I had not much liked Martha in the previews, mostly because she wasn't Rose, but in some ways she's a better match for the Doctor -- older and more sure of who she is from the start, and quite certain that she knows things he does not, with some of the same kind of sass Rose had. We discovered that the chocolate Daleks are in fact not very Dalek-shaped, which makes them easier to break and eat (the boxes do the actual talking and are collapsible so we can bring those home). Then we discovered Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World on some cable channel and this made my night!


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