Unfortunately for the fella, this was a working vacation and I had more fun than he did, but he was happy. We went to Salisbury because he had meetings to attend. On our free day, we drove to Exmoor (which is on the western coast and was recommended to me by Simon, whom I trust implicitly). Among other things, we chased a few sheep off the road.
While the head of the family was having his meetings, I admired the Salisbury Cathedral (but wasn't able to tour it because of a service) and visited the local museum to read up on Old Sarum, Stonehenge and the many civilizations that have occupied the area, over the years.
After Huz was finished in Salisbury, we headed to London for a conference and we did stop at Old Sarum, along with a few villages we love and Avebury Stone Circle, an old favorite of ours.
I kept myself very busy seeing sights and managed to visit some new places I haven't seen in the past, like the Victoria & Albert Museum. I bought way too many books, but I don't regret a single one.
This is probably the photo you'll love the most:
Yes, I went to Persephone Books in London! How cool is that? Of course I came out with a bag. I got three books. Of the books I purchased in England, I've managed to finish two and am halfway through a third (very unusual for me, as I'm usually too tired and/or distracted to read while traveling). Here's what I bought, excluding museum guides, theatre programs and a book about Churchill:
Jane Austen's England by John Curtis (I want to take a Jane Austen trip, someday!)
The Summer of the Bear by Bella Pollen
Underground by Haruki Murakami
Wiltshire Folk Tales by Kirsty Hartsiotis
Second Term at Mallory Towers by Enid Blyton (because I've been hearing about her books for eons and have never even *seen* one -- it's obviously #2 in a series, but that's okay)
Amazing and Extraordinary Facts: Great Britain by Stephen Halliday
Casper the Commuting Cat by Susan Finden
After the Quake by Haruki Murikami
William - An Englishman by Cicely Hamilton
There Were No Windows by Norah Hoult
Saplings by Noel Streatfeild
Churchill by his granddaughter, Celia Sandys
We got to see The Phantom of the Opera, here:
Our traveling companion and his wife accompanied us to Les Miserables - probably the highlight of our trip, as we saw it in 2010 and wanted to return to see a performance with the current star, Alfie Boe, playing Jean Valjean. Wow. Alfie has the most amazing voice. He nearly blew us out of the theatre and we were on Row S (kinda way back -- could have used some binoculars, actually). I really need to read the book, now.
The only problem with a working trip? Every time I turned around to say something, it seemed like husband was either on the phone on business or reading/writing emails, when he was around. Here he is, replying to someone while we were walking around Trafalgar Square at night:
I'm in the midst of emptying suitcases and starting to wash great piles of laundry. We were gone long enough that we had to do a little washing in the hotel sink, but we were thrilled to have managed to carry a lot less than usual on this trip. I'm gradually learning the concept of "packing light". It's been a steep learning curve.
I got a few books in the mail, while I was away. Most exciting:
Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy! Woot!!!!! I'll tell you more about arrivals, tomorrow, but I am so freaking excited about Simon's first novel that I may have to start it . . . right now. Yes, I do believe now is the time. More about the arrivals, tomorrow. I've got to get back to work on the cleaning and, obviously, read. I'm planning (but you know how this works - we'll just see what shows up) to write about new arrivals, tomorrow, followed by my June Reads in Review on Sunday (even though nobody's probably around to read posts -- I'm going to worship the air conditioner for my 4th of July holiday) and then I intend to start tackling my backlog of reviews. Wish me strength. Happy July to all!
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