Monday, June 13, 2011

If This Shows How the Sea Approaches Life in Its Propensity to Feed as Animal Entire, then Sharks Are Comforts, Feet Are Terrified, but They Vacation in the Mystery and Why Not?

I love being on vacation but hate going on vacation. I hate the run up to and especially the come down from. Hate loath abhor. Hate.

Here's the itinerary:

  • Saturday: Arrive in London approx noon, stay overnight. Hotel is in Kensington.
  • Sunday: All day in London.
  • Monday: Bus to Cambridge, York, Leeds. Dinner is included so I'm assuming we get to Leeds in time to eat and go to sleep.
  • Tuesday: Bus to Jedburgh, Melrose, Edinburgh.
  • Wednesday: All day in Edinburgh.
  • Thursday: Bus to Lake District, Chester, Wrexham. Dinner is included so see Leeds above.
  • Friday: Bus to Stratford, Cardiff.
  • Saturday: Bath, Stonehenge, Salisbury, London. Late, I imagine.
  • Sunday: Home.
  • Monday: Jetlag.

Suggestions sought for the whole day in London and the whole day in Edinburgh.* The girls (did I mention I'm responsible for three eighteen and one seventeen year old girl) will either do what Earthgirl and I am doing or do their own thing. I've been to The Tower and The Tate and The Eye. Earthgirl wants to do this and cool, I know this guy will suggest this and maybe, but all other suggestions solicited!

I know nothing about Edinburgh except that I think Hearts' maroon is motherfucking gorgeous and I want a shirt from the club store. Suggestions, please! Any other general advice re: not getting ripped off in Britain, please. And if you see a white bald American tourist getting off a tour bus in a United sweatshirt, please say Hi.


Alan Dugan

Who knows whether the sea heals or corrodes? 
The wading, wintered pack-beasts of the feet 
slough off, in spring, the dead rind of the shoes' 
leather detention, the big toe's yellow horn
shines with a natural polish, and the whole 
person seems to profit. The opposite appears 
when dead sharks wash up along the beach 
for no known reason. What is more built 
for winning than the swept-back teeth, 
water-finished fins, and pure bad eyes 
these old, efficient forms of appetite 
are dressed in? Yet it looks as if the sea 
digested what is wished of them with viral ease 
and threw up what was left to stink and dry. 
If this shows how the sea approaches life 
in its propensity to feed as animal entire, 
then sharks are comforts, feet are terrified, 
but they vacation in the mystery and why not? 
Who knows whether the sea heals or corrodes?: 
what the sun burns up of it, the moon puts back.


  1. Given some predilections of the host, perhaps the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society?

  2. I don't know what Bradley's future holds, but in FIFA '10, Stan DeMann is leading DC United to a 4 wins, 0 losses season. His secret is... well, it seems sorta elusive.

    In serious matters:

    (1) Professor Pedantic says "U" not "E" in Edinburgh;

    (2) Hey, did you know that Google Chrome's resident malware spotter says your site has bad juju because of links to Phil Rockstroh? I always choose the "ignore, visit anyway" option;

    (3) America's decline is traceable to the 12-year interim between 1776 and 1787 and pretty much could be blamed on the Constitution.

  3. PS: Great camera choices! Stoked to see what you & Planet bring back as images from the trip.

  4. Surely such a fucking hipster knows to use Flickr for massive photo volume. Or to go ultrahip and start a Tumblr site. Heh. I slay myself.

    While I, of course, worship the Imperial War Museum as one of the happiest places on Earth, I'm also fond of the National Army Museum near Sloane Street. But I know that the arts of war do not make you and EG go pitter-patter. I do despise the Tate Modern. You'd dig the Globe, and EG probably would too. But basically, the two of you could kill most of a day in the British Museum, no sweat. Do not eat at the pub across Great Russell Street which, according to teh Google, is called the Museum Tavern. It was, at last visit (four days before the bombs), a tourist pit.

    Fuck Edinburgh. You want fun, go to Glasgow and wear blue while worshipping my non-Papist ancestors and the progeny they shipped overseas.

  5. Also, Planet bought herself a Canon G12 and it's love.

    Excellent! The twisty preview-screen can come in handy. I used it once to take pics of a bird's nest, with only my hand and the camera coming around the corner of the house.

  6. Also: Boots=CVS. Charlotte Street, two blocks over from the Totenham Court Road (west end of Great Russell, on which lies the BM), has very nice restaurants. Mushy peas are precisely that. Do not say "at your convenience."

    Oh yeah, and fuck Kate Bush, I know you've just slid over into full-bait mode now. Jeebus, she's screechingly awful, every single fucking time. I nominate her to be punched.

  7. Nope, it's love. Though so is the old argument.

  8. Cannot possibly keep up with all of your links, so forgive if I'm repeating stuff you said, someone else said, etc.

    V&A Museum -- you could spend a month in there. Something to suit everyone's taste, from geology to photography to architecture to sculpture to fashion to you name it.

    Edinburgh's beautiful. So are a lot of the places on your list. But I do have to ask -- why are you cramming so much into one week? You're setting yourselves for "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium," ya know.

    (And you used the -- gasp -- "p" word! (police state) I was practically booted off a blog for merely suggesting some similarities. The frenzy that ensued woke me up to the fact that I was wasting time there and sent me searching for more intelligent locales.)

  9. Some places I really enjoyed when I was there (a few are a bit out of the way, unfortunately):

    When I was in London, the V&A (fairly centrally located) was having a special exhibition of Modern furniture, which I was really into at the time. I supplemented that visit with a visit to the Design Museum (across the river) and a visit to the Brahma Tea and Coffee museum, which was just around the corner and is now, sadly, closed.

    The Estorick is really cool if you are into Italian Futurist art, but is a bit out of the way if you are indifferent to it.

    The Soane house is unique and if it is near other places you are going, you should check it out. The house itself is a spectacular piece of architecture and the collection is cool, and, IIRC, typically British in its quirky eclecticism.

  10. Wow, thanks Airport.

    Lisa, this is a high school graduation present from us to Claire and from her friend's parents to them. We gave them a $$$ range and choices of tours within it and this is what they chose. They wanted to see as much as possible in the time allowed, and they all wanted to get to Scotland and Wales.

    It will be a blur, but at least it will be an organized blur.

  11. Geez Landru, I'd call you a misogynist but you'd probably yell "You don't know me!" Oh wait. I do know you.

    Yeah, punched.

    (Explain "at your convenience" please.)

    Also, to the proprietor. Fucking Flickr. Sheesh. Free. Easy.

  12. My pleasure. Though, given the quantity of time you have, I'm not sure how much another four options helps you out! Still, you get to make a more informed decision.

    I was lucky enough to have ten days all in London when I went ten years ago and I made a point of visiting some of the more obscure places, not only due to my own tastes, but also because I had been to the Smithsonian a million times and wanted to make sure I was exploring options that weren't duplicated at home. There is a limit to how many 18th century portraits of rich people one person can see in a lifetime, and I reached it a while ago!

  13. Speaking of posting photos, Picasa has been suggested to me by this fellow.

    I haven't tried it yet, but apparently you get a free account with your blogger account, or some such.

  14. Flickr is much better than Picassa. And they are both free.