Well, at last I have something interesting to write about.
This past Saturday was another school day trip, this time to Stonehenge and Salisbury. The school-sponsored trips have started to become a bit of a disappointment, unfortunately–one or two hours somewhere else, a few hours somewhere less satisfying. That’s how it was with Stonehenge. I was circling the monument, watching the crows land on all the big, roped-off rocks, dodging people with cameras,
wondering why we couldn’t have a little while longer here. Wondering why, for example, the school couldn’t have paid for us to use one of those neat audio tours that looks like a cell phone and tells you all about the place you’re visiting.
I stepped in on a couple guided tours. The guides were fascinating. The place was beautiful. It was proper English weather the whole time: windy, chilly, with a bit of mist, but not enough to freeze your bones like in New Hampshire. Everything was a muted shade of green, grey, blue or brown–exactly the kind of ominous atmosphere you want when visiting a paleolithic (or is it neolithic?) monument with the kind of presence that Stonehenge has.
Salisbury was, luckily, not such a disappointment. The town itself is old, and it rambles. There is a huge Gothic (I think) cathedral there, even more impressive than the Bath Abbey–great flying arches, giant stained-glass windows and the like. Tucked away in a little corner, they kept one of the original four copies of the Magna Carta; that was something to see.
Down a narrow and creepy alleyway, we also found an open-air market, with stands selling most everything: clothes, shoes, used books, fruit and veg
(GET YOUR BANANAS HERE, A POUND A BOWL, GET ‘EM WHILE THEY LAST, GET YOUR BEST BANANA, A POUND FOR A BOWL BEST BANANA),
coats, and best of all army surplus.
You might ask why “army surplus” should be best of all. Well, it’s because I finally found myself a pair of boots. Having already made the decision to get rid of my horrible desert boots (the things cut me up something awful), the extraordinarily nice couple in fatigues and green coats sold me on a pair of black boots, having held their own feet out to demonstrate that the boots I wore were their boot of choice.
I later discovered my new boots are called German paratrooper boots. Huge, heavy, and black. I could stand in them all day without feeling it.
Sunday was my day to go back to Camden Market. To be more specific, my roommate and I walked down to the 99p store, because I had seen something resembling Nutella, except half again as much product for only half the price.
The place is a feast of cheap stuff. Dollar stores, the college student’s dream shop! The two huge rolls of digestive biscuits I got there did not disappoint. Neither will, I hope, the cans of ravioli.
But when I got home with my new jar of discount “chocolate hazelnut spread” a quick tasting showed that it was nothing like the sweet, chocolatey ambrosia man has named “Nutella”. It was more like…
How shall I describe it…
Lard frosting. That’s it. Evidently, %0.5 hazelnut is enough to call something “chocolate hazelnut spread”.
The rest of the week has been relatively uneventful; I’ve been working on various papers and reading things. Yesterday I got free ticket to go see “As You Like It” at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre tonight. It was a happy coincidence, as just that day I had bought a groundling ticket for “Love’s Labours Lost” the very next night. More on those in a couple days!