Lovely London

Self was supposed to go on an Old Parish Maps walk of Clerkenwall but she bailed because she wanted to take things slow today, after that loooong train journey from Cornwall yesterday.

She had an early breakfast, then set off walking. Soon, she found herself in front of the British Library, but instead of going in, she went next door, to St. Pancras/Renaissance Hotel, and inquired at reception if they could ring her son’s room.

He did not pick up, probably because he’s just arrived in London. She told the receptionist to let son know that his mother had stopped by. Then, she twirled and waltzed out without waiting for a response from the receptionist.

She wandered on Leigh Street and found North Sea Fish was closed. She walked down Marchmont Street and stopped at a cafĂ© for very yummy hot banana bread with yogurt. Topped that off with red bean gelato. Picked up a couple of flyers from LSE (London School of Economics, Dear Departed Sister’s alma mater), returned to Russell Square (one side of which was sprouting police cars, she wonders why) and resumed reading Northanger Abbey.

UGH, the horrible stress inflicted on poor Catherine Morland (so far, self’s favorite Jane Austen heroine — yes, a better heroine than Emma or Anne Elliot) by manipulative Thorpe sibs Isabella and John! In the latest situation, they have conveniently dismissed Miss Eleanor Tilney (sister of that elusive love interest Henry Tilney) without checking first with Catherine whether she intended to keep her appointment with Eleanor. Catherine, on learning of the Thorpes’s horrible presumptuousness, goes running full tilt after Eleanor (and why should she not? Henry Tilney is quite a fetching man! Self too would go running if someone told her that Timothy Olyphant or Nikolaj Coster-Waldau were just around the corner!).

p. 111:

Thorpe would have darted after her, but Morland withheld him. “Let her go, let her go, if she will go.”

“She is as obstinate as — “

Thorpe never finished the simile, for it could hardly have been a proper one.

lol

Morland refers to Catherine’s older brother, James. And a wonderful older brother he is, too. He’s in love with Isabella Thorpe, who’s a ninny. If not for that, he would be self’s third-favorite Jane Austen suitor, after Mr. Knightley and Henry Tilney. He most certainly is self’s favorite Jane Austen brother.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Bridges: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

At last! Am able to do a post on a new Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week!

The prompt is BRIDGES.

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A Bridge in Dublin, 28 April 2019

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Another Bridge in Dublin: 28 April 2019

The last picture isn’t really a bridge: it’s a stop on the London Underground. Which means it IS a bridge of sorts!

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London Underground, Russell Square Station: 27 April 2019

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

SIGNS: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

It’s been a few weeks, at least, since self was able to join Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

Today, self is in London. She walked around her Bloomsbury neighborhood and took pictures, all with an eye to the current Fun Foto Challenge, SIGNS. Here are a few:

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Right outside the British Museum, which self visited yesterday.

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Directly across the street from the British Museum: This bubble tea place is always full.

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An Alley Off Bury Place

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Five Years and Half a Dozen Gendrya Fan Fiction Later, GoT S8:E2

And I couldn’t even watch it, I was in London.

Thank God for Twitter.

All my Gendrya feelz!

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This is a better ship than anything else on the show, and I will maintain that till the day I die, come @ me.

The corniest outcome ever would be Gendry to die and Arya be pregnant with his child, ala Terminator.

But the show is not corny, so don’t even go there.

 

Kenan Malik in The Observer, 21 April 2019 (Easter Sunday)

Self arrived in London several hours ago. So most of her quotes (for the next couple of weeks) will be from British or Irish papers, like The Observer.

“The problem is not fierce argument, but a rush to damn our opponents.”

Self wishes she could quote every sentence of this piece. Here’s the opening, including the header:

Robust debate is evidence of a healthy society.

But it is not debate America is having right now. Those who cite “freedom of speech” to bash others are not really open to freedom of speech, and they prove it by coming up with labels like “socialists” or “the extreme left” or “crazy liberals.”

And BTW, can self just say that Meghan McCain is almost unwatchable. Every episode of The View now, she has to say something like “those on the left” or “the extreme left.” Self would like to send her a link to the Kenan Malik piece. It is NOT helpful to bandy about labels like these, which sound altogether too neat (as if she really knows what “the extreme left” is. You know how self knows Meghan doesn’t know what an “extreme left liberal” is? Because self doesn’t know herself. It’s a label that was born with this White House. And she doesn’t trust it. Because it sounds like a label concocted purely for political purposes. Which means the very label itself is a lie.)

In contrast, self is 100% sure when she says “the GOP is no longer a credible political party.” You will never find self saying “The GOP is not a credible political party because they are made up of rightists.” No, she’ll say “the GOP is no longer a credible political party because they fronted us Donald Trump.” And even now they can’t admit it. Self knows they can’t admit it because they keep coming up with more ridiculous labels.

We in America (and self knows this, since she lives there) are driving ourselves crazy trying to parse stupid statements like “I’m not a robot” — endlessly.

Or, “rake the forest floor.” And when we defend ourselves, the White House will bring up “crazy liberals.” Which the base seems to accept as fact.

Self would just like to say that pairing “crazy” with anything is the surest way to kill debate. Something America so desperately needs.

Here’s some advice: When a person brings up “crazy liberals” in a conversation with you, you should stop speaking to that person. Immediately. Because you’re having a fake conversation. And those are the worst kinds. Absolutely the worst. Because the person’s just using you as an excuse to air a platform.

Which was the case with Sarah Sanders and George Stephanopoulos last week.

Also BTW (this post is so full of them, apologies), Sarah Sanders took a page right out of the Justin Bieber playbook: his “sorry I make mistakes but I’m not a robot.”

Yes, Sarah, you have just followed in the footsteps of a twenty-something pop star. High Fives!

 

Bloomsbury Square, The Lamb, The First Gulf War

Asymmetry, p. 196:

One afternoon we were sitting in Bloomsbury Square, keeping half an eye on our charges, when Lachlan pointed toward the iron railings on the far side of the park and said that the original ones had been dismantled and melted down for ammunition during the Second World War. These new ones were shorter, and unlocked all day; square’s been open to the public ever since. I could not pass Bloomsbury Square after that without wondering where the old iron had ended up. On which fronts. In whose bodies. It was around this time that the avowal to do away with Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction was accelerating toward its first anti-climax. Blair had declared it time to repay America for its help sixty years earlier and pledged Britain’s commitment to sniffing out all remaining stockpiles of genocidal intent. Forty-eight hours later, Clinton announced that Iraq intended to cooperate; a month after that, UNSCOM reported that in fact Iraq was not cooperating, and lo, the British-American bombing began. I watched the Desert Fox airstrikes with Alastair, sitting in our usual spot in The Lamb, whose ceiling had been strung with Christmas bunting and the bar transformed into a lukewarm buffet of mince pies and a faux cauldron of brandy-spiked mulled wine.

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Bedford Place

The bioethics council operated out of the basement of a Georgian townhouse in Bloomsbury’s Bedford Square, a pretty oval garden popular at night with methadone addicts whose discarded syringes were a regular feature of my walk to work.

Asymmetry, p. 179

Self’s impression of Bedford Square (which she knows very, very well) is quite different. She hasn’t seen a single syringe.

Here’s the view from her room on Bedford Place, which overlooks the Duke of Bedford’s private garden.

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She has to pass Bedford Square every time she goes to the British Museum or the London Review Bookshop.

Stay tuned.

Books/ The Economist, 9 February 2019

As dear blog readers can tell from the date, self has a whole pile of Economists to catch up on.

Today is Sunday and the sun is shining and she’s made good on her goal to spend most, if not all, of today reading.

She’s on the 9 February 2019 Books section, and there’s a review of a really interesting book:

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Another book reviewed in this issue (though not positively, lol) is Let Me Not Be Mad, by A. K. Benjamin. Sadly, The Economist does not warm up to its unreliable narrator, but self confesses to being intrigued by this excerpt, quoted in the review:

  • I walked over London Bridge in rush hour, faces thronging around me, and diagnosed each one in an instant: Psychosis . . . Depression . . . Lewy Bodies . . . Panic . . . Depression . . . Sociopathy . . . OCD . . . Cynophobia . . . Panic . . . Guam’s. Everybody has something, and now there’s a name for it, even if it’s fear of having something, of going insane, aka dementophobia.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Smooth

Self missed last week’s Fun Foto Challenge. But this week, the Challenge is SMOOTH.

Here are: a sidewalk near Fleet Street, London (smooth sidewalk); a canal in Cambridge (smooth, tranquil boat ride); and sweet potato fries and an assortment of (smooth) dips!

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London, Near Fleet Street: 20 November 2018

And here’s Cambridge University, during last November’s Cambridge Literary Festival:

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Cambridge, England: 25 November 2018

And here’s a dish from Coupa Cafe, whose owner might be Venezuelan because there are a number of Venezuelan items on the menu:

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Sweet Potato Fries w/ an Assortment of Dips: Coupa Cafe, Los Altos, CA

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: COLOR OF YOUR CHOICE

Self’s choice is RED.

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Self at 19, with Masako in Shibuya, Tokyo

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Red Woven Bag from the Philippines, in Self’s Closet

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Self’s Red Knapsack: The Penn Club, London, 23 November 2018

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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