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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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London Update

Spent a day with owlfish and colins_journal in Canterbury, which beside a rather large cathedral, has an impressive number of comic and gaming stores (I spotted two of each) for a city of 30,000. We couldn't get a table in the farmer's market / restaurant that owlfish really, really wanted to eat at, but we got some very fine sandwiches to go from one of the vendors there.

The town has narrow streets with three story buildings on each side, so you can't even see the cathedral until you turn a corner and there it is! I was warned by colins_journal that Canterbury isn't the most impressive cathedral in England (York is, he says), but I found it quite impressive enough. The interior is just huge, and walking thru it I found that what you see when you walk in is only about half the whole building, there's plenty more chapels and dead archbishops and princes in the back. Found when Thomas Beckett got it, but one of the Henry's destroyed his chapel a few hundred years later, and there's a candle where it used to be today.

Spent another day walking around the grounds of Buckingham Palace, and then Trafalgar Square. They did Nelson in style, his column is damned impressive. And stopped into the National Gallery there just in time for the best tour ever, from a guide who was smart and funny and a great speaker. He started off with an apology that the National Gallery was actually built as an art gallery, as the Brits have not yet kicked out their royals like the French and Russians and turned their palaces into national galleries. We went around to about ten paintings over an hour and he explained their history and why they were important and all the little details that know-nothings like me would never ever spot (like in one paintings the figures the artist used as models were actually statues around the workshop, once we pointed that out it was obvious that the crowd of people was the same few guys rotated at different angles).

The Canadian War Memorial was on the Palace grounds, and is a water sculpture. These little brats kept throwing leaves into it, and I had to get out of there before I drop kicked them.

Hyde Park is freaking huge, spent about an hour and a half longer walking around it then I meant to, as I had decided previously to check out these things withing it, and I wasn't going to give up just because my feet were tired. Speaker's Corner was very loud and very political. The Albert  Memorial (along one side)  was nearly as freaking huge as the park.

 Also been watching shojo anime (Pretear) with owlfish, as colins_journal won't watch it with her. I'm such a good guest.</span>

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I think Canterbury is bigger than that. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/pop2001/canterbury.asp says it is about 130,000. Kent is about 1.3 million, and I think Dover and Canterbury are the main centers. Canterbury is a commercial center of the county; it's where people go into town.

plenty more chapels and dead archbishops and princes in the back.

- Hullo Mum. Hullo Dad. There's a dead bishop on the landing, Dad.
- I don't know who keeps leaving them.
- It's not me.
-That's the third one this week, and the dustman won't touch'em.

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