Friday, May 22, 2009

Well, I'm finally sufficiently recovered from my recent trip to London to get back into a normal routine. With all those steps I climbed, it would seem I would lose weight, but no such luck . . . I did, of course, do some shopping for books and DVDs. I had to restrain myself from buying more, after my last trip to London (when I arrived at the check-in counter, the agent told me my suitcase was overweight and I would have to pay a $25 fee. I said, "Fine" and tried to hand her the cash. She recoiled in horror and exclaimed, "I can't take money here!" She finally told me, "Just go on." Still, I didn't want to risk another "international incident" caused by a heavy bag . . .). I did make note of many ISBNs that are now at the top of my Amazon Wish List.

The books were all purchased because they looked very interesting, but I'm afraid my DVD choices were strictly on a "bargain" basis -- except for "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency," which I had been anxious to see for some time. I'm excited to read and watch everything!

Some observations from my recent trip:

1. There doesn't seem to be any recession going on in London. I'd never seen such frantic activity -- jackhammering, scaffolding, and construction was going on all over. How much of that was "general progress" and how much was in preparation for the 2012 Olympics, I'm not sure. Still, it was reassuring to see so much improvement going on.

2. London is a multi-cultural city. Part of what makes it so vibrant and exciting is the mix of people and cultures from all over the world. However, Transport for London does have the unfortunate habit of putting people who just stepped off the boat yesterday in charge of the loudspeakers. Nearly every day, I would be waiting for an Underground train when there would be a notice that an "important announcement" was coming up. This would be followed by a volley of gibberish. Rather defeats the purpose of making an announcement when no one can understand it, wouldn't you say??

Finally, I had to comment on an amusing story that I read in the Mail on Sunday. There was an article about how the police can keep a DNA sample on file for up to 12 years, even if no charges were filed against the person in question. The article went on to say, "This doesn't happen in other countries, not even in Scotland." I thought that was hilarious, but somewhat strange. It was as if the author was searching her mind for the most barbaric, backward, out-of-touch country in the world to use for comparison, and the worst place she could come up with was Scotland. I had never heard that Scotland was such a model of depravity!


smitten by britain said...

Oh yes, and my Scottish ex-husband would have said "not even in England" had he the chance. They like to poke fun at each other. Scotland still hasn't shaken the image of being full of barbarians running a muck in skirts with a claymore strapped to their backs.

I'm trying to see some of the other DVD titles you got but I can't make them out. Do tell.

Enjoyed following your travel blog too.

Anonymous said...

I love your book choices!

Michelloui said...

I think the Dunkirk Spirit in Britain means that people here react differently to the recession doom and gloom. There is a recession here, but there isn't a panic. Which is wonderful! It means people keep buying (if cautiously) so the economy will recover more easily.

Glad you enjoyed the trip!! And like Smitten, I too would be interested in the book titles you bought.

Lisanne624 said...

I just posted an update with the names of the books and DVDs I purchased. I'll include some reviews as I catch up on my reading and viewing!

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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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