August 26, 2004

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Posted by carla at 09:38 PM

August 17, 2004

not dead - just well travelled

Yup, I've just spent the last four weeks travelling around Britain in a venerable car which makes odd noises at small provocation (like using the brakes to slow down).

In summary:

1. Southern England is rediculously hot.

2. Wales, northern England and the lowlands in Scotland are wet.

3. The few places where the land gets over 500 meters away from sealevel are absolutely gorgeous.

4. The English and Welsh have delicate tastebuds which must be protected from any strong flavours.

5. Stone circles in the lake district with early morning sunlight while you are the only person there are extraordinarily cool.

6. Carlisle is horrid.

7. Especially in contrast to the stone circle.

8. The English have an unhealthy belief in the efficacy of roundabouts and are not good at building them or signposting them.

9. Welsh mountain sheep do not care who you are or where you are going, or how close you are to them.

10. When you are a eccentric architect building a model settlement by the sea, use New Zealand native plants as much as possible.

11. You will get there faster on the dial carriageway, but the little roads are more fun.

12. If old enough, symbols of cultural oppression become symbols of national pride. Even to the oppressed.

13. In London, you will get there faster on the tube, but the bus is more fun.

14. Specials in restaurants in London aren't.

15. Sweetheart Stout is lovely.

16. You will inevitably meet New Zealanders you weren't expecting to, and they will know people you didn't think you had any connection with.

17. You don't need sunscreen.

18. Towns with a slow decline from greatness (e.g. York and Orford) are nicer than places which have had a fast decline (e.g. anything with a Coal mine in it).

19. You do need a raincoat (unless you have a leather jacket and a cap).

20. You will feel better if you know where your towel is.

Posted by carla at 05:11 AM