Saturday, November 18, 2006

from a British train: have Internet, will travel

That I made it on time is quite the miracle. But I did. Even more miraculous was my returning the car in York seconds before the rental agency closed. I had sort of an interesting mishap out there, by the North Sea. I’ll write about it later, tonight. This short post is to tantalize and to prove that indeed, the London-bound train does have WiFi.

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Robin Hood Bay: bright sun, strong winds

a day in Sheffield: knives, unions and halls of learning

A short post. Most of the daylight hours were spent at the Law School at the University of Sheffield.

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The drive there and back was a challenge. Under wet skies, navigating the narrow lanes of Yorkshire and the main highway linking England, The North with England, The South and finally, working through the city itself, I gave many thanks to the wonderfulness of – far better than Mapquest, it marks points precisely, allowing you to check off petrol stations and such, just to reassure you that you are on track. Only… I needed someone to read while I drove.

My apologies to the cars that were forced to pull over the one time I got distracted and forgot to drive on the left side. My thanks to the university hall porter who got my car out of a parking pickle. ‘Tsalright, luv. I used to drive lorries you know.

You have to wonder how this city, which I have always associated with knives and textiles, the industrial revolution and the birth of unions, has managed to keep pace and not lose ground even as industry has moved elsewhere. I understand that it is now a travel destination, a cultural center. With a remarkable university.

And as elsewhere in England, in case you have enough of urban life, a ten minute spin will put you right back in the rolling hills. Because for the English, nothing clears the mind and inspires the senses as much as an invigorating walk.

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Do you have a walking stick? All British people have walking sticks, don’t they? -- I ask my Sheffield colleague, who graciously indulges all such off the wall questions of mine.
My friend has one, but she’s Dutch.

So much for images.

At night, I come back to my White Swan Inn at Pickering and order a half pint in front of the fire. Black Sheep will do? Yes, absolutely.

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Followed by Whitby crab and herbed roasted guinea fowl, topped with a "pudding": chocolate with "boozy cherries and clotted cream."

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And port. One has to keep some images in place.