Thursday, August 20, 2009

Final Thoughts

Well, I've just gone through this blog and edited my academic entries so that they can be graded.

After almost two weeks away from London, I can say that this was the best experience in my life so far. I hope that life only gets better for me, and I know that if it does that this trip was the catalyst for everything.

Some memories I'll keep forever from this trip:

Falling on the train while trying to get to the dining car, and Bookie falling from laughing at my fall.

Joe Wisdom - maybe the world's coolest librarian.

Finding out that my iPhone has a subwoofer.

Raggae party on the Thames - I got hit by a wheelchair!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

The couple I ate Sunday Roast with who taught me how to have a perfect English accent - by trying to sound Australian.

Hearing Michael Jackson everywhere.

The Karen Millen dress...

Discovering Flight of the Concords.

"Please mind the gap."

Touching a Shakespeare First Folio.

Going to see Coco Before Chanel at the Barbican.

All the great friends I made.

Getting to see Big Ben everyday and especially getting a beautiful painting of Ben along the Thames.

Seeing the Oscar Wilde statue for the first time.

Gasping at portraits and the National Gallery of Ireland.

Meeting Euan at Edinburgh Castle.

Doing whatever I wanted and not worrying about my daily life.

I know that I will definitely go back. I go through periods where I am a little depressed about not being there now, but it's good to be home. One day though, if everything works out for Nicole and I, London will be home. I can't wait to call that great city home!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Keats House

Today I traveled to Hampstead which is in the north part of London with Lauren to see the Keats house, where the Romantic poet John Keats lived for some time. We both thought there were original manuscripts there so we were a little disappointed but the house was still beautiful and walking around the Hampstead area was really nice. It's a cute neighborhood. The Hampstead tube station is the one that's deepest in the ground. There is a sign saying that if you take the steps it's 320 steps so please do so only in emergency situations. We took the lift :)

Afterwards I wandered around Oxford Street so that I could find the perfect gift for my brother (hey, any excuse to go to Oxford is a good one). Once I finally found something I thought he'd like I came back home to a chill evening eating pizza with Christina and Kendra.

We only have two more days in London. I'm a little sad about it. I've made such good friends here and have been able to see and do things I never thought I'd actually get the time or money to do. I've been blessed in a lot of ways on this journey.

I bumped into Dr. Welsh today with some others and she said that this experience has set us on a path that we don't know yet. In other words, coming here to London will affect the rest of my life. Decisions I make, people I meet, opportunities that come my way will have something to do with the time I've spent here. I'm just excited to find out what else is in store for me!

Camden Town loves you

And they have horses! That you can not get on... My two lovely friends here made the most of it though.

My camera takes awful pictures at night, oh well.

Last night Jenn, Kendra, Natalie, and Betsy (our new addition to the club) went to a club in Camden. It was like a barn converted to a dance club and in different horse stalls there were places to dance and hang out. We met some Londoners and they were sorta nice but also hated on Americans at the same time...? You get that a lot out here. "Oh American girls are so easy" or "Americans are thick" or "Americans are so extravagant" or "American tourists are the worst" etc etc. Sorry we won the war and you live on a tiny island. But get over it dudes.

I really do love the British people though. I just gotta stick up for the good ole US of A from time to time.

Cobb Salad

Sometimes you just want a good salad. Just a nibble of what my life will be like (minus the chicken and half the dressing, oh and the egg) when I jump back into Weight Watchers land.

Bleh. London forever.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

One Last Time

... at UNIQLO

I loved it! I got a skirt and some tops and I also got a pair of shoes at Topshop. I think my clothes shopping is complete. I think.

I went with Bookie and her daughters and good friend Shelby. Such good Kentucky company!

After shopping ourselves to death we went to Fortnam & Mason for tea and lunch. I got scrambled eggs and salmon. Really good. The salmon was raw which was fine, but I can handle only so much fish in one setting. I don't regret it though. It's fun to order things I don't usually get at home.

Tonight will be another lazy night I think. My body and mind are starting to ware down after 3.5 weeks in Europe. Unfortunately when I get home, I have to travel that week to Nashville for business but hopefully after that I'll get to RELAX!

Coco Before Chanel

Last night Christina, Kendra, Jenn, Nicole and I went to the Barbican and saw Coco Before Chanel. It was fantastic and so amazingly sad and beautiful and French all at the same time. I almost cried. At the very end is a great scene featuring vintage Chanel.

It was really great just to watch a movie one night here in London. Plus, I'm not sure it's showing anywhere in Lexington right now...

Monday, August 3, 2009

I love scones!

I really do. I had this one at the Hugh Lane Gallery. Delicious.

Oustide the Hugh Lane Gallery

It's a woman walking on the screen there.

Don't we have the guy version of this in Lexington? Right off of Broadway where they are building the new apartments? That's what I think.

Garden of Remembrance Sculpture

Full Irish Breakfast

Great service and way too much food!

BOBO for the win

Seriously when can I go to Dublin again so that I can eat more yummy cheeseburgers and chips with ROSEMARY.

The Tart with the Cart

Hello Molly!

Yummy Pasta in Dublin!

I had a great lunch with Kendra and Emily. It was so great being the only three people in the restaurant, especially when the food is so delicious and it was a two for one special.

Can you see me?

This is a great sculpture on Trinity's campus. It spins!

ACADEMIC - Marsh Library

The Marsh Library was Ireland's first public library, founded in 1701, and still serves that purpose though the library no longer collects books. There are over 25,000 books in the collection, all from the 16-18th centuries. The books are stored on oak bookcases and the order of the books has remained the same since the library first opened. The library is run as a charity but has recieved some governmental funding in order to improve reader services.

Kendra came along with me and we got to enjoy an exhibition entitled "Beware the Jabberwock!" of animal books within the library. It's so much fun to see drawings and descriptions of animals from the 17th century and beyond.

The library smelled of old books and the floors creaked and there was a whole case about Jonathan Swift there. It's the place where he wrote Gulliver's Travels apparently. The Marsh Library is located next to St. Patrick's Cathedral. The library is open to visitors for a small fee. For more information click here.

Like I said before,

I was really excited to go to the Abbey. I wish my little 5 person class on Modern Irish Drama and Claudia could have been there with me!

Dublin is cooler than you.

Because you know, they quote Ulysses ON THE STREET.

What I ate at the National Gallery of Ireland

It was all great but the sesame dressing on that salad was INSANE. My mouth went into shock.

I found him!

Oscar Wilde and I are BFFs. In case you didn't know.

ACADEMIC - National Library of Ireland

On my first day in Dublin I visited the National Library of Ireland. I wasn't shown a tour but the nice staff there let me see the reading room. It's gorgeous... no pictures allowed though. This library also puts on great exhibitions. I went to the one celebrating W.B. Yeats. I cried. I know, I CRIED.

There was this part of the exhibit where you could hear his poems being read and I was just really caught up in the moment and so I cried. The exhibition was great because items were donated by his son for it. I saw a lock of Yeats' hair! This might be creepy to you, but that hair used to be attached to the scalp of the greatest poet of the twentieth century!!!

The library was founded in 1877 by a government act. The library's first collections was the collection of The Dublin Society, a society whose goal was to improve vocational studies and arts and sciences. The library is not a lending library. Like the British Library, books are given to readers with a valid reader's ticket.

The library also includes The Genelogical Office and the National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar. For more information about the National Library of Ireland, click here.

Scots heart McDonald's

This is Euan, the helpful guy at Edinburgh Castle. Bookie tried to get him to go to lunch with us, but he really wanted McDonalds... and we were just not down with that.

spicey camden town

Here is some chicken I ate at a chain restaurant in Camden. I picked medium but I think I should have gone up one level on the spicyness.

I would post the picture of me on the scooters that now serve as seats while you eat in Camden but I look hideous. Realllllly. Plus I'm really into this posting what I ate thing.


This is from my second visit to World of Crepes that same day. Starting clockwise at the top: Nicole, Jenn, me, Kendra.

Picture Timez

I added some pictures to some older posts, but others I'm just going to add as new posts so you don't have to scroll down to read the posts again...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I was right about Dublin

I knew it would be the most amazing place in the world. After reading so much of the literature from here duing my time at BYU I've wanted to come to Ireland and explore Dublin. I feel like I'm in a dream right now...

My first day started off with a bang. I went to The Abbey first and got a ticket for that night. They are performing The Rivals by Sheridan right now. It was fantastic. They took a Gregorian period play and were able to bring in some of today's technology into it in a really clever way. The play was hilarious and one that I hadn't read before so yay.

After I got my ticket I went to St. Stephen's Green and found the most beautiful park in the world. I then went to Merrion Square and found "The Fag on the Crag" AKA Oscar Wilde statue. So amazing. I went to the National Library (which I will write more about later) and one of the National Museums. I also went to the National Gallery and found out that John B. Yeats (father of W.B. Yeats) is my new favorite painter.

More pictures and detailed posts to come later as I am paying for this internet right now.

The second day was a waste and not a waste at the same time. I went with some of the girls in our group also staying in Dublin to Cork... which was too far away for a day trip. Oh well. It rained and was cold. We got over it. It was fun to at least be with my friends. That night at the hostel was not good however...

So I woke up yesterday and booked a hotel room for the rest of my stay. I had enough money to afford it and I didn't feel hostel dirty anymore. :)

Yesterday I went to the Marsh Library and St. Patrick's Cathedral with Kendra. AMAZING. We met with Emily and went to Trinity to see the Book of Kells. Tourist overload but worth it.

We went shopping and then sat down at St. Stephen's. I really love that place. I checked into my hotel and then met the girls at BOBO - greatest burger of my life. Picture to come soon. The happiest cows (and tastiest) live in Ireland.

Then we went to the Library Bar - fitting. Had a fantastic (and very long) conversation. I took a taxi ride home and was taught life lessons by the driver. Apparently I'm too pretty to ever let my guard down. Not in this city. Not in any city. Not even in Kentucky. I must always guard myself. It was like riding home with my Irish dad or something.

I love the Irish. Anytime I ask for anything, they help me out and always ask, "Where you from?" The Irish know more about Kentucky than the English do, as in Jack Daniels DOES NOT come from Kentucky.

Anyway, it's awesome. I'm getting ready to head to Dublin Castle, then the Dublin Writers Museum and who knows what else. Tomorrow morning I fly back to London so I'm going to soak up all of Dublin that I can. Who knows when I will be back - but I will be back (Terminator voice lolz)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Next stop: DUBLIN

I'm leaving Dalkeith at 5:30 in the morning to get to the airport in time. I should be arriving in Dublin around 9am.

I'm so excited I have no words!

Rosslyn Chapel

Today is our last day in Scotland so Dr. Welsh took Christina, Rachel and me to Rosslyn Chapel. If you have ever seen The Da Vinci Code this is the small chapel where the movie ends. Our tour guide informed us of how wrong the depiction of the chapel was in some of the scenes though... and there is no room with Jesus' bloodline records at the bottom.

Anyway this chapel is still amazing. There are so many interesting carvings, including some of American plants which suggests the Scots discovered America before Columbus. After touring the chapel we went down a little path and took some pictures of the countryside (which is breathtaking) and some castle ruins. We ate at a great little pub there and I got a steak sandwhich. It was such a fun day trip!

I love how friendly people are in Scotland! Really, everyone wants to help us get to where we are going and I haven't felt unwelcome at all. It's a little sad to be leaving this place.

I'm writing this from The Elephant House, which is where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter. It has a laid back vibe and I like how they don't have Harry all over the place around here. It feels like how it might have when JK Rowling was scribbling on napkins or whatever.

Nicole and I will be leaving here soon to go on a ghost tour that ends at the most haunted pub in Scotland!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ACADEMIC - National Archives of Scotland

Today we visited the National Archives of Scotland, our last official vist to a library as a class.

The Archives aims to keep all Scottish records, and has three buildings to help them achieve this goal. I am amazed at how organized this system is and that it has been seen as something important to the government. It was government started and funded by the government since the 1770s (it formally became a government agency in 1993)... such a wealth of records is found there.

The Archives helps maintain serveral websites that help people with research. One main objective of the Archives is to aid in people with geneology work. This really struck a chord with me because growing up Mormon I've always believed that family history is something important. Our tour guide, Maggie, actually said that couples from Utah come to Edinburgh for a year and take digital pictures of records that they get to use for the Church's database. So I'm assuming that's the older missionary couples that she was talking about.

We were shown several different examples of the Archive's materials. There was a mortgage loan book detailing Scots buying property in Mississippi, a fragile cook book, woman's sufferage documents, etc. We were also shown the internet sites/databases the Archive helps manage. It was a great visit but a sad one because it's the last one we will do as a class.

For more information about the National Archives of Scotland, go here.

Picture from

ACADEMIC - Central Public Library

Yesterday afternoon we visited the Central Public Library in Edinburgh. This library is a Carnegie library which was so cool because I've never been inside one before! I don't think...

The library is in a great old building filled with old bookcases. I wanted to take one home with me. We were shown the Music and Children's libraries which were in a seperate building. The Music library is the largest in Scotland. In the main building we were shown the reference rooms, the Edinburgh room, and the stacks where they keep some books because like every other library there is just not enough room for everything. The Central Library works hard with other libraries in the area to see what things they have in order to weed thier collection down some. After our tour we were treated to tea and we got to hear from Colm who headed up a program to promote reading with children in resident homes. In other words, they are in the state's care. It was great to hear his stories and his philosophy on why reading should be encouraged for all people.

I liked his belief (because I share it to) that a librarian shouldn't ever judge a person for what they want to read, no matter what. When you start imposing your standards on someone else, it makes them not want to read and that's something every librarian should avoid doing. I say this, because I don't think all librarians think the way Colm and I do.

The library was founded in 1886 with Carnegie laying the foundation stone himself. It's run by the government in Edinburgh and has more than 850,000 items for the public to use and borrow.

The best part of the visit was that they let me use the internet as a guest. Really, librarians are just the most helpful people in the world. For more information about the Central Library, click here.

Picture courtesy of Dr. Welsh!

ACADEMIC - National Library of Scotland

On our first full day in Scotland we took the bus to Edinburgh and visited the National Library of Scotland. It's a copyright library so it gets copies of all things published in the UK. This library began as a library for advocates, aka lawyers, in the 1860s. It became a copyright library in 1710. So it was initially a law library! This means though that some things were weeded out a long time ago that the lawyers didn't think they needed to keep, even though the library was deemed a copyright library.

The NLS is the largest library in Scotland. It houses about 14 million items. It is funded by the Scottish Government.

Now the library collects all things, especially items pertaining to Scotland. The library also puts on exhibitions. We got to look around the current exhibition titled "The Original Export: Stories of Scottish Emigration" which was filled with suitcases that displayed items from Scottish emigrates. I thought the best part was this wall with luggage tags that you got to write your own emigration story on, if you knew of one. I thought about writing my mom's name down but I didn't.

The library also features a great cafe, shop and internet wi-fi area that seems to be heavily used. Our visit there was short but informational and the exhibit was one of the best I've seen in the UK so far. For more information about the National Library of Scotland, click here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dalkeith and Scotland Day 1

This is my second night in Scotland. So far I love it. We are staying at Dalkeith which is an estate about 7 miles outside of Edinburgh. Its a little bit like summer camp. We stay in rooms of 4 or 6 or so and we share a bathroom with only 2 stalls for about 20 girls. There are tons of hallways, staircases, empty dressers and it's creepy. There are stories of ghosts here. It's in the country though, so I get to experience some actual darkness as opposed to the always burning lights of London. We have to take the bus into town and its a little confusing but I'm sure I'll survive.

Yesterday we just tooled around Dalkeith, a great little town. We ate at an Italian restaurant to celebrate Chai's birthday. The house where we are staying has a movie room with lots of movies so we watched 10 Things I Hate About You and called it a night.

Today we went to Edinburgh which is a great city! Everything is so old! All the streets have cobblestone and there are entertainers on the streets. I think the best part of my day was the people watching I got to do.

Bookie, Chai, Christina, Jenn and I went to the St. Gile's Cathedral. There was a stained glass window depicting the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors, which is my favorite story from the Bible. The building was beautiful. We went to the cafe and had a great lunch. I had a jacket potato, which is just a baked potato and you get to choose what toppings you want stuffed in it. I got carrots, cheese and tomatoes... yummy. Everyone else got Shepherd's Pie which looked delicious. Bookie got a ginger cake that she let me eat some big bites of, because that's just what she does. Yes, I've been adopted while in the UK. Which is great, since when we get home she can still take check in on me and let me bum some food from time to time.

After our library visits, Bookie and I went to the Palace of Holyrood House. This is where the Queen stays when she is in Scotland. WOW. I am so taken back by the beauty surrounding the Palace and how stunning it is inside. Pictures aren't allowed and I got some postcards but no justice is done to the interior. One room is a gallery of portraits that made me gasp when I entered the room. It's hard to believe that for part of the year anyone actually lives there. It's a museum practically. Part of the rooms are dedicated to Mary Queen of Scots and her story, which I didn't know much about. It was really interesting to see everything in the Palace. Outside are the ruins of an Abbey that were haunting and beautiful and the Queen's Garden. I thought I had seen some great gardens, but this was like stepping into the Secret Garden or something. I took some pictures and I'll post when I can but being there is what actually takes your breath away.

Afterwards, we ate at a local pub (I didn't try Haggis yet and I don't know if I will...). Then we got lost on the local bus and finally got home after running to catch another bus. Bookie let me take a shower in her hotel room (she's not roughing it in the haunted house withs us) because I've carried her bag around Scotland the last day or so. Now I'm here in Dalkeith hunting ghosts!

Friday, July 24, 2009

ACADEMIC: CMS Cameron McKenna

Today was an independent research day so I visited CMS Cameron McKenna, a law firm with an office in London. I met with one of the librarians there, James Mullan. I read James' blog The Running Librarian back home and I think it's interesting and links to some other great stuff so I'm really happy he agreed to meet with me.

We chatted about what he does for his firm and what I do for Stites. I was interested in using social apps and Web 2.0 in the work place. I liked what he told me about RSS feeds for routing and having a firm blog. We talked about databases we use and some other resources. He also told me about the organization of the library and who works there. I think it's been one of the most informational visits for me since he does what I do. He also gave me a tour of the firm's library. I like how open of a space it is and that there is a place to eat in the library. I thought of my cubicle back home, piling with mail and filings, and the little drawer I stuff food into. I wish we could reorganize but the way the building where I work is set up I don't think anything like that is possible. I also liked that there was a computer station for someone to access the catalog on and that there was a seperate space for the messes that tend to pile up and stay out of public view. Again, I thought of my cubicle... I guess it is tucked away from mostly everyone's view.

He also advised me to visit CILIP while I am here and see what they are about. I will be doing that soon.

For me this was a great chance to talk to someone who works in the same kind of library I do back in Kentucky and to make another library friend.

Westminster Abbey

I went but it costs £12 to get inside! So, I think a picture outside of it will do just fine for now.

I'm actually running out of places that I HAVE to visit before I leave. This is giving me a lot of free time to just roam and explore the city.

I have no new pictures of food. This bothers me. I ate at a cafeteria like place called EAT and it was good. I got the best dessert there (well not the best, nothing tops sticky toffee pudding). I also ate the greasiest chips in the world today. I'm never going to Fishcotheque again.

ACADEMIC - Bodleian Library

Image from

On Thursday we traveled to Oxford and took a tour of the Bodleian Library. Our tour guide was so quiet and short and REALLY GREAT. He taught us that the library was founded in 1602 through the generous funds of Sir Thomas Bodley. However, Oxford has had a library since the 1300s and some of those collections, like the collection of Duke Humfrey, is housed at the Bodlian. He showed us the procedure for calling an end to the reading day which is a long standing tradition there. Basically a librarian has to ring a bell to signal it's the end of the day for the readers. Another interesting tidbit I learned is that before the author or title was displayed on the book's binding the library wrote numbers on the outside of the pages instead. So the books on the shelves faced the other way. The Bodleian is another copyright library so every book published in the UK sends a copy to the Bodleian. This is just one of the reasons the Bodleian is the ultimate example of an academic library. Our tour guide also said that the Bodleian used to use a form of Colon Classification and is in a transition to using Library of Congress eventually. I was surprised. I'm getting used to the fact that most of these institutions just have thier own in-house classification system. The library houses 11 million volumes and provides more access to online databases than any other university library in the UK.

In the Divinity Hall there are carvings of in honor of the big donors during the building of Oxford. Christoper Wren's was the nicest. He designed one of the buildings there. The Divinity Hall was also where the infirmary scenes in Harry Potter take place. Yeah, I've been to a lot of Harry Potter sites now which is cool but I didn't take any pictures because I wasn't feeling that great that day.

I actually left Oxford pretty early, which was sad. Also, I got on the wrong train on the way back costing me some lost time and about 8£. Boo. For more information on the Bodlian Library, click here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We Conquered Trafalgar...

With the help of some guy. He lifted Kendra and me up there with one hand like it was nothing. Impressive.

ACADEMIC - National Art Library

Today we visited the National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Our tour was given by Jenn, one of the library assistants, and she was so nice and bubbly and excited about showing us the library. That's the way I would be if I was giving a tour of the library I work in... but most people would not be excited about how I helped move WFPD 4th. Charles Dickens' original manuscripts is a little more exciting. The National Art Library is a public library, with holdings that specialize in the decorative and fine arts. To access an item in the National Art Library, one must obtain a reader's card.

This library is experiencing a problem I deal with and that is one of lack of space. I understand what it's like to have to worry about where to put things, which is what led to the moving of the WFPD (That stands for West's Federal Practice Digest. Another acronym that can be used for this publication is LAME). Like the British Library, they organize everything by size. This is so novel, I really wish I could do this back home.

After the tour we were shown some of the archive/special collections items. I got to see a poem hand written by John Keats, one of the Dickens manuscripts, "art books" which are really cool, and another Shakespeare First Folio. Except with this folio I got to touch it.

I need to repeat this: I TOUCHED AND FLIPPED THROUGH THE PAGES OF A SHAKESPEARE FIRST FOLIO. If I fail at everything else in my life I'm still going to feel pretty acomplished just because of this one event.

Because of this and the hospitality of the staff there, this is probably my favorite academic visit so far. For more information about the National Art Library, click here.

Fancy Fish N' Chips

Had this at the Slugs and Lettuce (it was called something like that but I have a hard time remembering things here... and everywhere else for that matter).

Mushy peas are yummy!

Things I Thought About Harry Potter

1. Of course Hermione puts back her books in the library.

2. It's so cool to see places in the movie and actually think to myself, "I've been there."

3. I want that liquid luck stuff.

4. So I didn't cry when you thought I would. I cried when Hermione does because it's sad when a girl cries over a boy. I'm so lame.

5. I don't read Twilight, but that new movie looks pretty awesome.

6. Overall, I give this movie an 8 out of 10. It felt like something was missing but I don't know what.

I heart UNIQLO

Just so you know... my retail love affair with H&M has lost some of it's heat while here in the UK. I'm in love with UNIQLO now.

I went with Bookie, Kendra, and Christina today and yeah love at (now second) sight. Bookie talked me into buying this amazing jacket and I got a pair of jeans, which were desperately needed.

All of you should be pretty proud of me for not spending all my money on clothes in London. I've been shopping lots but not too much is really "talking" to me so I don't buy it. I pretty much counted on losing all my money by now but so far I'm under budget. YAY!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ACADEMIC - British Museum

Today we went as a class to the British Museum and got to explore on our own.


It's mindblowing. I got to see the big things like the Rosetta Stone but I probably only saw 5% of the stuff there. It's just too much. I looked for anything from the Philippines, but didn't find anything. I explained my theory to Bookie that maybe the Philippines hasn't contributed enough to world history to be included... except for killing Magellan.

I've noticed that this museum just seems more "classic" to me than the others we have visited. Not a lot of interaction or things like that just, "Here's parts of the Parthenon." I'm not saying this is bad, the history really confronts you this way. I'm just staring at sculptures and can't help but think about that time period and the people of it. It's blunt and I like it.

The museum was founded in 1753 and holds around 7 million items, making it one of the largest and most comprehensive world history museums. It's government funded through the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport.

We didn't have a guided tour, but that's to be expected. I mean, I'd still be in there a week later listening to an exhausted guide talk about stuff three rooms down from where we started. It was sad that we didn't get to see the reading room though, it's closed for a couple years.

I just bought a postcard and called it a day. For more information about the British Museum, click here.

It doesn't work...

Because it's not real.

This is the best picture I have ever been a part of...

Oh Brick Lane, I miss you.

Pictured left to right: Jenn, me, Kendra

Brick Lane

After Greenwich some of my classmates and I traveled down to Brick Lane which is full of vintage clothing shops and curry restaurants.

Of course I got curry. I loved it! I also got mango lassi which is the best drink ever. It really does taste better here but that really isn't surprising to me. The whole time we got to listen to Indian music and it was the most authentic experience I've had eating curry. The restaurant didn't do just curry but also other dishes from other areas. I wish I could have taken pictures of everyone's food but I didn't.

ACADEMIC - Caird Library

Image provided by National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

On Monday we visited the Caird Library which is housed within the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. As Carlye can tell you I have an affinity for the sea and this was a great visit.

Before you enter the library there are computers in the lobby from which you can access the library's electronic resources. Visitors can use the databases for no charge. The furniture in this library was really nice. Great old bookshelves, maybe not practical but gorgeous. We were shown various archival materials and manuscripts in the collection. We got to see a signal book, which explains all the signals the navy would use. These books were really valuable and in the wrong hands could hurt the navy. So the book we saw had weights in the spine. This way if a ship was captured by pirates the book could be thrown overboard and not float into enemy hands. I thought that was really interesting to see. The book in the picture is one of many tiny books with covers from the wood of the Royal George.

Throughout this trip I'm getting to see a lot of archive materials and its great to watch these librarians handle these materials. I'm actually really envious and I wonder if I could ever do that kind of work...

The Caird Library is named after its main founder Sir James Caird. The library contains over 140,000 items and is the largest library of maritime subject materials.

The library is now open less hours than it was before, due to planned reconstruction of the museum. The staff has been facing many organizational problems because the reconstruction has forced them to move materials. It was interesting for me to see other librarians, especially in library where many materials have to be retrieved for readers, deal with moving and organizing items during transition. It's these technical issues that interest me, probably because they are the issues I end up dealing with in my work. To learn more about the Caird library, click here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


After Stonehenge, we traveled to Winchester which a long time ago used to be a major urban center in England. We got to go to Winchester Cathedral and visit the grave of Jane Austen. The building is beautiful and there were monuments and books of names of people who have died in different wars. It made me a little sad. I wanted to see the Winchester Bible but the library is closed on Sundays :(

Before the Cathedral, I went to Royal Oaks pub with Christina and a couple who helped guide us on the trip. Royal Oaks is supposedly the oldest pub in England but who knows. I got the Sunday "roast" which is a Sunday tradition in England. Basically it's roast beef or chicken (it was beef today) with potatoes, vegetables, and something called Yorkshire Pudding. It's like a pancake. The food tasted great and I've discovered I really like coke with a little ice and a lemon wedge in it. Our conversation was great and I learned that I have a great English accent... when I am trying to impersonate an Australian person.

We took a walk and visited the house where Jane Austen died. It's a private residence so you can't go in. We walked over to the Great Hall and saw the Round Table. It's on the wall which is fine but I guess I thought I was going to sit next to it or something. Just one of the many touristy silly ideas I've had while I've been here.

Winchester was great because it is so old and the streets are so small and the whole time I could hear bells. Maybe because it's Sunday. We visited a nice garden outside the Great Hall and I took a picture by the Law Courts, but I'm not sure why they are significant if they are.

Now I'm back at the dorms exhausted, not sure what to do the rest of the day. Tomorrow I travel once again to Greenwich because I can't get enough of it!