Friday, April 30, 2010


There's something particular about the smell of London that I always remember--a strange mix of oil and bacon. Maybe that's just King's Cross Station where I used to grab these awesome bacon sandwiches some mornings on my way to the British Library.

I got in safely after a very pleasant trip via Air India. The service was great, the food was slightly better than normal, and the plane was absolutely deserted so I got to stretch out and sleep properly across three seats. It means I'm reasonably well rested right now, if still a little jetlagged. Still, it's great to be in the UK.

I'm sitting in the lobby of the British Library, since the hostel I'm staying at tonight evidently charges for wireless (lie, Laura, lies!). But that's okay because the British Library is one of my favourite libraries in the world. Despite not looking at all like a medieval monastery or Harry Potter classroom. Last year, there was a Darwin exhibit on and so the main area was flooded with the sound of intermittent birdsong. I haven't yet checked out the exhibits, but they always have a couple of the really cool English manuscripts on display down below. Typically, there's the Pearl manuscript, which is a really adorable little manuscript with childlike drawings and some of the most beautiful Middle English poetry around. The famous alliterative Gawain and the Green Knight is in there. That manuscript and the Beowulf manuscript tend to trade places, so hopefully it will be Beowulf this time since I haven't seen that one.

Anyway, off to do things British!