More Library & Ox and Maggie Arrive  


Well no one was going near the toaster when I got there at 8:30. Everyone was just eating their bread plain. I'm sorry I missed whatever happened to scare them off of it again. The cook just never looks happy when she brings the stick out of the kitchen. Several of you have wondered what the toaster looks like, but I'm afraid I'm not at the dorm anymore, so I can't take a photo. However, Cherokee Strip in Stillwater has one just like it, except the one at the dorm is about three times the size of the one at Cherokee and heats up that end of the room.

I said goodbye to my drafting class. They expressed dismay that I was leaving before Friday. (That's when they are all going home.) However, they enjoyed the story about my Mom's Marriott points, and that I was going to be traveling from American to American hotel while in England.

Since I could not call a cab, I had to drag my luggage to the end of the street and cross at the light so that I would be facing the right way to thumb down a cab. That was Dara's advice last night at midnight when I was freaking out about how to move my stuff from the dorm to the Marriott. It's only a couple of miles, but it required going through a tube stop that doesn't have an escalator or elevator. (Britain is not handicap accessible.) Dara wisely said, "This is one of the problems that you should just throw money at. Take a cab." And indeed, that's probably the best 12 pounds I've spent while I've been in London.

Bookbinding & Vellum

So I was checking the article that was written by the person who put out the most recent edition of Harley 913, just to double check her findings about how the book is put together. She proposes that the pages have been disordered (and some pages removed), and she makes a suggestion for how it might have been originally ordered. I thought it would just take me a few minutes. Just double check to be sure and move on. Nope. The whole front half of the manuscript is different than she describes.

Now this is good, because it gives me something new to say about the manuscript, but this is bad because it means I need to carefully look at, and document the binding. In theory, I should be done going to the library. But instead, I'm going back again tomorrow.

Most amusing thing I found today was that there's a couple of book worm holes. But the little guy didn't get too far. He only ate through 3 pages or so. (Of course, that may be a sign that there are some pages missing. The holes have never been commented on because they don't perfectly line up anymore. When the British Museum (it was all the B. Museum back then) processed the book, they rebound the book into a leather binding and stamped their name in gold on it. (Of course, this is horrifying and libraries today wouldn't do such a thing, but this was back in the 1800s.) So in the rebinding, some of the pages got shifted just enough that the holes don't line up, and you wouldn't notice them unless you were looking for weird stuff like that.

The King's Library in the Tower

George III (yes, the one who was King when the American colonies split from England)-- as I was saying, George the third collected a library of 65,000 books by his death in 1820. His son donated the books to the British Museum on the condition that they would be kept together as a separate collection. When the British Museum split its book collection off to the new British Library in 1998, they built a central tower in the building out of glass to house the King's Library. So from every floor of the library, the center of the public area is this glass tower of books rising up to the ceiling. The books are on shelves that move and rotate so that books can be accessed, so which books are showing through the glass keeps changing. They call it the King's Library Tower. (Check out the photos.)

Ox and Maggie Arrive

So I had to leave the hotel as soon as I got all the paperwork signed. When Ox and Maggie arrived, the hotel gave them keys and then they were on their own. They showered up and set off to explore London. I said that there wouldn't be a quiz, but this is just too good an opportunity. Take a look at the photos and see if you can figure out.... Where did Ox and Maggie go today?

Dinner and Dessert

We wandered down the street away from the Marriott and had dinner at a Cafe. I ordered the dish that promised "succulent vegetables," as part of my continuing quest to get vegetables in England. My pot pie had potatoes in it, and was served with "chips" on the side. (That's french fries.) Maggie pointed out that they did give me a small side of green peas. And there was a lettuce leaf as a garnish. Hmmm.

When they were here last they ate desserts at a place next to the Gloucester (pronounced Glauwster) tube station. So, since they had day passes, we went back over to that part of town for dessert.

Oh my gosh! The chocolate thing that Maggie got. I had a really excellent chocolate eclair, but mine was nothing compared to the little cake thing she had. It was iced like some of those fancy wedding cakes you sometimes see that have like a flexible sheet of icing that you mold onto the cake. But in the U.S. it always tastes like rubber. Hers was... well, if you were here, she would have shared a bite of it with you too, and then you'd know what it was like. We have no idea what they call it, because she just pointed to the case and said, "I want that."

Way Out

Ox is horribly amused by the Way Out signs, and says that you have to say it with the word, "dude" tacked to the end of it.

So What Happened to Jim?

So what happened to Jim in King's Lynn? Why couldn't I find him? Did he leave on an earlier train? No, as it happens he was there the entire time that I was. However, he had gone into a pub and started talking to a group of old men. (Potentially even, old sailors. Does anyone else hear warning bells?) So they kept talking to him and whenever he got up to go, they would yell at the barkeep to bring him another glass of bear. So everyone bought him drinks and he ended up staying till after 5pm in the pub. Thankfully, the pub was not actually an enchanted Faerie barrow, so he didn't come out to find that a hundred years had passed. Only the afternoon and several trains.


I'm off to the Library, they're off to the Victoria and Albert Museum. We're going to meet at the Globe theater at 5. Since the King's Lynn incident yesterday, I worry about meeting up with people, so I gave them their tickets. We are seeing A Winter's Tale at the reconstruction of the Globe.

Today's Photos