Tuesday, October 4, 2016

England, 2016, Part 17: Victoria and Albert Museum

Oh, but enough silly boat rides and MARITIME HISTORY. Today we shall go look at pretty things.

The Victoria and Albert Museum is a sprawling labyrinth, chock full of DECORATIVE ARTS from around the world and from all eras. But really just France and Italy from a few hundred years ago.

It lounges through 12.5 acres of Victorian brick warehouses and boiler rooms and shows off more than 4.5 million objects. And every single goddamn one of them is pretty.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

England, 2016, Part 16: Greenwich

Back when I laid out this trip I put GLASTONBURY first to get us out of London during the weekend. The 4 weekdays back in the Capitol city were unassigned and on the wish list I think I just copy-and-pasted BRITISH MUSEUM into each day, so I could go gaze in rapture at the Rosetta Stone again and again. (Just kidding, kinda.)

I chose our hotel to be near a major Tube station AND the Thames, because rivers are cool. Admiral Karen seized upon this latter idea and proposed a trip downriver to see the National Maritime Museum.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

England, 2016, Part 15: The British Museum

Ah, but enough of experiencing things - it was time to go stand around and look at schtuff.

We awoke rather giddy on that Monday morning. We had somehow survived another long day of driving across England, we were still amazed by what we had touched and felt at AVEBURY and we were still pleasantly hungover from our weekend in GLASTONBURY.

And I had already drank in a PUB and ridden the ginormous FERRIS WHEEL last week, so I had pretty much ‘done’ London. How could we kill 4 days here? I guess we should go see one those museum-thingies that they got here.

Monday, September 5, 2016

England, 2016, Part 14: A Sunday Drive to Avebury

After 5 amazing days and nights on the Isle of Avalon it was time to pack up and head ba - what? Oh. The boys in the truck tell me that in reality we only spent two nights and one day in Glastonbury. Huh.

You know, “Reality” and “Glastonbury” don’t often appear in the same sentence.

But we were firmly back in linear space on Sunday, with an itinerary that had us heading back to London, with a stop or two at local attractions.

Yes, driving again. We packed up our still unwashed clothes, gathered up our new magnets, had another tremendous breakfast, said our goodbyes to Adele and the Covenstead and trooped down to our perfectly square rental car, where, yep, sure enough - the steering wheel was still on the right.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

England, 2016, Part 13: The Wild Side of Glastonbury

Well, Glastonbury had certainly delivered: Our WITCHCRAFT B&B was an occult delight, Karen’s adventures with THE TOR were invigorating, the ruins of the ABBEY had been inadvertently entertaining, and the CHALICE WELL, was, well, the Chalice Well.

We’d done the Biggies. We’d checked off the Rick Steve’s Must-Sees. Now it was time to go off the grid and dig a little deeper. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

England, 2016, Part 12: The Chalice Well

Okay, Okay, we get it: Even though one side of the 34 acres of the grounds that the Abbey owns runs right next to Chalice Hill, we cannot exit that way. That would be admitting that there is a connection between the sublime primal energy of the Red and White Springs and the Churches ham-handed attempt to deny/sublimate/appropriate/distort it. 

Better just to herd all the good Christians out through the gift shop and back onto safely chaste Magdalene Street.

Monday, August 29, 2016

England, 2016, Part 11: Glastonbury Abbey

After the low comedy and High Priestess that preceded BREAKFAST, it was finally time to get out and about and explore the wonders of Glastonbury, the geological and geoillogical features that have been drawing pilgrims and seekers since time immaterial.

Up in the earnest ridiculousness of Herne’s Hideaway we hoisted our gear and planned the first stop.

“Let’s go see the ruins of the Abbey,” said Admiral Karen, looking out our 3rd story window at the spire of the kitchen across the street. “Its right there.”

“Honey,” I sympathized, “Later for that. Right now its been 20 years,1 month, and 9 days since I first visited the Chalice Well, one of the two Defining Moments in my life. My EXPERIENCE there literally made me a witch and set me on the course for the second half of my life, and I have been itching to get back to the garden since the moment I woke up after being knocked unconscious by the Goddess there. I am within 3 blocks of the original Sacred Space and you want instead to go visit a friggin church that the silly christians in their infinite quite recent Wisdom decided to knock down?”

But I’ve been married now for 11 years, so instead of saying that, I said: “Sounds like a plan. Tally ho!”

Saturday, August 27, 2016

England, 2016, Part 10: Breakfast Rambles around Glastonbury

After the madcap CIRCUS OF TRANSPORTATION of driving here yesterday, it was time to be transported yet again, but on a much more subtle level.

Or maybe, not so subtle.

If I had learned anything in my previous trip here 20 years ago, it is that Glastonbury is always surprising.

Even with all of the manic action of yesterday I was up early, silently giggling at the intensely overwrought room we were in. The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was the dark, laughing form of Herne staring down at me from the top of the headboard. Subtle.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

England, 2016, Part 9: The Covenstead in Glastonbury

 Whew! It had taken us 9.5 hours to drive the 144 miles between Gatwick airport and Glastonbury, and it was a WHITE KNUCKLE RIDE pretty much the whole way. But, you know what? It was totally worth it.

Pilgrims, Seekers, Mystics and Shamans have sought out Glastonbury for several thousands of years now. The tiny town, nestled between and alongside its 3 famous hills, rises carefully out of the rivers, marshes and estuaries of Somerset, creating an island of sorts that came to be known as Avalon.

The archeological remains show a strange fact however: There are artifacts and Goddess Figurines and the remains of some pretty awesome bonfires, but very little domestic debris. For all of its geographic advantages and for all of its history, very few people - even our neolithic ancestors - ever LIVED in this place. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

England, 2016, Part 8: Driving Across England

Okay. After spending all morning making bad TRAIN CHOICES, it was time to Drive Across Rural England (or ‘DARE’ for short). 

Let’s, do this?

It had seemed like a logical conclusion, way back when we were safely in the sensible states, surrounded by civilized, large-landmass folks who naturally drive on the right.

But now we were at Gatwick Airport, South of London, headed for Stonehenge (due West of us) and then Glastonbury (also due West). There were modern highways (Dual Carriageways) that looked like they linked these places. And there was not an easy train or bus plan that would have taken us to these places in a timely manner. 

After two nights in Glastonbury we would travel to the stone circle at Avebury and then back to London, again a royal (Royal) pain on public transport.

It seemed like a good plan, on paper.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

England, 2016, Part 7: Local Trains, Yokel Brains

Friday. The DAY BEFORE I had toured many of the most diabolical devices and schemes that mankind has ever concocted to do harm to itselves. 

And that was, you know, fun and all. 

But now, today, Friday was going to feature perhaps the worst thing that we, as a species, have ever allowed to see the light of day:

Driving on the left side of the road.

There. I said it. I know Angus-Land is a humor blog, and generally does not go in for such sober and horrific topics, but I feel in this case I must make an exception. This low-rung of our time on Earth must be reported and investigated. I cannot varnish or hide the above statement - witness the Truth, gentle-reader. 

Read on, if you DARE!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

England, 2016, Part 6: The Imperial War Ferris Wheel

After my late night PUB ADVENTURE I slept in on all the way till 4am, as my poor, transported body continued to try to find its proper time zone. “Here? No, here? Well, poo (Loo): We’ll just put him to sleep for 4 hour stretches at random times, and eventually we will find the proper circadian rhythm again.”

My big Thang of the day didn’t open until 10am, so I wrote until 6am, and then showered and was first in line for breakfast when they opened at 6:30am. My stomach had completely forgotten about the forgettable meal I had had in the hotel when I slogged in last night and I was famished.

And I was treating myself to the full British Breakfast experience: Eggs scrambled and poached, toast, danish, fruit salad, grapefruit, tater tots, mushrooms, baked beans, stewed tomato and a small block of cheese. 

And TEA, of course.