Friday, May 17, 2013

Books and Birds

Why is it so much more fun to grocery shop in a different country even when buying mundane items like milk and cereal?  I think it is because even if the items are familiar, many of the brands and 'flavors' (or being in England should I say flavours) are different.  We have a Waitrose, a Tesco, a Mark and Spencer in the area, so we'll be trying them all out.
This morning we headed over to the British Library, first passing the wonderful Victorian monstrosity the St. Pancras Hotel established in 1873.   
I particularly liked the juxtaposition of the roof line of St. Pancras Train Station (almost cathedral-like) against the smooth geometric lines of the British Library.  Both brick buildings, but two very different looks.  
 

The British Library courtyard has this wonderful statue of Sir Isaac Newton.  Love it! 
 
Inside, there is this great bench - perfect for a library.
We visited the British Library to look at it's treasures  The permanent exhibit of 200 items includes the Magna Carta, a Gutenberg Bible, Handel's 'Messiah', and a volume from 1590 detailing the importance of insects with the prettiest bee skep ever!

My mom is an avid murder mystery reader and so she was pleased to explore this small exhibit.

This evening we took a walk along the Thames River and did a bit of bird watching.

There were several Mallards who were at home in the river...

...and several Blackbirds merrily singing to each other in the trees along the embankment.
 
Now for some dinner, and then I'm hoping for a better night's sleep as I continue to adjust to life 8 time zones earlier than my body is used to.

16 comments:

Alice said...

How exciting! Enjoy your visit with your mom!

Margaret said...

So neat! I agree, grocery shopping in another country is an adventure! Hope you sleep better. Wow, 8 time zones! lol! I guess it would be better if you'd come from NY. :D

Ann at Beadlework. said...

I hope your sleep pattern adjusts soon - my sister has done the opposite to you as she flew to California on Tuesday for a three week trip. The British Library visit looked enjoyable, some great statues. My favourite food shop is Marks and Spencer.

backporchcarver said...

really enjoying your travels, love the library "bench" and the St Pancras roofline behind the library. Great shot,good eye.

Jan said...

It looks like you are having a fabulous time

Maggee said...

I still can't believe you are in England! My jaw had to be pried from my floor the other day when I read that post! I hope you enjoy each and every waking moment there! Plus get some good sleep too! Hugs!

Barb said...

You are seeing some amazing things. I love that bench in the library!! Can't wait to see what you have to show us tomorrow.

Marlene Jones said...

I love food shopping when in America, we have not been to the library, your photo's make me want to go, enjoy your trip.

cucki said...

Wow do sweet..enjoy your visit with your mom x

Vickie said...

Wow, what a train station! Hope you rested well.

Carol said...

Oh, I'm so happy you're getting to see England, Beth--and with your mom, no less!! I've never been, but it is definitely on my list... Love that bench--think my library needs something like that :)

Have a wonderful time--and I'm so impressed that you manage to blog even while on vacation!!

Susan said...

Thanks for the great photos. My son loves London. I have only had the joy of Heathrow. The time change is a killer, hope you adjust soon. Enjoy!!!

Athena at Minervas Garden said...

Okay, that book bench is the best! Enjoy your time there--the Library sounds like a wonderful place--imagine seeing the real Magna Carta and other priceless treasures!

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Oh my goodness, what fun! I know just what you mean about the grocery too! So fun!

Melanie said...

Great photos!!! I want a bench like that for my yard. :)
And heck, I like British food items without even going there. I love Kerrygold cheese and HP 'brown' sauce. I think it's awesome that the markets have stuff like that now.

Annette-California said...

When I saw your photo of the groceries - I couldn't believe it! When we travel we LOVE to stop and see the grocery store. Loved Mark and Spencers store - they carried "Wine Gums" candy - was one of Princess Diana's Favorites. Too fun!
love Annette