...the Journal

After the boat trip, we are staying in London at the Commodore Hotel, near Hyde Park (and next door to the Brasilian Consulate--we've stayed here before).

If you want to see some information about the hotel, this link is a good place to start.


Someone suggested I add a discussion board, so I have.

If you have anything to discuss, go to this link. Feel free to start a new discussion on anything.

Keep the discussion going while I'm away, will ya!


Who knows? I took lots of books with me!


The sights of London

Eat your heart out!

That's it for today!

I have slept--hear me roar!

18 May 2001

Amazing how much better the world looks when you've slept! We got home at 11:30 last night and I just about died getting into bed. I don't think I moved until 5 a.m. this morning. I feel reborn.

It was a full day yesterday. The hotel where we are staying used to offer a complimentary breakfast with your room. Now, however, they are charging 9 each (about $15!) so we decided nuts to that. We found a nearby cafe and had a full English breakfast (more food than I could eat) for only 3.50.

Somewhere along the line, Walt, who was so proud of himself for not losing his umbrella, as he is wont to do, left his new jacket somewhere. A good part of the day was spent trying to figure out where (we never did), but he was wandering around in the rain in his raincoat and shivering in the cold.

Our first stop was the Lyceum theatre down off the Strand to find out if we could get tickets for Lion King for last night, which we did (yay!). Then we found a Starbucks to get some "good" coffee for a change. And then we took the tube to Kings Cross Station, nearest to the British Library. I was not a happy camper on this trip, as it was pouring rain, the wind was blowing very hard, and we had a long walk from the station to the library during which I discovered I had a hole in my only pair of shoes and my socks were soaked. But once we got there, I was so glad we had come.

What an amazing place! We visited the exhibits about the great printed works stored at the library--things like the Magna Carta (while on the boat, we had already been past Runnymeade, where King John signed the document in 1215, setting the stage for a civilization of laws rather than a civilization where the King's word was law). A Gutenberg bible is there and I was amused to learn that Johannes Gutenberg's real reason for developing moveable type was so that the Catholic church could sell mass quantities of indulgences, using a pre-printed form where only the name needed to be filled in. It was all about money even in the 1400s!

There are original music sheets, from Handel's precise notes for The Messiah to Beethoven's wild scrawl for the 6th Symphony, to various scraps of paper on which the Beatles printed lyrics.

And there are works of literature. When you see James Joyce's pages for Finnegan's Wake, it makes you wonder if perhaps a pint or two had been consumed during its writing. And hearing the voice of the author reading sections of it doesn't make it any more understandable than trying to pick up a copy of the book. Sorry!

The collection of illustrated manuscripts is fabulous...what man can do without the use of a printing device! And a room dedicated to allowing one to "virtually" thumb through several of the volumes, with audio explanation and in one case, with chant accompaniment, was really unique and a wonderful use of the computer.

As you can see, we made the most of our time there!

Walt was still, however, obsessed about his jacket, so he parked me at the easyEverything, the cyber place where I wrote yesterday's entry, and he went off to check a pub where he'd been, and the restaurant where we'd had dinner, but to no avail. He was late getting back and I was getting concerned, but he finally arrived and we went to our favorite pub, The Wellington, for a quick dinner before going next door to the Lyceum theatre for The Lion King.

What a tour de force! I'd been wanting to see this show ever since I saw a TV special about director Julie Traymor's costume designs for it and it's brilliant. A combination of acting and puppetry with the most amazing technological effects you've ever seen. My favorite thing was the elephant lumbering up the aisles of the theatre, though there were certainly a lot more spectacular things to be seen. We enjoyed it from start to finish and it was a delight from both an acting perspecive and a technician's perspective. I'm not sure how it would make it as a touring show, so I'm very glad to have seen it in a theatre which was designed for it.

We tried to get a taxi to come back to the hotel, but they were all taken, so we limped home on the bus (only being scolded by one driver for getting on in the wrong entrance). It was a very full day, as I said, and I haven't a clue what today will bring. We are going to meet a CompuServe friend for dinner and I'm trying to reach Miriam Nadel, another journaler, who called and left a message for me last night. The rain may have stopped, thank goodness!

The world is looking much brighter today.

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 5/5/01 by Bev Sykes