How to approach the electric kettle: A guide for Americans

London Redux – 1 week in the capital – An assortment of things, part 1 My sister and I have been convinced for awhile that we must be part British. I’ve known for awhile that I must be – or, at the very least, I should be. I’ve had this feeling since I was about thirteen….

Defensive maneuvers at Changing of the Guard

Anglotopia Day 22 – Get me to the palace on time One can’t visit London without witnessing the colorful, entertaining, and pageantry of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. And, on this particularly grey Monday morning, that was the thought of every tourist in London. I thought Monday would be safer say, than a…

Between a palace and a war place

Anglotopia Final Edition – Day 23 – Kensington Palace and Imperial War Museum  It was my last day in the UK, so I came up with a strategic plan to visit Kensington Palace again – I was there on my first trip years ago – and the much-recommend Imperial War Museum. I hopped the Tube…

I do bestride the narrow world like Colossus

Anglotopia Day 21 – A boat cruise to Greenwich  One reason for my choosing the Big Bus 48-hour ticket was not only access to the bus lines for two days, night tour, and walking tour – but also a boat ride down the tidal Thames River to Greenwich. To be fair, most people might skip…

The American’s quintessential London

Anglotopia Day 20 – Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, and the Big Bus I have to say, I geeked out over getting to visit Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament. I mean, if you’ve read my previous posts, you know I really admire Will and Kate, and getting to visit the abbey where they married in…

I am excessively fond of a cottage

Anglotopia Day 19 – the Cotswolds  “I am excessively fond of a cottage; there is always so much comfort, so much elegance about them. And I protest, if I had any money to spare, I should buy a little land and build one myself, within a short distance of London, where I might drive myself…

London’s reborn Southbank

Anglotopia Day 18 – London’s Southbank and surrounding area As a one-time reader of Samuel Pepy’s diary way back in the day, I figured that I could begin my day by the Monument, walk along the Thames, then end up at St. Paul’s Cathedral in time for a guided tour of it. The Monument was…

Diving into Borough Market

Anglotopia Day 17 – London, Borough Market  Victoria Station teemed with people coming in from everywhere in the UK, and I had a lot of time to kill before I could “check in” to the apartment where I was staying in Pimlico. I wove through the crowds and hopped aboard the Tube, wanting to visit the…

Splish splash, it’s on to Bath

Anglotopia Day 16 – A dip into Bath I found my second favorite city in England because of a rainy day, a Cornish pasty, and the suddenly emergence of sun on a well-known curve of Georgian style houses. Bath. A simple name for a glorious town. Home of the Jane Austen museum and a must for…

It’s cheaper to be a student

Anglotopia Day 15 – A college visit day Back in the day, when I was a university student, I could get into the colleges for free because I looked like I could belong there. Now, as an adult, I had to pay to visit several of the more popular colleges. If it was one place…

One man’s eclectic collecting habits

Anglotopia Day 14 – All the things I never did in Oxford What American television would term “hoarding”, the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford could be termed one man’s multicultural hoard. With a recent facelift and re-shelving of artifacts, the Pitt Rivers now seemed like an organized, curated hoard. It was the most eclectic, interesting,…

Back to the city of dreaming spires

Anglotopia Day 13 – Reuniting with Oxford “Humid the air! leafless, yet soft as spring, The tender purple spray on copse and briers! And that sweet city with her dreaming spires, She needs not June for beauty’s heightening …” “Thyrsis”, Matthew Arnold The centre of Oxford was a shadowy maze of cobbled alleys with lanterns reflecting…