More from Me
April 25, 2006|Posted in: Uncategorized
Can you stand it? I’m not finished yet. We’re in Bath, England, today, taking a pause from visiting two museums and walking all up these cobblestone hills to see all of Jane Austen’s previous domiciles. Walking on cobblestones is not fun but worth it to see St. Jane, anything Jane.
I’m on a mission. Got 2 houses already, 2 more to go. We had afternoon tea in the Pump Room after touring the Roman baths (that’s why they call it Bath, dur). Our room is cute, not hungry yet after all that tea but Bath is on a steep incline so we’ll soon work off the scones and clotted cream. You know, I wanted some cream (milk) for my tea and asked the waiter, and he brought me another bowlful of clotted cream. Cream in a bowl with a spoon in it, and the bowl was a special bowl at an angle, looks like a papa-san chair, so you are actually invited by its very shape to scoop from it. Well, I had already consumed my scone, thank you, and all the jam, so there was nothing left but to eat the cream with a spoon. It was very, very naughty. But may I just say, in my own defense (this is a weak position, I realize), that licking clotted cream from a spoon while you watch pigeons fly around the cobbled square and listen to a pianist perform the air from The Sleeping Beauty on a grand piano, in a room where Jane Austen (and many of her characters) strolled is divine. Just divine.
And the defense rests, your Honor.
We did not get to Stratford, I believe I mentioned, and we set out to Carnaby Street (right next to Liberty of London, fabric HEAVEN) to go hear comedy per the advice of Let’s Go London 2006, ha! Sorry, they stopped doing it a year ago, just about 30 seconds after the chap from Let’s Go London blew out the door. So we went to a pub across the way called Shakespeare’s Head, and finally got to celebrate his birthday with some proper pub grub (a grilled steak with mash with gravy and onion rings, fried tomatoes and mushy peas — which weren’t even mushy but yummily fresh and spring-fresh from the farmer’s market). I had a slice of Shakespeare’s birthday cake, proceeds of which went to support a charity, St Ormond’s Hospital, apparently. The waitress offered the birthday cake and I asked her what kind was it. “Birthday cake,” she answered, with the implied, “You moron” right afterward. Ah, well of course. It turned out to be white and chocolate and I think strawberry, not my fave but what the hell, the old boy is 475. So shut my cake hole. 😉
What else? Hmm, poems flowing at supersonic speed (rare for me, anymore) and I’m burning with the need to write all this stuff down, but w/o a keyboard my pen can’t keep up. My wrists are appreciating the break from constant overuse but my brain is burning up without the pressure relief of my computer. I’ve just gotten used to the time change so I know I’ll be wide awake all night when I get back — grease up the keyboard, honey, my fingers are ready to fly.
Time’s up and we still have another Jane house to visit. I’m on a pilgrimage here. If we can get back here to cafe tomorrow we will, otherwise, back in London, etc.
Cheers, aye —
Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.