Monday, March 30, 2009

Midnight Rambler

A combination of jetlag and Bethany's cool house roused Z. sometimes around midnight last night. Granted, she'd been down for five hours already, and I'd been asleep for three or so, but of course it wasn't enough. Bethany brought her downstairs to the sofa bed with me, and we both dozed until 9:30, when Bethany responsibly woke us up for breakfast. Z. was a bit groggy still, but she continues to be good natured and happy. She even ate a big breakfast of toast and jam and scrambled eggs, with juice.

Bethany tells me that one reason Brits don't eat scrambled eggs is that they haven't grasped (or embraced) the idea of mixing milk in with the eggs. That seems to be another old school English trait, perhaps stretching back to the penny-pinching pull-the-pants-strings-tight era. Why heat bathrooms when you can just heat the towels? Why warm the house while you're asleep? Heated kitchens? Who hangs out there, anyway? It's all so stubbornly efficient, though Bethany also tells me that many hear have been locked in a battle of wills with the very notion of recycling. Go figure.

Certainly the students here should recycle. You can tell which houses house university students by the number of beer cans scattered across the lawns of otherwise lovely Victorian homes. That and the occasional puddle of vomit with half-digested chips in the middle. Leeds is otherwise a pleasant little city, pretty, old, and coated with a light cover of grime hanging around from the coal-burning years. It also may feature more sandwich shops per capita than any other place in the world. How can any city support blocks with no less than five sandwich shops, including a Subway? Very odd.

We did have fish and chips last night which were so-so, since fish and chips don't travel well and we did carry out. I did notice a sign outside the shop, several feet back from the counter, down a few steps and around the corner, that noted the shop would be happy to come to any disabled person unable to amble up to the counter on their own. How such a person would get the attention of the people behind the counter - around the corner and up some stairs - is another matter entirely. Maybe that's the idea. Progressive? Yes. But only up to a point.

Off to the Dales!


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