Roman Baths in Bath #BriFri

British Isles Friday logoWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British-themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!


One of my favorite sites from our England trip was the Roman Baths in Bath. The museum is excellent especially when accompanied by the audio guide that lets you select which displays you want to hear more about.

The visit begins on a 19th century terrace lined with sculptures that look Roman, but it turned out they were 19th century, too. This terrace looks over the Great Bath.

The Great Bath in the Roman Baths, Bath, UK

The Great Bath from the terrace

Sculpture and Bath Abbey

On the terrace above the Great Bath, looking toward Bath Abbey

From there, we move inside to a variety of interesting displays and recovered parts of ancient buildings that once stood in the complex. A building devoted to helping the sick was dedicated to the moon goddess Luna, who sent healing dreams.

The Goddess Luna, Roman Baths, Bath, England

Luna was the moon goddess of ancient Rome, one of several gods and goddesses honored at this site.

Eventually we reached the level of the Great Bath. This quote was on the wall:

The picture is not complete without some quarrelsome fellow, a thief caught in the act, or the man who loves the sound of his own voice in the bath – not to mention those who jump in with a tremendous splash. ~Seneca, Epistulae Morales, 56, 1st century AD

The Great Bath in the Roman Baths, Bath, England

The corner where the water enters the Great Bath from the hot spring

A pipe fed the tub below, bypassing the Great Bath, so that it got the hottest water.

Tub in the Roman Baths, Bath, England

The Roman version of a hot tub, complete with steps and a bench

From a sign:

The Sacred Spring rises at the heart of the site. It was a place of veneration for local people before the Romans came. Its sacred pool is where the spirit of the Goddess dwelt and the hot waters were used by the Romans to supply the baths. They had completed the first baths and temple buildings around the Sacred Spring by 76 AD.

Here’s a short video showing the water bubbling up in the spring:

I hope you enjoyed this virtual visit to the Roman Baths in Bath. I’ll link it to Saturday Snapshot at West Metro Mommy Reads tomorrow.

Check back tomorrow — for Weekend Cooking, I’ll report on the tea we had in the Pump Room after our tour of the Roman Baths.



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Kirkwood & Ferguson Tonight

I was pleased to see 7 members of the Diversity Book Club tonight at a non-book event. I wrote about our book club most recently last month before our annual selection meeting. Just now, I realized I’ve neglected to post our 2014-2015 list. I’ll make a note to put that up over the weekend.

Those 7 members plus other people in our community met at the library tonight to hear Patricia Bynes, the Ferguson Township Democratic Committeewoman. She has witnessed much since the death of Michael Brown and was willing to share her experience with us here in Kirkwood.

Patricia Bynes

Patricia Bynes, Ferguson Township Democratic Committeewoman

Early on, Patricia reminded us of our experience in Kirkwood. After our shooting tragedy, we needed to do a lot of healing within our community. Ferguson has that need now. Anyone who doesn’t live in Ferguson is considered an outsider, even if they live in the neighboring communities or elsewhere in the St. Louis area (much less Chicago and beyond). An outsider is not a bad thing to be, but outsiders aren’t welcome in every meeting because some things need to be solved by insiders. I remember having that experience in Kirkwood.

Here are some things I learned about protests and protesters in Ferguson tonight:

  • All protesters are not the same.
  • For many, this is personal — this one lost a father to a police officer, that one was beaten in police custody.
  • There are no leaders. In many ways, they are protesting authority itself. If you step up to lead that, you’ll get cut off. Many legs, no head.
  • The protests and protesters have evolved.
  • At this time, groups are competing with each other to be more organized — a competition that is good for everyone.
  • Many protesters are young, which is good (such passion) and not-so-good (such limited experience). They won’t be told what to do.
  • The protesters don’t all get along with each other and they don’t all have the same agenda.

Here’s a framework that I found useful. According to Patricia, there are four communities on the ground in Ferguson right now:

  • Ferguson
  • Protesters
  • Law Enforcement
  • Media

All four of these communities have factions within them. All four communities have both connections and dysfunctions with the other communities. In other words, this is a very complicated situation and we’re all going to need to practice some patience before we’re done with this.

Here’s a new resource I didn’t know about: Ferguson Fact Check on Facebook and Twitter.

This was all helpful information to me. It’s now been two and a half months since Michael Brown’s death. The St. Louis area is holding its breath in anticipation of the grand jury results: will the police officer be indicted or not? Either way it goes and whatever the aftermath of that announcement, there is much more work to be done.  Our book club selected several books for the coming year that might help us with a deeper understanding of the problem and with solutions that have worked in other parts of the country or the world.

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Readers’ Workouts — October 21

 

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Welcome to Readers’ Workouts, the weekly event where book lovers share workout stories, goals, successes, and challenges.

Check out our new banner, courtesy of Isi. She and her sister posed in the exercise while reading positions. Isn’t it great?

I set a goal last week, 40 minutes a day for the rest of the month. I made my goal most days. Saturday was a long and busy one, so I only managed 20 minutes, but I’ve already started making up that time.

How are you doing with exercise?

For Readers’ Workouts, talk about your fitness activities on your blog (feel free to grab the logo) and link to your post below or join us in the comments! Be sure to visit the other participants to see how we all did.



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England Photos — Day 2, Bath #BriFri

British Isles Friday logoWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British-themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!


On our first full day in Bath, we took the highly recommended walking tour presented by The Mayor of Bath’s Corps of Honorary Guides. We agree that this is a not-to-be-missed experience in Bath.

Here, our group is walking along the gravel path made famous by Jane Austen in Persuasion, where Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot reconciled.

Tour group on Gravel Path in Bath, UK

“….soon words enough had passed between them to decide their direction towards the comparatively quiet and retired gravel walk, where the power of conversation would make the present hour a blessing indeed…”

Here, we’re looking around the Royal Circus. Our tour guide, John, was a wealth of information and he really brought these sites to life in both the past and the present.

Royal Circus, Bath, UK

In the middle of the Royal Circus, mid-18th century circle of townhouses designed by John Wood, the Elder

Later, we took a walk in the Parade Gardens and encountered this statue of Prince Bladud and his pig. We knew what this was about because John, our tour guide, told us the founding myth of Bath (he said he was contractually obligated to do so). Prince Bladud developed leprosy and was kicked out of his tribe. He tended pigs, but even that venture failed — they got leprosy, too! One day, the pigs wallowed in some hot mud, enjoying it so much that Prince Bladud couldn’t get them to leave. He finally had to tempt them out with acorns. When he got them cleaned off, he discovered they were cured. He tried the mud himself and was cured as well. Returning to his tribe, in due course, he became King Bladud and he founded Bath on the site of the miracle-working hot mud. To this day, pigs and acorns are both symbols of Bath.

Prince Bladud and pig

Prince Bladud with his pig, a modern statue in the Parade Gardens

Find more photos of our Bath walking tour and our time in the Parade Gardens on my Flickr Photostream. I’ll link this to post to Saturday Snapshot tomorrow — check out West Metro Mommy Reads for more photos around the web.



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Readers’ Workouts — October 14

logo for Readers' WorkoutsWelcome to Readers’ Workouts, the weekly event where book lovers share workout stories, goals, successes, and challenges.

I let myself get completely derailed from jet lag and the preparation for my first colonoscopy. But that’s all behind me now and I finally set an exercise goal for the rest of October amounting to 40 minutes a day — and then proceeded to exercise for 40 minutes, two days in a row! So, I hope I’m back on track now.

How are you doing with exercise?

For Readers’ Workouts, talk about your fitness activities on your blog (feel free to grab the logo) and link to your post below or join us in the comments! Be sure to visit the other participants to see how we all did.



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Fish and Chips #WeekendCooking

During our recent trip to England, we made a study of Fish and Chips. Here were our most fun experiences.

Our first Fish and Chips turned out to be the ones we like the best of our whole trip. During a walking tour of Bath, we passed a chalkboard sign that said “Best Fish & Chips in Bath.” At the end of our tour, we went back to The Garrick’s Head Pub where we enjoyed the tasty fish and the perfectly cooked chips (crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside) alongside the traditional mushy peas, which, it turns out, that we liked!

Fish and Chips in Bath

Fish and Chips in Bath

I was determined to get Fish and Chips, wrapped in paper. I got my chance at the Black Country Living Museum. Hot street food on a cool day made a perfect lunch.

Fish and Chips wrapped in paper

Fish and Chips wrapped in paper at the Black Country Living Museum

We met a chef on the train from Bath to Birmingham who suggested that we try Purnell’s in Birmingham. We got to the pub side of the restaurant for lunch one day and had an interesting, and delicious, fusion version of Fish and Chips — with a curry dipping sauce!

Fish and Chips with curry sauce

Fish and Chips with curry sauce

What are your best Fish and Chips experiences?

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Check out Beth Fish Reads for this week’s round-up of cooking posts at Weekend Cooking.

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England Photos — Day 1 #BriFri

British Isles Friday logoWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British-themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!

Last week’s British Isles Friday post gathered historical research, book reviews, and photos including Jackie’s delightful piece about the Keep Calm and Carry On poster and its many variations.


I don’t sleep on planes, so although Day 1 was two days on the calendar, it felt like one long day to me that began with last-minute clean up of the house in Missouri and ended with bed-time 32 hours later in Bath, England. In between….

We were picked up bright and early in the morning by a driver — a service that I prearranged by email so that we could see a few sites on our way to Bath and not have to worry about the transportation from Heathrow.

Stonehenge

We drove past Stonehenge.

Stonehenge Visitors Center

We stopped at the Stonehenge Visitors Center where our driver, on the left, explained to Rick how thatched roofs are made.

Avebury

We stopped at Avebury — a larger stone circle than Stonehenge where you can walk right up to the stones. Rick took this, my favorite photo of our visit.

Accident

Then, the thing I didn’t plan for in our itinerary — we were in an accident! Fortunately, no one was hurt. We got a chance to meet “Wiltshire’s Finest” and they really were very pleasant.

Queensberry Hotel

It was quite a relief to reach our hotel in Bath. We enjoyed drinks and supper in the multi-room garden behind the hotel.

The car accident put us off the idea of renting a car during our trip. If the people who lived there can’t drive on the wrong side of the road without getting in an accident, we weren’t going to try it! So, we relied on public transportation for the rest of the trip.

The idea, from Rick Steves, to recover from jet lag in Bath worked well for us. We enjoyed the garden at Queensberry Hotel each evening. Now, that we’re comfortable with trains in the UK, next time we will take a train from Heathrow to Paddington and, then, from Paddington to Bath.

There are more photos of what we saw on the first day on my Flickr photo stream.

I’ll link this post, tomorrow, to Saturday Snapshot, the weekly gathering of photo posts at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Also, tomorrow, I’m putting up a post about Fish and Chips!



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Readers’ Workouts — October 7

logo for Readers' WorkoutsWelcome to Readers’ Workouts, the weekly event where book lovers share workout stories, goals, successes, and challenges.

I’m back from my trip to England! But barely functioning due to jet lag. I did manage a walk yesterday so I’ll try for at least that much every day for the coming week. What are your exercise plans?

For Readers’ Workouts, talk about your fitness activities on your blog (feel free to grab the logo) and link to your post below or join us in the comments! Be sure to visit the other participants to see how we all did.



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Jet Lag and Opportunities and Ideas #SundaySalon

logo for The Sunday SalonTime: // 7:44 am.

The scene: // My first Sunday Salon post after our three-week trip to England. We have a touch of fall here in Missouri — yellow leaves on renewed green grass after some rain.

Listening to: // The Barr Brothers — a rock band with a harp player. I heard them yesterday on Weekend Edition Saturday. The new album won’t be released until tomorrow, so I’m listening to their earlier one on Spotify.

A bit of autumn color in Bath, England

A bit of autumn color in Bath, England

Reading:// Literary Walks in Bath by Andrew Swift and Kirsten Elliott. Picked up in Bath, of course.

Blogging about: // Our trip to England with some initial photos.

Participating in: // The Kickstarter for a documentary about Orchard House, the home of the Alcott family where Little Women was written. Please join me! Among other reasons, the gifts for backers are cool.

Thinking about: // NaNoWriMo. I’m thinking about doing it this year. I may set it up as a challenge for other book bloggers unless someone else is already doing that. Will you be writing a novel in November? Would you want to join with other book bloggers in the process for support and encouragement?

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First Trip Photos #BriFri

British Isles Friday logoWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British-themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!

I got back from my 3-week trip to England on Wednesday. Yesterday, I was at the grocery store at 5:30AM! I guess it’s going to take a few days to get over jet lag.

For a quick initial trip report, I chose five of the many hundreds of photos that I took to represent some of the big themes of my trip.

Food. Fish and chips and many other good things. I took many photos to use in upcoming Weekend Cooking posts.

Food. Fish and chips and many other good things. I took many photos to use in upcoming Weekend Cooking posts.

Steam engines. We saw engines in three museums, but this was the culmination -- the oldest steam engine in the world that is still doing the job it was designed to do. We saw it in action at the Crofton Pumping Station.

Steam engines. We saw engines in three museums, but this was the culmination — the oldest steam engine in the world that is still doing the job it was designed to do. We saw it in action at the Crofton Pumping Station.

Bells. I listened to bells every Sunday morning, plus a rehearsal on a Tuesday evening. This photo of a Trafalgar Square lion in front of the St. Martin-in-the-Fields steeple was taken while I was listening to the bells.

Bells. I listened to bells every Sunday morning, plus a rehearsal on a Tuesday evening. This photo of a Trafalgar Square lion in front of the St. Martin-in-the-Fields steeple was taken while I was listening to the bells.

Code-breaking. This scene was at Bletchley Park (I loved the ubiquitous tea cup). I visited Bletchley on the same day that one of the characters in the book I was reading did -- Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. I also discovered, in the Sunday newspaper, a fun pen-and-pencil game called Codewords.

Code-breaking. This scene was at Bletchley Park (I loved the ubiquitous tea cup). I visited Bletchley on the same day that one of the characters in the book I was reading did — Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. I also discovered, in the Sunday newspaper, a fun pen-and-pencil game called Codewords.

Longitude. Straddling the Prime Meridian before we  saw the 300th anniversary exhibit about the Longitude Act of 1714 and listened to a conversation with the current Astronomer Royal.

Longitude. Straddling the Prime Meridian before we saw the 300th anniversary exhibit about the Longitude Act of 1714 and listened to a conversation with the current Astronomer Royal.

I’ll also link this post to Saturday Snapshot, the weekly gathering of photo posts at West Metro Mommy Reads. Stay tuned for more photos from my trip in the coming weeks.



Posted in British Isles Friday, Saturday Snapshot | 20 Comments