Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The British Library let us in

It was really difficult to wake up this morning, but I was up by 8:30, only an hour past my usual time, so I hope I'm adjusting to the time change faster than the usual "one day for every hour" guideline.  After breakfast - this jar of British peanut butter is thicker and less sweet than American peanut butter, which made our morning oatmeal different but not unpleasant - we were off to the British Library to get our reader's cards!  I'm happy to report that they didn't deny either of us - or to put my delight more accurately, "They're gonna let me touch stuff!"

I can't get used to being a "Mrs" even after being married for almost three years

We quickly settled in to a day of work in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room, where he did some writing and I got started on research for my encyclopedia article.  Tavener, I'm quickly concluding, was a deeply spiritual but not particularly religious composer, whose texts trend toward the liturgical rather than the Scriptural.

This is the main entrance to the BL - not terribly impressive, but oh what riches lurk inside!  And just to the left is a coffee shop called "The Last Word," which we think is an awesome name for a library's eatery.  It advertises "hot pies," which I'm really hoping are like tourtiere (meat pie).

After our work time, we spent the latter portion of the afternoon touristing.  The BL has got some of its treasures on display in an absolutely breathtaking exhibit.  I couldn't tell if I was allowed to take photos, so I didn't - but we saw Tyndale's Bible, Wyclif's Bible, a Gutenberg Bible (that makes three!), Princess Elizabeth's prayer book (which is AMAZING but I'm pretty sure they won't let me touch that one, not even for my English Reformation research), the Magna Carta, and even the manuscript versions of Jane Austen's Persuasion and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (the most interesting thing about these were the edits - it was fascinating to see what they crossed out as they were writing!)

Then we walked over to the Old St Pancras Church, an 11th or 12th-century building which looked absolutely spectacular and I can't wait to tour it, but the church closed just as we walked up.  We'll go again another day, and I'll get photos then.  Instead, we went to the nearby Camley Street Natural Park, a hidden gem in the middle of the city - a sort of mini wildlife preserve with an educational mission.  Here are two photos of the beautiful and deeply calming views:

I love this juxtaposition of river boats and geese

We're off now to find the larger grocery store across the Thames, and then we'll probably crash pretty early.  Good night!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I'm going to love being with you here! Nice work!