We walk on history.
This week, I stood where the Mayflower pilgrims left for the Americas, imagined the restricted space of 7000 Napoleonic prisoners in a castle keep, and touched the very stones integral to Neolithic rituals. One of the reasons why I love visiting in the UK is the diversity of its history.
I don’t know why I have an affinity for the U.K. in particular. My mother was born to a Polish woman and a South African man, but neither of those countries call to me like the British Isles. When I travelled to Denmark, the country fascinated me, but it didn’t feel like home.
My diverse interests make me a pain in the ass to travel with. Every time I come over to see family, I have my nose in a local history book, or I’m searching for the brown icon that indicates an area of interest.
On the bus trip today (thank you BlueStar bus for the wifi on your lovely bus!), my eyes caught sight of the location of Southampton’s administrative medieval manor court (Court Leet) on Cutthorn Mound. We drove past this historic landmark (perhaps as old as iron age) and it looked was exceptionally uninspiring. The ground looked like any overgrown island between roads.
Did I mention that I was supposed to be looking for our upcoming stop?
I’ll share some of the more interesting places over the next few weeks. Some are part of my writing research, and some are not… or at least, not yet.
There is a heat wave on right now and I’m melting more than I ever have in this country. The concept of air conditioning in most U.K. homes and hotels is “open the window.” We tried this in our hotels outside of Oxford and Bognor Regis, but the window barely cracked open. The room was 29.5 degrees centigrade! Heat sucked up all my energy and I’ve been fairly unproductive in the evening.
Tonight I’m taking advantage of the air conditioning, including this blog post. Tomorrow, I’m staying in one of the oldest inns in the South, The Mermaid Inn, Rye (originating in the 12th century). Reportedly haunted by several ghosts too. Maybe they’ll help keep the room temperature down!
Aaaaaand the local weather report has just told me that there’s going to be rain tomorrow. I’m truly annoyed now because one of the reasons why I’m going back to Rye is because it rained all day when I first went there in December. Blargh!!!!!