2002 Q1 Vacation:  5149.46251ÕN, 044.9946ÕW

Day 3: Fri 22 Mar 2002

00:00 Š 08:00 GMT (Sleep)

I think I may have had a dream, but if I did, I donÕt remember it.  I heard a beeping go off.  It was my 07:30 alarm that I had set on the pager.  I hadnÕt bothered to set the real alarm clock sitting by the bed.  But I kept hitting that alarm clock trying to make it stop beeping at me anyway.  Then it stopped.  I then thought to myself, ŅI should change it to go off again at 08:00, cause I am going to fall asleep again, I am really tired.


08:00 Š 12:00 GMT (Morning)

I looked up. It was already 08:15.  Woops.  Breakfast would be served in only 15 minutes.  So I rushed through getting up and ready, and headed downstairs for breakfast.


Now, let me take this opportunity to say a couple more things about breakfast.  First, about this whole breakfast idea in general.  At home I almost never eat breakfast.  Well, occasionally IÕll have a breakfast type meal, but never first thing after I wake up.


At home, I usually eat once around 01:00 GMT and then sometimes (not always) a second time around 18:00 GMT.  08:30 GMT is definitely not a time I would normally be eating.  OK, now there is a time difference in terms of when daylight hours are.  Back home daylight it from about 12:00 GMT to about 00:00 GMT, whereas here it seems to be more like 07:00 GMT to 19:00 GMT.  But still, putting it in terms of when I usually wake up, I usually donÕt eat until IÕve been awake at least five hours or so, often longer. 

Eating only 15 or 20 minutes after I wake up just seems very strange and forced.  IÕm just not hungry yet.  Now, I know that breakfast is an important meal, etc etcÉ  But I just never have it.  So as I am here, being served these BIG breakfastsÉ  every dayÉ  Each day it seems like I have to work harder to actually finish the meal.  The actual food is fine.  Wonderful in fact.  It isnÕt that.  It is just the fact of breakfast itself.  I would consider asking to skip breakfast one day, but I donÕt want to be rude or anything.  It is a bed and breakfast after all, breakfast is supposed to be part of the experience, right?


Two more quick breakfast notesÉ  first the bacon.  English bacon is some sort of mix half way between Canadian and American bacon.  OK, thatÕs all I wanted to say about that.


Second, they have this toast holder device that seems engineered specifically to cool the toast as quickly as possible.  It holds each piece of bread separate from all the others.  This is completely opposite to the American tendency to stack the toast, keeping the toast as warm as possible as long as possible.  So I was racing to eat the toast before it was cold.  I almost never made it.  But I ate it all anyway.


I then headed up to the room and did some writing of this document.  I decided I had to always make sure I was at least within 24 hours of the current time while writing this log.  That way whatever I put down is still relatively fresh.  And it gives me a little structure to what I am doing.

12:00 Š 15:00 GMT (Museums and Such)

As I start walking into town I realize that with every step my right knee hurts.  Step.  Ouch.  Step.  Ouch.  Step.  Ouch.  I must have hurt it the previous day doing something.  But I hadnÕt noticed anything particular.  I mean, sure, IÕd walked a bunch, but I had just walked.  I hadnÕt had a fall or anything bad where I said ŅOh!  My knee!  I hurt my knee!Ó  Well, nothing to do about it now.  It hurt, but wasnÕt disabling.  So I kept going.  But when I got to a Tesco, a big grocery store about half way back to town, I decided that I would stop for a while.  It had a little cafŽ type area.  So after a stop at the ATM machine (it is great that my ATM card works at ATMs here just as easily as ones a mile from my homeÉ  love it) I bought a local paper and a pastry sort of thing, and sat down at a table for a while.  I looked through the local paper.  Apparently there has been a rash of robberies of shops in the area.  And they are starting a new campaign to discourage people playing on railroad tracks. 


I then proceeded into town.  I only had a couple of items on my agenda for the day.  I wanted to go to the post office and get some stamps for those postcards and mail the first batch, and I wanted to go check out the town museum.  So I once again started wandering around the town.  I had passed these things before, but I didnÕt have a sense yet of where things exactly were, so if I wanted to go somewhere, I would just wander in circles until I found it.  I found the stamps first.  Got all I would need.  But I didnÕt actually mail the postcards yet, cause I couldnÕt find a slot to drop them into.


Then I wandered more and found the museum.  There were two main parts to the museum; the actual county museum, which had all sorts of things about the history of the region, and the Roald Dahl gallery.  I went to the history museum part first.  There were all sorts of things from old Roman artifacts up through the present.  The part that grabbed me the most though was one room where the whitewall and floor was peeled away to show what was behind, and the signs explained that the part of the building I was standing in was originally built in the 1400Õs and that what I was looking at through the holes in the wall and ceiling were the original 600 year old wood and mortar and other materials which framed this part of the building.  There is just history everywhere. 



Then I went across the way to the Roald Dahl place.  HeÕs the guy who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach.  He was from this town it seems.  (Along with Florence Nightingale.)  It was basically a two-story kids play zone.  I was the only one in there at the time.  There were various things to pick up and play with, and there was a giant peach.  I went inside the giant peach. It was peachy.



Then I was once again in that awkward time where nobody was selling real food.  I guess the idea might be that it is tea time and you are supposed to have tea?  Well, in any case, I wandered aimlessly again.  But this time my knee was killing me with every step.  So more and more I wanted to just sit down.  Eventually I found a restaurant in a shopping area that had signs up about todayÕs special being Lasagna.  So I went in.  Then they informed me that they had already stopped serving hot food.  So I got more pastries.  Then just sat there awhile.  I was hoping that if I sat awhile, my knee would feel better.


No such luck.  When I finally left, I was still hurting.  As well as my knee my right foot sometimes hurt too.  Walking was just not fun.  And I wasnÕt happy about this, because walking was involved in everything I planned to be doing.  I hadnÕt rented a car, cause I intended to walk most places.  If I walked home, it was still a bit early.  And plus my knee complained every time I thought about the long walk home.  I would have to turn around to come back for dinner as well.  I then had a brainstorm, and stopped at the movie theater; a nice dark place to sit and relax two hours.

15:00 Š 19:00 GMT (Ice Age)

There was one actual British movie available, something about a white rapper who decides to run for parliament and the antics that ensue.  But I had read a bad review of it in the paper I had bought, so I decided not to do that.  Instead I just went to see ŅIce AgeÓ which is probably what I might have gone to see if I was going to go to a movie back home that week.  Not the most memorable movie of all time or anything, but it was an OK cartoon.  It killed a couple hours while I kept resting my knee.  In addition to salted popcorn, they also had sweetened popcorn, which I almost got by mistake.  Whew!  I did get a hot dog.  That was a mistake.  I didnÕt finish it.  One other thing they had which was niceÉ  for a pound more you could sit in Ņ1st classÓ type seats, that were just a bit larger and more comfortable than all the rest and in prime positions.  I paid the extra pound.  I liked it.

19:00 Š 00:00 GMT (Back to Spindleberries)

After the movie I decided to go home.  I was thinking about stopping at a pub.  It was Friday night after all; perhaps it would be good to check out the nightlife?  But I had my backpack full of stuff, and it was a bit early yet.  People were starting to come into the one pub right next to the movie theater.  It looked possible.  But I wanted to dump my backpack and come back a bit later.  So I started heading back.


Of course, this was in part me fooling myself.  I did want to dump the bag, cause I didnÕt want to be stuck with it while out checking out nightlife, but on the other hand my knee was still hurting with every step.  I kinda knew that if I went back to the B&B, I probably wouldnÕt leave again that night.


I painfully made my way back to the B&B.  I collapsed onto the bed and turned on the TV.  I was thinking of leaving again around 21:00 GMT.  But by the time I got there, I was nice and settled.  I was catching up on some of the writing for this diary thing and playing a few games on the computer and watching some random junk on the TV.  Nad my knee still hurt whenever I tried to walk.  I wasnÕt about to leave and go walk a mile back to town.  So I just kept doing that sort of thing.