Sunday, January 25, 2009

Diagonal Rain

The days are getting a bit longer now. It was gettting dark a bit before 4 in the afternoon. Now it's about 4:30. Having said that, it's still bitterly cold. I'm sitting in my room, in a contemplative mood, watching the rain create stripes down the window. The wind is blowing a bit, so some streaks angle to the left, while others veer right. While I'm sitting here being maudlin, my flatmates are running around in the mud at their hurling match. Have I mentioned that the Irish are nuts?

In a little over a week, it will be 6 months since I left home. Time flies, I guess...

Before I talk about Norwich, I'm just going to offer a coda to the Belgium trip. We caught a train into Brussels at about 5:30am on Boxing Day. I caught my Eurostar train back to London, only to find myself trapped there. In contrast to the Belgian system, King's Cross station was locked and none of the trains were running. And only some tube lines were running. I expected the trains to be an essential service that would run every day, even Xmas. In the end, I found an open Internet cafe, looked up the buses, legged it to Victoria Station, and got a bus ticket back to Cambridge. In all, it took about 12 hours to get home. It left me less than thrilled with England, and fervently wishing I was back on the continent where the train tickets were cheap and things worked.

That weekend there was a Stargate SG1 marathon on Saturday, followed by a Stargate Atlantis marathon on Sunday. It was hard work doing back-to-back marathons, but I made it through. That Ranulph Feinnes isn't so tough.

I went back to work after the weekend, but there was almost no one around. Of the possibly 100 people who work in my building, there were maybe 6 of us. And my flatmates were away. I went for the better part of a week without talking to anyone.

At the start of January, I went to Norwich for a day. In the Middle Ages, Norwich was a larger city than London. Here are a couple of pics:

Norwich Castle

The castle was quite interesting, but expensive. You had to pay quite a large sum to get in, and then there were extra charges to see the battlements and other areas. It's an old castle (1160 AD), but externally it looks quite modern because the Victorians resurfaced it.

In more recent times it was a prison.

Norwich Cathedral

The Cathedral was also an interesting visit. I really liked the fact that there were volunteers roaming around, who would explain interesting facets of the design to visitors.

Street between trees

Vine Street

This is one of the old streets. I'm going to say that it's called Vine Street, if all of you promise not to go and look up whether I'm correct or not. To me, those last two shots look very similar to the Belgian photos, although if you look at the church on ~Vine Street~, you can see that it is made of quite a dark, harsh stone: flint. Up close, you can see that it breaks very unevenly, leaving rough shapes and sharp edges. It's immediately clear why they used flint in the stone age for arrow heads, knives, etc.

And that's about it for Norwich. Not a particularly mind-blowing day, but good to get out of the house.

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