Thursday, June 30, 2011

Translate this to American English

See the sign?

Here it is closer. It's on part of a church.

Americans would not write all that. They would write one or two words.

This translates fine, only it might have been bottle caps instead of what it is:

So fine. A church and a bar in Bath. Now I'm going to sleep a while. Today I shopped and went to the extremely exciting suspension bridge here that was built 140 or 150 years ago, I don't know.

Tomorrow, Stroud. I think I'm taking about 60 photos for every one I manage to actually get into this blog lately. Some are good, too. Not like the serviceable plain stuff in this post. Bummer you're missing them. :-) I added some links to the photos page linked up at the top of this page, if you do want to see lots of seemingly inexplicable bits of the UK.

"Holly Lynn Dodd is online," says my Skype, so I gotta go.

Street musicians in Bath

Very different instruments, but something in common as to the music:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First session in Bristol

This afternoon a really nice assortment of people came over, with some beautiful  babies and children.  I didn't think to take photos until some of them had left already.

Alison and Bartek are wonderfully generous to have opened their home for this.

Another group is coming in an hour. :-)

King of the Castle

We used to play this, by that name, or "King of the Hill" or "King of the Mountain," but we never had a rhyme to go with it. This is a great taunt and very sweet of Lucian to repeat it when I asked him to.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Steam Fair Sights and Sounds

I have a note to put these in this order. I don't know why, tonight, while I'm doing it. Maybe I'll remember tomorrow. But tomorrow is all booked and busy, so I hope readers find something nice to see or hear here.

These are from Sunday, June 26. All my photos from that day are here:

On top of something

At the steam museum, three different times during the day, I took photos of the little steeple/bellfry on this building. I kept looking at it. I liked the pulleys, and their shadows. I liked the roof and the bell and the clock.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hook a Boat

The cool thing about this was that there were no dirt-cheap, crummy prizes, and the winner got to choose. I didn't see anyone else play it while we were there but Adam. It wasn't very crowded that day, even though it was a really nice Sunday. They didn't charge to play, either. The rides and games were included in the admission price.

Translating Thinking Sticks

Leon McNeill took this photo of some of us working on the Thinking Sticks word list in French. It took us a day and a half, but there's a good list now.

It turns out (we checked with a French teacher to make extra sure) that there isn't a word in French for "measurement." English got the word from French (or at least the parts the word was built from, but it's been 800 years or so, and while English has made good use of having a general term for the idea and action of determining lengths, weights, volumes and time, French doesn't. They have a verb for measuring but not a noun that covers the ideas of all types and units of measurement.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Some things I saw in London today

Carolyn Snow and her friend Ray met me in London today and we Did Things together, involving museums, food, a double-decker bus, walking, looking, drinking tea, a tube station. Many Londonish things. It was fun but I was tired and sore. I'll be better tomorrow, but some of the images can be shared tonight.

Passion Fruit Blossom

Right outside Julie's kitchen window:

Subtle Clues

I was upstairs in the guestroom at Katie's house in Pulborough. There was sunlight through rain and looking at the window was just a glare, but projected on the wall was this bit of information:

The two bottom panes had a curtain over them, so those would need to have that moved to check, but the two top panes that seemed the same looking out that day are very different. The one on the left in the shadow/projection is newer glass. So at some point, that pane was broken and replaced. The other is old glass, settling into flowy patterns. I'm sure that in different light, if one had something to focus on through the glass, it would have been noticeable by looking. The windows in the front room, looking out at trees and flowers, showed their waviness. But maybe these windows, only seeing clouds and sky, are not usually obviously different.

At Hampton court, there were dozens of windows, each with a dozen or sixteen or some panes of glass, most of them obviously old glass. Public bathrooms had been build into some of those rooms, and the windows (which went to the courtyard outside, and were up high, had new glass. So I figured any old glass remaining in those now-toilet-facilities windows had been put into the nicer, more museum-purposed rooms.

Friday, June 24, 2011

In and around the City Mill in Winchester

[Pictures of things in and around] A restored water-driven mill in Winchester, a National Trust site.

[Note to self: Find the photos of the mechanism to add, too.]

Note: Next time, take some photos of the mechanism, rather than just the windows, the spider and the "low beam" signs.

The Allotment and the neighboring allotments

Roger and Katie have an allotment, far at the end of a set across from their house. I walked over with Roger and their two boys. I had the camera, and Roger asked why, because there wasn't anything good over there. For me, though, it was rich with good stuff. For one thing, I've been collecting images of wheelbarrows. Score!

The plants for Dwarf French Beans were exotic, and I'd never heard of them, so it's still written on my arm in green. "Dwarf French Beans."

There might be some duplicates, and some that seem to be duplicates but aren't. Sorry if it gets boring, but it was fun for me!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Littlest Bowls Lawn

At Pont Augan, near Baud, in Brittany, there is a charity shop in a building that was once a pub called Le Martin Pecheur (the Kingfisher). The faded sign is still up.

Between that and the river is a towpath. Just a short way along the path is a small bowls field.

There isn't a gate in the fence. Part of the wire is bent down, so people could climb over. I suppose, occasionally, someone lifts a lawnmower over the fence there.

On the tree is a scoreboard. I guess they use pegs, or maybe twigs. One hole had a stick stuck in it.

Doing laundry in France

I've figured out that I can't keep up with the blog as to exactly where I am. Exactly where I am is not doing laundry in France, but I got those photos uploaded and wanted to show you something.

The washer and dryer were in an outbuilding that once housed doves (at least upstairs, when the floor up there was whole) and has a dirt floor below. Animals lived there. A few small ones still do.

Above the entry was this:

Above the soap box was something that did this:

Just before I left the main house to do my load of wash, I was told "It's more like an English washer than an American." Yeah, okay, I thought. I'll figure it out.

I could figure out "pre-wash" and "extra rinse." I figured if they were in order, "arret" might mean wash, but that doesn't make sense because it's on all the stop signs in Quebec. It was locked with a picture of a key to pre-wash. So never mind.

I considered giving up, which I figured would involve departure and a trip back to the house to get help. But I took a chance on "depart" meaning "launch this ship" or something, and when I pushed it, water came into the window (front-load machine, also foreign to me personally). It said it would take two hours or some damned thing, so I went away.

Later I returned to more mysteries.

Is that the international symbol for cotton? Maybe. But I don't know the international symbol for wool, polyester or linen. So maybe it's the international symbol for a dryer. Don't know.

Do I want it as dry as a cupboard or as an iron? Or do they mean still damp enough to lay out in a drying cupboard so it's not wrinkly? I know what a drying cupboard is. That sounded good. Or would the photo of the iron mean it would be damp enough to iron it? Or so wrinkly it would need to be ironed later? Either way, I didn't want to choose the iron.

Then there was the problem of the symbol for pushing the button in or not.

OH. Seems cotton is on the right, and on the left is.... a little bird, or a squirt bottle. Not helpful. I just want to know whether the big picture of the button is the button out, or pressed in.

I press the button, set it for more than an hour, and go away. Later I come back and it's still damp. I have not learned anything, but my clothes are one more dryer-ride from being re-useable. I think lovely thoughts about the washer and dryer back home that I can use without reading anything.

When I got back to Julie's, I looked at her washer. The directions were in English, but not exactly the same. One option was "bone dry." I thought of the bone I had found outside that laundry room in Brittany. I think it was part of a sheep. I picked it up to see if I could figure anything out about it, and after looking at it a while, I turned it over and there were maggots happily living (temporarily) in the other side. GUH-ROSSSS. I never want to set a European dryer to THAT.

So as I write this, I am in a small town called Pulborough, in West Sussex, staying with Katie Pybus. Her daughter was disappointed that I wasn't a Barbie enthusiast. Because I have pages about the Barbie activities of others on my site, she figured I loved Barbies. I don't, but I was able to talk about Barbie's Princess and the Pauper, and sing part of a song (which I first heard in Las Vegas, Nevada; which Holly can sing; which I saw in full context in India with Zoya) and also to order her a copy of the DVD to be delivered here in a few days. So I can leave her a happy Barbie association with me, to help balance the look of shock when she found out I don't really like Barbie all that much my own self. Also I will make booklets of the Barbie adventure book she wrote and illustrated, and send those back to her at some point.

Today we're meeting other families at Arundel Castle. Tomorrow we're going to the beach and then I get a ride back to Julie's. Tomorrow I'm going to the Victoria and Albert Museum to hang out with Carolyn/Carrie/Adelicia (using all her aliases and nicknames for the benefit of those who know here from other times or from the SCA). Sunday I'm going with Julie and Adam to a steam museum with farm equipment and rides used for fairs, back in the days when steam engines were high tech. I'm looking forward to all that. Then I got to Bristol to stay with Alison Pawlak's family for a while.