Friday, February 17, 2012

Mr. and Mrs. Magpie Take a Trip

Portobello Road

I haven't told you the giddy news yet: Mr. Magpie and I are headed back to England for a week in March!  We are beside ourselves with delicious joy.

Crystal Globe Pendants at the V&A

Chihuly at the V&A

As some of you know, when Mr. Magpie is not busy fulfilling his duties as my better half on this blog, he is known as Dr. Todd Avery, Scholar of British Modernist Literature and Professor of English.  I need to finish sewing his superhero costume, which has a large, sparkly, Edwardian "B" on the front.  B for British and for Bloomsbury, as in the folks he writes about from the Bloomsbury Group. His brilliant books can be found here and here and here (pdf order form from Cecil Woolf Publishers) and here (beautiful exhibition catalog Todd wrote from a Bloomsbury Exhibition he curated at the Lilly Library in 1999 when he was still a graduate student.  The book is now a collectible and a must for Bloomsbury lovers.  Yes, I'm bragging.)  I don't use "brilliant" lightly.  My guy is a smarty pants, and because he is one, he spends a great deal of time doing the sorts of things that smarty pants do, like rummaging through archives and leafing through forgotten papers and books and recordings and even very old films.  Fortunately for me, this means he must travel as often as possible to libraries far and wide, which in turn means I often get to travel beside him.  Occasionally I even share in writing duties;  you can find an article Mr. Magpie and I co-wrote here.   He, being a singular bird, does not much like flying, so having a trusty traveling companion makes the whole business much less taxing.  Perhaps that sounds odd for a superhero, but not all superheroes love to fly.  Batman prefers his Batmobile.  Mr. Magpie prefers his desk chair and his mighty fountain pen.  They take him all the way around the world, thank you very much.

Needs no caption!  :)

Detail of horse from the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum--I visit them every trip!

On this trip, he must visit some film archives in London and a library or two in Cambridge.  Hooray for him!  Hooray for me!  London just happens to be my favorite city.  This time we will be staying outside of the city in Greenwich, one of the prettiest places I know, in a lovely B&B that I have heard is a gem.  We've stayed all over London, but we've never stayed overnight in Greenwich, and I LOVE the markets there, the museums and parks, and the food, so I will have much to report upon our return.

Arriving at Greenwich by riverboat on the Thames

After Greenwich, it will be off to Cambridge.  I've only ever spent a day and a night there, so I am thrilled!  We haven't found the perfect place to stay in Cambridge yet.  If any of you know a fabulous place that is not crazy expensive (we are traveling on an academic budget, which, despite what many conservative US politicians will tell you about lazy and greedy academics, is decidedly not a luxury budget!), please let me know.  We've asked around to some friends and colleagues, but have yet to hit upon the place that fits both our budget and our simple needs (clean, quiet, convenient for walking, ensuite bath, good breakfasts).  For me, when we're on this type of trip, a pretty room is a bonus.  Of course I'd like it, but, honestly, I'd rather spend the money on some good food and wonderful experiences than on a super luxury room.  Am I crazy?  I prefer to think I'm just a girl with a camera who sees her hotel room as a place to sleep between adventures like the one pictured below.

Portobello Road--delicious!

I know some of you live in or near London, so you know just why I am so excited to return.  For those of you who don't live there, I wish I could take you in my pocket, especially to my favorite markets, where we would have a ball together.  I promise to return with photos and new discoveries to share.

We won't be leaving for a few weeks yet, so if you see this any time before March and know of an inn/B&B in Cambridge, please feel free to drop me an email!

Roses at Saint Paul's Cathedral.  I've only climbed to the top once!  What a view!

Happy weekend, my friends, and welcome to new subscribers and followers!  I'm looking forward to making my blog rounds this weekend!  Can't wait to see what you're all up to.  x Gigi

P.S. All the photos above are from our last UK trip two years ago.  I've been missing it so!