first impressions – dandelions sneezed onto the fields like showers of yellowness – sighted from the plane, while landing in london-stansted – london underground: where’s “mind the gap”, no “mind the gap” – miss you “mind the gap” – also, no vampire-boy (sorry, steffi) – then, picture the scene – paddington station: bathroom and me paying 30 pence to go through the barrier but sadly only succeeding in pushing my bag through and then having to climb underneath it myself, looking suspiciously as if i had not paid at all

train to bath: lovely english countryside, very romantic and picturesque, but is it really or is it just because i am in the “romantic south” and expect it to be? – fields divided by hedgerows, boats on canals, small idyllic train stations and bridges

bath itself is beautiful – morning had broken all foggy and gray – just one hour later, sun is bright and pretty, bells are ringing in honour of st. george and bath is awake and alive, looking every bit like one stepped back in time to the 18th century – i managed the whole touristy load and still felt perfectly cool – it’s really as if i was in jane austen’s time, going to the pump room to take the waters, chatting at the assembly rooms, walking on the gravel walk – touristy, but just what you ought to do in bath – and i did see many handsome men – one slightly looked like vampire-boy from the distance – i was not able to get a good shot, so i brought something else

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a party i attended was quite entertaining – had a discussion of literary themes with some very nice boys – might have been flirting, while quizzing them – but took my leave as soon as their talk turned to economy, politics and disease – men, what frightful creatures they are – never but spending just a moment in fruitful conversation with us poor women, before returning to their ceaseless worrying about the world’s turning to their desires

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moving on to stratford-upon-avon – thou should’st be amused – thy eternal verses are used in ev’ry shop and ev’ry tavern throughout this town – quoted by actors, vicars, children, teachers thy words shall live for evermore and thus give life to thee! – shakespeare, if indeed he really was shakespeare, would be dearly amused by the cult that’s made of him in stratford – you can see the place where he wooed his wife (more like got her pregnant and then disappeared off to london to pursue the stage – not quite so romantic, but still …), visit his grave in holy trinity, the only place that’s truly shakesperean here, as he’s really there (dead and all) and see where he was born (or not!) – and it seems like people are inspired by this environment to spout out their own frightful verses and pretend literary greatness – indeed, i also felt the place’s magic in the very marrow of my bones, but indeed, i am amused, like shakespeare would have been – but then shakespeare was never really shakespeare, was he? – i am entranced by the whole mystery that surrounds him and he is still and will be for evermore my hero

best of all – the life, love & legacy exhibition at shakespeare’s birthplace with short films about him and with the very best scenes of one of my all-time favourite dr who episode

manchester – horrible, smelly, dirty, loud city and a hostel room full of disgusting, smelly, moaning, grunting, snoring men – the only good thing about the rain is my new pussy cat umbrella, which i proudly walked around the dirty, smelly, wet city – good shopping, though and i spent some happy pounds on useless and usefull nonsense – unfortunately, no manchester united fanstore to be found and no man united fan memorabilia to be seen anywhere – running up and down streets and round and round in circles in shopping centres did not help – no ronnie badge, key chain or anything whatsoever – like he doesn’t exist

liverpool, on the other hand is rather pretty and boasts two liverpool fc fanshops right in the middle of the city – me likey a lot and me buyey some nice presents – overall a good day there, but still no comparison to lovely south england and the romantic, historic haunts of bath and stratford

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