Tag Archives: Religion

days 4-7, England: bones and church and prison camps… oh my

So…  I had so many things to write…  I just never wrote them.  But instead of apologizing and such, I’m just going to get right into it.

On day 4, we headed “into town”, which is the main part of Peterborough.  It was very quiet, but just like London, I loved the feel of the place.  We walked through a shopping mall, to get to the town square, so it was an interesting juxtaposition: modern clothing store a few streets away from super old cathedral.

We checked out the Peterborough Museum, which documented the development of Peterborough from the world’s first prisoner of war camp, Norman Cross prison camp, to the bustling town that it is today.  I loved how interactive the experience was: there were recreated prison beds (disgustingly thin mattresses and blankets included), as well as other bits and baubles, like a objects from an early 1900s kitchen, an old diesel engine, Victorian bed linens covered in blood from ill-informed doctors, who didn’t care much for the comfort of the poor. In addition to all that, there were many written pieces along the walls explaining the history of everything.

On the ground floor, they had a braille floor map.  Now, I completely forgot the layout immediately after I stopped touching it, but it was still quite cool.  It made me wonder if the written sections had braille counterparts, but I didn’t think to ask about it until the writing of this post…  about a week later.

We had McDonald’s afterward, because my aunt was starving.  And guys.  WordPress.  World.  Let me tell you: It was delicious! The burger tasted like a burger, the chips were delicious (see day 1), and the drink sizes were small.  I got orange juice (which tasted pretty fresh for something bottled), but Zu had a Coke, and first, it tasted just a bit different, but it was also not an undrinkably large size.  That may also be because, in the US, we like our drinks iced with a side of liquid.  (Ice isn’t a thing they do here.  Water either.  The prisoners only drank ale because the water was unclean, which I’m pretty sure was a problem faced by all, so the tradition of not drinking water just continued.)

That night, we had shepherd pie, homemade.  And it.  Was.  Scrumptious! Afterward, I continued my research.  I found a potential way to apply for British citizenship (the various visa options were getting too complicated) but…  it costs money.  Like, a lot of it.  So I think I’m going to stick ! studying abroad first before I go making thousand pound commitments.

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Day 5 was church.  If you don’t already know, I’m not a huge fan of church.  They always insist on praying for me.  I know, complete a holes, all of them.  My thing is this: by asking God to “give me my sight back” your questioning His wisdom.  If He does everything for a reason, then why are you trying to change it?

But, it ended up not being so bad.  They were overly polite (so basically, very English): offering “cheers” and “blessings” left and right.  Some people came up to us, introduced themselves, and didn’t really seem to care about our names (after they found out that we were there with my aunt, “such a lovely woman”).  I even joked with our assigned babysitter, a woman, who, in the spirit of British culture, I could totally imagine drunk, not enjoying church.

The church was a Pentecostal one, so I was extremely interested in seeing how the Brits handled such high energy.  And it was definitely something.  The choir was upbeat, as was the clapping and the pastor made his sermon delightfully interactive (having his son be the David to another church member’s Goliath) yet, though they were definitely invested, the congregation remained subdued.  It was like when Zu and I watched Jeremy Kyle, all of the flare and drama were there, with the audience reacting appropriately, but they didn’t have t…  gusto, that I find in America.  The energy level was just different.

The rest of the day was quite chill, with Zulay and I on our respective devices as my uncle watched TV, my aunt bustled about the house and my cousin popped in every now and then to spice up the conversation with his entertaining insights.

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To conclude my English adventures, I skip to day 7, as on day 6 Zu had a headache and there was another one of those intense thunderstorm showers, so we opted to stay inside, catching up on correspondence and doing laundry.  But on day 7, we took a trip to Leicester, to visit the Leicester Cathedral where Richard Iii, of York’s bones are on display.

This was another fun museum experience.  There were stone re-workings of objects like books, a scale, etc, that all held some relevance to Richard’s life.  So that in itself made it exciting, interactive and, most important, blind friendly.  There were also videos sprinkled through out the exhibit—as in the Peterborough museum—that added to the experience along with the scrolls of text along the wall (I forgot to ask about braille versions again) that my aunt read to us.

After the museum, we asked around for a good Indian restaurant.  We were directed to Mem Sab in the Highcross Shopping Center.  I highly recommend that place to English and tourists alike.  I had chicken tika marsala, mushroom pilaf that I shared with my aunt’s friend who’d driven us there, some divinely good garlic naan—it was buttery and soft, and a criminally small (but tasty) duck samosa.  The flavors were blended well, the sauce was creamy and slightly spicy.  It was just delicious.  People complain about English food (yes, I’m aware that I’m talking about Indian), but I enjoyed all of the things I had.

It was interesting to experience a restaurant setting.  I mentioned earlier that the europeans don’t use much ice. (Ice was something the rich used, but it fell out of fashion, and was too expensive a habit initially. You can read more about it here.)  So we were given ice in our drinks while we waited for a table, but not once we were actually seated.  Also, portion size, it was enough to fill me up (I was stuffed, actually) but there were no leftovers.

Looking back on this week, I really enjoyed myself.  Checking out the tube, finding braille in unexpected places, getting used to the backwardness (a light switch being up meaning off, rather than on)…  or is America the background one, since we’re younger? Huh.  Things to ponder.  But I will definitely be returning next year, if I’m approved for study abroad to see if I could really envision myself living there.

Stay tuned for the rest of the saga, when our European adventures continue in Switzerland (working on those posts now)

 

Cheers

Goals

This was originally posted on August 6, 2015 7:54 PM on Blogger.

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Warning: within the next few lines, some may consider my words sacrilegious or blasphemous. Note that it only applies to those who believe in both Jesus and the Holy Trinity.

Last weekend, I attended the 2015 Writer’ Digest Writers Conference.

There, I hoped that the Holy Ghost/Spirit of writing would take hold of me and I would be finished with my book by now and I would be blogging incessantly. How I would manage to divide my time between the two was of little consequence to me.

But I did none of that. If anything, the Spirit seems to be leaving me.

I’d even begun composing a post about this woman who told me she loved success stories. She was referring to me being in line to see an agent at the Conference’s Pitch Slam. And me having already received the business cards of each agent I spoke with.

In the Pitch Slam, you’re allotted an hour to speak with as many literary agents as you can, pitching your work to them and hoping they’re interested. And you have three minutes with each agent (though many people used up more than that.)

Why am I a success story. I have no life-threatening diseases (thank God…or whomever). I’m blind. And a writer. (A musician, too.)So what? Perspective, people. Perspective!

But even that post was left unfinished.

So I’m writing this post to cement my future goals in writing:

For this blog:

To post more consistently. (Things happen nigh every day, I just can’t write it down as soon as it happens, and by the time I get the chance to, I’m not as excited. Or I’m just feeling lazy).

So I plan on updating at least three times a week.

This will also help me to begin building that author platform agents, editors, and publishers seem so fond of

And this post makes my third for the week 😏

For my personal writing:

Every day, at least a page (500 words).

They say once you put something on the Internet, it never goes away. And while it’s used in a different context, when pertaining to this post, I’m alright with it.