Friday, April 2, 2010

A 20-year-old letter from England, part 1

The reason why I've been so quiet is that we're moving from Boston to Houston, Texas, in the next few months and my days have been spent cleaning the house, packing boxes, and going through files. (ETA 4/23/10: The move is now off, but I'm still cleaning the house.) I found a diary I'd kept during a visit to England in 1989; I'd spent a week visiting my family outside Manchester before I headed off to Sligo, Ireland, to attend Yeats International Summer School. I thought I'd post some of the entries for your reading pleasure -- and also as a way of ensuring I don't lose these words during our move.


[caption id="attachment_791" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="From Flickr/Patrn"]From Flickr/Patrn[/caption]

Tuesday, August 8, 1989

Disley, Cheshire, England

Landed at Heathrow at 8:15 a.m. Uneventful flight. Sat next to a man who had terrible body odor. The man next to him read the New York  Times Review of Books and John Updike. Rolled his eyes a few times when the foul-smelling man between us shifted positions. Customs in London was packed. Barely made my 10:45 a.m. flight to Manchester. Lovely weather up here; warm with a cool breeze. Cousin Frances picked me up at the airport, then we came back to her bungalow in Disley for some tea in her garden. After this we walked to a local pub for a lunch, but I didn't have much of an appetite.

When we returned home, I napped for three hours, then more tea and a visit from cousin William and his wife Margaret, who is from Sligo.  I immediately took a liking to her: lively eyes and mannerisms, very youthful. When the left, I bathed and now I'm settling down for the night. I'm terribly exhausted. Tomorrow Frances and I are spending the day in Nottinghamshire at Lord Byron's manor, Newstead Abbey. Frances said the ride there is "lovely." I'm looking forward to this since I was hoping to do more literary tours of England -- sorry so short, more tomorrow.


  1. Boston to there's a BIG change! What amazes me about your entry is your lack of jetlag! We're usually wiped out for the first day upon arrival. Love the accompanying pic, though :)

  2. Some culture shock is definitely in store for me, Elizabeth.

    I should have noted that I was in my 20s when I wrote this journal.


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