England

Exploring northern London


So today, I woke up at the crack of noon… well actually it was 1 p.m. and figured I should probably continue with my exploring. By the time, I showered and ate, I didn’t leave until about 2:30 p.m. I had looked up sights on the web and I decided to head to the British Library today.

It is the national library that houses many manuscripts and original editions of books and it’s completely free…. added bonus you have to go by King’s Cross Station to get there.

So I walked to the nearest tube stop (subway station), and took the underground (subway) to King’s Cross. I have to say they seem to fit a lot more people in each car, and the seats are plushier… you can also walk in between cars if you want. Anyways, so once I got to King’s Cross, I headed up to the train station part. (For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, King’s Cross is the station they leave from in Harry Potter to get to Hogwarts. Of course, I was on the search for platform 9 and 3/4.) Anyways, when I eventually found the train platforms I realized that you need a ticket to make it to the actual area, which I didn’t have. So I tried to crane my neck to see if I could catch a glimpse of the divider, but no luck. I’ll have to try to schedule a trip that leaves from there.

Now the library was very cool. They had several of Shakespeare’s manuscript, the manuscript for Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, which I just read, The original documents of several Beatles pieces, i.e. the scraps of paper they scribbled and doodled on, originals of some of Mozart’s, Bach’s and Beethoven’s music, and their main attraction The Magna Carta. Yes, I have now seen the real Magna Carta. (Apparently there were actually several copies of it in 1215, and four still survive. Two were at the British Library, one was in Liverpool and I don’t remember where the last one is, still in Britain somewhere.)

Now, this is kind of unrelated, but I thought I’d share it anyways because it’s something that has been kind of annoying me. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was staying in a 150-year-old house. Well the one main downside, or I suppose peculiarity about the house are the bathrooms…..  or I guess I should say toilet rooms or loo, as none of them have baths in them and there are separate rooms for the showers. (one of the toilet rooms in particular only has a toilet and you have to walk into the shower room beside it to wash your hands.)

There are 13 of them in total and I have used maybe 6 of them in my stay so far….. Each one has a different way to lock the door, a different way to turn on the light and a different way to flush the toilet! It’s ridiculous. It’s almost like a game. Sometimes I have to stand in the dark for a few minutes, before I realize the string hanging beside the window is not for the blinds but for the lightbulb… or the toilet flush is actually above me. (Yes, one is actually the old style toilet with the back part near the ceiling and a hanging, wooden handle that you pull on.) Also, if you don’t pull with enough force, or if someone else happened to flush the toilet a few minutes before, nothing happens…. that can be embarrassing.

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