Sunday, March 6, 2011

The UK

“Shiver me timbers!”

That's what I’m inclined to say when I do the math, and calculate how long ago it was I traveled to England as an ignorant, smartass, know-it-all 18-year-old.

The mere fact I'm keeping the numbers to myself should tell you I'm getting sensitive about becoming an old guy.

Jolly Old England. Went with a couple of friends and had a grand old time. This was during the early stages of my notorious Reckless Youth period.

We gawked at a genuine Beethoven score in the British Museum, checked out Piccadilly Circus, saw a bunch of castles, and savoured many a pub. I discovered McEwan's Bitter, a very smooth and flavourful pale ale.

One night we were into our evening pints in a pub in Inverness, Scotland, when in walked a fellow who appeared to have been tarred and feathered. He was getting married soon, and described how he'd been pranked by his mates, who were with him. They all laughed and ordered beer. It was August; aside from the chocolate syrup (not tar) and feathers, all this bloke had on was underwear, work boots, and a ball and chain around his ankles.

Before Inverness we spent some time in Edinburgh. One night we slept in a hilly area in the middle of the city. All I remember, aside from being cold, is a big hill called Arthur's Seat. Early the next morning we hiked into the city and sat, bedraggled, on a bench. A few minutes after the picture at right was taken, a cop came by and told us to move along.

I remember time on the Isle of Skye, and Nottingham, and madcap antics in London.

A long time ago!

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