The LDS Church has a long history in this part of the world, and not always a pleasant one. For many years, the city of Stroud, I am told, would not allow Mormons to build a chapel in town, so they had to find places to hold meetings, including this community hall, and members homes. Martha and Arthur would have brought their family here, among other places, and they were baptized just down the road at a public bath house.
In Liverpool, our subterranean Pod hotel.
A view of the street in front of our hotel near Earl's Court station.
This is a view from the window of the theater where we saw War Horse. All the chimney's made me think of Marry Poppins. And War Horse, by the way, was really amazing--hit all the notes that a good piece of war lit should (i.e. it showed how war brings out the best and worst of humanity).
We couldn't leave this part of London without walking through Bloomsbury--one-time home to Virginia Woolf, among others.
I remember going to the grand canyon and having the same experience. The shuttles took us from one overlook to the next and we oohed and ahhed appropriately, but at a certain point in the day I'd had my fill of looking. I wanted to get down in the canyon. To engage my body in the memory, and not just my mind.
And maybe that's what it comes down to--wanting to experience and remember a place bodily. That's why I always remember the food I eat when I travel--because I've used food to bind myself to that place.
I'd seen enough churches and museums and statues. What I hadn't had enough of was people. A person, a life to connect to the places I was visiting. Otherwise England might as well remain a postcard.
And that brings us to the end of the trip. Some fine research. A fantastic international creative writing contest, and a few days of tourism to ice the cake!