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Wendy had the dorm room next to me when I lived in England for a year.

She had spiky blonde hair, wore short black boots with lots of buckles, and had posters of people I’d never heard of on her bedroom walls –Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, and Siouxsie and the Banshees. She was little but cool.

I had big hair, wore colored leggings, and had posters of Sting and U2 on my walls.

Yeah.

That’s how I rolled.



Despite our differences, we became close friends. I’m indebted to random room assignments on C-floor that year.

I didn’t cut my big hair, but I did buy a pair of short black boots with lots of buckles. I could never be as cool as Wendy, but I could improve my wardrobe and my taste in music. We started spending more time together, and to this day, I can picture her dancing, head thrown back and eyes closed, a smile of delight on her cherub-cheeked face. I stopped being self-conscious about dancing that year, and learned to surrender to the music. I suspect my gangly bopping did not resemble Wendy’s graceful moves … but I was having fun.

I’m still the coolness-challenged U2 fan, but I nurture my black-boots-dancing side, too. Wendy is now a middle-aged married woman with two cats … but she’s still funny, cherub-cheeked, and has great taste in shoes.

I could write 10,000 more words about our friendship, but this entry is supposed to be the next installment in my photoessay (as kellyrfineman put it) about Britain.

Wendy and her husband picked us up in Windsor and drove us to their home in Cambridge. I’d never been to Cambridge or Oxford before (Oxbridge), but I had an image of lots of very, very old schools and people bicycling everywhere.


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I was right!

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Kings College.


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Henry VIII, immortalized with muscular calves.


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Sorry, I lost track of which college was which.

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So very old, this little watchdog-gargoyle.

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Punting on the River Cam. This shot looks positively peaceful …

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… but the river was packed on that gorgeous, sunny day.

I wonder if Cole will want to study abroad someday. Cambridge is so beautiful and vibrant and historically rich that I’m including the link here, in case anyone wants to read more about it: http://www.cam.ac.uk/

Reading material on this leg of the journey
Casting the Runes, and Other Ghost Stories, by M.R. James (A graduate of Kings College.)

Guess what?

Wendy doesn’t have a clothes dryer, either! (Neither does sookie06, according to her comment.) Wha —?!?! But … but … don’t you spend half your life ironing stuff?

Technically, Wendy has a dryer, but it’s broken, and she never bothered to get it fixed.

I’m kind of obsessed with this non-dryer-lifestyle-choice. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, read the previous entry.) I feel vaguely guilty every time I use mine, now. But the thing is … I’ve always been a big “hanger-up” of clothes. You know, I throw them in the dryer for a few minutes, then hang them up to finish drying. Not everything! Whites and jeans – fuhgeddaboudit.

I’m not going to give up my dryer!

But … I can make the conscious decision to hang up more laundry. Especially during nice weather.

We all have our environmental pet peeves. I object to the proliferation of gas-powered water-craft and the enormous fuel expenditure of NASCAR and other racing sports (shh! Don’t tell DH!).

Wall, enow o’ this mardle. I hope I dint git on yer wick with all me slaverin’ and yarmanderin’. Next up we’ll larn us some Norfolk!


Comments

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azang
Jul. 7th, 2007 05:16 am (UTC)
Oh, gorgeous pictures! The architecture is unreal, I LOVE the gargoyles!!!
I can never give up my dryer either. I've never hung laundry, except for wet bras over the tub. I'm with you on the fuel problems...sigh.
lkmadigan
Jul. 7th, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Angela.

I had a lot more photos of Cambridge, but I didn't want to overwhelm people. After all, I'm only on the third and fourth days of the trip!
sookie06
Jul. 7th, 2007 07:07 am (UTC)
Wow, Cambridge looks GORGEOUS! I always kick myself just a little for never having taken the opportunity to study at either Oxford och Cambridge.
I guess it just is easy to not have a dryer when you've never HAD one! I might start needing one if I ever have kids. But when we re-did our bathroom I made sure there's plenty of space to hang clothes to dry that's in nobody's way. Not sure about what you mean about the ironing though - I thought a dryer makes clothes MORE wrinkled??
lkmadigan
Jul. 7th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
Yes, Cambridge makes me want to be a student again.

And being married to an electrician, who often arrives home dusty and sweaty ... and having a young son, who daily arrives homes muddy and or/food-stained ... means I do a lot of laundry.
sheela_chari
Jul. 7th, 2007 01:34 pm (UTC)
I love these pictures. I was 7 months pregnant when I visited London (which was a mistake) so I couldn't make it to Cambridge. I could barely make it around London. I did it anyway -- I was determined to have one more vacation w/my husband before my daughter was born.

How lovely it looks there. Lucky you and your family!! :)
lkmadigan
Jul. 7th, 2007 02:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Sheela.

We ARE lucky. The whole trip was full of memories we will always cherish.
bryanreardon
Jul. 7th, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC)
Hi there. I was checking out my lj friend page and ended up here somehow. Nice to meet you. You story about your roommate caught me up, reminding me of my college days. But I would have been the spikey haired girl... although I am a boy... and my roommate had the U2 poster. We are still good friends.

Loved the pictures. Beautiful.
lkmadigan
Jul. 7th, 2007 02:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

I've seen you around LJ. ^.^ Let's make it official and Friend each other.

:-)

sarah_prineas
Jul. 7th, 2007 02:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing those pictures! Gorgeous. Part of my day job is to work with students on scholarship applications, and I'm sending two students to grad school at Cambridge next year, and it's great to see pictures of where they'll be.

Yarmanderin' is a great word.
lkmadigan
Jul. 7th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, what lucky students! It will be an experience they'll never forget.

My year abroad was at the University of Bradford, in northern England.

Not known for its picturesque qualities (the school was built in the 1960s) or its charm (the town was a mill-town during the Industrial Revolution), it was a great place for curries and I loved my year there.

robinellen
Jul. 7th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
Because of Chariots of Fire, I wanted to visit Cambridge -- but we stayed with friends of my aunt in Oxford, instead...and it was totally cool too! That's where I was for the fourth of July, and I remember wandering the streets of Oxford, enjoying the bustle and the peace (always an interesting balance of both).

I don't remember if they had a dryer, but I do remember that their house was all vertical (like one room per floor for four floors); and her children loved crisps and talked so fast I couldn't understand them with their accents and quaint colloquialisms.
lkmadigan
Jul. 9th, 2007 04:01 am (UTC)
When we hit Glasgow, that's where I REALLY had to ask people to repeat themselves.
kellyrfineman
Jul. 7th, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC)
Wonderful entry. And about sheets -- they don't take all that long to dry on a sunny day. Or a windy one, either. Plus, they smell good when you bring them in. And they don't really wrinkle if they're hung out. (Neither do most clothes, incidentally -- as long as you hang them correctly (shirts from the bottom corners, hanging upside-down, for instance). You just give them an extra snap before folding and they're mostly good.
lkmadigan
Jul. 9th, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
Somewhere, Betty Friedan is spinning in her grave over this discussion.
kellyrfineman
Jul. 9th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
I am certain you're correct.

Only I see it more as an eco issue and less as a feminist one. And I usually use my dryer, because I'm too lazy to cart stuff outside. And my current bit of clothesline is very dingy and dirty.
ammichaels
Jul. 8th, 2007 04:48 am (UTC)
I don't have a dryer either -- but not by choice!!!

I haven't read the previous entry yet... going to now...
(Deleted comment)
lkmadigan
Jul. 9th, 2007 04:03 am (UTC)
Thanks for the nice words, Melodye. And I think I will turn the little guy into an icon!
rusalkatrix
Jul. 8th, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC)
That watchdog-gargoyle looks totally demonic. And kind of neurotic at the same time.

That’s how I rolled.

Hee! Don't you know you should never admit to bad fashion?! I'm just gonna pretend you never had any bright leggings. You know, 'cause I didn't have any either . . . *cough*

Still loving the pictures. ♥
lkmadigan
Jul. 9th, 2007 04:03 am (UTC)
Thank you.

And I'm still fashion-challenged. Prepare yourself!
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