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.
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.
I was right!
Henry VIII, immortalized with muscular calves.
Sorry, I lost track of which college was which.
So very old, this little watchdog-gargoyle.
Punting on the River Cam. This shot looks positively peaceful …
… 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.)
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!