Twitter Tumblr FlickrFacebookContact me
This Month Previous Articles Author Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio

Recent posts


Month in review

Reviews
Around the World by Matt Phelan
A Boy & a Girl by Jamie S. Rich
Clementine and the Spring Trip by Sara Pennypacker
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Down Under Donovan by Edgar Wallace
The Dumbest Idea Ever! by Jimmy Gownley
Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski
Explorer 2: The Lost Islands edited by Kazu Kibuishi
Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig
The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett
The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Mud-Slinging Moles by Maxwell Eaton III
Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse by George Selden
Hildafolk by Luke Pearson
How to Make Friends with Demons by Graham Joyce
I Was the Cat by Paul Tobin
The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan
Leo Geo and the Cosmic Crisis by Jon Chad
Lunch Lady and the Picture Day Peril by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
The Martian by Andy Weir
Marx by Corrine Maier
Rust: Death of the Rocket Boy by Royden Lepp
The Sea, the Storm, and the Mangrove Tangle by Lynne Cherry
The Sixth Gun, Volume 1 by Cullen Bunn
Sock Monkey Goes To Hollywood: A Star Is Bathed by Cece Bell
The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth by Ian Lendler
The Summer of Love by Debbie Drechsler
The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
The 26-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Tune: Still Life by Derek Kirk Kim
Z Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham

Miscellaneous
The Gallifreyan Roundabout or Circular thinking and navigation
Genuine antiquitee, yes sir-ee

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Genuine antiquitee, yes sir-ee: 08/12/15

In which Sarah talks about Danger Mouse and the Piccadilly Line.

Series three of Danger Mouse ends with an episode called "Trip to America." In it, Danger Mouse and Penfold travel to the United States after a bunch of the world's monuments disappear. The last one to go missing is the Empire State Building so they figure the others are probably some where in the States too.

Sure enough, they are. They find the Tower of London in the middle of the desert in some undisclosed area that's an amalgam of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. As they're taking in the oddity of the Tower being in the middle of nowhere, a pint-sized cowboy rides up and proudly shows of his "little ol' birdie bath." He goes on to explain how he had to have it for his million acre backyard because it was "genuine antiquitee, yes sir-ee!" Nonplused, Danger Mouse retorts that why yes, it is, because it's the TOWER OF LONDON!

And there in a nutshell is the fundamental difference we noticed on our trip to the UK. The nation has hundreds of years of history, including hundreds of years of architectural history. Centuries of living with the same roads and buildings has given much of the two countries we visited the feel of a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" place.

When something needs to be expanded, the new architecture is grafted onto the old. In some places, there ends up being an architectural strata as buildings were expanded multiple times.

Sometimes, though, the new solution is built in parallel to the old, giving people an old and a new option. Take for instance the train ride from Heathrow to London. There are two lines: the express train, a direct, modern system that goes nonstop into Paddington Station, and the charmingly anachronistic Piccadilly Line.

The Piccadilly Line has roots that goes back to the earliest days of the London Underground, predating the New York Subway by about 30 years. Sure the wooden benches and steam engines are gone but there's enough of the original to make the line stand out. The platforms are smaller. The train carriages are smaller and more obviously tube shaped; bringing to mind the abandoned pneumatic system in New York.

Though the line is old it heads in the direction of Heathrow. Now rather than just make a new line that feeds travelers from the airport, a place that though it was in use as an airfield as early as 1930, didn't become a commercial airport until after WWII, the airport was extended underground to include a way to ride the Piccadilly Line.

It was actually the Piccadilly train's charm that first made me realize I had left my camera on the plane. Had I had it with me, I would have taken a dozen or so photos of the car we were riding in, it being stuffed to the brim with travelers and their luggage and locals just trying to get home.

I could just say that post WWII economics didn't allow for the building of a modern train line but there are too many other examples we spotted on our trip to hint that the choice to extend rather than rebuild was one of national pride.

It's not just London where we say this melding of old and new. We saw the same thing in Cambridge and Cardiff. More on those cities later.

Comments (0)


Name:
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:
Comment: