F 1 D 0 -- 02 06 01 at 00 30 In for a penny, In for a pound. I heard this expression years ago. Jean-Luc Picard says this to Lt Cmdr Data while on a hobby mission. Data has concocted some kind of amateur radio, and talks to little girl with long fingers. This entire story has to do with the ever increasing breaches of this prime directive: the Federation of Planets is not supposed to mix in where not invited, even if that means letting a planet die off. Well, I am not going to tell you the whole story this came from, except to tell you that once you have invested a penny in a game, it doesn't take much to up the ante to a pound. I'm learning this. Here in England, there are now 100 pennies to the pound. They look and feel like dollars. A pound (£1.00) will buy you three slices of nice deli ham, smoked at the butcher's store. £2.00 got me 22oz of ham ends, or two containers of Pringles chips. They don't call discount places Dollar Stores, but have the word "pound" in them, Poundarama: Everything really is £1.00! I found all manner of good stuff there. 32oz of jaffa cakes, mishapes. Bicycle lock and chain. 90 business sized envelopes. The people ahead of me were buying pillows, presumably for only... you get the idea. Nobody here will take a second look at a Canadian $20 bill. They look genuine! Well, they are genuine. But not Sterling notes, just Canadian ones. Hey, don't we too celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee? Maybe in Canada we don't. I didn't hear anything about it. Yes, the 20s have Queen Elizabeth's picture, but that won't get them consideration at a cashier's desk. When you are buying these Pound Notes at a bank, you realize they are valuable. I buy American funds at banks, and they cost me a lot. Last time I bought 100.00USD it cost me about 155.00 canadian. I'm hearing that if I did that today, it would be around 162.50 for a hundred bucks. Yuck. Well, British Sterling cost me 239.00 for a hundred pounds. Uh, that is a lot of money, in any language. You have to try to think about this when considering any kind of deal for bringing goodies back. But also, you have to remember that you are not often in England. So I dunno. This afternoon, we found a tearoom called the Primrose Cottage in Lustleigh. This is a place you go for Cream Tea. The name is not very descriptive, really. For only £4 you get 2 scones (one plain, one with sultana raisins), a bottomless cup of tea, two pots of preserves (strawberry and black currant) and a large quantity of cream. This is clotted cream, prepared at the cottage. I'll try to describe it. It is not salted, nor sweetened. It is not pasteurized. It is almost butter. I'd say it is 70% butterfat. Here is how it is used. You will rip your scone in half, and apply one or two small spoons of preserves. Onto this, you will glomm one or two small spoons of this stuff like butter. For years I'd been wondering why the English eat these dry scone things, and love them so much. I now have my answer. (1) they only eat them fresh from someone's oven. Never get them at any market, I've been told. I've also been told if nec, you may heat them in a toaster oven Once. (2) they are just a vehicle for getting cream and berries into your mouth. They are simply a means to an end, not the product itself. I should have known. If you don't have clotted cream, and want to experience this, fear not. You have something close enough in your store. Make sure you do this at home, or somewhere you can control the baking and serving process. You'll need fresh scones, or equivalent. I think if you bake up some pillsbury croissant dough would suffice. You'll need one or two kinds of remarkable jam or preserves. Don't use a cheap one, but try something imported which looks rich in berries. If you do your own baking, plan to make bread or buns just in time for your event. If you do your own jams or preserves, this is the time to use them. Get a container of unwhipped 35% whipping cream. Does that sound too sinful? Here are some other choices: Philadelphia cream cheese, or simply fresh UNsalted butter. Remember this won't be exactly what I'm having, but if you use the berries and the butter/cheese/cream thickly enough on fresh pastry/bread, you'll be close enough to understand. Ah, you're thinking that all Britons have this Cream Tea! Wrong. It is rich, and seems to be something the English do for special occasions. You might be thinking the same about Good Olde Fashioned Fish n Chips. Well, that's the same: it just isn't healthy to be eating that much very deep fried stuff. In fact, I have been watching the streets as I go shopping. I'm not seeing as many obese people as I do in USA. I am not seeing many people here who are even overweight. Here is what I do see, as people are concerned. In Exeter, there are a lot of young people. They all look of average build. Women and girls slim enough to show a navel piercing without fear of how it may look. There are also a lot of young couples, with and without very young children. These look like the kids described above, except they're a little older, and have these children in arms or in strollers. I see a lot of people my age, round about 40. They don't look nor dress like the kids described already, but are lean. Many of the men have very very short red hair. I saw not-so-many people 50-60 years in age. They could be identified for age only by their dress and their hair colour. I say not-so-many only in comparison to the others. I about the same numbers of 60-70-80 year olds out. These people show their age by adding walking apparatus and corrective shoes, but otherwise being of good height to body weight. Oh, the occasional person was assisted by others, but most of the seniors here just go slower, but do so entirely on their own. In fact, I understand that they want to raise the legal retirement age here from 60 to 70 years. Anyway. I'm waiting for someone who does Fish n Chips here to add Panfried or something to the menu. It would be about the same cost, but the serving would look so small. Adding a lot of batter makes the serving look huge! We are staying in Exeter, and tonight was the night for taking our hosts, Roger and Margaret out. We did Indian. In for a penny? Yes, this place was very expensive. The food was right. I'm glad. Dinner for four was £52.00 and felt pretentious. Maybe it's just me. On Sunday this place has a buffet. If I'm around we should go see it. But that is kidding myself. Sunday we are spending the day driving back to Ayton. The driving is very hard on me. We go to many small places, as they have a lot of charm here. This is a very civilized country, and any small town is no further than an hour from a big city. So city people can find their country roots, and country people can visit the city, all too easily. Well, small places are off along the small lanes. How narrow is a small lane? They vary. There are farms or moors on either side. To keep the livestock inside, they often grow very very tall hedges of something. These are thick, and come right to the edge of the road. The roads themselves are only wide enough for two small cars Most of the time. Not all of the time. There will be some kind of a triangular warning sign, saying that there are "no road markings for 5 miles" or an icon saying Road Narrows to only one track. Eeek. It is bad enough with a centre line. The road is small, and you see someone coming right for you. It makes sense. We've been driving in the middle of the road. It makes the twisty streets easier to manage. But after you take a turn, you are suddenly nose to nose with another small car. Happily, it doesn't want any scratches either, so both move to their personal left sides, and can j-u-s-t pass each other. Each time this has happened, I jump. If my arm is out the window, I'll pull it in. Everyone else thinks I'm a wuss. It may be true, but it looks just the South Park thing: "Oh My God, he's coming right for us! (pow)". The buses they use for carting kids home from school are the same ones they use in the city for street bus use. Biiig buses. It is bad enough when you have to move hard to the left for another compact car, but doing so for a gasoline tanker or a School Bus really affects digestion. We went to the local Moors today. There are some wild ponies there, and possibly some wild cows and bulls. Well, we have to describe now what makes a cow or a pony wild. They're wild in the same way a Sea Gull at McDonalds is wild. You park your car in the lot at the foot of the hill called Hey Tor (think "tower), and the ponies look you over. Eventually, a lovely grey one came up to me. I didn't have too much to feed it, except some of the Jaffa Cakes I got earlier today. They were a hit, but two were not enough for this one. He followed me around for a while, hoping for more of them. I would have liked a chance to pet his head, but he was only going to interract by nuzzling the cookie out of my hands. I was not sure of the cows. They can have an attitude, but they followed me too. Jaffa cakes: they're really cookies. They're very soft, and have three sections. The cake bottom, the orange gel, and the chocolate over the top. Mine were called MisShapes because each one had an accident, and were sent out by some Quality Assurance person, into a different box. I got benefit. (I fell asleep, and just got up. It is Sunday 905am) If you are interested in these, I've seen them in North America, but only sold by one brand name. LU. They have three flavours, but I think the orange ones are best. The town we saw prior to Lundleigh was Mortonhampstead. Roger and Margaret were involved in a plan by the local government to add art to the town. The council decides to do things like that when the place is getting run down, and hopes that adding public art will change local attitudes. I don't think it has been long. Less than a year. But when we saw it, many people could be seen painting their cottages. It looked as happy and as quaint as any other town I'd seen in England so far. I guess that means the street art project was a success. The art included some statues in parks. These were Dartmoor Ponies and sheep. Also some paintings on the walls of public buildings. These were sparrow hawks. The sparrow hawk is the official bird of this town. The people of Mortonhampstead wanted to start an outdoor market like many of the other towns. This required some permission from the king. This permission was granted, provided they sent the king One Sparrow Hawk each year. I'm not sure how long they continued the tradition of catching and sending the birds, but it is their symbol now. I've mentioned the terror I get as a passenger here in England. Yesterday Ann got a break from driving, as Roger took us around. I suppose you just have to get used to driving on a narrow winding lane at 45 Mph and seeing someone dead ahead of you about 800 milliseconds before a possible but avoided collision. Ann drove us to St Ives on Thursday. All of these places are new to me, so the geography is hard to take in. So I think these are provinces: Exeter is in Devon. Ayton is in North Yorkshire. St Ives is in Cornwall. I read the map as we go. I'm told that not all of the big places there are cities. To become a real city here, there has to be a Cathedral in town. The places are called Church of England, but they call their faith Catholic (not Anglican, as they do in North America). They call the other catholics (the kind who follow the pope) Roman Catholics. Religion used to be a big deal here. The original people who moved from England to America left from Plymouth, one of the big-places-but-not-a-city on the way to St Ives. We were running late, so we just drove through it very quickly. The fundamental believers in question called themselves Plymouth Brethren, and landed in what is now Plymouth Rock. So USA could exist such as it does because of a wish for religious freedom from tyranny. I don't know. When you drive along the way from here to there, such as us going from Exeter to St Ives, you are overwhelmed by very curious town names. You won't find them all on a map, because they are small, and I didn't take the time to write them down. Since we get another town every 30 seconds on the motorway, and the ride takes about three hours, I didn't want that job, thank you. But if I think of any small towns I'll save them for your edification. St Ives is a seaside town. It has lots of sand, and lots of cottages with store fronts, ready for visitors to come in and buy something. I was unhappy with the shopping experience there. Lots of places to buy souvenirs, but only one which sold diet pepsi. Our first mission was to get to an Art Gallery. We've been having a run of bad luck with finding galleries open. In Manchester they were going to reopen the main gallery a few days after our visit there. And other gallies we have passed were closed for the day, so I felt it was important that we get inside the Tate gallery at St Ives before we considered other pursuits. We got there at 330pm, and the sign said they closed at 430pm, so we could make it. Once inside, it was unclear whether they'd throw us out at 430, or whether they just stopped letting people in. I'm thinking that people could stay until 530pm but I didn't want to be cut short. The cafe upstairs was as white as anything you've seen in person or in a movie. It brought to mind 2001 A Space Odyssey, where all things are white at the end. But it had windows so, not only was everything white, it was very sunny. Words pale to convey how bright this place was. I'm hardly an artist nor an art critic. But here I am trying to tell you what I see in an Art Gallery. The web site for the gallery is http://www.tate.org.uk I've not gone to the site. Just found it on a flier I took back with me. Well, I found the art on display very clever. It didn't appeal to me, but I looked and really tried hard to like it. One display was a room of words, about three feet tall. Lea Rig. Tank. Hazelgrove. "Letters and numbers seen in release through a sail." That's nice. There was a room with a dozen bright brass bells, each with only a few words etched along the rim. These bells were begging to be rung, but there was a lady with a radio seated in the room, and her job was stay awake and prevent bell ringing. The poetry was lost on me. Maybe that is the joke. This somehow reminds me of the Yoko Ono exhibit I saw. True, there were things you were not to touch, but most of them invited handling. There was an apple, called "apple". It was begging for someone to take a bite, and when we saw it, someone had done just that. Not long before our inspection, as it had not turned brownish at the bite mark. And there was a clear maze display. This was guarded, but only to ensure that one visitor went inside the maze at a time. In the middle of the maze was a toilet. No, we don't use that toilet. Just outside the maze was a working telelphone, with this inscription: If the phone rings, pick it up, and talk with the artist, Yoko Ono, if you like. I think the bells St Ives should have been ringing. I wish we had time to spend in Penzance. That is also a seaside town, and we passed through it. While all of these places are tourist havens, not all are tourist traps. Penzance had more bakeries, more butchers, but yes, it had places to buy all manner of junk and things of benefit too. Places to drink, other places to eat. I didn't see any pirates there. St Ives had no pirates either. People who run stores get a sad look on their eyes when they've been there all day long, and nobody has spent any serious money. So they become something else. Not pirates. There were sea gulls there. And signs, asking that you not feed the gulls, and let them take care of themselves. I liked the sign: it was a frowning seagull, shown next to a packet of fries, with a red X over the fries. Before noticing such sign, I fed one. These are not tame birdies, but will happily take food right from your hand. I can now tell you that these sea gulls have sharp beaks, but they don't break skin. Visitors who drive will notice that the roads and the signs here are different. I've talked about that. You will also notice the switches for the lights are different. They're all mostly flat, and flip in the reverse direction from North America. Outlets have switches on them. The outlets are Huge. But that is because they provide 220V, twice the voltage you are used to. The traffic signals look the same but work differently. Amber, Red. That's the same. But just before green, you get Amber-Red together. And Everyone gets in gear, and begins to move! The light goes green, and everyone had been going for a second already. The toilets don't work the same. No swirling flush toilets here. They all use a straight down system, and many have a lot of trouble flushing at all. There is a knack to it, and I've not got it right just yet. Now it is saturday, at 1015am. I still have more to say, but I want to go outside. It is sunny and inviting me. That's all I know. Toward Downtown Exeter A birdie wanted a home with me (Exeter Pet Shop) Leaving a modern football Stadium, instantly quaint again The old police station, Mortonhampstead The rocks at the top of Hey Tor in Dartmoor This wild pony from Dartmoor followed me for treats.