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.