Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Home Again

I will, over the next week or so, have a great deal to say about my trip to Cornwall and London (and a spot or two in between), but at the moment, I am feeling a bit disoriented from the long flight home, the change in time zones, and the amount of work on my desk. I also haven't had a chance to transfer the pictures from my camera to my computer.

I will note, however, that I had a thoroughly glorious vacation and that I accomplished all but one of the (admittedly modest) goals that I had set for myself. I had intended to make a trip to Harrod's to see the reportedly mind boggling array of foods on display in the food section of the store, but it did not occur to me until late Sunday morning, when the tour guide on the bus pointed out the best stop for Harrod's, that I had entirely forgotten that I wanted to see it. V.'s guide book said that Harrod's is closed on Sundays, and our flight back was early Monday morning, so I never made it. I had, however, arrived in London on Thursday evening and had not given Harrod's a thought until midday Sunday, so I concluded that seeing it had not been very important to me after all. V. and I spent a few hours Sunday afternoon wandering through Hyde Park, and I reckon I had a better time there than I would have had in Harrod's.

And I doubtless would have had my eyes permanently widened by looking at the prices there. Throughout England, one often looks at the prices and thinks that they seem more or less reasonable. And then one remembers that the prices are in pounds rather than in dollars, and one thinks again. Still, the trip was well worth the expense, and not everything is pricier there than here. I am not a great one for collecting souvenirs, but one of the few things that I made room for in my suitcase was a twelve-ounce jar of Sainsbury's black currant jam. It cost about 50p.


Blogger TheBrad said...

As the son of a grocer, vacation sidetrips to supermarkets and the like are old hat to me. Dad loved to stop in at such exotically-named emporia as Ralph's, Von's, Piggly and Wiggly's, &c, and I'm sure he would have loved, loved, loved the Harrod's food halls. On my first visit, though, I was a bit underwhelmed. It having been built up in my childhood imagination as the end-all and be-all of food shopping experiences, the reality was a letdown.

I experience the same sort of hesitation over the prices, too, having hesitated repeatedly over one necktie or the other before mentally doubling the price in my head and then putting the item in question back on the shelf. This was particularly vexing on one crossing, when I stopped in at Harrod's on New Year's Eve, the day before their famous sale. Unfortunately we were scheduled to depart the next morning (after partying all night at the Alexandra Palace), so I had to gaze futilely at wonderful merchandise already marked down but not yet on sale.

2:32 PM  

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