Thursday, July 05, 2007

A perfect 4 July

I will keep this brief so as not to detract from the Tools Chat below.

We met Liza, my former student and all around good person -- and, oh yes, frequent blog commentator -- in Cambridge. She was good enough to load all four Cohens on a punt, endure all manner of twaddle about the root system of duckweed (Kid #1), the wetness of river water (Kid #2), the coldness of her derrière (Spouse; her chivalric partner had given her the subaquatic seat while taking the dry one for himself), and the general gossip about medieval studies (me). Highlight: wind and currents conspired to render us stuck beneath a bridge, which we christened the Haunted Crossing. Liza handled everything with aplomb, even the loss of the punting stick. We enjoyed a view of ducks, cows, magnificent architecture (we sighed as we passed beneath the fake Bridge of Sighs), and beautiful gardens.

Lunch was at the Eagle Pub, where Crick and Watson first delivered news of their double helix. In my infinite kindness, I sat next to Liza so that she would not have to endure The Stare. The staff were even good enough to make Kid #2 her favorite meal: scrambled eggs with mushy peas. Then on to a foot tour of magnificent architecture (we sighed as we walked across the fake Bridge of Sighs), beautiful gardens, and so forth. As we strolled past Kings, a trumpet began to play the Star Spangled Banner from atop a tower. Liza whipped out a small American flag pin with sparkly LED lights, a gift from her patriotic mom. Kid #1 placed his hand over his heart, as if at a ballgame.

And here is our crescendo: back at our London flat, just as the kids were getting ready for bed, we looked out the window and saw that the London Eye was glowing red and blue. Fireworks suddenly erupted over the Thames.

8 comments:

Adam Roberts said...

"...the punting stick."

I see you've got the lingo down pat.

Eileen Joy said...

Oh quit having so much fun, already--I can't stand it!

J J Cohen said...

If it helps, it was cold and rainy today. I spent most of it taking notes on the presentation of bones and graves at the Museum of London, the rest of the family was at Natural History and Hyde Park ... somehow we all managed to have fun.

Not that I'm rubbing it in.

Adam Roberts said...

Speaking as somebody who lives in this place all year round, I might just add:

"...it was cold and rainy today..."

Are you crazy? Rainy? Cold? In England? Never!

srj said...

it was cold and rainy today.

You've got the lingo down pat there. The great British art of understatement.

Liza said...

I am so sore! Between wrangling the punting stick and holding the hand of bouncy three-year-olds, I apparently (or so my body tells me) got a full body workout.

It was totally worth it, though. Plus, C16 amputation patients didn't have anesthesia, so if they can handle it so can I!

Gabriel Liston said...

Wow. Catching up on In the Middle, this post coincides with a blog post by my friend who introduced me to Karl. She also blogged about her fouth of July on that same Cambridge green with the tinny Star Spangled Banner blaring out. What an unexpected deja vu. Now back up to reading your BM adventures.

J J Cohen said...

Welcome back! Nice comment.