» england

As I Was Going to Cornwall…

As I was going to Cornwall
I found a hedgerow, dense and tall

After the hike a windy theatre
With cliffside seats and comedy feature

Then on to biomes full of plants,
An indoor rainforest, birds and ants… Read More

Colds & Christmas Crackers

I woke up in Wales on Monday morning, looked out the window, and went back to sleep. Here’s the thing about working in a school library: whenever a new super-strain of bacteria or virus emerges after circling happily through the kindergartners, it’s only a matter of time. Every teacher around you can be hacking and coughing and sneezing and sniffling, but you always think to yourself, “I’ll be okay. I wash my hands. I have a giant bottle of hand sanitizer that lives on my desk. If I see a child sneeze on a book, I wipe that book down with germ-killing alcohol. And then spray it with pure ozone. While wearing a biohazard suit. Besides, I have excellent immunity from constant exposure to these things. I eat about ten clementines a day.”

Well, readers, there comes a point when even the best precautions can no longer protect you from five to ten different versions of the common cold all vying, like tiny gladiators, to battle against your immune system in the grand stadium of your body. One of them is bound to get in.… Read More

Morocco, Week Nine

I’m sorry to say, dear readers, that week nine will be a bit of a letdown. One of the downsides of working so much is that by the time I get around to blogging, I’ve already forgotten everything I did the previous week. Most of my waking hours last week were spent at work, and most of the things I did there are wildly exciting to only a select few people.

I supervised the creation of a middle school book club. Made a publication timeline for the student literary journal. Read more books to tiny children. Created a fabulous dinosaur-themed corner in the library, complete with illustrations of various species and a memorable pun.… Read More

Herefordshire, now with extra cows!

Spent a few nights in Herefordshire, visiting my great-aunt and uncle. If you have never thought of “sinister” as a description of cows, you have not met my new bovine friends. One by one, they wandered up until there were about twenty cows standing a few inches away, just looking at me. I think we all know what the next big creature flick should be.… Read More

Cornwall, Day 6

I spent my final day in Cornwall in one of my favorite towns: Zennor. Home to the famous mermaid chair, Zennor is a cute little village near St Ives that boasts dramatic cliffs, ocean views, a beautiful old church, and (of course) a great pub. Usually, we hike the four miles to Zennor from St Ives via the coastal footpath, which is gorgeous. There are always raspberries and blackberries to pick along the way, and once I even encountered a couple of curious seals after wandering out on some seaside rocks. This time, though, we drove to Zennor and arrived (alas!) too late for our usual shepherd’s pie and lemonade at The Tinner’s Arms. Instead, I explored the church and graveyard, then hiked along the coastal path far enough to find a good spot to read my book.… Read More