Aaannd … It’s time for another photo stream! This time, it’s summer—June and July 2015, to be precise.
Summer is a magical time at a university. Undergraduates disperse, and suddenly there is space! Space to park, space to walk, space to sit at the food court and the library.
However, as the students disperse, they also return their checked-out books to the library. Which means the library is overstocked for 6 to 8 weeks. Where to shelve those books? Why, in the carrels of course!
Additionally, hedgehogs magically appear on the lawn outside your hall, looking for a little something to eat, where your flatmate points them out as you walk back from the laundry:
Besides these wonders, the English countryside (and cityside) is filled with fetes. School fetes, church fetes, community fetes, charity fetes. Yup, the English love their fetes. Which are pretty similar to what we Yanks might call a “fair.” Games, food, music, face painting, that kind of thing.
One of my favorite things about these fetes is a game called the “coconut shy,” in which coconuts are balanced on sticks and the player hurls a heavy ball at them to try and knock them off. I love seeing this (and I’ve seen at more than one fete—it’s seriously a staple fete game), as it always reminds me of the old song: “‘I’ve got a loverly bunch of cocoanuts, there they are standing in a row. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head! Give ’em a twist, a flick of the wrist,’ that’s what the showman said!” I personally became familiar with this song in the Freddy Martin recording (with Merv Griffin) that was included on a CD set of novelty songs from the 1940s and 50s that my dad bought (for himself, I should clarify) when I was in high school. If you’ve not heard that version … well, first of all, you really should have a listen.
Second of all, you may have heard it briefly being sung by Zazu (ably voiced by Rowan Atkinson of Mr Bean and Black Adder fame) in The Lion King.
Also during the summer, you go to a lot of academic conferences. (Well, if you’re in academics, I guess.) Summer is conference season, since it’s when everyone is out of term and it’s easier to travel for big national or international conferences. On my way to Canterbury for a conference this summer, I had to snap a photo of the droll British sense of humor, which even makes it to their train bathrooms:
As kind of a side note, I snapped this photo during the conference, in my university dorm-style room. I just wanted a photo of the odd shaver outlets in the bathrooms, which are the only electrical outlets legally allowed in bathrooms at all.
Also during the summer, you go to a lot of cafes with your friend. Especially if you’re me, and especially if several new cafes happen to have opened up on the High Street in your town. And while you’re there, you’re likely to find great inspiration quotes like this one: