Darwin, C. (1872). The origin of species by means of natural selection (6th Ed.). Online Literature Library. Retrieved April 12 2015 https://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/jksadegh/A%20Good%20Atheist%20Secularist%20Skeptical%20Book%20Collection/Charles%20Darwin%20-%20The%20Origin%20of%20Species%20-%206th%20Edition.pdf
According to the tour guides, Charles Darwin
… didn’t get on particularly well at Shrewsbury school… He preferred to go fishing for newts in the River Severn (Shropshire Tourism, 2015, p.11).
While Darwin casts a proprietorial eye over the town from this seated landmark outside the library, foodie haunts, book shops, and architectural features sustained my interest during our visit on Friday. Natural vantage points – the wondrously named Dingle, for instance – frame medieval splendour. Church spires predominate. Lanes wind, and buildings either sag, lean or bulge with ageing timbers. Glimpses of the moat-like River Severn which encircles Shrewsbury serve to entice on your walks, until snagging a riverside position reveals all, like this: No newts that I could see, but we returned to base laden with cheeses, chocolate brownies, wholemeal bread and fig chutney.
Shropshire Tourism. (2015). Visit Shrewsbury 2015. Shropshire: Westdale Press Ltd.
Kay, J. (2010). Obliquity: Why our goals are best achieved indirectly. London: Profile Books.
After a 20 hour flight, arrival offers immense relief.
Flux is your only state, and it can be disorientating. Same goes for first sightings, and scoping out a new environment. Shock of the new – we do things differently around here – eases into familiarity.
Perhaps we were tainted by jet-lag, or the work-day rush was still in progress, but sardine games and officious spruikers on the platforms seemed stressful by Perth standards. Considering volume of users, this could be an unfair comparison, yet I am cured of complaints about public transport in my home city.
Positive outcome: Since last Monday morning’s experience, we’ve been choosing to walk. Walking means you get to admire architecture, spring blossoms, and cloudscapes. Walking allows time to pause and consider. Detours also yield surprising discoveries.
Like this below-jetty view of the Thames when our Docklands tour derailed (Millar, 2011). And a sculpture by Frank Stella secreted within a forecourt of the Royal Academy of the Arts which we spied while hunting Nordic Bakery for their cinnamon buns. Strange contrasts between old and new, accommodations along with counterpoints; much of the startling historicity arises from knowledge of both yourself and more famous others’ co-existence bound by geographical proximity. Take Holland Park yesterday, for instance, which we discovered by shelf-browsing our host’s collection and learning
…Holland House became a cente for Whig society and noted for its literary salons attended by writers such as Sheridan, Wordsworth, Scott, Dickens and Macaulay. Lord Byron met Lady Caroline Lamb for the first time at a party there in 1812 (Winn, 2011, p.231).
Millar, S. (2011). London’s hidden walks: the London we know is just the surface! London: Metro Publications.
Winn, C. (2011). I never knew that about London. London: Enury Press.