Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

"Very fun." -- J. Bottum, Editor, FIRST THINGS

"Too modest" -- Elinor Dashwood

"Perhaps the wisest man on the Web" -- Henry Dieterich

"Hat tip: me (but really Cacciaguida)" -- Diana Feygin, Editor, THE YALE FREE PRESS

"You are my sire. You give me confidence to speak. You raise my heart so high that I am no more I." -- Dante

"Fabulous!"-- Warlock D.J. Prod of Didsbury

Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Hello. I'm in England, where the @ sign is over the ', the " is over the 2, and over 3, where Americans are wont to find @, there is £. And the shift button requires extra pressure. And if you drive manual, as most people here do, you shift with your left hand.##

And that reminds me, the# is where the return key should be.

Oh yes, I've had a look at far more things than cars and this keyboard. In fact, I saw both a solemn sung Latin Novus Ordo and a Tridentine at Westminster Cathedral; more on that later. This is the Catholic cathedral for London; not to be confused with Westminster Abbey, which is a nearly worship-free tourist attraction, as are most Anglican churches here, minus the tourists. (Funny, being here while the Anglican Communion implodes. That story has been dominating the print media here.)

It's cool here (I mean temperature) and the air is very fresh. I like taking a deep breath and saying "O2 be in England!"

OK now, here are two ways not obvious to Yanks in which the Harry Potter books are distinctly British:

1. At London busstops, the number of each bus line is announced in its own square. In addition, there may be (depending on the stop) one or two shaded squares that announce buses that run at night. These are labelled -- you saw this coming -- "night buses."

2. Elevators that talk to you in spectral female voices. The lift at the university where I am conferencing says soothingly: "Door closing. Lift going up. First floor [i.e. second floor]. Door opening. Door closing...." And so I realized where the business about the Ministry lift, and also the phone-booth entrance, came from.