Friday, October 24, 2008

Adam and Evensong

Second day of the conference, and today focused more on carbon reductiion, climate change and how museums can be more in tune with environmental concerns. As we settled into our seats , Tracy gasped and ponted at the moderator. Vanessa Trevelyan, Head of the Norwich Museums and Archaeology service and also Pres of the British Museums Association (like our AAM) - and Bill's boss - was wearing an Obama/Biden button on her lapel! I will not name names, but at least one of the members of our intrepid crew has been actively distributing buttons, bumper stickers and other items of similar ilk.

The conference is set up differently than VAM in that we have a series of keynote or plenary speakers and then break into discussion groups to wrangle over what has been said. It was actually very interesting. But, the real treat was when Bill whisked us away during tea break to show us the ramparts of the castle and the dungeons. Seriously - REAL dungeons with chains, gibbets, the works! From the ramparts we could see the entire city of Norwich and beyond to the green fields and forests of the countryside.

At the close of the conference, we bid farewell to our new friends (who were spreading a rumor that we had closed a pub the night before - when in fact we were not the last to leave :) - ) and rushed off to meet Jill Napier (one of the Brits who visited Virginia) for Evensong at the Norwich Cathedral. As the boy's choir voices filled the nave, we felt transported back in time. It was dark outside, and inside the cathedra was lit by low lamps and candles. After service Jill gave us a quick tour of the cathedral before the Verger ushered us out.

How better to follow a religious experience than a visit to the nearby pub Adam and Eve, which is most likely the oldest pub in Norwich. Legend has it that the workmen who built the cathedral in 1097 and the next fifty years popped into the A & E for a pint now and then. Just to show that we value both the sacred and the profane, we followed suit.

Switchng gears and palates, Jill suggested we go for a nice curry and off we went, walking along th river to a small but very Indian restaurant, where we had prawn vindaloo, chicken marsala, and vegetable thali. Hoochi mama! That stuff is hot.
Anna and I made the huge sacrifice to volunteer to do the blog from the hotel pub, which also claims to be the oldest pub in Norwich. We can't claim to be able to settle the argument, however they were both cute as a button and had great beer.

We will leave you now, as we must get up tomorrow morning at 5am to catch our fligh to Edinburgh. As the moon rises over Norwich, we bid a fond farewell to all of our friends - old and new - in Norwich!!!

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