Adventures In Paradise?
This is a travel story of sorts. Last summer my wife Suzanne and I took our first trip "abroad". What better place for an adventure of this sort than England. We stayed a week in London and a week in Wales. Life is good.
While in London we stayed at The White House on Greater Portland St. (nb. We are from Portland, Oregon.) Ugly Americans? I think not, just a great Hotel two blocks from Hyde Park. I must admit we did get a kick out of telling the cabbies to take us to The White House. & Sharon gave us wonderful travel information.
We were able to walk to The British Museum ( the coin galleries are "brilliant") and other amazing sites. We took in the normal touristy spots, The Tower, The Houses of Parliament, the underground bunker that Churchill occupied during the war, and of course a trip to Bath. I have to admit we had a wonderful time. The Brits we drank beer with, ate "bubble and squeaks" with, and shared tables with in the pubs were wonderful. London is amazing I'm ready to go back.
Coin adventures were had on Wednesday AMwith a visit to Baldwin's and Saturday to the underground of Charing Cross Station for the bourse. At Baldwin's we picked through what else? Conder Tokens. I liberated several from Thomas including a wonderful red Beeston and several Byzantines (my other passion). I was a very happy camper. On Saturday at Charing Cross I picked up a Sentimental Token featuring William Beckford, engraved by John Kirk of London for Five Pounds, a really neat copper. I have since acquired another with William Pitt on it. Suzanne went crazy on things Irish. From there we drove to Wales and Welsh Rarebit.
It really is amazing, I only got lost once on my way there and it was right at Gatwick. I went east instead of west and found myself heading for London again instead of Wales. I suppose I have an excuse as this was the first time in a new rental vehicle, a new airport, and all this trying to get used to driving on the wrong side of the road. We survived and I became quite good at it by the time our week in Wales was over. I know the thrill of moving from the slow lane to the medium lane to the fast lane on the M5.
We stayed in the wonderful town of Laughrne in a great time-share we took advantage of. Our motto became "a castle a day". We drove to St. David's and other great Welsh sites. In the village there were several great pubs and high tea was taken regularly, or should I say cream teas. I cannot believe how much sugar and real cream the Brits eat.
I found a wonderful old bookstore in the village and came home with several great items including a first edition of The Puppet Masters by Robert Heinlien in absolutely pristine condition (for you non sci-fi fans he is probably one of the finest authors of the genre) for Fifteen Pounds.
Now, here is where this travelogue takes a distinctly Conder turn. At the bookstore I came across a truly great condition edition of The Sun for Thursday, May 15, 1800. I was paging (very gingerly I might add) through it when I found an article on the back page entitled "Base Copper Coin". I have included a copy for your enjoyment. I was so surprised by my good fortune that I paid the hefty sum (it really was) for it. Another great experience in Wales was the old Roman town of Carleon, regarding Carleon, it was there that the Roman Empire became a living thing for me, my breath was taken away. I will never forget the experience.
Wales was wonderful and it was really a pity to leave. To experience things Arthurian, we managed to visit Glasonbury Tor on the way back to England. I am now the proud owner of a very nice example of Middlesex 135 featuring Glasonbury Abbey, in nice unc. Again, I am happy, no, I am very happy.
I will never forget the trip. I hope you don't mind my meanderings just to get to the point, ( Middlesex 135) but that's what vacations are for isn't it?