After three weeks living in London, we took a fieldtrip to Hampton Court, a palace on the outskirts of the city. The opulence of the palace is matched by the gardens that surround it -- acres of exotic and beautiful plants. Some of the gardens had paths to walk through; others were gated off.
My favorite part, though, was a rather small, plain, triangular field of grass, with one tree and one bench. I cut across the grass to take a closer look at the tree, and -- I stopped. What was this feeling under my feet? It was so ... soft! So cushiony. So unlike pavement! And that's when I realized that I haven't walked on grass since I got to London. Sand and pebbles, yes. (During a fieldtrip to the coast city of Brighton.) Cobblestones, asphalt, and cement aplenty. But not grass.
When I started to get really homesick for the simple, natural pleasures of the Hendrix campus -- the falling autumn leaves, the running water of the fountain, the park-like expanses of grass -- I wanted to be back in Arkansas. Thankfully, at least one aspect of London culture could confine it to the Bible Belt. The pubs close at 11. I repeat, the pubs close at 11 p.m.! The grocery stores stop selling alcohol at 11! Lots of city life just ends at 11! Oh, the misery! Oh, the joy? It's just like being in a dry county again. Home, sweet, teetotaling home.
P.S. Coincidentally, there is a London, Arkansas. Population: 925. It's rather near Conway. Roadtrip, anyone?