Thursday, July 28, 2011

Going to the Library

With driver’s license, passport, and preregistration Reader Number in hand, we all made our way over to the British Library to get our library cards.  Getting a card and looking at a book in this library is SERIOUS BUSINESS.  You have to show two forms of ID, sit to wait for your number to be called, and then meet with someone who asks you questions and takes your picture.  It’s a lot like the DMV.  If you want to look at a book, you need to reserve it ahead of time and look at it in a reading room.  The only thing you can bring into the room with you is a pencil, some paper, and a folder. 

St Pancras Station peeking over The British Library

 The good thing about trying to find a book at the British Library is that the library is required to receive and catalog a copy of every single book that is published in Britain.  So if it has been published here, you will find it.  Not only that, but the British Library contains wonderful Treasures.  They have two copies of the Gutenberg Bible, some copies of The Magna Carta, lyrics drafted by John Lennon, illuminated manuscripts from every corner of the world, some fragments of the new testament written in Greek, and more displayed in their treasures room.  I love to see text that was written by hand centuries ago before the advent of machine printing.  It is amazing how uniform all the letters written by the monks were.  You can detect lines on the paper (or vellum) so I guess they graphed out the page before writing.  Even the handwritten drafts of books from just decades ago are fascinating because we just don’t have hand-writing like that anymore.  That is truly a craft that is dying out.

An interior shot of the library.  Where are the books?
- where cameras can't reach them.

 The high point of my day - when I discovered a connection between my interest in goats and information science (at least historical book science).  As our guide through the treasures of The British Library explained the science of gilding and coloring ancient illuminated pages, he let slip that illuminators would burnish gold and precious ground stones onto the page with goats’ teeth.  Yes, you read right, goats’ teeth.  

Show us your pearly whites, Jolene

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Making a Digital Story and Going to the Globe!

Actual words for this blog coming up soon.

Oh, iMovie, how I love thee.  I had a great time making this story and I hope you like it to.  I found the song through and thought it set the tone perfectly.  It's only 1 minute and 30 seconds long so I had to do much editing to the original story I wrote about these mysterious people statues.

The Globe Theater

Tonight we are going to The Globe Theater to see a production of Anne Boleyn.  I saw The Globe from the very top of St Paul's Cathedral after climbing over 500 steps.  Here's a picture looking down on top of the dome:

I thought I had a picture of The Globe but I guess not.  The original Globe was built in 1599 and the theater we will be visiting is a reconstruction of that structure.  I'll be sure to get plenty of pictures tonight.
11:45pm  The play was incredible and just being in the space was amazing.  Our group of seats was off to the left on the ground floor (if you're looking at the stage).  I was really glad we weren't groundlings and didn't have to stand for the whole play.  The production was Anne Boleyn with an especially great performance from King James.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ginger at Stonehenge and a quick visit to Salisbury

We took a private coach to Stonehenge this morning, giving us all a chance to watch the English countryside go by.  I expected to see a lot of sheep on the way but apparently they were all having a conference around Stonehenge.  Knowing how sheep can be I let them graze off by themselves (antisocial buggers). 

My take on the mystery of Stonehenge?  It was definitely put together by aliens.  How in the world did people without cranes lift gigantic rocks and put them on top of other gigantic rocks?  Our tour guide Sean told us that ancient people carved the rocks with animal bones – impossible.  It had to be aliens.  There is a rope in a huge circle all around the stone circle and signs asking people not to cross over the rope.   It would be amazing to be able to stand in the middle of the circle and look around.  I’ll just have to be satisfied with a virtual look around the center.

That apparently was not enough for Ginger…

She is a very naughty chicken.

After walking around the rocks for a while, we headed off for Salisbury.  This cathedral is an architectural marvel sitting on supports that only go four feet down into the ground!  There was an art exhibition going on at the cathedral with scultures of realistic looking people.  Some of the sculptures were placed where holy statues would be and it created a rather jarring effect.  I was especially surprised when I turned a corner outside the cathedral and looked up to see a man in a suit holding a cup of coffee  on a ledge in the wall. 

The medieval town center of Salisbury is just so beautiful it knocks me over.  It doesn’t help that all the flowers are in bloom and cascading out of containers everywhere.  Lucky for us, the market happens on Tuesdays so we had a chance to browse around the stalls for some bargains.  I also discovered how tempting the clothing selections are at the charity shops.  I wish we had more time to explore the streets.  Tudor buildings are mixed in with gothic style structures.  Since Salisbury is a living city, all these incredibly historic places are used as shops, restaurants, and pubs.  The streets were full of people walking around talking, shopping, and eating.  My kind of place.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Theater in London: Looking for David Tennant

Theater is just as much a part of English culture as a cup of tea and some Wellington boots.  Where we are staying in London is just blocks away from a fantastic theater district.  Pygmalian (starring Rupert Everett), Wicked, Chicago, 39 Steps, Jersey Boys, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert are just a few of the shows that are playing right now.  If the shows aren’t sold out, you can usually go to the theater you are interested in on the day of the show and get some tickets half off.  Every theater has a different system for selling tickets so it’s important to check with the theater.

Before I left for London, I was so excited to come see the production of Much Ado About Nothing with David Tennant and Catherine Tate.  Little did I know that when I got here the show would be sold out through September!  I pursued the topic and discovered that the ticket office saves 20 “best tickets” per show and sells them for just  £10.  The only problem is that the chance to buy a ticket is given by lottery.  It is done that way so that no one will stay overnight outside the theater for a chance to buy a ticket.  The winning lottery numbers are called out at 10:30am and you have an equal chance of winning or losing no matter how early you get there.  If you lose out, you still have the chance to purchase a "standing ticket" for £16.  Actually, when I purchased my standing ticket, they gave me the option to get a seat for £61 but that's a bit pricy for me.  The Pygmalian show is very popular and I think that theater deals with that by keeping the prices very high.  At the show Chicago, they only sell half-price tickets if they are not going to have a crowd and interested patrons should check with the theater an hour before the show.
 After completely dedicating myself to the endeavor, I got in to see Much Ado About Nothing and I actually saw David Tennant and Catherine Tate behind the theater and they signed my program.  The show is incredible and I laughed through the whole first act.  Apparently, they threw in a few references to Tate’s show and I didn’t catch those at all since I have never seen The Catherine Tate Show.  The other thing you might not know by looking at the promotional materials is that there are other actors in the show beside Tennant and Tate.  They were wonderful as well.  Here are some pictures of Margaret's mother and then Claudio taking cigarette breaks at the stage door:

But I know what you are really looking for is my video.  Here it is.  Let me know what you think.  

Title Music: I'm On My Way by The Proclaimers (David Tennant's favorite band)
Dr. Who Theme: from The Complete Halloween Party Album - Various Artists

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Trees and Ents

There is something about the trees in England that makes you believe that they could come alive at any second.  Or that fairies will come fluttering down from the leaves.  The trees I have seen in The Regents Park, Green Park, and Russell Square are amazing.  All their knobs, bumps, and twists give them such a fluidity.  I started taking pictures of trees when we were taking a general tour of London and now I have quite a collection.  This first tree pictured is one that our tour guide in Oxford said inspired Lewis Carroll to write the Jabberwocky in Alice in Wonderland.  

This next tree lives in Green Park outside of Buckingham Palace.  I was sure that this old man was going to pop open his eyes.  I can't decide which picture I like better:

I had to take a break from the blooming flowers in The Regents Park so I took a picture of the next tree.

Today was absolutely beautiful.  It started out a little chilly in the morning and then the clouds all disappeared.  I spent almost the whole day inside working on my video project so I was surprised to find a completely blue sky when I walked outside to get just one more clip for the movie.  On my way to Forbidden Planet (not really on the way, it's in the opposite direction but it drew me in) I went to Russell Square with everyone else from the Bloomsbury District who had a bit of free time.  I'm pleasantly surprised by how my tree pictures from today turned out.  They're kind of magical.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Goats in the British Museum

I went to the British Museum yesterday and found myself on a quest.  “Goats!”  I said to myself, “I must find goats”.  Where in a museum that spans the world and the centuries could one find goats?  Why, in Ancient Greece of course.  Join me as I show you some very ancient domesticated animals.  According to the very practical Storey's Guide to  Dairy Goats, "goats were among the first -- some say the first -- animals to be domesticated by humans, perhaps as long as 10,000 years ago" (p. 4, Belanger & Bredesen.  In an article by Zeder and Hesse, it is stated that "Initial goat domestication is documented in the highlands of western Iran at 10,000 calibrated calendar years ago" (Zeder & Hesse).  I enjoyed seeing the images of goats on painted vases especially the ones that were rearing up and butting heads.  This is an image that we see live almost everyday back on my farm - to think that people were watching this very same behavior back in BC times.  I’ve thrown in a chicken to the domestic mix because they just get along so well with goats.  There is also a mosaic of a gazelle that looks like a goat. 


Belanger, J. & Bredesen, S.T. (2010).  Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats, (4th ed).  North Adams,  MA: Storey Publishing.

Zeder, M.A. & Hesse, B. (2000, March 24). The initial domestication of goats (capra hircus) in the Zagros Mountains 10,000 years ago. Science, 287(5461), 2254-2257.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Busking in London

I met a musician who had traveled all the way from where the Thames meets the sea to scratch a living for the evening in Leicester square.  He inspired me to do a simple podcast about "buskers" in London.  It is by no means comprehensive, being mostly a technical exercise (I have a lot to learn about recording, transferring files, converting files, and editing in Garageband).  Street performers anywhere seem to be up against some challenging obstacles.  London has made some steps in the last decade to try to regulate Underground performing instead of just banning it.  If you see anyone performing in the tube stations, odds are that they have auditioned with the city, applied for a license, and scheduled their time for that location.  Some times and locations are much more popular than others because of the wealth of the typical traveler on that line and the traffic.

Intro music: Roll Away the Stone by Mumford and Sons
Busking song: Baby Can I Hold You by Tracy Chapman, performed by George Hillier

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Looking for Signs in Oxford

 Today we rode the rails to Oxford to fulfill our sign photography assignment.  Those who know me, know that I see “signs” everywhere, so this was super-fun.  Here are some of the sayings on the ones I didn’t choose.  To see the one I did, go to the FSU Mulitmedia 2011link on my blog.

Is despoilation a real word?

In addition to searching for just the right sign to post on our facebook page, we visited The Bodleian Library, Radcliffe Library, Christ Church, and The Story Museum, which is still in construction.  Visions of both Harry Potter and The Golden Compass filled my head as we toured around.  Some of the scenes from the Harry Potter movies were filmed at Christ Church and The Bodleian Library.  Lyra from The Golden Compass seemed to be peering down at me from the spired Oxford rooftops.

I learned that up until the late 1800s the professors of the University could not marry, had to take their Orders in the Church of England, and had to remain celibate.  They lived in the colleges amongst their students and colleagues.  This helps me to understand the Harry Potter series.  I’ve always thought that the Hogwarts teachers were far too committed to their jobs.  None of them were married or had children of their own.  I now know that there is a history to teachers being completely dedicated to their school and sacrificing the chance to have a family for the privilege.  According to our guide at Christ’s Church, once it was decreed that professors could have families, all these pre-decision families showed up and were legitimized.  Large Victorian houses started to pop up in the city of Oxford to house these families.

I think I have finally done myself in completely.  I wouldn’t miss any of the sights I took in today but the result is that I can’t keep my eyes open and my feet are just two aching blobs at the end of my legs.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Regents Park is sweetness with a touch of sorrow…

I’m not an expert on flowers, gardens, and landscaping but I enjoy them immensely.  I tend to gravitate towards the informal butterfly gardens and the vegetable plots that could be described as having “artful disarray”.  Regents Park in the northern part of London could make anyone a convert to formal landscaping.  The lawn is a green matte of perfectly trimmed grass, each plot is carefully color coordinated, and blooms seem to be eternally youthful.  There are fountains, statues, and paths that wind around idyllic ponds supporting happy ducks and at least one enormous Koi.   Be careful about sitting in the inviting cloth folding chairs – they cost money.  Park benches are plentiful and free so that is a suitable option.  I tried out a few, but couldn’t stay for long since we were traveling around as a group and still needed to visit Primrose Hill for kite flying and Abbey Road for some street crossing.  There was a lot of ground to cross, since Regents park covers approximately 490 acres.  We can thank Henry VIII that all that land is available for walking on.  He kept it clear from development so he could go hunting there.

I have wonderful memories of the rose gardens in Regents Park from 20 years ago.  I must have spent hours there soaking up the fragrance.  It still impacts me the same way.  As one of my classmates said, I just want to “roll around in all those roses and absorb the scent”.  Purely a fantastical idea since it would hurt a lot.  Each individual bloom is incredible and I took pictures of far too many.  I would love to take my daughter there and find out what her favorite color rose is.  I would love to walk around the park with my husband and remember the orange roses of our wedding.  I know my son would love to climb on the incredible trees and watch boys play the strange game of Cricket.  My life has changed a lot since I was last here.  One of the first thoughts I had upon entering the rose garden was of a woman who’s son I had known for 1.5 years before leaving for London in 1992.  She thought of both of us when she was in Regents Park and took pictures of orange roses while there.  I could almost picture her as I walked around.  She was my mother-in-law for about five years before she passed away.  Remembering her today amongst the roses was loveliness with a touch of sadness.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Olympics 2012!

The Studio where Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels was filmed

I am not a sports fan.  I am embarrassed to admit this, but I did not even know that The Olympic Stadium was in construction and hadn’t been used yet until we headed off for the tour. I know that on our classroom blackboard site there is a link that we could open up and read to inform ourselves before the tour.  I opened it I’m sure, I just couldn’t get beyond my “not caring block” enough to actually absorb any info.   I also did not know how much I would love going to see the Olympic Park site in the East End, just a stone’s throw from Central London.

When we got to the Bromley by Bow tube station, our guide Shawn was waiting for us.  He immediately took us from the noisy station to a quiet industrial area.  The mill we were looking at, The House Mill, was built in 1776 and is very picturesque - not what you would expect for industrial blight.  London has recognized this and has given the buildings Grade 1 status; “Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest” (heritage).  There is a television/movie studio on the location and the River Lea which runs by it has been emptied of enough toxic muck and trash to fill The Albert Hall sixteen times.

We began our trip at that location so that Shawn could show us what is happening to the area because of The Olympics.  There is a lot of state subsidized housing and the hope is that the building of the Park will employ some local residents and help turn their lives around.  The two-story row houses have already gotten new roofs and many of the owners have renovated their kitchens and bathrooms before reletting the homes.  Parks are being landscaped with recreational items added to increase their use.  We especially enjoyed the stone ping pong tables and if I lived in the area I would be sure to buy some paddles and little orange balls.  There were also a cluster of canal boats waiting for a jaunt through the locks.

Three Mills Borough is obviously well on it’s way toward rejuvenation.  There were cranes and new construction everywhere.  Of course, if there are any residents of the area who are unable to take advantage of the financial and skill opportunities offered by the park, they will soon be priced out of the area as their taxes skyrocket.  This reflection was not offered by our Blue Guide, it’s just something I started thinking about.

This Olympic Park project is simply awesome.  I was impressed with the herculean efforts London is making to keep the project sustainably green and to use it to boost the local economy by using local labor and products.  I will be keeping this in mind as I sit glued to my television set in 2012, watching the events.  Perhaps this is the impetus to enable me to join the sporting world.  Or perhaps I will be watching the Olympics with the desperate hope that I will catch a glimpse of 3Mills Studio, the tree that the Queen planted, or the beautiful raised box garden next to the bright green cafĂ© that overlooks the stadium.


Cassie and Beth take advantage of the recreational facilities

This building will not be standing by Olympics 2012.  Take a good look because it will be GONE!

Overwhelmed with the abundance of it all (in a completely fantastic way)

Happy Day at the Olympic 2012 Stadium

I must gush on enthusiastically.  I think it is just going to explode out of me!  I apologize up front to people who like to read about other’s misfortunes because I just can’t write about those right now.  For the first time in my life, I am traveling away from home and I’m not completely anxiety ridden.  I have never been a “frightened” traveler but I have always pressured myself to have a terrific experience, thus ruining my experience.  If I were to guess why it is different for me this time, I would say it is probably a combination of accumulated therapy, the Dalai Lama, years under my belt, and the company of fellow librarians.  Having a combination of planned Blue Guide tours and free time doesn’t hurt either.

I am in bloody London, freaking England right now people!  I must scream it from the rooftops though I am sure nobody else wants to hear it.  As if that isn’t abundance enough, here are all the wonderful serendipitous things that are running through my head right now. 

1.    At the very beginning of my London adventure I had to figure out how to get to Central London from the airport.  I love subways so I decided to go on a subway adventure.  It only cost me 5 to get all the way to the FSU study center and I still had plenty of time to get settled in.  And nobody mugged me.
2.     Food!  There are so many places to just grab something quick to eat.  There are also places to grab something slow to eat.  Whether the food is expensive or cheap I have not regretted a single bite of it.
3.     I got back to the flat today and was the first person to get downstairs to do laundry.  How lucky was that?  First of all, I should note that FSU London has free laundry facilities.  That is a HUGE bonus.
4.     I’m in London at the same time that David Tennant is doing a show here.  I WILL get in to see him and Catherine Tate in Much Ado even if I have to sneak in through the garbage chute.  Rupert Everett and Diana Riggs are doing a show in town too.
5.     There is a kitchen in our flat and lots of grocery stores around us.  It is so much fun to go grocery shopping in a different culture or even the same culture/different city (like Cincinnati for instance).  I am looking forward to exploring the Cooperative grocery store that our study center librarian told me about and the organic grocery store that Dr. Everhart mentioned.
6.     Our main goal is to capture aspects of London using different types of media.  Every day I am required to take pictures.  Taking pictures in London – torture, right?
7.     We are now in an age when you can easily communicate with your friends and family oversees instantly!  Through email, facebook, skype, etc. I can talk to and see my family back home.  I’m glad I don’t have texting over here or my thumbs would fall off from sending messages all the time.
8.     We have seen so much so far: The London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Billy Elliot, The Marlborough Arms pub, and the Olympic Park!  It’s day six so we still have two weeks left here!
9.     Sometimes people want to do the same things that I want to do, sometimes they don’t.  It’s all good!
10. I needed some new shoes and I found a British shoe store with ecologically sound shoes that I adore that were ON SALE!  Practically affordable!  I actually just stumbled onto the store after checking out a few others that I didn’t like.  I also found a Body Shop right when I needed one.
    If you read this, you may be vomiting right now from my Pollyanna good cheer.  I am just so thankful for everything and had to write it down and send it out into cyberspace (knock on wood – cross fingers – ward off the misfortune fairies).  

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Rob Peter to Pay Paul

    I've been inside the Westminster Abbey a few times before today.  The facade of the building paired with Parliament and Big Ben are such familiar sights from movies and TV shows that I have difficulty grounding myself in reality when I stand near them.  Despite the familiarity I seem to have with these landmarks, It appears I hadn't retained any information about them.  Well, I did remember that there were lots of dead people under the floor.  That's the kind of thing a 14 year old remembers.

    Our Blue Guide Brian filled us in with the information that I wasn't listening to when I was 14 or 21 or that has happened between then and now.  We are so fortunate to be able to get into the Abbey with a group and a guide.  Not only was it informative, but we escaped from having to stand in a WICKED LONG LINE.  And there are some basic etiquette rules that our guide clued us into.  You are not allowed to take pictures in the Abbey, you have to stop and be quiet when the prayer is being said, and you are not allowed to laugh at any time.  Unfortunately tour guides like to tell jokes.  Our guide told us about a gentleman who was boiled alive starting with cold water.   After about two hours they tossed in some carrots and onions - you don't want to waste a good stock.  Funny right?  It took me a beat and then I let out a staccato, "Ha ha!"  Everyone looked right at me and the guide said "You must not laugh".  I wanted to fall right through the floor to join the dead.

    Anyway, I learned today that the name of the Abbey is The Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster.  Shawn, our tour guide yesterday had mentioned something about money being taken from Westminster Abbey and given to St. Paul's Cathedral hundreds of years ago.  Again today we heard about it.  According to Brian, Henry the VIII took money from The Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster to give to St. Paul's Cathedral.  And that's how we get the expression to "rob Peter to pay Paul.  I looked it up on line and it appears that the phrase could have originated before Henry the VIII, but it still makes a good story.

    I had never really read the memorial plaques that line the floors and walls of the church popularly known as Westminster Abbey.  I read a few today and I discovered that some of them were quite personal and emotional, such as this one:

    There was also a large stone covering bodies of 27 Black Plague victims.  Brian told us that no one will ever dig up this part of the floor because they are afraid there could still be some active plague virus germs.  I thought my children would find this very interesting because we are reading the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins and there is a plague in one of the books that escapes from a lab.  They may never want to travel to England after they hear about the Black Plague!

    I had never seen the Garden that is surrounded by the Little Cloister.  I checked it out today and it is so beautiful.  The view I saw standing behind the iron gate was possibly the same view seen by monks hundreds of years ago.  I didn't see any modern buildings peeking over the walls.

    When I looked to my right I saw a sign that was not from antiquity.

    The first thing that popped into my mind was that there were some random people living within the cloister with HDTV, microwaves, and a mini-cooper parked behind.  Then I realized it was probably still the priests living on the grounds.  Perhaps with all those things I mentioned - I don't know how modern monks live.

    The other wonderful thing we saw in the Abbey was the person who did cartwheels down the aisle at the conclusion of William and Kate's wedding.  The guide told us not to say anything about it to him about it because he is still really embarrassed.  Do you think he was pulling our legs?  Maybe I should look at the video:

    Cartwheeling Priest
    It looks like it could have been the guy!!

    I leave you with a shot of Ginger Chicken relaxing on The London Eye.  She was pretty exhausted after the tours yesterday and today.

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Ginger on Tour

    “Oh, I just don’t know if I will fit in with all these city birds”, thought Ginger Chicken as she set off for a morning of sightseeing in London.

    Ginger couldn’t remember the days of city living in Louisville, KY, not having a memory for such things.  For the last year she had been living in a box, in a house, on a farm in North Carolina.  Ginger hadn’t even mingled with the country chickens, much less sophisticated birds in London.

    Ginger settled in to traveling by coach around to the different sights.  This is what she was used to: being stuffed into a little bag or a box didn’t bother her.  She didn’t mind not seeing Parliament and Big Ben or St. Martins College of Art and Design where Stella McCartney received her degree.  The trouble began when the chatty group of SLIS graduate school got off the bus to get closer to St. Paul’s Cathedral. 

    “Oooh.  The points on that roosting place look dangerous”, she said while passing the gate to the College of Arms.  “How is a decent chicken supposed to sleep on that?”

    The London Millennium Bridge looked like a better place to roost but she knew that she might be scooped up and roasted if she wobbled off by herself.  She also heard that the bridge itself used to wobble.  When humans walked across it in big groups, their footsteps would get into sync causing the bridge to sway.  Ginger clucked with dismay at the thought! Better to stick with the solid path.

    Once at the destination, the tour guide impressed Ginger with his knowledge of poultry history.  He pointed to the roof of St. Paul’s Cathedral and brought attention to a statue of the cockerel. 

    It was the gent who had crowed after Peter denied Jesus three times.

    Things began to look up as the group approached an ancient building at the end of a narrow alley.  It had wavy thick glass windows and delicious flowers hanging from hooks.  Best of all was the picture hanging above the door.  It was a drawing of the most handsome roosters she had ever seen.

    “I think they call them cockerels over here”, she remembered.  For future reference she took note of the name of the place.

    “The Cockpit.  I wonder if there’s a whole pit of those handsome devils in there!” she wondered.  She looked back longingly at the sign, knowing that her human probably wouldn’t be welcome in such a fine establishment.  She was the messy one.

    A little later on the tour Ginger began to crave bird contact.  This was a new feeling for her; she had always been satisfied being stuffed in a box or slobbered on by a little boy named Franklin. 

    After looking at more BIG buildings that were supposed to be occupied by some royalty of the human species, she found herself in a wonderful place that was completely green.  She heard from the tour guide that it was called Green Park.   Something came over Ginger.  She just had to join creatures that were more like her down in a natural environment.  She glided down to the grass and gazed at the blue and gray birds that were walking around here. 

    “They don’t seem so bad”, Ginger thought as she and the birds eyed each other.

    “Maybe I could get used to this place.  Maybe, just maybe, I can find the rooster of my dreams.  Better yet, maybe I will make some friends.”