A Brief Drive to Leamington Spa
This afternoon, Clara (behind the wheel, as always) and I drove over to Royal Leamington Spa to do what nearly everyone does in Royal Leamington Spa—shop. We picked up some oboe music for Will at the excellent little music shop on Park Street, then walked down The Parade to a camping outfitter (directly across from the statue of Queen Victoria) for waterproof trousers and a plastic map holder. Leamington is full of gleaming white Regency and Victorian buildings, the legacy of its heyday as a spa resort in the nineteenth century. For a brief period during his exile, Napoleon Buonaparte lived in Leamington, and during the administration of Franklin Pierce in the 1850s, Nathaniel Hawthorne served as the American consul in Leamington. Today, as I said, Royal Leamington Spa is a mecca for shoppers (there is a large shopping mall, Royal Prior's in the town center) and for the callow youth of Kenilworth, who take the bus to Leamington to indulge in their various risky behaviors. When we first met with the headmaster of Kenilworth School in late August, he warned Will about falling in with the Leamington crowd. I hope to include my own pictures of Leamington in a future post.