Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Hardy Family's
BEST OF 2006
(from the people who brought you the Hardy Family's Best of 2005)

Family Highlights. The beginning of our sabbatical year in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England; our half-term trip to Salzburg, Austria; taking the cable car to the top of the Untersberg, near Salzburg; hiking to the top of Mam Tor in the fog; watching the new Jane Eyre and Robin Hood on the BBC; living in Kenilworth with the Houlgates

Memorable Meals. Dinner at the Harborview CafĂ© after Clara bicycled sixty miles from Northfield with Rebecca; Dinner at the Stiftskeller St. Peter in Salzburg, the oldest restaurant in Europe (opened in 803), with Salzburger Nockerl for dessert; fettucini with roasted red pepper cream sauce and fresh Scottish scallops (cooked by Rob); Welsh mussels in coconut milk (cooked by Rob; note: Will discovered that he’s allergic to mussels)

Favorite Local Pubs. The Virgins and Castle (Kenilworth) for historic ambience; The Saxon Mill (Guy’s Cliff/Warwick) for good food and ambience and a good walk; The Tipperary Inn (Meer End) for a good walk, sunny beer garden, and attractive barmaids; The Waterman (Hatton) for a good walk, good food, a view of the Grand Union Canal, and Arkwright’s Special Bitter; The Green Man (Kenilworth) for a large non-smoking area and friendly bar staff

Memorable Cultural Experiences. Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company); The History Boys (National Theatre/Warwick Arts Centre); “Best of Mozart” concert at the Mozarteum in Salzburg; sacred music by Michael Haydn at the church of St. Peter in Salzburg; Mendelssohn’s Elijah at Coventry Cathedral; antiquities at the British Museum; “Holbein in England” at the Tate Britain; Clara Louise’s senior violin recital

Book: Nicole Krauss, The History of Love
Non-Classical Music: Bjork, “It’s Oh So Quiet”
Accomplishments: serving a term as an Associate Dean; bicycling sixty miles, from Northfield, Minnesota, to Pepin, Wisconsin; singing Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the St. Michael’s Singers at Coventry Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral; driving a car in England
What I Miss Most About Home: the people
What I Like Best About England: being with my sister Mary; singing with the St. Michael’s Singers; BBC Radio 4

Books: Doris Kearns Godwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln; Rose Macaulay, The World My Wilderness; Geraldine Brooks, March
CDs: The Decemberists, The Crane Wife; Jolie Holland, Springtime Can Kill You; Calexico, Feast of Wire
Experiences: Salzburg, London, and the Peak District; teaching Latin 101 at Carleton
: blogging
What I Miss Most About Home: home, friends, half pint cartons of half-and-half for coffee, and reading Latin with Peytie
What I Like Best About England: rural footpaths and Ordnance Survey Maps, the history, and pints of real ale

CDs: Bright Eyes, I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning; Nada Surf, Let’s Go; Death Cab for Cutie, Plans
Movies: Mission Impossible 3; Fight Club
Experience: the trip to Salzburg
Accomplishment: recording two CDs of original songs
What I Miss Most About Home: the people
What I Like Best About England: the people

CD: The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
Book: Anne Ursu, The Shadow Thieves
Experience: Bible camp
What I Miss Most About Home: friends and Pippi
What I Like Best About England: the people


jajasoon said...
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jajasoon said...

Nice lists, Hardys! Glad to see that Peter & Rob can like the same CD (which I also think is outstanding). But where's the favorite videogames & TV shows?

Rob Hardy said...

TV: Jane Eyre (October) and Robin Hood (ongoing) on the BBC. We never watched much television in the United States this year. To watch television legally in England, you have to buy a "television license." The revenue from the sale of licenses supports the BBC. Public television without the annoying pledge drives in which American public television tries to numb you into contributing by broadcasting nothing but Andre Rieu specials. The BBC is a mix of really good PBS-style shows (like "Planet Earth" and "Jane Eyre"), profanity-filled sketch comedy that only really makes sense if you're a native ("The Catherine Tate Show," "That Mitchell and Webb Look"), HBO stuff like "Extras," and more mainstream series like "Spooks" and "Robin Hood." And "reality" shows like "Strictly Come Dancing." If you miss commercials, you can switch over to ITV. There's a funny MacDonald's commerical on now that only makes sense if you're English and have seen a Christmas panto.