So, Cincinnati. Where pigs can fly…

Rebecca.Constabel | November 29, 2012

Last month Kirsten, Phillip and I went to Cincinnati, OH, USA to attend the Sixteenth Century Society Conference.  The flight was long, in the region of fourteen hours plus time difference, so we all arrived rather tired. Breakfast the next morning was brilliant, so much choice! The best gadget was without doubt the waffle iron, which allowed you to make your own waffles. After breakfast, we had just enough time to go downtown and investigate, including a trip to the local art gallery, before the conference began. The venue at the Hilton was fantastic, full of proper 1920s glamour.  I must admit, we girls were also quite fond of the little cupcake shop next door, which I’m sure made very good business over the next few days…

The papers were good fun, lots of interesting material, and from my perspective, a really good selection on European history as opposed to the emphasis on Britain. It’s always reassuring when other people come up with similar conclusions, despite working on different material. It was also nice to catch up with familiar faces and to make some new friends. As always, the book stands were rather dangerous for the contents of our wallets, especially since the dollar is so much cheaper than the pound (right…?!), but luckily baggage restrictions saved us from spending too much money.

On Saturday, we gave our talks bright and early in the morning. The room we presented in was a former ice rink, rather huge and glamorous — just the right setting for talking about the Howards and two of the most prominent commanders of sixteenth-century France, Bonnivet and Galiot. Our papers were well-received by the international audience and we raised interest in the project, which was good.

After four action-packed days, it was time to fly back home.  There was quite some trepidation if we were going to make it out before hurricane Sandy arrived, especially since we had to fly right into the area which was supposed to get hit hardest the next day. At that point, we found out that all the flights after ours had already been cancelled. Oh dear. Fortunately it turned out ok and we managed to get out on one of the last flights before the storm, meanwhile the government had started to evacuate the coastline. So much for drama!

Just as we were waiting for our flight back to Newark, we managed to find out what the mysterious ‘pigs can fly’ motto meant which had been confusing us for the last couple of days. Apparently it’s got something to do with the slaughterhouses which used to be in Cincinnati. Who would have thought that’s the story behind all those happy pink pigs with wings at the tourist souvenir shops…

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