Friday, May 09, 2008

Toshed on the Heath: A Rememberance (or, The Final Countdown)

3 days until I'm home. 3 days! I'm now filled with a horrible combination of excitement to be home and depression to be leaving. London is amazing. I'll definitely be back. Possible permanently.

I'm currently trying to fit in everything I have left to see in 3 short days. And I'm working one of them. Tomorrow I'm heading back to Hyde Park and then to see Harrods. The day after I'm going back to the Imperial War Museum, so see it's extremely moving Holocaust exhibit one more time, and the Tate Modern. The last two are some of my favorite things in London, and I'd like to see them both once more. I've become a bit of a modern art fan since I've arrived on U.K. soil, which is one of the last things I expected to happen.

Last night some of ladies and I decided to tie one on. We headed up to Hampstead Heath, this glorious 800 acre park in the middle of the city to watch the sunset. The Heath was C.S. Lewis's inspiration for Narnia, and it's easy to see why when you're there. It's beautiful. We sat on the top of Parliament Hill, (so named because Guy Fawkes' cronies met there to watch the Parliament blow up in their failed terror plot) laid out a blanket, and drank a terrible bottle of wine we found in the lounge. It was by far the most horrendous wine I've ever tasted, but the whole scenario itself was quite enjoyable. We then headed on a bit of a jaunt down to our local pubs, one of which is a gay pub, and the other which is always full of creepy old men (with the exception of the slightly fit bartender.) Nights like that make me sad to be leaving.

Someone once said London is the most civilized city in the world. I have to agree.

Oh London, how I'm going to miss you. Your allowance of drinking in public and on transport amazes me, while your bus system still confuses me more than I'd like to admit. I love your inconsistent weather, multi-culturalism, and Victorian architecture. Most of all I love the feeling of pride and belonging you get simply from living in this amazing city.

I really wish I wasn't leaving it.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Music, Music, Music

Wow, I only have 40 days left until I head back home. The time's gone by surprisingly fast, as have the first 3 months of this year.

Last night my friend Camden and I went to see Radiohead. Thom Yorke is crazy wonderful, as is watching them perform. They're amazing live! If you ever get a chance to see them in person, I strongly suggest you do.

We're also going to see Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly next week. I'm pretty stoked for that. The last album was brilliant, and I'm really looking forward to hearing it all live.

Other than above mentioned concerts, my life's been quite bland as of late. Had an extremely entertaining run-in with a taxi driver, but it would take far too long to describe here. Short version, he kept pointing out famous landmarks to me, assuming I was a tourist, and they were all blatantly wrong. Here's a few prime examples:

1. Westminster Abbey = St. Paul's
2. The Parliament Buildings = 10 Downing Street

I felt especially bad since he mentioned that he's lived here for a decade. I've only been here 3 months, and I actually knew more than he did.

Ah, bless.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Cats And Dogs And All That Jazz...

I'm listening to 'Valerie' by Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse. It's so good. Almost good enough to make up for the weather outside.

On second thought, it is good enough. I'm actually enjoying the rain too. The music is adding a comic element to the man who's loading things from the conference room into his car.

They say the biggest storm of the winter is supposed to hit tonight. Rain storm, that is. I'm extremely intrigued. How big will this storm be? A mini hurricane? Enough to knock down power lines? I'll take any reason to sleep in tomorrow, and no electricity seems like a relatively good excuse.

Song's over. Therefore, that's all for now.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I Blame The Sunshine

This is the sort of afternoon where I wish I could just lay around, listening to the Raveonettes, and do nothing in particular. I think its the combination of the sun streaming in the window, the quietness of the room, and the sounds of children playing at the prep school next door. It really feels like the ideal time to contribute nothing, and simply lay around and be happy to be alive. Instead I spent the afternoon in the office, filing papers and mailing letters.

I should become a Bohemian.

Can you even be a true Bohemian in a city like this? I don't think I'd be able to anyways. Alas, I'm generally too fond of material possessions and shopping. Not to mention the fact that I can barely muster the energy to walk to the post, let alone fight to change an entire society's views towards social structure and materialism.

I'm why capitalism works.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

"Well, we are British. We had a lot of Victorians."

I'm listening to the new City & Colour CD right now. It's good times. And makes me miss home.

As of today I have officially been in London for 3 months. In some ways I can't believe it's been that long, and at the same time I feel like it's crawling by.

And the soap in the downstairs still smells like red Jell-o. It makes me hungry whenever I wash my hands.

I have this new really bad habit of playing with my belly button piercing. Especially when I'm watching TV or talking on the phone. I always catch myself tapping the area where the metal is actually underneath my skin, because I find it oddly fascinating to be able to feel it. I've also started twisting it, which actually really hurts. It's a strange new habit. Sort of like how whenever someone asks what my name is, I respond "um, Holly." My roommate finds this hilarious, since it sounds like I've forgotten my own name and have to think about what it is.

I like listening to acoustic music all the time. It makes me feel like I'm in an indie film where ever I go. This is especially useful when riding on the tube, as it seems like an ideal location for a scene from an indie movie. This would typically be a scene where someone falls in love with someone and/or sees someone they love for the last time. This sort of music is also useful in airports for the same reason.

Right now I am addicted to eating Sun-Maid raisins. I eat them constantly. And cranberry and blackcurrant Ribena. And chamomile tea. I think this is all a sub-conscious attempt to be a bit more healthy. This is largely due to the fact that my diet has consisted primarily of potatoes and chocolate since I've arrived overseas.

I now love shopping at outdoor markets. Especially the antique stalls at Portobello market. Where else can you get a lovely Edwardian brooch for £5 because the lady was ready to head home?

And it gave me a strange sense of euphoria to sing 'God Save the Queen' in Westminster Abbey last week. Of course, it's now stuck in my head, and I spend a large part of the day following Alice around singing the Canadian verse. It drives her crazy. And that makes it wonderful.

"Our loved Dominion bless, with peace and happiness..."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Washing Up

The soap in the downstairs bathroom smells like red Jell-o. I miss my youth.