heaven on earth.

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I think I found heaven, well my heaven at least, and it is London. This past week has been a week of perfect days that i will treasure for many years to come. Not many of these days would be perceived to be all that exciting from an outsiders perspective, but to me were amazing. Most of these have consisted of visiting a  museum for a bit and reading in whatever historical place i can find (until it gets too cold and i have to relocate). These little trips to the library, bookstore, or market have been so fun and relaxing experiences.

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I visited the BBC, and I was more excited there than i think i have been at any tourist attraction. what can i say I really enjoy their reporting! My friend patty and I went to the world headquarters not far from us and saw THE news room where they report the news live from, complete research, and are connected to all the other BBC locations around the world. We even went into the studios where they have daily reports, the one show where I posed as a television show host. The BBC still has radio shows where actors act out scripts and make their one sound effects, and because I was one of the two Americans I was picked to play a role! it was really fun to act out the script into the microphone and make the sound effects and after they played it back for us! i felt very professional, i guess that one play i was in back in 5th grade really paid off!

I have attended my third and final play in London and it was by far the best! I was Shakespeare in Love at a theater that is 110 years old down in Leicester Square! the acting was phenomenal and really gave me a desire to read more shakespeare. I don’t know what it is about shakespeare, but it has become more understandable than it used to be. I am not sure if that’s because I have read many of his works  or if i can just pick up on the meanings now more easily. I also really enjoyed that in the play not only did they make many many references to romeo and Juliet, but also to Christopher Marlow and his works, you could say i was praising my british literature professor as they were making references to multiple stories that i know.

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I finally made it to one of the museums i still needed to see, the tate britain, which is different than the tate modern, very confusing i know.  this museum was a combination of paintings, sculpture, and pictures from the 1500s to the 2000s. Some f it i really enjoyed and understood what the artist was trying to convey others, not so much. I suppose i am just not cultured enough to understand why sculptures that look exactly like rocks are in a prestigious museum, but I’m glad now i know that should i ever see a rock without a home i know exactly to send it. other museums that i have visited have been repeats for me. I spontaneously went to the national gallery yesterday after being evacuated from trafalgar square and also to the british museum on my way home from class last week. In my attempt to not be bored in london i have been trying to find interesting places to read. one of my favorites has been the british museum! oddly enough its more quiet than the british library and has more seating so I have been adventuring down there to read a book. another favorite place of mine that i have been to many times especially in this past week is a waterstones bookstore with a view of trafalgar square. the view from its reading area probably could not be beat. not only is that place well located, but it is also well heated unlike one f my other spots; st. paul’s cathedral! its not quite warm enough to sit outside for long periods of time so i alternate between the gardens at the cathedral and the cafe under the 1,400 year old church.  it is very special to be able to enough a book in these wonderful places and I cherish them very much. I have been reading London based novels so you could imagine my excitement tonight, when i was reading at the british library after i finished an essay in the cafe there, when the protagonist mentioned getting off at MY tube stop and walking past the market i walk past to reach the grocery store!!!!!!!!!!!! i would have physically jumped up and down, but i was in public so i played it cool.

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I found my new place of residence last week, its called windsor castle. It;s quite humble really with only a few hundred rooms and a former moat, I am sure it will be quite cozy once i move in! haha well until that happens this is the residence of the queen for half the year not far from London. While the castle dominates the town, it is such a cute place. We did not have very much time to explore, but it had great shopping, a beautiful view of the thames, is the home of Eton, the prestigious college where most successful british men attended, including David Cameron, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Eddie Redmayne. After touring the rooms where some of the worlds most important leaders regularly visit we ate at the Duchess of Cambridge pub seeing as anything less would be unfitting for a day at the castle.

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Being in a major world center and the capital, London also is the location of the “the guardian” newspaper. today i met with the feature editor for the newspaper at their office near kings cross and they even gave me a free paper! There was no reason at all for me to go to this event with a handful of students from a class i am not enrolled in, but I saw a signup sheet and figured visiting another news source was something I can’t do at home.

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I trekked over to Portabello road market again and this time it was everything its cracked up to be and more! i took over an hour just to walk the length of the market with our even looking at anything and they truly had it all. from antiques to fresh food to art and used clothes from dodgy vendors. I have to say this surprisingly has become one of my new favorite places to visit! I had not seen the film “notting hill” before i came to London, but after visiting the market i watched the movie. It was only appropriate because i already had a picture outside the famous book store, only that is not what the bookstore looked like in the film in fact not even the right location so I’m not sure why i and 50 other tourists were taking pictures there. Also the movie was not that great so that makes the whole situation worse.

xoxo christine


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