File #16: To unravel a torment you must begin somewhere

Hi-ho readers,
The last of my friends from the outside world have left town, and it’s back to being by myself for a lot of the time. Must. Fill Void. With Culture.

Something I forgot to mention from last week — I saw The Ruling Class currently starring James McAvoy last week and I highly recommend it. Sometimes they sell 15 pound tickets for Monday night shows (which is what I got, and the seats were in the second row!).

Anyway. Kate and I had to fill our nights with activity this week because I was always busy during the day, what with work. On Monday I decided to bring us into my (limited) version of college life — The Imperial College Union Bar. It was quiet (attributing this to Monday-ness), but not so quiet that I felt like we were drinking in an empty room. Then it was time to rest up for week two of work.

I thought I’d write more about work here but for once don’t feel like exposing every single aspect of my life — for a balance of personal and professional reasons. I am working; I am learning. That’s all I’ll say for now.

On Tuesday night Kate and I discovered Pizzeria Roma one block from my flat which has a personal pizza for three pound AND delivers. This is, as my dad said on the phone, “going to be a problem.” We ate them in their boxes while walking to the bus station and headed to Soho for Ruby Tuesdays at the Ku Bar, which is, you guessed it, (Gay) Ladies’ Night. Had I had another drink in me (and had I not eaten an entire personal pizza en route to the bar), then maybe I would have had more fun. But it was good to explore the scene.

Wednesday Kate dragged me to King’s Cross to take a picture at Platform 9 3/4, and what I learned very quickly is that there are a lot of people at King’s Cross during the day (not the case when I was there at 6 AM). So, there is literally a queue of people waiting to take a picture there at all times. It took so long that I read ~50 pages of my book. Worth the picture? See for yourself:
We went to a place I’d been wanting to go to for a while called Drink Shop & Do — a bar-cum-cafe-cum-boutique. It was VERY twee, but a brand of twee that I could stomach (I am, after all, a white twentysomething). I specifically wanted to go on Wednesday night because they were having an event called Lionel Rich-Tea. Guests were challenged to recreate Mr. Richie’s likeness with icing on the face of a digestive biscuit. Images of Mr. Richie were provided on each table. Mine kind of looks like Bob Belcher, and I think Kate’s may be modern art.
Kate was gone by Thursday (not before using all of my toilet paper and leaving me a bunch of half-eaten candy she didn’t want to take back to Denmark), and I miss her. But I filled the void with culture, like I said! Thursday night I, after three years, got to see tUnE-yArDs in concert, with my friend Jillian. tUnE-yArDs is mainly Merrill Garbus, with a rotating cast of musicians. Garbus is from New Canaan, Conn. (where I went to school) so I feel a special allegiance and pride towards her. She is also extremely talented and I think in my top three musicians list. The concert was a revelation; I was on my feet by song one, as was the rest of the audience. To think I had seen the London Philharmonic in the same room a week before! Poshness did not allow for wiggling and grooving!The next day I was up at 5:45 to get to one of two shoots for work (let’s just say I was not in bed early the night before) and by day’s end I was TIRED. Sara was in Scotland this weekend so I had the space to myself. I spent much of Friday night eating chocolate and blasting ABBA. It was wonderful. I don’t think I had been truly alone since before exams, let alone had a good night’s sleep.

On Saturday I resolved to do something, so I went to the Tate Modern for the first time since being here. I felt a little guilty for going to a museum when it was 61 degrees (yes, you read that right) out, but I so enjoyed myself. I like going to museums alone because it allows for a certain kind of wandering. I didn’t feel like I had the cash to go to any of the paid exhibits inside, but I went through all of the ones open to the general public. My favorite (and the one that Grace recommended to me last week) was Louise Bourgeois’ Works on Paper. It caused an almost visceral response; I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I left. I was nearly moved to tears by What is the Shape of the Problem?, a series of prints done in 1999. The images will do it better justice than my words could.

I walked along the river for a while, half enjoying myself and half looking for somewhere to charge my phone (sadly, that place was Starbucks) when I saw a vaguely familiar face. Charlotte’s friend from college, Heather, is in town this weekend, and I happened to run into her in a city of EIGHT MILLION PEOPLE. Bizarro, and pleasant.
I stopped by Waitrose (grocery store) on the way home, picking up some sundries and a bottle of wine, intending to have a quiet evening, but was taken out by Zoe and Becca who live across the hall, to a night of dancing at Drink Shop & Do, the place I was on Saturday night. We took Jillian with us and to see a crowd of hipsters getting down like they were at a middle school dance was fun to say the least.
Today was spent continuing to decompress from the last month, and watching movies for class. Somehow I am still tired. Existentially? Who knows.Things I Liked This Week
the illustrations of Quentin Blake
museum gift shops
NPR’S “Winter Zen: Taking a Cue from Snow Monkeys
The Things in Black Men’s Closets” by E. Ethelbert Miller

And that’s the week that was!

P.S. word of the week: ramshackle.

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