I considered this a vacation week, even though I had class on Monday and Tuesday. Not having work left me with so much time to…do things!
On Monday I took a walk through Hyde Park (which is so close to my building) and realized very quickly that I had walked all the way to Mayfair. So I took a field trip to my dad’s old apartment before going to class. Very surreal.
On Tuesday I had to go back to my office to get my travel reimbursment check and I was so excited that when I left I did a little fist-pump and whispered “yes” and someone on the street laughed at me. Whatever man, not my fault that you don’t have HELL OF POUNDS burning a hole in your pocket. (I have adopted “hell of” instead of “hella” because I have recently started reading Achewood, a great webcomic) Then my class met for shorter than usual because we were going on a field trip for a walking tour of Notting Hill. We walked through Kensington Gardens to get there and my professor, Mo, and I were far ahead of the group. We both walk fast and he said he admired my pace. We talked about choral music/ethnomusicology and how it just makes me tick and a bunch of other stuff and it was just nice to have a conversation on a nice day. It was a moment when I was in love with London but also really missed Wheaton. We had snacks at Cafe Diana (literally plastered with images of the late Princess) and then walked through the neighborhood and were told about places of note by a professor who also works with the school as a tour guide.On Wednesday it was 70 and sunny so I spent a good bit of the day in the park again. I made a flower crown out of wild daisies growing and then I forgot to take it off when I left so I got looks. Whatever! I’m a youth. I got a vanilla cone with a Flake (the greatest street ice cream) and walked to Oxford Street. I went to Primark, which was hell, and I went to Selfridges, which was great. There are so many things to look at in there. I was so distracted that I almost (Dad, that says almost) left my phone in the bathroom.
On Thursday I FINALLY went to tea, with Jillian and Becca at La Suite West, a fancy hotel in Bayswater. It was totally vegan, which was great, because Jillian is vegan and also I have never had Earl Grey with soy milk. Becca and I went to O’Neill’s, a strange Irish pub with GREAT live music in Chinatown. There was a lot of cider consumed.
On Friday I went to my old work haunts (Old Spitalfields Market) to walk around with Becca and to eat street food and to (unsuccessfully) seek out overalls. Seriously, if you know where to get overalls, hit me up.On Saturday I had Emily’s Special Day which consisted of getting breakfast at Caffe Forum (my local place), poking around at the farmer’s market, and going to Portobello Road Market and looking at all the stalls I wanted for however long I wanted to. Then I drank a lot of wine and went to the Book Club in Shoreditch and ate falafel that is only good when you are drunk on the night bus (I know this because I have eaten falafel from this same place before).
Then on Sunday I stayed in bed all day because I DESERVE IT.
My time in London is coming to a close (I fly out on Saturday) and it’s freaking me out. Expect a sappy post then.
Things I Read and Liked This Week
The Pacific Standard’s “Subsisting on the Faves,” a piece by Christine Friar (whose work I have been following for a long time) about living online during her youth as a way to cope
The Virginia Quarterly Review’s “Sugar Days,” an essay about Sierra Crane-Murdoch taking time off from school to work the sugar beet harvest
The New York Times is now streaming Roomful of Teeth’s new album Render — I evangelize about this group and I promise if you value world music or choral singing or really anything beautiful, you will love this album. It is a revelation. I am listening to it in its entirety for the first time and feel like my joy is escaping through the corners of my mouth.
And that’s the week that was!
P.S. word of the week: “cheers,” because that’s how I feel.