London Makes Things Happen

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 4:18 PM

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As I settle in to write, I am eating the last of my Christmas tree Little Debbie cakes. Don't worry, I have a box of the Valentine ones awaiting me.*

The truth is, I've procrastinated on writing this. Mostly because the thought of condensing my London and Portugal experiences in an entertaining written form felt daunting. And so I just didn't.

But, with a little bit of late night/early morning energy, my arms and back sore from my first day back to climbing for weeks, and that over-sugared-kinda-sick feeling I always get after I eat a Little Debbie cake, I will just tell a few stories, and for tonight, just about London.

As I walked into the house I was staying in**, I was immediately greeted by a lovely smile and a, "Would you like some tea? Go upstairs and you can put your things down and I'll put the tea on." Hours later, watching English sitcoms and eating snacks and chatting, I felt like part of the family. I was laughing. A lot. Plus, I found out that I was now only two degrees of separation away from the queen.

The tea became a habit.*** We passed a few evenings with the fireplace, cozy sofa, late night TV, and Bilbo, the dog, comfortably sitting on my lap. And with the cold and the snow outside, I couldn't really be bothered to move.

Not to say we didn't venture outside in the cold. We were in London. We had to.

We did the typical tourist things. Actually, I'd say we did all the tourist things. You know, the palace, the big clock tower, this other tower, museums, etc. Which, to be honest, never really does much for me. It feels like I'm just checking things off a list. Not to say these things aren't beautiful or interesting or that I wouldn't want to see them, it's just not what makes a trip for me.

So when we went to see the Globe Theatre, I decided to do something different, and put up my slackline for a few, very cold, minutes.

Now, the highlights reel:****

+Climbing inside a castle.

+Diversity! Different types of people! Lots of different languages! And people don't look at you strange if you're not from there!

+Food on the street. Bagels! Fish and chips. Wild mushroom risotto.

+Brick Lane Vintage Market.

+Snow patterns with feet. And playing in that snow with Heather.

+The room in the Tate Modern on the fluxus art movement. It was this tiny little room and most people just walked right through it but a quote on the wall caught my eye and then I spent the next 32 minutes in there reading everything. Completely beautiful.

+Christmas party at Victoria Wood's house where I talked about classical music with high school boys and sang Christmas carols with Andy Serkis.*****

+Johnny's swing/jazz/blues/funk band. And when we [accidentally] went to his show at a Christmas party at a home for mentally handicapped people. We danced anyways.

+Theatre. Lots of theatre. Pantomime, murder-mystery "Rope", The Comedy Store Improv, and "Hairspray." And, I have to mention that for three of these, I have Mr. Edis to thank for getting us in/getting us cheap tickets. Man's got connections.

+Exclaiming, "You gave me a stocking too!" when I found the thing hanging on my door after breakfast and then promptly ran downstairs and gave Mrs. Edis a hug.

+A nordic cafe where I tried gloog. New favorite hot beverage.

...and that was London. More or less, at least.

Sitting in Stansted Airport with about 6 hours to kill, I had a little time to think. I had felt like a part of a family for the last 10 days and it was lovely. I also was able to communicate fully, and even have my personality come across in conversation (!) something I had really missed the months prior.

But London also inspired me.

After the improv show at the Comedy Store, we went out for drinks with some of the players. And I got into a conversation with one of their wives. She asked me about what I wanted to do after university, and I, for the first time in a conversation like this, told her that I was thinking about pursuing the arts in some form.

"Oh you should!" she replied.

"I hope so," I laughed. "I'm just not sure how..."

"Well, have you thought about going to a school of the arts?"

I hadn't.

"There's a lot of one-year programs you can do, and can get a grant for. In fact a friend of mine..."

She went on to tell me of this friend who started out in visual art, then progressed to installations, then performance...all within this one program.

I was intrigued. That conversation, combined with being surrounded by art in so many forms, and the exhibits at the Tate...it has all made me start to think. About new possibilities. And about acting on them. Now.



______
*Thanks, Mom. And Lydia. And Lisa. But I think mostly Lydia. I heard you had to sacrifice these for me. After flaunting your own over Skype, I guess it's the least you could do.
**I was staying with the Edis family. How did I end up there? Heather Johnson made me come to London for Christmas. She met Chris Edis while studying abroad in Italy. Chris lives in London. His family decided they would love to host a random stranger in their home for Christmas. I was the lucky random stranger.
***I never realized that the stereotype of the English always drinking tea was actually true. But I don't think I've ever had so much tea in one week. And I loved it.
****I seriously hate having to do this. But it's the only way to say all I want to say and not be overwhelmed.
*****You know, Gollum in LOTR? He also had an appearance in 13 going on 30...

Comments (1)

lydia may have sacrificed the cakes. but i made most of the other selections.
and i miss you.
i think you should start planning your trip to costa rica. with our youngest sister- ok?

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