elirrina: (tea)
My mother reminded me that I should actually write down and keep track of interesting things I notice around London, in addition to telling them to her. SO here we go:

It rained all day and felt very British. That's not a real observation, but this is- the flats at the study centre have central heating, but, as was the case in Ukraine and Russia, you don't get the benefit of that until the building turns the heat on. We don't get heat until October, and it's in the 50s. I live in a flat that's in what used to be the Mews, and I'm on a corner, so I don't have windows, just skylights. So there's never much sun, and what does make it into the flat doesn't help with the heating. As a result, everyone is freezing.

I went to Covent Garden yesterday to wander around the market stalls. There's an arts and crafts fair every weekend, and I'm thinking I may end up buying a pendant with dried flowers in it next time I go. There are also a bunch of street performers, and I saw one in front of St. Paul's Covent Garden who started off on the ground, managed to get a lace-less tennis racket up around his waist, and then got onto a 7-ft unicycle to pull it the rest of the way up and over his head, purposefully partially dislocating one of his shoulders in the process. Ick.

Speaking of entertainment, I don't understand British commercials at all. However, I do like the adverts with a bizarre Russian meerkat. I think it's for some sort of insurance company, and if you use their service, you collect meerkat dolls? It's strangely endearing. I do like this advert, though - the program assistants do as well.

I've been to church here twice so far, and both times, they've prayed for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, specifically regarding the invasion of their privacy. What interests me is that they haven't prayed for the Queen, the rest of the royal family, or the rest of the government. However it is rather nice that everyone seems to think the invasion of privacy is unacceptable - my mother thinks American audiences would expect something like that, rather than censure it.

The PAs and I have been watching London movies the last few days- Sherlock Holmes, because we knew we'd been to a few places where it was filmed - we didn't have any luck picking them out though. We decided we need to have a Sherlock Holmes tour now. Then The Mummy for fun, but also to get to The Mummy Returns, which we watched today, because they have to fight mummies in the British Museum and on a double-decker bus, which is all in our neighbourhood.

Speaking of the British Museum, I went there (again) on Friday afternoon and looked at the Egyptian and Chinese wings, and then looked around the Enlightenment room, which is set up like a kunstkammer. I found a fake mermaid from Japan on display: half dried monkey and half dried fish put together. Now S has decided she needs to go look at it. I also ran into the Lindow Man corner in the Roman Britain rooms. I went to find the Anglo-Saxon wing, and they'd moved it since the last time I was there - apparently it's being expanded, so only the highlights like the best of the Sutton Hoo hoard are on display.

Surprise!

Jul. 8th, 2012 10:10 pm
elirrina: (waterfall)
Yesterday I went to my friend J's flat for what I understood to be a belated Independence Day party where a group was going to watch the musical "1776." When J opened her door and let me in, a bunch of my friends, sitting on the various couches, all yelled, "SURPRISE!"

me: I- wait- I'm... not surprised that you're all here?
J: We have English food!
me: Okay...
E: I was afraid I wasn't going to make it here before you!
me: But- I saw you- I was right behind you in the parking lot...
E: I know!
me: I'm so confused. What am I surprised about?
K: You're going away!
me: Oh. OH! Thank you!...?
J: We're still watching "1776."
me: Okay.

Then the group all continued to look at me as I awkwardly took my sandals off so I could come in properly, so I decided I needed a cup of tea, which broke things up and then we could all start eating the "English" food. I'm not sure where they came up with the menu, but there were open faced sandwiches with cucumbers and shrimp and some sort of sauce, lemon bars, crackers with egg salad, and snickerdoodles. J had bought English breakfast tea and pulled out all the other types she had, so I guess that was legitimizing English factor.

I was surprised that J had managed to invite art historians and people from my church small group, since she goes to a different church - our overlap is swing dancing. But she had met J (a guy from art history) at a party last week, and she already knew B (a guy who goes to my small group and also swing dances). So she was resourceful.

We also discussed the relative inappropriateness of the party theme.
me: So... we're having tea and "English food," and we're watching "1776"?
J: Yeah, I couldn't find another time, so I figured we should just combine the parties! I got J to invite the art historians, and B invited your church people, but then he's not coming because he has to go to the beach. I think.
me: Doesn't he hate the beach?
J: That's what I thought too.

And then F played the song "No Place Like London" from "Sweeney Todd" in an effort to deter me from leaving.

So then at church this evening, H and C (a married couple from my small group) wanted to know how the party was, since they hadn't been able to come. H at first thought it was my birthday, but knew that was wrong, while C thought the party meant that I was leaving immediately. I had to explain that no, J decided that she just needed to have the party now because she wouldn't be around when I actually left.

I also saw B, who wanted to know how the party was, discuss the irony of combining a going-away-to-London-for-a-year party with watching "1776," and explain his beach trip.
B: My co-advisor is back in town, and decided we should have a barbecue. At the beach.
me: And you hate the beach.
B: I do hate the beach! Also, I feel like I've lost 18 hours since he's been back in town! It may not actually be related to the fact that he's back- things may just be getting busier, but I'm going to blame it on him, because now I have to go to weekly meetings. Which are good. But still meetings. And he made us go to the beach.

I'm actually pretty well packed. This whole process is just being somewhat complicated by the fact that I'm going to visit family in Oregon for ten days, starting at the end of the week. In getting ready for the trip, I've been looking at the e-books available from the library, since then I could just take my nook along. I've come to the conclusion that at least half of the sci-fi/fantasy books available electronically are about vampires.

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elirrina

September 2015

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