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Backlogged Blogging: London Log

Day 5

I’m in Kingston, killing time before my tour. I’m in the cafeteria having a late. I’m not sure I’m I’ll allowd to judge by a cafeteria but I’m not sure if I like it here. It feels very community college to me but I’ll hold judgement until the tour is over. The train ride here was fun. I’m rather proud of myself for making it here in a timely mannor. On the train I was the factory that’s on Pink Floyd’s “Animals” album cover. (Also where people were being converted into Cybermen in the parallel universe London on Dr Who.) Also seeing the back yards in the area, it looks exactly like Good Neighbors which makes sence as this is actually the general area/suburb where that was set.

            Let’s get back to last night. La Cage aux Follies was overwhelmingly entertaining! John Barrowman (aka Capt. Jack) played the screaming queen character (Nathan Lane in the film version, the Birdcage). He was pretty fabulous—a very muscular drag queen though. Then again I’ve seen drag queens who are quite built. They come in all shapes and sizes, really  don’t they, drag queens. He he, they’re like snowflakes. His voice sounded good but he didn’t dance much but who can blame him, he was in drag queen shoes. I enjoyed myself so much. I realized that I got a three for one deal on the whole thing 1) I got to see some musical theatre in London 2) I got a drag show 3) I got to see a Dr Who/Tourchwood star in person (not up close of course but still.) Actually I thout it would have been neat to wait for him after the show, meet him and see if I could get him to say “Approve Ref 71” on video on my camera and put it on the internet. I know that is silly and manipulative bt of of the final “I am what I am” songs made me think about the fight going on back at home for equal rights. I voted before I left so I guess I just have to wait for the reslt.


I’m in Notting Hill on Pembridge Hill in a Pub’s smoking guarden. I’m trying to write about my day but I’m having too much fun evesdropping on the group of people next to me, talking about their friends’ relationships. I have no idea who these people are that they’re talking about but good gossip is good gossip! This smokers garden is adorable but I’ve been smoking too much here and it’s taken it’s toll on me. Either that or I’m getting properly sick, which considing how much germs I’m in contact just from the tube alone would not be surprising. Anyway, so I went to Kingston and took a tour. I walked up to reception and they told me to wait in essentially a glass holding cell. My tour gide was about 15 minutes lat and young Indian man, grad student. Though, truth be told, I wasn’t pleased before he whowed up and I was about to bag the whole thing. I wasn’t getting the best vibe from the school. It felt too community college for my taste. I used to be a technical college and only got University status in the early nineties. It shows on the campus. But perhaps I’ve been spoiled by my private campus of SU. The fact that Daisy from Spaced graduated with he BA from there is telling ( know that is fiction but still). However Nick Hornsby graduated from there (BA) and he’s done well for himself…though when he went there it was still a technical college. Anyway the campus is mall, ia is the library. Though I like the fact that there was a lot of post gradate study areas to get away from the 18 year olds. So, I’m still going to apply but only as the super fall back school. I wasn’t particularly impressed and there wasn’t anything about it that got e excited. The town is cute, it’s like a little European Edmonds. Seriously. It’s quite walkable but it’s suburban. I did a quick walk around “downtown” Kingston and then very qickly retreated to the rail station to get back to proper city. I was back in central London by noon. I had the whole day to do what I pleased. It was pouring when I got out of the Tube station at Embankment. I didn’t mind. I crossed the bridge and walked east alson the South Bank, planning to go to the Tat Museum. I didn’t  mind the rain. In fact, I found myself holding my hand out to embrace it and feel it, actually. It’s London rain. It’s qite like Seattle rain but Idon’t know, the difference is, and I’m going to get cheesy here, when traveling I feel so much more alive. The sensation of the London rain feels jst as lovely as the sun.

            I spent three hours at the Tate Modern. Have I mentioned how happy modern art makes me? It wasn’t as fabulous as the Pompidou in Paris (that is still my favorite place in the world) and there weren’t quite as many uber famous pieces as in MoMA in NYC but it is almost comparable to MoMA. There was a special exhibition of Pop Art which I totally had to pay to se. So I saw lots of Warhol. In the main bit I was a lot of Picasso’s. Pollocks, Braques, I saw a Linchenstine that I’ve always loved but never seen the original. There was one Melvitch (my tattoo) and lots of cool cubism & futurism sculptures. Yeah I had a brillian time. I did end up in the gift shop but I did well, considering how much I wanted but didn’t end up buying. They had a Kasmir Melvich calendar and I got that, because well he’s not Van Gogh or Monet, you don’t see calendars of his very often. I also got a postcard of a Madigliani they had that was one of my favorites of the entire collection.

When it was time to fo I went out over the Mellinimum bridge. The wind was so heavy I thought I was going to be knocked over and into the cold, brown Themes. On the North bank I saw St. Pau'ls Cathediral, took some pictures, They were in preparation for the x-mas lighting ceremony due to happen in a couple of hours. I had plans to go the the lighting ceremony but up at Oxford Street. In the meantime I passed the church and walked down Fleet Street where I picked up some takeaway. Fleet Street was modern with per old timey building spread about. I wanted to take some pic but I was starving and in a hurry to get back to my neck of the woods to drop off my swag and hit up the Oxford Street x-mass lighting ceremony.

After a quick stop at the hotel I hit up the Queen’s Way Tube at 5:40 ish had to get off a Bond Street, as Oxford was obvisouly closed, and walked the reast of the way. The crowd was huge. The best I could do was a side area and look at a screen of the action but really that was good enough for me. The whole thing/crowd and all was an experience. I guess Disney flipped the bill for this year to push their Christmas Carol film.  So the star on Oxford Street was Jim Carey, who showed up all hariy and bearded but who cares, the ninties are long passed. (Not so say he hasn’t made good films I like Truman Show and love Sunshine..etc. So I like him dramatically but as a comedian I just don’t get it.) At the Regent St. (I assume the celebration was at Picadilly) was the lovely Colin Firth *swoon*. At the St. Pauls they had Bob Hawskins. I heard the best quote when he was on the screen actually. “Yes, I’m sure ne a nice person but he looks quite shiney. Look at him.” Oxfored was the last to come on and it was beautiful, The crowd cheered (actually it went with a hitch, they went on early, then were turned back off again shortly after, and some of them didn’t turn on at all “That’s what the recession gets ya” some guy said behing me during the glitch. For me it’s too early for x-mas. Thanksgiving provides a nice buffer for that reason, and my birthday being the 15th of December, really I only get in the “Christmas spirit” the day after my b-day. So, that’s about 10 days and I really do get into it. I love Christmas…on my own time, when I’m ready to get excited about it. Actually, I’ve longed to see London at x-mass. I had no ideal that by visiting in early November I would be here for x-mass. I walked back up Oxford Street. It was all over by about 6:30 and it was too early to jst go back to the hotel. So since I didn’t want to take the tube I jst walked and walked. I decided to try Notting Hill again. So here I am n a a lovely smoking garden of a Notting Hill bar drinking cider and freezing my arse off and evesdropping whilst writing this. Vow now that that I’m up to the present. Now the smoking garden is abot to slose I’m have one last cigarette (which I shouldn’t even be haiving as my lungs have not happy with me all day, bt ya know alcohol help you gorget and you want to just smoke more. I probably should head back to the hotel but I am really enhoying being out and since I don’t have anything planned fro the morinig I could just get pissed. Maybe I’ll head to Bayswatter where everyone’s a visitor and I might be more likely to have some conversation, I’m dying for some conversation. The grop I was evesdropping on (apart from some of them being bicyclists) seemed like my kind of people, ya know, drunks! Every story had to do with either being drunk or being hungover…just like all of my stories or that of my friends!

At Bayswater Arms right now, by my hotel, When I look at all the pages I have written that need to be typed, I think I should go to Tesco , buy some beer and take the one woman party to my hotel room. However I’m really enjoying being out. I don’t want to coop myself p anymore. Ot at least not tonight. Even if I’m alone at least I’m OUT! I’n living some sort of night life that I’ve been neglecting since I got my tattoo. Everyone at home is expecting me to shread it p in London, which I haven’t at all, really. Idon’t want to disappoint. Actually, I diasspint myself being so frugal since my Camden experience. Honeslty though I haven’t much planned left ater my Goldsmith’s tout tomorrow I could check my account and paint that part of town red, possibly. After tomorrow, I’m whingining it, essentially.

Man, though, booze is not worth it here though. I hate this “measured shot” nonesence. It makes me long for the Dunnes or the Merc. I mean I’ve read up pn the history and I appreciate how it came about. People felt they were getting shorted and stood up about it, but I miss being over served. And—wow the house whiskey seriously tastes like feet!! Blech!

It’s little things like this that are good for me to not think too utopianianly about this place. It’s not the Garden of Eden, where our American grandfathers were kicked out of. We left. I still love it. Don’t get me wrong I’m not a non-anglophile all the sudden. However experiencing it, I can call bullshit when I see it instead of just defending out of blind admiration. That’s part of traveling. That’s part of making a relationship with a place. That’s exactly what I’m always out to do when I reavel. But when it comes to this city I’ve been here 4 doays but I feel I’ve oly scratcjed the surface. IMy characters could live here so long as they only walk th High Streets and son’t ever leave the 1 & 2 zones of the tube.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 13th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
Welcome home!!!!
I'm totally digging reading about all your adventures.
Nov. 13th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Welcome home!!!!
Thanks, I'm trying to keep 'em coming. Still hastily trying to type everything up as well.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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