30 May 2009
24 May 2009
23 May 2009
22 May 2009
20 May 2009
16 May 2009
Did you know a man was hung for a crime he didn't commit in the Notting Hill region, which led to the abolishment of capital punishment in England?
15 May 2009
12 May 2009
11 May 2009
07 May 2009
- Running in Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park
- Attending a production of Alphabetical Order at the Hampstead Theatre
- Visiting the Science Museum and the National History Museum
- Eating Gelato (some might not see this as note-worthy. I, of course, do.)
- Visiting the Victoria and Albert museum
- Attending the Museum of London
- Attending the Banqueting House
- Atteding Trafalgar Square
- Attending the private opening of an art show at "Eleven;" the artist being a friend of mine
- Seeing Big Ben (the real one this time. I knew it was real because it gonged on the hour)
- Visiting Parliment and witnessing MPs debate a finance bill in the House of Commons and witnessing the House of Lords debate a health bill
- Visiting St. Paul's Cathedral
- Visiting Westminster Abbey
- Attending Camden Yard
- Attending the Table Tennis Masters Tournament at the Royal Albert Hall
- Attending class
And it's only Thursday... It really is hard to pinpoint what my favorite thing was all week, but it was Parliment. The building was absolutely majestic, everyone was friendly and British, and the sessions were quite entertaining. Since this was a bit of a dry, torpid post, and not of much interest to anyone except my stalker Julia, then I will end it with some puns. Perhaps that will restore your faith in me. On second thought, it probably will not. Here goes: A dog gave birth by the side of the road and was cited for littering. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall; the police are looking into it. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationary.
03 May 2009
Wallace, Wallace, Wherefore art thou Wallace? wrote William* whilst watching wilfully. Actually, I wrote that while listening to Twelfth Night. But it was an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet performed at Shakespeare's Globe, which I attended on Saturday. It was very authentic and very well done (at least from an easily amused, left-brained, non-theatre affionado's point of view, who is also American). If you have never been to the Globe Theatre, and you take pleasure in standing in the sun for extended periods of time, and you like cool paper hats, then the Globe is for you. And you. And you. The Globe Theatre is a circular stadium-style theatre with a courtyard for standees and seats for seat-ees. We were standees, or 'groundlings,' at this occassion. As my first Shakespeare play seen in production, I was deeply amazed and impressed. By deep, I mean I was about 20 people deep-away from the stage behind the guy with tight jeans and a handlebar moustache. I only got to see the moustache once, when he turned around to ask my why I was throwing shortbread at him (answer: I wanted him to turn around so that I could see his facial artwork). There was good audience/actor interaction, such as Juliet's egress upon faux death. Six pallbearers took her off the stage and through the audience. It was the first time I almost got run over by a dead woman. Well, this wasn't much of a comprehensive review of the production, but I thought it was pretty dang good. Don't forget, this was only the first of my productions. I should be a pro by the twelfth...
01 May 2009
I went to the Tower of London today and I was completely taken back. There was no tall tower with a clock at the top! Turns out all this time I thought Big Ben was the Tower of London! And by all this time I mean since yesterday, when I first heard of the Tower of London. Perhaps I am not as British as originally figured. Please excuse my ignorance and just realize that I excel in other areas, such as freestyle walking and eating cabbage. (I eat it like a champ!) As you would have it, the Tower of London is a tremendous castle-village right in the middle of the city, complete with a grassy knoll/moat, a torture chamber, a church, ravens, a dungeon, some towers and a large clock. Everything you'd expect from a castle! I was in great company all afternoon and had a dreadfully delicious day. In the prison tower there were inscriptions from the prisoners kept therein, from roughly 1590. One of the plaques spoke of the captivating carvings and described certain well-behaved inmates as hiring masons to come in and carve things for them?! I'm just not so sure how that would go over today. I can imagine the call would go something like this:
Prisoner Pete: Hello, I'd like to order a mason to come carve my wall for me.
Mason Mac: OK, and what is your address.
Prisoner Pete: Would you like my current one or the one I hope to be at when the stonework is through?
Mason Mac: Hmmm, how about the one where you would like the Mason sent?
Prisoner Pete: Great, that will be the Tower of London Jailhouse. And could you ask him to come sometime after dark and before sunup?
Mason Mac: May I ask what type of brickwork this is going to be?
Prisoner Pete: Oh, nothing rococo. Just boring work. The sooner the better!
For some reason, I just don't see that flying. The Tower of London was not was I thought it was, but it was still a spectacle and a great attraction in the heart of London. It was worth going through "The Rack" for. Plus, I am now four inches taller and can finally dunk a basketball!
P.S. Here is a list of the puns you may have missed in this post: "Captivating carvings" meaning they were engaging, and created by captives. "Stonework is through" meaning the work is done, and the work is through the prison wall. "Just boring work" meaning a mundane task and boring a hole through the wall. Can you tell I am enrolled in a Shakespeare class over here?