I tried to got to see Coco Before Chanel tonight. Earlier on the Tube, I was reading The London Paper and discovered the showtimes section for different theaters around the city. I decided on a film, mapped out my route to the theater via my Blackberry(4 miles away) and tried to get excited to see a movie by myself. I got there in one piece (only 10 minutes late) only to discover that the theater wasn't showing that film. I still don't really know how I misread movie showtimes, but at least I tried. Consequently, I did get to do some wandering around Fulham (a town over from where I am living) and found this amazing window display.
Today I went shopping. I am not sure what has gotten into me, but London has made me a very cheap person. I shopped for a grand total of 5 hours and spend only 7 pounds. AMAZING.(For those of you in the US, that is about $11).
I took this photo in Primark for Natalie. It is the UK version of the Snuggie. I think the Snuggie has the Couch Cosy beat. That's just my opinion though.
Last night, I got the opportunity to meet Brendan's Uncle Michael. He is such a sweet man. We met him near Kensington Gardens and took about an hour and a half walk through different parts of London to have dinner at the pub where Brendan works.
Of course me, being very inquisitive, asked him about a hundred questions along the way and throughout dinner. Luckily, he didn't seem to mind.
As I said before, he is a very kind man with a gentle nature. He and his wife just finished doing a walking tour around the England/Scotland border. Walking tours are their "thing". In fact, they met on one in Florence only a few years ago. He has done walking tours around the world, which I find fascinating.
Of all of the information I gathered about Uncle Michael,(I cannot just call him Michael because he is such a dear man that I wish he actually was my Uncle) the story of he and his wife of 3 years meeting is my favorite.
He described this encounter with a giant grin on his face. He said he saw his wife as the walking tour group was gathering for dinner on their first night together in Florence. He did not talk to her then though, but instead, approached her in the Florence countryside the next day. They were married 3 years ago. They are both in their 60s. They have a "late romance".
I love stories like this one. I would love to travel around the would and ask married couples to tell me the tale of how they met. You can learn so much about a relationship by the encounter two people had- and even more from how they regale you with the story. It's always a good sign when the narration of a love encounter is accompanied by a giant grin.
I absolutely love London parks. This one in particular is Hyde Park, one of the largest in the city. I am also especially intrigued by the private gardens that groups of homes have access to in the posh areas of town. Anyone remember Notting Hill where Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant climb into one of those? I need to watch that movie...and climb into a private garden as well.
Supporting the Buckeyes in London. We went to a bar that shows big American games near Piccadilly. It was really interesting watching the game with that crowd- OSU and USC fans combined. We SHOULD have won!
The town I am staying in is called Hammersmith. I have gotten to know it well at this point. I love these signs they have all around the area!
We have had unusably beautiful weather. I have been able to run, read, and journal by the Thames.
I have been really busy the past few days. Busy pretty much being social. Everyone here has been incredibly kind to me. I have met people through Brendan (mostly his co-workers). What a diverse group of people they are! They hale from all over and are constantly coming and going. Friendships are forever changing, beginning and ending, all over this town.
This past Thursday, we went to a show in the East End. The band is called The Cribs. One of Brendan's friends had an extra ticket and since I am trying to do as many London-ish activities while I am here, there was no reason for me not go to. The show was held in a record store. It was a fun night!
I told my best friend Natalie, the most musically knowledgeable person I know, that I was going to see The Cribs perform. Her response: What cribs????
Last night we went to one of Brendan's co-worker's going-away parties. He is moving back to Toronto after having been here for 10 months.
We got stuck on the Tube for awhile. Someone committed suicide at Victoria Station. How awful. Apparently that happens quite often and this time it was a nun.
It was, however, my first time stuck on the Tube. Needed to be documented.
Brendan's group of friends. Bunch of characters.
We stayed at his friend's flat last night. After a terrible night of sleeping on a chair, this was my view looking out the kitchen window. Parliament, Big Ben, and the London Eye. Not too shabby.
We left the flat to try to get a cab back to Hammersmith. Every one that passed us either did not look our direction, did but didn't stop, or already had passengers. We walked for an hour and a half and then caught a bus. I have lost faith in London's taxi system but got a few great photo shots along the way.