I do find it amusing that now that I have regular internet access and my own room, I'm having a harder time writing blog entries. We just saw so many beautiful things while touring Central and Northern England, and now that we're in London we're all in crunch mode. We only have one more full week of scheduled work, and then I have a day and a half on top of that before departure.
So to recap, we got here on Saturday. Saw the digs, got very happy, bought some groceries and settled in to start response papers and the like. I had a very tough time with my Peter and Wendy one and rewrote it around 5 times so that was a two day affair. However, in the midst of writing short essays, I had a very eventful Sunday.
We started with a trip to "famous" London and attended church at Westminster Abbey. Yes, that place where they crown kings/queens and bury poets. The service was mostly sung, and we got to hear the official choir which is made up of young boys and middle aged men. It was beautiful. Hearing those voices in that space was a very spiritual experience.
Then we encountered a big of a snag on leaving because there was a 10K going on right outside. We were on the Big Ben/Parliament/Westminster side of the street and across was the tube station that we needed to use to get home. The race was funny because I had a serious Hot Fuzz flashback since everyone was racing for their own charities (rather than for one like at home). We saw chickens and a Spider-Man (who stopped to take a picture of Big Ben, very odd), and a man wearing a dress. On our way to the next tube station, we saw the London Movieum and they had a movie/television car show going on outside. We saw the DeLorean and the Ghostbusters' ambulance and the General Lee. Very random but very fun. Finally we returned home and went to Kensington Gardens, where J.M. Barrie initially met up with the Davies family. Our tour guide was in costume, so we got a few stares. The gardens are very large, but it was a sunny day and some very patient people let us all get a solo picture with the Pan.
We then saw a production of Peter Pan in a large circus tent in the back of the gardens. Very high tech and very well performed. I saw Peter Pan performed a few years ago, but this time it was completely different because they did a lot more flying and all the actors were adults. After all that, we went home and crashed. It was a very full day.
Compared with all that fun, Monday was a bit of a bore. We went to our third library (the British Library) and had a workshop on how to use their resources. I have some issues with this particular library because they went through all this information on how to use their stuff but they have made it very difficult for us to get the readers' passes we need to actually retrieve things. We did get to see some original work including a 2nd edition of The Hobbit (the first with the watercolors we saw at the Bodley), one of Lewis Carroll's journals (the one where he described the boat trip with the Liddell girls), and some of Charlotte Bronte's works. After that we went to another library (University College London). There we did get library cards and the full tour but they close at 6PM. Not very convenient. All of these road blocks prompted our critical teacher to completely rework our last few assignments, so we all started to breath a little easier after that because we are not going to be able to get much research done while we're here.
I'll save Tuesday through Thursday for tomorrow. Suffice to say, I am really enjoying London but also wishing I was back by the lake. There are a lot of people in this city right now. A lot.