Monday, January 11, 2010

St. Paul's Cathedral

This morning I woke up, ate breakfast, and headed out for our first class fieldtrip. We went to the Museum of London, which was fascinating but under construction. So I have no idea what happened between 1550 and my arrival (the Calvin invasion of 2010 AD). Then I went to a pub with Cameron and Kalyn, my two new best friends for the day. Cam is the kid I sat next to for the prep course. He's from Utah and way cool. We see eye to eye on most things. Anyways, I had my first legit fish and chips. I prefer a burger, but not too bad. Now I gotta find some good steak and kidney pie (recommended, but I dunno yet). After that we headed over to St. Paul's Cathedral. I walk around the corner and the dome pops up out of nowhere. Took about half a second to blurt out "That's the Mary Poppins cathedral!" Then I burst out into song. 'Feed the Birds' is still stuck in my head. Long story short the cathedral was breathtaking. Absolutely massive, huge murals, Florence Nightingale is buried there, and a stained glass memorial to the Americans who died fighting in WWII. Only problem was that we couldn't go up on the dome to overlook the city. We did get to go up 300 of the 597 stairs to the Gallery of Whispers, which is a ways above the middle of the cathedral. The gallery got its name because the way it was built made it so that if you're leaning up against the wall and someone whispers against the wall in your direction, you can hear it perfectly for quite a distance. Mary whispered sweet nothings into my ear (literally, she said, "Sweet Nothings.")

After we were finished a few of us headed to Ben's Cookies. Ben makes an amazing cookie, and cookies are my favorite, so I was pretty much in heaven. Got home, took a nap, ate dinner, and then had a meeting with the London Centre director, Dave. After it was over Cam and I were talking in the classroom and he came in. I asked him if he knew where I could get my hands on a guitar (I've been dying to play). He told me that the last director was in a bluegrass band and bought one and left it here. So he's going to find it for me. He also heard from his wife Terry that I'm planning to do graduate work in poetry, so he asked me if I can teach him poetry and told him that he spends a while every semester looking up poetry workshops, groups, and events but never gets around to going. But I now have at least one companion for the nights I decide to venture out and check out the contemporary poetry going on in London. He also gave us some tips for travelling, because Cam and I found a plane service that goes to about 50 cities for under ten pounds. So if we can be frugal we're going to be able to take some awesome weekend trips. For our extended weekend in February I'm trying to plan a trip to Istanbul. Dr. Macfarlane said it may not be possible, but to write up a proposal anyways. If it falls through my backup plans are Athens and Morocco, so I won't be too heartbroken if I can't make it to Turkey.

Anyhew, that's the news. Classes start tomorrow. I have to go to the classes that I TA for (Shaky and Brit Lit) plus meetings with Dr. Howe to iron out my syllabi and research details, plus actually do the research, write the paper, produce poetry, immerse myself in London, travel Europe like a dreamer in poverty, and stay alive. Not in that particular order.


TexasRanger said...

Damn you.

Morocco is number one on my list right now, and Suleyman's mosque is number 2.

Oh, and to quote Kerry (I think that's the old boss guy's name), "Oh Calvin. I miss that bugger."

Post a Comment