There is so much hopping around in my brain right now that blogging seems ridiculous. But then maybe that's the point - the idea that I can be relatable, appreciated, and, I admit, loved in a virtual world. Not that I'm not sincere - most of the time - but that the chaos of life (who I am in this life) can be ordered somehow in an 8x4 computer window is outright silly.
And now for the old college try... whatever that means:
1. Shaun of the Dead is real.
Rich and I were in London during several work days, and it looked just exactly like the movie when people were commuting to work in the morning - zombies and regular folk alike - and one would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the dead tired and the truly dead. The tube was full of silent carriages, the only movement an occasional yawn, and even that kept to a minimum because a yawn would be proof of a living being. I tried not to look around ( a dead giveaway that I was a tourist), but I couldn't help but laugh.. thankfully, silently, when I then remembered the slipping on the brains part of the film. To make matters worse, this advert decorated nearly every tube station:
For the record, the zombies in the picture are WAY more enthusiastic than the ones commuting to work. These must be the after 10 zombies.
2. My mother was right.
Cars are weapons and we only get one chance. That was the line she fed me when I was a teenager. At the time, I knew that probably she was right, that I didn't really want to find out, and that hopefully God was on my side, especially since I had gone on practically every youth group mission offered. It turns out, that all she had to do to teach me the validity of this lesson was put me in a car in England with my husband. (sigh)
I'm not saying (ahem) that Rich is a bad driver.. He's just a bad driver in England. In his defense, I practically badgered him into it, reminding him that it was my birthday and that it could be romantic to visit the countryside and picnic near the sheep. It might even be fun, I intimated, to get stung by the nettles and have to look for the leafy cure which, as we all learned years ago in England when I got stung on my backside during an ill-timed bathroom emergency at Hadrian's Wall, is always nearby. We compromised. We took a train out of London and into Oxford where we rented a car and drove through the Cotswolds. It was a gorgeous drive, minus the honking and the curb brushing, and we learned how to utilize round-abouts (kind of), we learned about how to fill a tank with gas (not so different), and we also learned that driving in England is a stress to our marriage and that probably we should stick to train riding. The kind folks in Stow-on-the Wold would agree.
3. I am possibly the most lazy blogger in the world.
Actually, the photo pasting is kind of a nightmare here and my patience is waning. So here's what I'll do: Speed blogging followed by a photo montage, hopefully in slide show format:
* We saw some excellent political/modern art at two fantastic galleries - The Saatchi Gallery in a posh part of London and at the ICA where we viewed a political Russian opera film called Dissent while reclining in beds.
*We took a day trip to Canterbury - made the Pilgrimage, Chaucer style, yo! (minus the donkey/horse riding, the lack of bathing, and the story-telling)- and had a moment of silence for Thomas Becket on the alter where he was murdered. We also witnessed a bell ceremony there in remembrance of all soldiers. I couldn't help but marvel at how American it seemed.. or possibly how British we still are.
* My friends, Mark and Ilham, took me out to lunch at a fantastic open-aired cafe for my birthday and then the next evening took me, a Texan, to a Mexican restaurant called La Mexicana, co-owned by a native Mexican and a Turk, who employed a blond haired, fantastically sarcastic Canadian. All three - the Turk, the Mexican, and the Canadian - wore sombreros and sang Happy Birthday to me in front of a mural depicting a cowboy screaming "Yee Ow!" See, this is why I love Mark and Ilham. They thought to take me to that awesomely surreal place, and it wasn't that weird to them.
*We watched ping pong matches in St. James Park. Had I known ping pong was a free-for-all sport there, I totally would've played. Next time..
* We visited various pubs, including the good-ole standby - the Black Friar- and ate all kinds of horrifically bad for you pub foods, including fried fish sandwiches and a plowman's lunch. Of course there was shepherd's pie (duh), but sadly no bangers and mash.We declined the invitation to "go out back" to the bar-be-cue at the local pub near our hotel where it was perfectly acceptable behavior to roll around in the floor with puppies. I can't begin to explain that - the puppy part - except to say that it happened, and we tried not to stare at the coin slots. Seriously. At the time I was worried about looking all touristy.. but in retrospect, it just grossed me out.
And now for the montage:
4. London is my favorite place on the planet.
We spent a huge amount of time walking around the city and then taking the tube back to our hotel. We ran across several fantastic sites, including the Victoria Rail Station and a car boot sale (where I bought a purse). Mark even took me on a tour of his school - yet another reminder of how same we all are.