It’s official. I’ve been in London for exactly one month today, not counting the weekend in Dublin a while back. Wow. I feel like we’ve been so incredibly busy, but I still haven’t taken enough advantage of being here! As I learned today, I’m still a bit on the clueless side when transporting myself out of South Kensington.
Anyway, today was a much needed solo-exploring day. Sometimes it’s just nice to wander around quietly, you know? I love hanging out with my flat and the rest of the Elon crew, but sometimes wandering a museum with other people can be kind of a pain…you don’t want to lose your friends but you want to wander at your own pace, etc. So with that in mind I went to check out the Tate Britain – not to be confused with the Tate Modern – and poked around all the paintings. There was this super neat exhibit on this guy, Turner, who was apparently something on a painting prodigy. Even his “unfinished” works were on exhibit and, if I’m being honest, I was more drawn to some of them than the completed pieces. He did mostly oils and watercolors, but he mixed his own pigments, and I’m always fascinated by that, how artists used to create their own colors. It makes things so much more unique, I think.
After that I realized I hadn’t eaten pretty much anything today, so I headed down to my favorite Caffe Nero for a caprese panini, tea, and some poetry. I’ve been keeping Nine Acres with me for the past couple days, since I really wanted to read “Grafting Fruit Trees” and didn’t have the book. It’s a wonderful poem, by the way – I’ll leave it at the end here because it’s just that lovely.
I also found a nifty little bookstore called Slightly Foxed (cute place) and went to a rather dubious, but funny, comedy show in Camden. The guys doing it were young and didn’t really have anything prepared so it made for some interesting antics…including talking about the younger one’s love life, or lack thereof (which was honestly the funniest bit, poor thing, I felt for him). Oh, and that led to him practicing hitting on girls by hitting on me, and then there was a pseudo-marriage…it was all quite ridiculous, but funny in a way.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that I need to move somewhere with an absolutely incremental amount of climate change because the weird weather showed up again, this time in London, (cold-hot-cold, etc) and viola! so did my headaches. Clearly being headache free for two weeks was some un-explainable blessing/karma boost while I was getting used to being here. (Don’t worry, Mom, I’m totally documenting when I have headaches/migraines so I can tell the doctor when I’m back in the states.)
Other than the headache-y bit for the past two weeks, it’s been pretty great! I just really don’t like being medicated, but I don’t like having headaches ever more.
With that, I’ll leave you with Neil Perry’s lovely “Grafting Fruit Trees”…
You’ve always liked to hold my hand.
I’ll spare us both the metaphors
and parsings of the gesture – how it is
so just like balance, a crutch, a shore
and sea, a strangeing tick, rootstock
in a nursery. Though now you could complain
I haven’t spared us after all
and cheapened, by trying to explain,
a think that only needed pointing
to. I’ll try again. You’ve always
liked to hold my hand. I’ve always
liked to try not to look sideways
at you when you balance in
my hand. Two idiots in love.
But fruit still fills our sudden branches,
the wind still what makes us move.
(I love everything about this poem.)