Friday, September 16, 2011

The Beginning of the End.

I am standing on the verge of the last day of the first full week of my senior year in college. And I am alarmed. Maybe not alarmed, per se, but definitely apprehensive. And in the past week's scurrying about from professor to professor begging for publishing tips, graduate school tips, internship tips, and tips about how not to go completely insane in the coming months, I have culled some interesting information. 1. I should probably chill out some. 2. I should probably start sending my work out to publishers, online, undergraduate, upper-echelons, everywhere. And 3. I should probably keep up my blog. And that's where it gets a bit weird. Technically, I have kept up my blog, in the form of a photo-based tumblr you can find here, but in the silly process of switching from blogspot to Wordpress (which, for the record, I didn't like as much and for that reason used only three times). Now, I do really like where my tumblr went, and is still (sort of) going - in any case it seems more likely to be maintained now that I am back on American soil than either of the other blogs. But the internet-published writing has sort of fallen by the wayside, and now that the European adventures have come to a halt I'm at a kind of impasse. You see, I've also got reams of (old) poetry on deviantart, the credibility of which I doubt daily and for that reason worry, probably needlessly, that I should remove my profile altogether lest I be classed an amateur, which I am. So I'm sort of... all over the internet and spread rather too thinly to update everything regularly. So I think I'll just stick to here for long written entries, and keep photos and single, witty sentences for tumblr, abandon Wordpress altogether (which I already have) and perhaps someday either overhaul or entirely delete my deviantart. Now if only I could figure out how to get back into livejournal and delete it... You know, because I am an English major.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Moving Out.

Well, I've migrated to Wordpress for the time being, so I can keep putting up photos of my travels. You can find my new blog here. Still getting used to the system, so the posts will be sparse for a while, but I hope to have it up and running in the near future.

Cheerio! x

Saturday, February 12, 2011

An Afternoon in the Royal Parks

Hello dear readers, it's been a while since I posted but at last I have some truly worthwhile pictures to show you, so here goes. Last weekend was uneventful aside from a trip to Brick Lane to buy books for school and for pleasure, so no pictures there. However, this weekend is the beginning of my "reading week," during which I don't have any classes, so I have begun my (relatively - I do have essays to write) free time with some exploring. Yesterday I walked to Oxford Street for some retail therapy at Primark, got some great boots for only £5, and waited in line for the fitting room for probably longer than I was actually picking out clothes... in any case, a nice afternoon but nothing worth photographing. But this morning the sun was shining aggressively through my window and I decided to take a proper walk. Of course I took an umbrella, as one must do in this city, but thankfully I did not need it. It stayed quite sunny all afternoon, with the exception of some ever-present clouds. I set my sights on the royal parks - St. James' Park, Green Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens - and wandered out into the wind and the sun. Here I will begin the photo-tour portion of this blog post.

I crossed Blackfriar's Bridge:

And walked along the Thames on Victoria Embankment:

And reached St. James' Park just past Westminster Bridge:

They really have some spectacular birds there:

And it is so much lovelier in the sun:

I then went on to Green Park, passing by Buckingham Palace, which I only took one more picture of:

And then I reached Hyde Park, which was by far my favorite:

I stopped for tea and a scone at The Lido Cafe by the banks of the Serpentine (where Percy Shelley's first wife committed suicide, just for your information - in the Serpentine, not at The Lido Cafe):

At some point, I ended up in Kensington Gardens, which was also lovely - it was green enough to fool me into thinking it could be spring:

I stopped to sit in this little gazebo-type thing, because I have an odd attraction to gazebos:

And I took the most artsy-fartsy hipster photo I have ever taken to date:

I actually quite like it.

So there you have it, a Saturday afternoon in the royal parks. I will have to go back when the weather is warmer, but I still think they are lovely in February. I may go to the Tate Modern in the near future (though more likely a weekday than a weekend - I've heard it can get awfully busy) for a proper visit that is not interrupted by a fire alarm, so perhaps I will be putting up a post about that soon. Until then, or until whatever else it is I get into here, cheerio!

Note: You may observe that about half of the pictures I meant to post are missing from this entry. This is because I have apparently reached the limit for free photo posting on this blog... not exactly sure if that's per entry or per whole blog, but if it's per whole blog I expect to be switching to wordpress or something. Ridiculous. I'll see if I can get it sorted out.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Petites Madeleines

Well, it's past 10pm and I have completed all of ONE assignment for class (reading a selection of poems by Robert Lowell, if anyone is interested) and am trying to avoid watching JUST ONE MORE episode of Skins (original UK edition, of course), so it's time to blog - I'm overdue as it is.

My excuse for being overdue is two that I've had two surprisingly uneventful weekends, or at least one barely photograph-able weekend and one mostly dull weekend that I have documented pretty well but have very little to report about. But I suppose I shall summarize, just in the interest of pretending my life is more interesting than it is. I mean, it is interesting, just not in a way that I can blog about. I'll publish magnificent essays later on, I promise.

Alright, last weekend, after the scintillating tour of churches on Friday, I spent a lovely Saturday being somewhat ill and reading What Maisie Knew, an elaborate piece of modernist fiction that could have been about a third as long as it actually is (TENSE DISAGREEMENT!). I did go to Borough Market for some reason or other... Oh yes, it was to see the Market Porter, a pub that played the part of the Leaky Cauldron in the Harry Potter movies, but my friend and I ended up feeling too awkward to take pictures, so we plan to return later and actually buy a drink. We may do this on a Harry Potter activity day, which is actually in the works, and will include such highlights as Dumbledore's Office (which is IN MY COLLEGE'S LIBRARY), Platform 9 3/4, and the Millennium Bridge. Get excited, people.

On Sunday I walked with a friend to Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane to check out the Sunday market scene. Spitalfields was massive, with loads of nifty clothes, some delicious-smelling (and -tasting!) food, and oodles of "No Photograph" signs. Alas. Here's a picture of a goat that was just outside the market though.

I know, it's not even a real goat. Disappointing.

Brick Lane had just about the most glorious antiques market that I had ever seen, called the Tea Rooms, where one could buy everything from nifty china tea sets to collectible compacts from the 50's and designer cupcakes (yes, cupcakes.). And I located a record/music bookstore that made a hasty retreat necessary - a hasty retreat that led me directly to a book stall that was selling just about every book I have ever wanted to read and/or own. Ever. Thank god I didn't have any cash on me. But I'll be back...

I met up with my British acquaintance of two posts ago (who was, by the way, none too happy to see his tea reported on the internet as underwhelming, and to whom it was necessary to apologize for my brutal American honesty) and we had dinner at Nando's after an adventure on alternative public transportation - the Tubes are often down for maintenance on Sundays. I spent all Monday continuing my vain attempt to finish Maisie, and then survived a semi-hellish week of classes, having gotten precipitously ill on Tuesday, barely surviving Wednesday, and thanking the heavens, or the Queen, or whomever one ought to thank, that my Thursday afternoon class was canceled.

Naturally, I spent my long weekend recuperating. And by recuperating, I mean sleeping for much of Friday, drinking gallons of tea, and taking a trip with the Skidmore group to Canterbury on Saturday, a trip that was followed almost immediately by another punch party, which I left early again because I got sleepy and am generally lame. But wait, I went to Canterbury? Yes, I did indeed. No, Chaucer was nowhere to be found. And the Canterbury trip is the main reason why I have postponed this blog post until now. See, I took a lot of pictures, and we went to see the cathedral, but to be perfectly honest I enjoyed the two-hour train ride, reading Proust (see the title of this post) and watching the gray-green English countryside slip by, more enjoyable than the whole afternoon in Canterbury. Cathedrals look like cathedrals look like cathedrals. And I have seen a lot of cathedrals. But, since I took the damn pictures, here are a few - I tried to keep them unusual and interesting, as you can probably look up better-quality photos on a more legitimate website:

Silly train-window pictures that do not in the least capture the scenery:

We are on a train:
Obligatory rail station sign:
 Canal shot:
 Really old place:

 Gunter :)
 Canterbury Cathedral:

 Lovely stained glass:

 Thought this was pretty neato:
 Candle burning in honor of something that happened a long time ago that I took note of but don't feel like sharing at the moment, being in a mood:
 Cool gate:
 Off-limits, so obviously much more interesting:

Well then, that was Canterbury. We did have lunch in a nice little pub called the Old Buttermarket - the name was the main reason we chose the place. And we bought some fudge. By which I mean, my companions bought fudge, and I cleverly avoided paying almost five quid for a confection that would probably just upset my still-delicate stomach, and sat near them eating the fudge as we all split an enormous pot of English breakfast tea in a cute cafe called Boho. Here is said cute cafe:

 (New profile picture, much?)

Canterbury, punch party, Sunday. I can't even make up an excuse for my Sunday this past weekend. After getting up in the morning to observe a march in honor of Charles I's execution (or martyring, depending on how you want to look at it), I did nothing but watch Skins. All day. I eventually wandered down to the common room to be social for a bit, but seriously, all day Skins marathon. Not even the pretense of studying. I disgust myself more than a little bit. But hey, I still have a cough... And, in my view, if you are still taking cough medicine, you still have an excuse to sit on your arse watching TV all day. But I said I wouldn't make up an excuse... Anyway, here are the pictures from the march, which look lovely and sunny but do not in any way represent the bitter cold that was probably responsible for my absurd laziness for the rest of the afternoon. Keep in mind that the general impression I got of the event was that NO ONE HAD ANY IDEA WHAT THEY WERE DOING. Neat costumes, though:

Oddly enough, Monday was much better. I was decidedly productive for most of the morning and afternoon, and planned to continue into the evening. 'Twas not to be! This week is RAG week at King's College, a week of charity events during which students can party incessantly in the name of a good cause, and Monday night's festivity was a party on the 29th floor of Guy's Hospital (right next door to me). I hadn't bought a ticket, but a friend had bought an extra ticket that he hadn't ended up needing, so I ended up all dolled up on the 29th floor of a hospital at around 9:30pm. The King's Men, a male acapella group from King's, performed some choice American pop songs, and then a middle-aged DJ played some choice American pop songs as well as some choice American and British 80's tunes, all with a gorgeous backdrop of a magnificent view of London from the "Top of the Tower." Really a fun way to end a dull weekend. But did I take a picture? Nah...

And now it is Tuesday night, one day of lectures down and only two to go... Unfortunately only one assignment down (and a half, if you consider how much Proust I have read) and a large handful to go, so perhaps the blogging should stop here. I will make a concerted effort to have a more interesting weekend this week, so as to keep everyone entertained.