Thursday, July 29, 2010


Well, I just typed up the last official post for this blog. Not the last post, obviously, just the last official post, for my class.
I am satisfied with my last Thursday of the trip.
This morning I got up early-ish (7 something), joined the rest of the class on time at 8:45 AM, and we all headed out to the Maughan Library (notice the previous post). It was a very entertaining walk--well, to start with we were told we could either take a bus or walk, and only some of us really like the buses, so a bunch of us just started walking. It was only when we were across one of the bridges and a good ways along when we realized that no one really knew where we were going. Instead of the blind leading the blind, it was the clueless leading the clueless. Then someone remembered the approximate street address or intersection to look for, so we all just started walking in that direction. We got there.
Afterwards, we all wandered down to a certain historic pub on the Strand for lunch. It is the pub that's inbetween a certain infamous barber shop and a bakery (if I tell you it's on Fleet Street, and there's tunnels underground between the two buildings, do you know what I'm talking about?). I must admit I ate something vegetarian for this meal, but a friend ate the house special meat pie, and said it was delicious. I'm not actually kidding, these facts at least are true.
Since my talk tomorrow evening was cancelled, I was invited to present a few surprise gifts from the class to our wonderful TA, Jamie. I must admit I wasn't actually sure exactly what I was going to say until I got up to say it, but it seemed to turn out all right and I got a few laughs and a "good job" from Dr. Welsh.
After lunch, I dropped back by my room to switch shoes (I had foolishly started out wearing the same shoes as yesterday, which began to rub) and then met one of my friends at the National Gallery. The National Gallery is one of the most amazing art museums I have been to, and not just because it is free (although that's really cool!). Today I saw Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers," da Vinci's "Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist," which  may not sound familiar but you've seen it, and surprised me today as I turned a corner. And besides those pictures you've seen on postcards, there's even more awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping art that you might not have heard of. I started taking down names so I could share them with you. There's Jospeh Mallord William Turner, who does amazing paintings that seem cool enough --and then you look closer and see even more details. Alright, I just saw the clock, so I'm just going to name names now, with links to the National Gallery's website (you can explore the collections from home too!). Elizabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun, Thomas Gainsborough, William Hogarth (his Marriage a la Mode series is hilarious), Joachim Beuckelaer (her Four Seasons paintings are exquisite), Parmigianino, Pieter Saenredam (amazing architectural paintings!). Then there was an amazing exhibition called "Close Examination: Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries," which let you in on the secrets of "the science of paintings."
After we had picked our jaws up off the floor, my friend and I made our way over to Charing Cross Road and wandered in and out of the many marvelous bookshops. I didn't think I would buy anything, unless I came across my white hind of books, "The Lark" by Edith Nesbit, but I did find something that the musicians of my family will enjoy and a nice antique copy of a hard-to-find P.G. Wodehouse.
I had planned to go see The Railway Children with the other person who was interested in it, but the tickets available were above our price level of interest, so instead we had a picnic dinner of food from the wonderful grocery store we both love.
Here's something neat I discovered today: read this entry from a wonderful devotional book (My Utmost for His Highest) while listening to this music, which doesn't know of the book's existence ("Cumulus," by Imogen Heap). It made a wonderful restful moment for me.
Well, it's time for me to wrap up my blogging and head to bed. Goodnight.
This image is something I threw together for fun.

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