Wednesday, September 21, 2011

uk trip 2011, day five-- hyde park is full of horse guards, harrod's is not for the faint of heart, the v&a kicks my ass

first, a programming note: roald dahl stunt blogging will continue next week in its regular wednesday slot. today i'm continuing with the uk trip coverage. uhm, obviously.

speaking of the uk trip, here's something funny. on day five, i lost my voice. ha. haha. yeah. (i never used to have throat issues until i moved to the pnw. now, every bad cold that i get, i lose my voice. (sometimes, i feel like my immune system is being symbolic.))

since i had no way to communicate save pantomime (kudos to leff for being able to understand my personal sign language so well) or pen/paper (which, no. my handwriting just makes things worse for everyone.) i had no choice but to cancel the london meetup that i'd scheduled.

it was extremely, brutally upsetting. i'm just so glad that everyone understood. (seriously, thanks guys. i'll have to make a special trip to london in the very near future to just hang out.)

anyway, to get me out of my funk, leff suggested that we spend our last day in knightsbridge.

he's so smart. 'cause do you know what i saw the minute i got out of the tube station? harvey nics, sweetie dahling.

and just a short walk from there was hyde. freaking. park.

the SERPENTINE, bitches!

oh, was it fantastic. *so much* wildlife. such a HUGE park in the middle of EVERYTHING. so. relaxing. with swans!  in fact, here is a swan video where you can hear how terrible i sounded while misquoting "billy madison".

it's such an active park and, yet, unlike in the states, you can still maintain a bit of private space. (i love the brits for this. just, yeah. the ability to have a picnic and not be harassed is absolutely brilliant.)

we saw two kinds of parading. first a bunch of bikes


none of my other pictures or video came out so well  so please make sure to check out leff's footage at some point. (see also: leff's tumblr recaps)

here's a stupid question for you.  why did we leave hyde park? no, two stupid questions. why did we go to harrod's?!  i fucking hate shopping at the best of times (don't ask me about the blurst of them) and crowds. oy vey. 

guess what. harrod's has all of this. 

and more.  uuuuugh! 

god, i took this picture of the dodi/diana memorial for a friend of mine.(i don't give two figs about royalty.) 

you're welcome, katty kat.

the worst part of the whole thing was that we couldn't find the food court. the reason to go to harrod's, the HUGE food court and it took us, what, an hour to find it?! misery. 

thankfully, they had gauche 1.5 liter bottles of water that i bought and drank out of on the street. yes, that idiot with the huge water bottle heading toward the v&a, that was me. (and i don't care because i was too desperately and insanely thirsty to even attempt to be cool about it.)

ok, hold on. the staff at harrod's is nice. i didn't have to glare and then claw the air in front of the perfume spritzing lady to not have her assault me olfactorily. a simple head shake worked. also, cute cashier guy was very charming when i explained, hoarsely, that i could never remember which was the 20p coin.

anyway, let's trudge on to the v&a, shall we? on the way there we passed patisserie valerie which jme has assured me is a life changing experience. 

sadly, i didn't venture inside. (i was like, "oh! patisserie valerie!" *camera click* *drinkwaterdrinkwaterdrinkwater*)

we did, however, brave traffic to get to this tea hut.

do you know about these?  they're mainly for cabbies but anyone can order tea or a takeaway from them. historic, of course. there are only 13 left in london?

anyway, leff ordered 'cause i had no voice. holy crap, this tea is good. (and inexpensive!)

we stood in the middle of the (blocked off) road for a while just being tea geeks (heh) and breathing in exhaust. well, until i horror whispered "why are we standing here?! *coughcough*" and we moved to the front of the v&a.

speaking of the front of the v&a, the main entrance was closed while we were there as workers were installing  this for the london design festival (WHICH WE MISSED! argh!!)

but, hey, hey, the v&a! it's got everything.

including spectacular views.

and many examples of two of my favorite artistic subjects, george and the dragon

and the virigin mary.

also this. which is not an exhibit but SHOULD BE AN EXHIBIT.

my main reason for wanting to go to the victoria and albert was for the cast rooms. oh look, here's another george at the entrance.

henry cole was the mastermind behind these copies which were made so that british artists could have access to great art works and not have to leave the country.

so, hey. did you know, THEY HAVE A COPY OF TRAJAN'S COLUMN?!

here's a detail.

in what other place could you possibly just have a copy of trajan's coloumn just, you know, banging around? it's so great that i would marry the uk if it asked me.

half of the cast rooms were being restored while we were there. slightly disappointing at first since i'd wanted to see the fig leaves that are kept in a separate area (fig leaves used to cover sculptural genitalia should victoria want to visit. which, wow, still makes me laugh.) but then i realized that, no, wait, this is actually genius.

two bound slave copies seriously bound.

a crucifixion that has been swaddled to prevent further mortification of the "flesh".

i was laughing and coughing so much that i half expected to be asked to leave.

we spent so much time at the v&a but we didn't even make a dent in the collection. next time.

at this point in the trip, leff and i could barely form sentences. so we caught the tube

back to bloomsbury

where we ate copious amounts of food from pret a manger (oh, i will TELL you about the awesomeness of pret a manger tomorrow!), watched bbc4 like it was going out of style (leff: "did we watch a documentary about postcards?!" me: "yes, we did. and it was ace!") and had fever dreams.

tomorrow we head back to the states. (i always have this urge at heathrow to try and claim asylum but i know it would never work.) the heathrow express! i almost cry on the plane! (which, god! SO OUT OF CHARACTER!) can you handle the despair?! (promise i'll make it funny.)


Irregular Shed said...

Pedant, moi?

Oui, moi. "Manger" sweetie =)

r4kk4 said...

HA! you know how early it is here, right?

i'll change it. duly shamed. *sheepish*

wastedpapiers said...

Another fun packed day. Shame about the germs. THAT doc about postcards was great and even more of a surprise was out old 78 record of Lambeth Walk on there which Nigel Bents sent us many years ago and promised to give back but never did - the naughty man!

r4kk4 said...

like i've told shed, i'd never had a real british cold before so, you know, it's an experience. haha! (thanks though! :D)

it's so funny that you also saw that documentary! that was pretty naughty of him to not send it back! haha!

santos. said...

freakin' lurve pret, even in that minute when it was partially owned by mcdonald's. there's a ton of them in nyc now, a few in DC too!

r4kk4 said...

pret is FUCKING INCREDIBLE! we went to the one across from the bl so. many. times.

i had no idea that they were stateside! maybe they'll show up in seattle! HAHAHA! right. by the time i'm able to leave this place, one will be able to get a decent sandwich! ;D

mybrandnewlife said...

Was a real shame not to meet up with you when you were here hon. But you did sound well croaky threatening swans on the video, lol. We'll just have to do it next time.

Hope you're feeling better.

Kiki x

r4kk4 said...

if i had given that cold to you, kiki, i wouldn't have been able to forgive myself. :(

i'm still really sorry that i didn't get to see you! next time! promise! maybe i'll go to london first!