Tuesday, September 20, 2011

uk trip 2011, day four -- the british library, the hardy tree, st pancras, illness and agatha christie

oh, londinium. how i wish that i could visit you just once without having to change my plans due to some physical problem.

day four started off promisingly enough. the sun was shining, we were suffering no ill effects from the over consumption of cider. in short, it was a great morning to head to the british library to take in the out of this world special exhibit.

photography wasn't allowed so you'll just have to imagine how happy leff was among all of sci fi first editions and such. in fact, i think i heard him say "heeee!" when he saw a particularly steampunkish k-9 model.

this might shock some of you (actually, no, it won't if you've been paying attention.) but my genre reading of choice isn't sci fi. nah, i read mysteries and crime fiction when i need to shut my brain off. otherwise, i tend to binge on 19th century britlit and contemporary, highly visual fiction. you can understand then why i left leff to his own devices and slipped upstairs to the treasures. (still no "beowulf", dammit!)

you can also understand why i was super excited to go far from the madding crowd (*ba doom ching*) to see the hardy tree at st pancras churchyard.

on the way there we passed a routemaster.

just thought i'd throw that out there.

the hardy tree has been an obsession of mine since high school. what? i was a morbid kid. i'm a morbid adult. whatever. there's no way that tombstones embedded in a tree aren't intriguing. (life among death, blah, blah, blah. repetition is one of the foundations of good design, blah, blah, blah)

at this point in our trip we were both incredibly exhausted so we spent about an hour just sitting in the churchyard.

it was here that i realized that i am entirely comfortable on consecrated british soil in a way that i could never be in the states. british sacred spaces, ftw!

i consider train stations in the uk to be sacred as well. (they are certainly as large as cathedrals.) especially the incredibly gorgeous ones like st pancras.

shortly after taking the above pictures, i realized that, wow, there was no way in hell that i was going to be able to go to the transport museum that afternoon as i was dizzy and running a really high fever.

additionally, the bruises on my arm were starting to cause people to glare at leff if i forgot and rolled up my sleeve. (british men do not look kindly upon this sort of perceived thing. (poor leff who had nothing to do with my arm!))

to reiterate, those were self inflicted. i have no idea how i managed to bang the shit out of myself so badly, but there we are. (backpack issues perhaps. who really knows though.)

i thought that i would be able to get some rest while leff continued on to the next museum but, sadly, no. the hotel was conducting fire alarm tests. sporadically. for two hours.

there is nothing that will make you feel so desperately far away from home as being incredibly sick and bruised in a london hotel room in the middle of a fire alarm test. trust me on this one. it's something that i never want to experience again.

the one bright spot of the afternoon, other than the fire alarm finally ceasing to shatter what was left of my nerves, was this felix commercial. clever felix!

also clever:  leff and i had ordered tickets to "the mousetrap" two months prior to our trip. (what? agatha christie is the shit. shut up.) not so clever:  against any sort of sane judgement, i decided that this was something that i couldn't miss.

"the mousetrap" itself was great. (who did it? ALL OF THEM! alternately, YES! IT WAS THAT PERSON!) what was not great was dealing with leicester square. so help me, if i EVER find myself near that hellhole again, i will shuffle off my mortal coil instead of having to deal with that many clueless tourists. in shorts. and tank tops. and SHIRTS THAT SAID "LONDON" ON THEM.


leff and i met a very nice older british couple while we were watching the play. for some reason, they were surprised that we were americans. could it be the simple fact that WE WERE NOT WEARING SHIRTS THAT SAID "LONDON" ON THEM?!?  i'll never know for sure.

coming up on tomorrow's recap:  our last full day of vacation. i have to cancel a very important thing that i was looking forward to, harrod's = hell, an accidental horse guard moment and the v&a!


Irregular Shed said...

I can imagine being ill on your own in a far off place is a pretty awful feeling. I was ill at a conference in Brighton a few years ago and it was hell.

I apologise again for the virus =(

r4kk4 said...

oh god. being sick at the seaside is THE WORST! :( poor thing.

it's fine. really. i've never had a real british cold before. heh. ;D

santos. said...

wait! you were only there for five days? what?!

r4kk4 said...

yahuh. it was a REALLY short trip. and incredibly exhausting.

shoulda' spent more time in wales.

Nad Leiruc said...

That alarm during 2 hours...omg! Hope you feel better!

r4kk4 said...

nad, lemme tell you. it would stop for a while and i'd be "FINALLY!", start to relax and then ALARMALARMALARM!! if i had had the energy to go anywhere else, i would have.

i'm getting better. thanks so much for the well wishes! :D!