Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Love it all, love it all, love it all...

This is my greeting card project! (They fold, so the colored bit is the front). 
If they are in the shop before I leave I will buy a whole bunch and send them out! It is just knocking my socks off that people are going to be BUYING my design work! I'm kind of a big deal... 

Update: I am alive still! Super busy with life! Having such a good time with friends here! Loving pound pints at the Junction in Harrow, a "uni" bar (university students, not our little spandex rowing suits crew girls). I've made some British friends and been with them a lot, dancing, drinking and hanging in the sun. haha but the boys want to marry us so they can come back to the US without a visa. Ha! I promised several friends at home to bring them home British men as souvenirs. I've been seeing this British boy who drives a motorbike. He took me to Brighton for doughnuts on the pier this weekend. I couldn't help but think how much my life was like a movie as we drove through the British country side into a beautiful red and orange sunset on the way home from a perfect day at the beach! 

Going to concerts and shows galore with school. Friday we went to Kew gardens and met our AHA replacements: a batch of UW students fresh off the plane from America (yes they didn't put their camera down the entire time!). School is sooo not stressful here. It is wonderful to not be stressed over papers and projects all the time! Next week we are off to the Globe theatre and the week after we are going to Stratford for the Shakespeare's birthday festival. I also got tickets from a woman at work to see Madame de Sade with Judi Dench! I feel so cultured! Ha! Natalia and I have been going to exhibitions in London too. We can get in free with our NPG passes. I even talked my way into the design museum where we don't have a partnership for free! Oh and I went to see the Oxford-Cambridge boat race! yay crew! It was kind of awkward though... basically a shit show of drunk college students. It was like one of the American Pie movies or something, I have never seen so many bottles and cans in one place! 

I have been drawing and painting like a mad woman too! I am working on a creative project called "faces of London" putting together of over 50 faces (sketches from my sketchbook) in an installation modeled after Annette Messenger (a show on at one of the galleries on the South bank). Also I am making a found object book out of an old A to Z (thats A to Zed in British) with photos, tickets, timeout clippings, newspaper bits and the sort. I am calling it "Nicole's London"... it will be great! I also stole a whole bunch of black and red wall paint from the framing department at work and am going to start doing stencil art. Look out Banksy! Zoe and I have been making trips around London for sketching and she has been pushing me hard to try new things sometimes to the point of tears. I did have a few awkward train sketching incidents which put me off and I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things. When I am back, you guys will all have to ask to see my sketchbook! It is such the perfect thing to recount my trip! 

Work is busy, busy. Love it, still! In the office we downloaded this music program called Spotify and have been making playlists and sending them around to each other. I love being a designer. It is so cool to be able to translate people's ideas from paper into something real and tangible. Ian, Natalia and I have so much fun together and I look forward to lunch time with them everyday! I just have to mention the avocado of the century that I ate the other day! I am still thinking about it, it was THAT good! Our office, the design studio, is known as the office to always have biscuits and cakes. No wonder I am gaining weight! Um, I am reformatting a document for CPD right now, working on a leaflet for the BP travel award, making the odd caption here and there. Oh and I just finished 16 A3 signs a project for the Youth Forum. It was kind of terrible, because Ian helped me finish last Thursday as I had to leave for a concert. He accidentally left the project on the bin and in the morning I came in and they were missing :( My fingers were so sore from the scalpel at the end, I redid the entire project in 2 hours! 

Anyway life is wonderful! I can't wait to see everyone when I am back! Let's have a Nicole's Home party! Anyone who wants to organise such an event should start doing so immediately! 


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ma comes to London!

Ma and I in front of Ben!
Me near my house!
Me being silly at Hairspray the musical!

The week before last my MA came to London! I picked her up on Thursday at the airport. We hugged 87 times and both started crying. We got her a clam chowder card … oops I mean an oyster card, right Pa? Ma couldn’t stop laughing as the train lady announced at every stop that our train was headed towards Cockfosters. Hehe! She stayed in the classy bit of west London near Notting Hill Gate at the Garden Court hotel. First thing I took her to my school (not because it was the best part of the city though). She met the headmaster and all my tutors. Zoe yelled at me for not sketching enough (7 pages in a week isn’t enough?!) and so Ma got on my case and made me sketch every time we sat down for more than 3 minutes. Ma and I rode a double decker bus to Trafalgar square. We walked tourist row through St. James’s Park in front of Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the houses of Parliament. We went to Wagamama’s for dinner and walked the south bank by the London Eye. I went home for the night. I met Ma at her hotel and Friday we went into my work!!! She got a visitor’s pass and we got in free to the Constable and Richter exhibits! We had to hustle to get lunch at my favorite sandwich place and run up to the British Museum to meet Zoe for sketching class. Ma got lost in Egypt for 2 hours and Zoe and I drew Greek sculptures. Zoe was flustered by people getting in her way and because mine was going better than hers! Ma and I got tea and then got tickets to HAIRSPRAY! We walked down to Covent Garden and had dinner at the cheap and delicious Tesco Expresco (it’s actually tesco express, I think it needs the extra sco though, don’t you?). OH and we saw people erging for charity! I was so excited and almost regretted not bringing my uni! We headed to the theater for a little shake and shimmy 60’s music! Ma and I sung and danced along the entire show. We were sad when it ended, so I kept it going and sang and danced all the way home! I slept on the floor in Ma’s room. Saturday morning Ma and her wattage-convert-less curling iron got in a fight and sizzled off a chunk of Ma’s hair. Ha! We tried to go to the Brick Lane, it was kind of lame and in a dodgy bit of town. So we got cream tea and just chilled. We headed to Harrods in the most anti dodgy part of town you can get. It was beautiful! We spent 2.95 on a little card, but wanted to spent thousand of pounds on feather and jewel embedded dresses, pink canopy Chitty beds and mini Hummers. We were both exhausted from walking so much! So we ended up chilling for a while at the hotel before dinner, the hallway smelled only faintly of burnt hair by then. Ma and I followed Rick’s suggestion and went to this amazing little Thai food place in the back of the Churchill Arms Pub. We talked for like 3 hours. On Sunday we found a bus that took us to Hyde Park where we caught the tube to Leicester square for the St. Patrick’s day parade. We went to the National Gallery in the afternoon and then got BLTs and ate them in the park. We went for a walk through Kensington Garden and Hyde Park. We skyped with Pa and went for a late Italian dinner. On Monday I sent Ma to Buckingham palace and I went to class for a few hours. We met up in Trafalgar square at 2. We went to the Modern Art Museum. Ma’s favorite… not. It kind of gave us headaches because it was so weird! In one word: huh? We headed up to Finchley for dinner at Ros’s house! It was so good and I ate more than Ma, Annie and Sara combined! Ha, well at least individually! I went back to Ma’s hotel with her. Ma and I packed up and went to South Kensington where she tried to find a Tesco to buy candy and cheese twists for the boys at home and I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum for class. Ma headed to the airport to go home ☹ She said she didn’t cry until she got on her plane.

We had a great time together and it was cool to be able to be an expert London tour guide! I was so happy to have a little taste of home though. It wasn’t until I saw Ma at the airport that I realized how much I miss home!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Gala

The Portrait Gala was Ponce City! Table setting is an art, apparently!
Nice leaf hanging job!
Nicole Gleadle: Banner Designer Extraordinaire! I did three of these signs: Giving tree, Pen portraits and Mystery postcards.

ME AND MY BANNER DESIGN in the gallery!!!!!!

Two weeks ago there was a poncy posh gala at the gallery. New life goal ... be rich, poncy and posh and get invited to Gallery Galas to dress up fancy and spend my money. Naturally I wasn't invited (yet), but I helped with a lot of the design work and the set up. Maht and I hung the shiny prize leaves on a big wooden tree before the gallery closed. At 5 over 100 set up crew people stormed the gallery and lined the front hall with mirror board transforming it into a bar. The lights when down and there were cool colored mood lighting. (My rule for judging prices at restaurants is all about the lighting... I just know that I cannot afford places with mood lighting). Tall lemon holders and perfectly radial cookie patterns. Maht and I went upstairs and each room was set with a different colored velvet table cloth for a sit down dinner. At each place setting was a name card and individual salt and pepper dishes with mini spoons! Like I said this event was the definition of posh! Ian and Natalia told me to sneak in and claim I was the princess of Bulgaria. I had to go to the theater. I left the gala and walked to KFC in the rain. Then to Kilburn for the oddest middle eastern play (Kilburn is to London as Parkland is to Tacoma, no seriously I thought I was going to be eaten by pit bull walking to the theater). The paradox that is my life... sigh.

The day after the gala was like a huge sigh of relief. Both exhibitions (Constable and Richter) were open and the office was a much happier place! I finished my cpd logo for Llorett and finally got a start on the shop quote project. Jude, my boss, took some time off. Natalia and Ian took me to the best place in the history of food ever! Well anyone who knows me, knows I have an affinity for asain food, I just love it so much! This place beats all (mabye not Uni teriyaki next to the bookstore at home), it is called Wagamamas and it is so freaking delicious! Oh and another exciting thing! My questionnaire-contest A5 fliers were in the Constable exhibit! Right next to the shop "shelf talkers" I made and cut (with Captain Exacto of course). I love seeing my stuff up in the gallery!!!
A shelf talker for the shop, not too exciting, but beautiful none the less!
Richter sign for the National Gallery!

More work to come. Right now I'm working on a thing for the Teen Mums program, BP Travel Award Leaflet, some sort of fancy gallery director's event invitation. Jude also signed me up to do my very own display case exhibition this month! Work has been sllllow this week. Yesterday I did nothing, today I did my paper. Tomorrow I have off in the morning. The weather has been so freaking nice! Today Natalia and Ian and I went to the park to eat our lunch and not do work. Mmm.

Words of the week:
flytipper = litterer
knackered = tired
skive (as in skive off) = ditch or play hooky
mongy = retarded, Ian called me this every time id screwed something up and i finally asked him what it means :[

Next blog I will tell you all about my weekend with my MA!!!! Now it is time for me to ponder the SNP's thoughts on Scottish independence in 1500 words and then PRB and Turner in 1000 more!

Monday, March 16, 2009


First off, I am still alive. The best excuse I have for my leave of absence from blogging is this weird funk I have been in. Let me try to explain… So I took about 7 touristesque pictures total while in France, what then I thought to be a brilliant, revolutionary idea that I should be experiencing now and not documenting later. You know live in the moment and what have you, but more over doing things for myself and not doing them in order to tell someone about it later or show someone a picture later. But I have realised (British spelling, yeah you can bet I’m working on my accent too!) that there are benefits to picture taking, one of which is key in supporting the scrapbook that will inevitably come out of this trip. And I have gotten better at pulling out my camera recently. So I suppose since I have been documenting my time here in that way, I have neglected my written documentationating (not British spelling, just Nicolish) via blog. And yes I will confirm speculation and say that I have been having way too much fun to bother writing about it.

But ok …let’s rewind to about 3 and a half weeks ago. Wednesday February the 25th we (as a Britain Today class that is) hopped on a north bound train from Kings Cross to Edinburgh Scotland! Now that’s Ed-in-burr-uh, none of this edinburG American business. Natalia, from work, was so excited for me to visit her hometown and marked her parents house on my map along with all the best cafes, museums, bars and castles (haha there’s just one, so I suppose it is best by default). We got off the train and were greeted by the marvelous Edinburgh wind. Alice convinced me to not bring my coat as we headed off to the castle. Of course it poured on us and then the wind cut through my shirt and to my organs practically! The castle turned out to be a hypothermic adventure dashing for cover to get out of the wind and the rain. We got stylish and informative audio guides and met the most national pride filled Scotsman in the whole country in the jewels room. I know more about Scottish medical and scientific discoveries than I ever wanted to after spending 10 minutes with this old man. He was indeed wearing plaid pants. We had a pajama party with 12 girls in our hostel room and played Kings with our new “friend” Glens.

The next morning Martin marched us up some sort of hill to the Scottish National Monument. Hurray! We could see the sea from the top of this hill as well as the entire city. We climbed a twisty staircase to the top of this tower thing too, windy, windy. Then we climbed all over the monument. Went to the Scottish Museum, basically we went through and tried on all of the children’s dress up like a Viking, Roman Solider, fill in the blank exhibits. I was doing an Egyptian puzzle in the kids discovery zone when the alarm went off and we were all escorted out of the building. Claire, Alice and I snuck off and found Harry Potter’s birthplace or rather J.K. Rowling’s cafĂ©! After a while we went back, I had 0.5 percent interest in the museum and so I just sat in the train section and sketched. Next as a class we National Galleryed it up. I borrowed a sketching stool and sat in front of a Degas dancer statue and then moved to the basement to sketch a sleepy Martin Luther painting. The class left without me, time kind of stands still when I am sketching. So I went and found the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and zoomed around there. On my way home I passed a wedding store and found that kilts are the equivalent to the tux in the states. I picked up all the brochures with the intent to make cards for my friends featuring sexy Scotland models posing in skirts with their furry pouches saying things like, “Great Scots!” Back at the hostel I reunited with my class. Dannica tried to get to me to go on the underground tour, but I was scared by the flier. Needless to say I didn’t go. We had our own fun though dressing up and going out! We met some Scottish boys who said they were 19 and worked in bars (this concept is so odd to me!) So they took us to their respective bars and got us free drinks! The Scots are so nice! Oh and I met a guy who lives a block away from me in London and his sister went to school in Tacoma, how oddly coincidental is that? Insta-friends!

Friday was class, we went to the Scottish Parliament. I would have rather poked out my eyeballs. No comment, besides the tour guide needed to go through Red Carpet Club training. The rest of the class left for home. We stayed and caught a train to Glasgow that afternoon. There was some wonderful, girl politics (ie drama drama drama) so I peaced out on Saturday for a lovely day of art with Wilbur. The thing about being by yourself is you can go wherever you want and stay as long as you want. I bought 3 new pairs of shoes for 20 pounds! One of which was boots! And hit up all the art galleries in Glasgow. I met the girls for Tesco dinner and then we danceddddd.

SUNDAY WAS NESSIE! The best day trip tour ever! Dannica, Anne and I went on an adventure to find Nessie. We left Glasgow on a bus at 7:45am and went alllll around the country to Loch Lomond and Glenco and Loch Ness. We went on a cruise on Loch Ness to the ruins of a castle. Scottish rock candy is to die for! It was so great to get out of the city and see the country side! It was all so green and the hills were amazing. We drove these winding roads through sheep farms (Scotland has 11 million sheep!) and through heather moors. We saw castle, after castle and even saw the Hogwarts Express and where Harry Potter was filmed in Glenco. We didn’t get back to Glasgow til 8 pm just in time to catch a 12 hour bus ride back to London. I arrived in central London at 6:00 am. I walked home just as the sun was rising and crashed in my bed until 9 when I had to go to work. So worth it though!

More to come about other things happening here!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekend wanderings!

Friday I worked 10 to 1 and then hopped over to Trafalgar square to sketch with Zoe for 3 hours. The sun even made an appearance for part of the time! I was sketched out and kind of disappointed with how my drawings were going by the end. I went back to work. Natalia took me (through the secret tunnel!) to see the progress on the Richter show, it opens next Tuesday. I finished my shelf talkers (what does that even mean?) or rather price signs for the shop and sent them off to be okayed. I started work on a contest/ questionnaire project for Natalia. I feel like I have learned that when you are designing something it doesn't have to be artsy or edgy, well sometimes it can be, but it really just has to be clear, thoughtfully organized and to the point. Simple is better. After work Natalia, Maht and Ian took me to the pub across the street. Then we went on an adventure to Farrington with their friend Steve. It was silly and involved a bar that turned your skin purple and your teeth blue full of high class advertisers. Steve gave me a picture of Alice in Wonderland and advised me to think of 6 impossible things before breakfast everyday. Creative people rock. Rock on Steve. I left soon there after.

Saturday I woke up semi early and went to Camden Market! The first 1/2 mile was mostly off color joke screen printed tshirts, drug paraphernalia, platform leather boots with flames and piercing shops, but after we crossed the bridge I felt ten times more comfortable. We spent a good 2 hours going through the handcraft section looking at scarves and jewelry. We stopped along the river to get lunch and then spent another two hours going through the 2nd hand flea market area. It was crazy fun! I wanted to buy everything. Oh and the most notable store, and for sure in the top ten of the most uncomfortable places I've ever been was this store called Cyber dog. Anne and I had to catch our breath from laughing so hard all the way through. It's like if Zennon: girl of the 21st century, you know the disney movie, had a costume designer who started a clothes line. The store was like a rave/ shopping center for mohawk, tatooed and pierced everywhere, space people! http://www.cyberdog.net/cybershop/pages/home.php check it out yourself! In the picture I'm holding gellato and yes I am wearing CP's coat that I stole from J-term... er uh, I promise to give it back!

I met a whole bunch of AHA kids at Ben Crouch's Tavern for Kim's 21st birthday extravaganza (which I kept calling the Bend and Snap, oh Legally Blonde). We had a ridiculous amount of fun playing hopscotch-soccer, telling people we work at Disneyland as various disney characters, talking our way into a sailor themed dance club, finding night buses, eating way too much McDonalds and Krispie Kreme and walking in cirlces looking for Trafalgar square. It was a good time.

Today was a sleep in day. I did some homework in the morning then I decided to force myself to understand Finchly and Woodside Park. So Wilby (my ipod) and I went for a run. I was gone for about 3 hours. It was so fun! I was very lost for a while but I just kept running and ended up recognizing the bus station we take from the grocery store. On my way I even stumbled into a nursing home (mistaking it for a hotel) where I got a little mini tour, awesome. I met a pickles dog named Henry, he was wearing a sweater and you bet I tried to snuggle him right in the middle of the street (*7 octaves up *... piiiiiiickles!). Ros made us soup and now I am exhausted but so excited for this week! WE ARE GOING TO SCOTLAND!

Consider the following:
"Essex girls" are equivilant to like an OC girl in the states. You know fake tan, mini skirt in winter, bleach blonde girls with reputations. Anyway there is a different part of London called Sussex (distinctly different from Essex) which has no such connotations. Please imagine me trying to talk my way out of my confusion ..."No, no I didn't mean to just call your girlfriend a slut!" Anyhow...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Design Work

Now don't go printing this off and trying to use it. Actually more power to you if you want to try to use it, just notify me when you are in London! This is not the final but try number 71 on the Constable voucher, the marketing people are insane with the number of corrections they want to make! Jonathan sent me 4 emails and called me twice today! "What do you think about tiling it on A4 to make it easier for the printer?" or "Did you know the 14th is a Sunday we can't have it open on a Sunday" and "The sponsor wants the words 'sponsored by' one point bigger and above the logo to the left a little." The guys in the office were being silly and said Jonathan was just looking for an excuse to talk to me. They made a story that involved me getting a permanent visa and becoming Mrs. whatever his last name is. Ha! Jonathan then told me my National Gallery Richter poster was landscape and his sign holder was portrait. Jude bought him a 70p plastic frame and said Nicole is NOT redoing it. I think I am learning how things are done around here. Jude reassured me that it wasn't that my design was bad it's just not easy to create exactly what people have in mind, obey sponsor politics and of course people always want to change their copy. But if you are in Foyle's book store in the next few weeks look for my 2 for 1 double sided voucher! It is finally going to print tomorrow! I am working on the Gala banners with Maht now. Today Ian told me they looked like crap, in a few more words. So I redid them. They have sooo much text on them. So Maht told me to make it look as crammed as possible and send it to the Gala ladies so they are forced to cut some of the text. I made a price sign for the shop real quick like A4 and A6 versions. I went into the Gallery and saw my Family Activity Book sign up at the Information Desk! I stood in front of it for a minute. I wanted to take a picture, but I don't think that's allowed.

Today I was doing drawings on the tube of this sleeping man. He was the most perfect live model because he moved around in his sleep about every five minutes! Ok I told my drawing prof I had 12 sketches and I only have nine. It's time to get out the reference shots!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Did you know:
Cheers can be used in any part of any sentence meaning any number of things. Today a man ran into me in the tube station and said cheers. Cheers is the common phone ending word as in have a good day, but can also be used as hello. Cheers can mean like good job too. Cheers = your welcome: I thanked Ian for a biscuit he gave me and he said cheers. Cheers = thank you: Lucy took a coupon flyer from a vender woman, more cheers! Don’t people know that buddy the elf says, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear”? London has enough cheer, Christmas or otherwise to go around. Singing isnt even necessary.

Highlights of my life:
This weekend was way fun! For Valentine’s Day a whole bunch of us girls went pub-crawling with Maggie’s daughter Lucy down the Northern Line. I left at 12:30 to catch the last tube home, the other girls weren’t so lucky and a 2 hour bus ride and a 40 pound cab later found their way home just as the sun was rising. Sunday Anne and I went to Westminster Abbey for church! Mostly because we didn’t want to pay 12 quid a piece. But also how cool is it that we got to worship where people have been worshipping for over a thousand years. Many of the churches I have been in (and believe me I have been in a lot in the past two months!) don’t really feel like churches anymore. They are places Rick Steves calls “a must see” so tourists flock to them taking pictures a mile a minute. Don’t get me wrong I totally think that tourism is a good thing I mean it is essential for maintenance and up keep of the church. Westminster is beautiful and I think everyone should be able to appreciate it and experience it. But experiencing Westminster Abbey the way it is supposed to be experienced: as a holy place of worship built for the glory of God. The service was like a step back in time though. Anne and I were led to the “choir seats” which were beautifully carved benches with kneeling benches covered in red velvet and little personal lamps which I could just imagine were candles many years ago. The organ was playing as we walked in. Anne and I, who are both tour guides at PLU, compared what we consistently note as one of PLU’s epic highlights: our organ in MBR, to the thirty five times more magnificent organ in Westminster. When the choir started singing in the foyer we couldn’t see them, but they sounded amazing in the huge open space. Then they filed in still singing to take their places in the benches next to ours wearing frilly gowns. The amazing thing was that the high voices were not women, but young boys. They were seriously like 8! Interesting. A comment on traditional patriarchal positions held in the church still today? Hmm. Then the ministers and other important people filed in wearing similar robes with less frills. The process was very choreographed and has probably been done the same way since the Anglican church started! All I could think was, “holy cow this is totally a scene from Harry Potter!” Ok, ok enough about the church.

Work is going awesome, amazing, wonderful, fantastic! Can you believe it: I work for the National Portrait Gallery (small print: as an unpaid intern)! School has been kind of secondary. Monday I had no class but a meeting oh and the most fantastic mango chicken rice salad from Sainsburys. Then I rode the bus to work. I finished a sign that goes in the National Gallery advertising for the NPG Richter show (which opens next weeeeek!) It was so funny because Maht was designing something very, very similar. So it became a competition. Maht, Ian and Natalia showed me where the best Tesco (cheap grocery store, but some are better than others) is in Covent Garden and they bought me “the best” English candies. They asked if I have ever heard of this crunchy chocolate bar called a kit-kat. I laughed, some things are very much the same. We went to Pauls. Pauls is a bread shop, we frequented it in Paris. Then we went for quite a long walk to the best coffee shop in town. We got the prettiest little cappuccinos for a pound. We got back to the office and it was work time. I worked on a voucher, A7 which is titchy (that means very small in British). Did I mention paper sizing being strange here. First of all everything is in mm. You can’t get anything done when people are talking about 750 mm by 450 mm! And paper is in A, B, C sizes. A4 is standard 8.5x11 or is it A5? It confuses me so much! Anyway so this 2 for 1 voucher will be in books sold at Foyles bookstore in London. Yeah I’m pretty much legit! Confession: sometimes I dance on the tube. Not full out dancing, but you know more than head bopping. Dinner was Shepard’s Pie. It would be though. I haven’t encountered many things I don’t like.

Tuesday I had the worst tube ride of my life. I had to get to Pilmco or something down by the river for 10 am class at the Tate. So I thought ok I’ll go Kings Cross to the Victoria line. One transfer easy peasy. BUT the Victoria line was off and on running and so 6 transfers later I finally made it to the correct station. I was only 7 minutes late and over half the class was later. After class I wanted to take the bus to work since the 87 runs parallel to the river. But it never came so I walked. I realized that I could have gotten off at Westminster and just walked to the Tate. Everything is connected but you would never know it riding the tube. I got a tuna, cucumber, carrot, pepper and lemon juice bagel for lunch. It was very British and very good. I made it to work by half 12. I started working on one of Maht’s projects to create 3 banners for the Portrait Gala, a fundraising event for rich people. I am still working on this project. I stayed until 6:30 hoping to miss the tube traffic. It was just worse. Reading the paper with every other Londoners packed like sardines in a tube car is impossible. We had burgers for dinner with toMAWto and fried poTAYtos. Ros said we could only have more if we could say it right. Button ice cream for dessert!

And then there’s today… It just keeps getting better! AM work. I had a meeting at 10:30 with the gift shop lady Denise. Ian and Maht came with me to lead me through the secret tunnel. They gave me all the pass codes to the doors and I wrote them on my hand and Ian advised me to keep an eye on my hand and not get kidnapped. But my meeting went well… I am going to be designing a product line for the shop I am going to refer to it as “the quote project”. But I am super excited about it! It is basically bold contemporary colors with simple typographic art – the quotes. There are 5 famous people with 5 quotes. It is going to be on mugs, notebooks, canvas bags, tea towel (a tea towel is like a dish rag) greeting cards and postcards. How exciting is it that people are going to be buying my art! AH! And I found out I get 30% off at the gift shop! Yay! I came back and did some more work on my vouchers and banners. The office had a discussion about Sherbet. My fellow Americans Sherbet is ice cream right?! Here it is like fun dip but with licorice. I googled it for them to prove that other people understand sherbet as ice cream. They tried to convince me it was actually crack and illegal. Jude and Ian took me to the candy store and bought me a “sherbet fountain” at lunch. It tastes like chalk. We were silly for a while and had biscuit and tea time. But then it was work time. I didn’t want to leave at 1:30. I cut through Covent Garden to get to school. Class was terrible. History and I don’t get along. And a low budget history movie plus a warm, dark room puts me out faster than a whole bottle of Nyquil could. We field tripped it to some place or another and saw Rubens paintings on the ceiling where someone or other was executed. I want so badly to care about this history. But I honestly don’t. All of the kids in the Shakespeare class ran off to the theater after class. I ran to McDonalds. I was walking to Charring Cross tube station and a man stopped me to ask directions to Buckingham Palace. He was from New York and I felt very much like a local. Look at me!

Consider the following: WAGs (as featured in one of my favorite songs, American Boy, “but I still talk that ca-a-ash cuz all the WAGs wanna hear it”) stands for Wives And Girlfriends specifically of football stars. The free daily papers talk about them allll the time. I feel like Posh and I are good friends because everyday I read about where she is and with who. I am fascinated by the news here. Have you guys heard about the 13 year old boy dad scandal? It has been front page here for a week! These papers also have a section called Love Connection and they are text messages like: “Guy in the tweed pants with curly brown hair riding bakerloo at 7 on Tuesday who asked what I was reading. Drink?” –Girl with black hat. And they always have horoscopes. I rip it out and put it in my journal when it is right.