Yesterday there was no school. Breakfast was determined the night before as being, “between 9 and 10” so I rolled out of bed around 9:50 and ran downstairs. Typical. I found that I enjoy marmalade with chunky peanut butter on my toast. Ros gave Anne and I each a key to the house (it’s like we live here or something ah!). On the way to the tube I met an ellie dog named cookie in the park!!! Naturally, I accosted it. We headed to AHA (the school) to check it out. We knocked and Martin the headmaster exclaimed, “The students have come!” He was so excited to see us. From the front the AHA building is skinny; one doorway in a line of them on this street. But the place is huge. Martin led us back to the secret annex (Anne Frank anyone?!) well it’s not really secret, but it is an annex on the back which has a library and computers and printing. We kept going though doors and up and down stairs finding more classrooms and lounges. Such a cool place, I’m excited to study there! We then headed to Trafalgar square and down through to Big Ben and the Parliament buildings and Westminster Abbey and the little church next to it by way of the park in front of Buckingham Palace (unbeknownst to us at the time, but with careful observation of our photos we can’t believe we missed it!). I stepped in a lake of a puddle crossing the street illegally. I know I’m going to be hit by a bus before this adventure is through. But my socks got soaked so I ran around Parliament to see the Thames for the first time. I bought sticky tack for hanging my photos at the art store. Less than one pound. But there are these pens I think I need. They are shades of gray with brush tip and then a superfine, fine and medium tip black. They are on clearance for 5 pounds. But the art store is right next to my work so I decided I have enough will power to hold off for now. Um yeah… the rest of the day. La la um I wrote an epic poem to C-line back at home. Oh I stopped to get buttons and jelly babies. It was like Christmas, literally! Nana always gets us little English candies for our stockings. Black current is my new favorite flavor. I dare say if they offered it at the dentist for a toothpaste flavor I would disregard a lifetime of loyalty to the bubblegum flavor paste. Dinner was amazing! I am still thinking about it! Ahhhh, maybe I was just starving. We the best stir fry I have ever tasted! Oh my gosh. It was the perfect amount of spice and had the oddest like salad mix of vegetables. And carrot cake for dessert. Ros feeds us so good! I was third in line for showers which at first I thought I had the short straw, but then I realized I could use the rest of the hot water the first two girls didn’t take. My room was so cold, I coughed all night and I was anxious about starting school so I slept fitfully. I did finish my murder mystery book “Nora”! Who knew it was the sheriff killing his lover to protect his family! But you should know the main character found out she wasn’t crazy and the mysterious sexy writer (who got away with only one bullet wound in his arm) all but proposed. Such closure!
Today was the first day of school! I am getting really sleepy (due to lack of sleep last night) so I will recap it as quickly as I can. 8 breakfast. We left at 8:50 and barely made it to class on time at 10. We met Martin the headmaster again, Leah the office assistant, Patricia a professor of Latin Literature at Willamette, oh and the infamous Maggie the housing coordinator. They led us through much of our orientation stuff. Schedule. Safety. Bombing emergency procedure. You know the regular stuff. We got our Oyster cards (like a Navigo in Paris) it is basically a tube swiper inner. We had lunch and met some of the other kids. 11 from PLU and the other 23 from UPS, UP and Willamette. I don’t know, they are interesting I guess. It will be interesting to see personalities change and friendships form as the semester goes on. We talked about stereotypes of British people. Recycling is big here! Bigger than PLU (it is possible!) It was so funny to hear about less than pleasurable experiences with homestays. My friend Joel is living with what we like to call the “host dude”. He is a single man who likes TV dinners and beer. Last night the host dude left with a bottle of wine and didn’t come back. Another girl is weirded out by the amount of meat mounds her family makes her eat. Another girl is living with an eccentric cat lady. I say that I lucked out with my family. Ed Inch the dean of arts and communications at PLU stopped by after we all went out on a walk with Martin. Ed took us to The Lamb, a pub near school. He bought us all fish and chips and our first round of beverage of choice. He told us everything we need to know about London. Did you know that London was built by the romans and the city is not a grid like most American cities, but is a circle. So I live in the postal code N12 which means I am north and 12 zones away from central London. So if you are at SE2 you are really close to the center of London and south east. Funny! Anyway, I went with some new people to Chinatown before heading back to the Northern Line to get home. As I was coming off the escalator someone grabbed my elbow and I kind of freaked out. But it was Ros’s daughter Sarah coming home from work so we rode home together. She taught me some secrets of riding the tube and introduced me to one of her friends from college. Ros picked us up at West Finchly (remember in Narnia when they talk about coming from Finchly?!?). Yay we didn’t have to walk in the dark! Dinner was a jacket potato with cheese, coleslaw and homemade vegetable soup. I picked out the onion from my salad and Ros said, “young lady if you pick out any more of those I’ll make you eat them all!” Sounds like home! Tomorrow is class for real. I have to Midsummer’s Night Dream before tomorrow. But I will probably do it on the tube. We are going to the Royal Shakespeare Company performance at Novello Theatre tomorrow night! Friday have class in the British Museum and then is going on a boat ride and then going to the Tower of London. I am having lunch with my new boss at the National Portrait Gallery at the same time so I can’t go to the boat half. There is a special Dali and Picasso exhibition at the Tate that I want to go to before it leaves. Psh but I’ve already been to the official museums of both: Dali in Spain and Picasso in Paris. Look at me. What a snob! Ok I have to go read!
PS I’ll post photos soon. Oops I haven’t taken any. Well the other two girls are taking enough for the population of a small country. It’s almost, scratch that, IS embarrassing. You might as well put on a straw hat and Hawaiian shirt! Haha oh well… what ever floats you boat.