Soccer, law, and music

No time to waste, let’s get right into the blag!

  • Saturday was my visit to Craven Cottage in SW London, home of Fulham FC, to watch another soccer match. The most exciting part of this game was that Brek Shea, a 22-year-old American winger, made his debut appearance for visiting team Stoke City. America is perpetually struggling for respect as a soccer nation, and every player who makes it to the Premier League is an enormous opportunity for the national team. By a stroke of luck, Haley, Sylvia, and I were sitting right next to the Stoke supporters, who greeted Shea’s entrance to the game in the 25th minute with a U! S! A! chant — and another one when he forced a penalty in the 55th minute. However, that penalty was saved by Fulham, and a spectacular 45th minute goal from ex-Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov sealed a 1-0 victory for the home side. A great game to attend.

Just before kickoff

Just before kickoff

  • My history of Parliament class met at the UK Supreme Court on Wednesday. Judiciary duties used to be handled by the House of Lords, but fairly recently it was decided that a more American modern approach was needed and the Supreme Court was set up in 2009. It meets in the former Middlesex Guildhall, near Westminster Abbey and Parliament, a space that has been modernized to hold some courtrooms and a small exhibition in the basement about the history of the court. (My favorite bit was the “gift of friendship” given by the US Supreme Court — a tiny marble chunk of the Supreme Court building in DC.) We sat in on a case involving something called quantum meruit which was actively sleep-inducing. The court’s twelve justices (all addressed as “my Lord” or “my Lady”) sit in panels of five or seven to hear cases, and they peppered the attorney with questions about this case which I’m sure was very important but really was very hard to follow.

Most disappointingly, they did not wear robes and wigs in court, though these ceremonial robes are broken out occasionally

Most disappointingly, they did not wear robes and wigs in court, though these ceremonial robes are broken out occasionally

  • After this excitement, I met up with Haley — her last day of five in London — and we explored for a while. Sights seen include: Borough Market, HMS Belfast, the Globe, Millennium Bridge, St. Paul’s, Somerset House, the Eye, Parliament, and my dorm! (One of those things is not like the others.) We went out to dinner at a place called Nando’s, which specializes in chicken of the extraordinarily spicy variety. Pretty good. I’m glad I got a chance to show her around — definitely two months here has improved my capacity to act as a tour guide when necessary. She was also a good sport to take this picture of me:

My dad took a series of these "conehead" shots of my mom during their travels many years ago — trying to carry on the tradition!

My dad took a series of these “conehead” shots of my mom during their travels many years ago — trying to carry on the tradition!

  • Those of you who know me know that among the things I dislike are extremely loud noises, extremely crowded rooms, and heat of any type. However, I quite willingly put up with all three last night to check out a sold-out show by a “dream-folk” band called Mt. Wolf. They sound sort of like a more rocking version of the xx, using a wide variety of instruments — acoustic and electric guitar, acoustic and electronic drums, a string quartet, and keyboard all featured at one point or another in their set. Always exciting to become “hip” with the “youth culture.”

Flashing lights

Flashing lights

I think that’s probably all for the time being. Among the goals for the weekend: more football (hopefully Brentford vs. Scunthorpe), more Borough Market, new shoes, possibly another museum. Hard to believe that my trip to the mainland is just three weeks away. Hope everything is going well with all yall back in the States!

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