Hey howdy hey! Hard to believe that I’m heading back to the United States in less than three weeks. It’s been a while since the last post — these last couple weeks have been a little low-key but there are now a few updates worth posting on this here blag. (Remember, you can click on pictures to embiggen them!)
- First, you should go check out my column on cricket that I wrote for today’s Spectator.
A good day to cricket
- It’s hard to believe but I do sometimes have to do actual schoolwork here at school. Last weekend, I wrote a pair of papers on Parliament, and I have one more left before I can go home — political patronage in the early Middle Ages. (You might know this time period as “the Dark Ages” but it turns out that historians do not like this name very much.)
It is tough to write papers when the days look like this
- I had a great plan all set up for last Thursday: I was going to take the train to Norwich, a part of England where my long-deceased ancestors used to live, and hang out there for the day. Unfortunately, Transport for London let me down for the first time — delays and congestion in the Underground turned a 25 minute journey to Liverpool Street Station into a 55 minute one, and I missed my train. However, I am not one for letting plans collapse (particularly at 9:30 am, when it is my policy to usually be fast asleep), so I walked over to the Tower of London. It was a warm and cloudless day, and I listened to some entertaining (if probably inaccurate) tales from a Beefeater, took a look at some Crown Jewels, etc etc.
This seems like a rather sanitized version of the gruesome head-chopping-off process
The White Tower
- The next destination on this improvisational, jazz-esque afternoon was the Borough Market, another short walk over Tower Bridge and past the Belfast. Tasty porkbelly, crackle, and applesauce sandwich… nom. From there, I bicycled back to my dorm, about three miles, and was nearly hit by a car only twice!!
London old & new
I am sure this is what William the Conquerer envisioned in 1066
- Joking aside, I’ve been experimenting with biking around and the results have been improving — in the sense that I no longer feel like my death is imminent every time I hop on. I’m not a bad biker, but I don’t have a ton of experience in urban settings and on top of that the British have all sorts of weird squiggly lines on the roads and by the way THEY DRIVE ON THE WRONG FREAKING SIDE WHICH IS CONFUSING. I did bike from school back to home yesterday without any complications which was certainly a victory.
Sometimes you know the weather is going to get bad very quickly
- The final excitement recently is that I walked over to Hyde Park for the first time, which is about fifteen minutes from Goldsmid House. It turns out that it is quite a nice place, particularly on an afternoon where the weather is nice. The weather here has been improving steadily — 60s and 70s, sunny, and sunset around 8:30 pm — which has in turn increased my capacity to walk, run, and bike around the city.
I was looking for FDR the whole time but didn’t find him
So, what’s next? On Sunday, my mother is making the trans-atlantic hop and visiting London for the week, which will be a good chance to show off the few things I’ve learned about Britain during my time here. After she leaves on Monday (the 13th), I’ll be on my way to Barcelona on the 14th for three days to visit Nate, enjoy some warm Mediterranean sunshine, and embarrass myself with my limited ability to speak Spanish. Then it’s one day to wrap up my life here and head back to Delaware on the 19th.