Friday, January 28, 2011

"There Is the Sense One Gets Walking Around London At Night, of a God Grown Sleepy."*

Hello, everyone!

I love the little traffic feed I installed on the right there- it's fun to see when people visit my blog. I've been trying to make sure I don't update needlessly and bore you all with, "Today I went to class. We learned stuff," so that's why there wasn't an update yesterday... because that's all I did :p But my Thursday class, Adaptations, is going to push me just like I knew it would. One of our main focuses (and a thing we're meant to try and emulate in some ways) is the Wooster Group which is a theatre group from New York that puts together some very... interesting pieces of theatre. Not my style, but that doesn't matter- an assignment is an assignment. So next Thursday, my group will be performing a ten-minute presentation that involves blasting different songs at the same time by the Beatles, among other artists, lots of quotes and pictures about love and death playing on four different computers at the same time, innumerable Post-its with German words written on them, and an incestuous brother and sister confessing to their dead mother about their love, then reciting speeches from things as varied as Romeo & Juliet and Titanic. It's going to be... fun?

It suddenly got ridiculously cold here yesterday and it hasn't gone away. It's probably the coldest it's been since we arrived and we are not enjoying it. It actually flurried yesterday!

Last night, Laura asked me if I wanted to accompany a group along to a museum tonight; they didn't know which. I said yes and we ended up at the Tate Modern after my class today. As I've said before, one of the things I love most about London is that you can hop on the tube and go anywhere you want in the city... and almost anytime you want!

I feel terrible saying it, but the museum didn't do a lot for me. I'm not an art person, so I just kind of look at the works and hope that through osmosis or really hard staring, I can get some sort of meaning out of it. It doesn't help that it was modern art... sometimes it just annoys me. For instance, there was a "piece" there was literally a mirror attached to a piece of canvas, none of the canvas showing. That is not artwork, it is DIY. Laura claims she's going to look at that "piece" when she is angry to help her get it all out :p

The nice thing about museums here is that they're free. Sometimes you have to pay to see the temporary exhibits, but mostly, you can come and go as you please and not pay a cent!

Speaking of cents, I really do like the money here. While I still sometimes have to remind myself which coins are 20p (pence) and which are 10p, I like that there are pound and two pounds coins. It tends to mean that I have more money than I realise in my wallet!

In other news, I have not had any reportable cooking accidents, though I continue to burn my wrists on the edge of my saucepan. Tomorrow, I am going to attempt to make scrambled eggs, so I'm sure an entertaining story will ensue from that.

Tomorrow, a few of my friends are going to Wimbledon, but I opted out of the trip. Besides needing to do homework I've been neglecting, Wimbledon doesn't thrill me too much and it's extra money to go because it's on the other end of the city, so I figured I'd stay nice and warm in my room. I may have to venture out to get some supplies for an assignment, as the school store here has nothing beyond folders, and will likely freeze to death in the pursuit of art supplies.

And now some pictures I took tonight:

St. Paul's Cathedral from the Millenium Bridge

St. Paul's again from the south bank of the Thames

*A quote from the novel The Postmistress by Sarah Blake which, as of page 96, is pretty awesome.


Captain Stennous said...

So jealous of the museum trips--they're so close to you, and you get to go for free! I can't wait until the next Enscribe trip, but honestly, I wish I could be close to all that art and history and such (though not the modern art--that I could do without).

I love the pic with the Millennium Bridge and St. Paul's in the background: lots of great contrast, negative space, and line. I love how you captured a great contrast between modern and historic with those two structures, showing us that London contains a wealth of history that can coexist with the modern. Oh, and it is now my desktop.

Mrs. Flury said...

Dear Rachel, You are so fortunate to be where you are! Can you feel the history crackling in the air? You're practically living in a museum!

I, too, appreciated the contrasts in the picture with the lighted bridge and the cathedral. It seems crystal crisp in the picture. So, it's not foggy ALL the time? Do the scenes take your breath away, or are you getting accustomed to the wonder of it all? I hope you always find it spectacular!

I'm glad you have a positive outlook on experiencing new kinds of theatre. Your opera experience proved the value of that. Blaring Beatles? I think I'd just want to "Let It Be."

Thanks for the monetary lesson. I Googled Elizabeth Fry. I'm ashamed to say that I had not heard of her before--but I know who she was now, thanks to you! I think it's very cool that the currency pictures each tell a bit of a story. Until your pic, I thought every bill had Queen Elizabeth's picture but the values were different colors. I'm learning so much from you--thank you!

Courtney said...

Hey Rachel! I like your title/quote. :) I know I have heard it before somewhere and the imagery makes me smile quite a lot. Also, I would also like to say that I agree with your thoughts upon modern art--I stare at them and try to find something about it that has meaning and usually just have to give up. Cats paw prints on canvas just don't do much for me...XD

Rachel said...

Mrs. Flury- I love how much history is around me. The novelty hasn't worn off quite yet- I still catch myself thinking, "I'm in England!!!" and not being able to believe it.
No, it's not foggy a lot of the time, really only when it rains (which is nearly every other day, but...) Lately, it's been cold and clear.

Courtney- thanks :) Yeah, that's exactly the kind of modern art I mean. I don't appreciate going into a museum and, as my friend Catherine said, seeing something I could have done (which is not saying much... I am not artist.) A Coke bottle with some coins scattered around it (as you can find in the Phildelphia art museum) is NOT art. It is litter.

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