Thursday, September 15, 2011

To London and Back

This melancholy London -- I sometimes imagine that the souls of the lost are through its streets perpetually. One feels them passing like a whiff of air.

 London. Oh wow.

I got there the day after I finished my Maltese exam: I never want to have to read another poem by Karmenu Vassallo. Ever.

I keep forgetting just how big it is, how intricate the streets are, how beautiful the mixture of urban and green spaces is.

On the other hand, the London bus service is nearly as bad as our new one (Arriva n'arrive pas). On the other other hand, the tube is incredible efficient, people in shops are friendly (we had a nice conversation with the lay at the checkout in Marks and Spencer about how rubbishy the Marks and Spencer branches in Malta are), and there are no stray animals visible.

London was beginning to illuminate herself against the night. Electric lights sizzled and jagged in the main thoroughfares, gas-lamps in the side streets glimmered a canary gold or green. 

E M Forster

It's hard to say what I enjoyed the most:

The Victoria and Albert Museum (beautiful costumes)

Camden town (leather jackets for ten sterling each. My father and brother were in heaven)
I would have taken one home, but alas my luggage was too small

-The Natural History Museum (the earthquake room is as great as I remember it being),

-Seeing someone wearing actual Lolita clothing (Sweet Lolita, pastel from head to toe. Not my kind of clothes, but I was so impressed at the sight of her poofy skirt I forgave the colour scheme at once.)

-The zoo

Serval asleep

-The extremely tasty spaghetti I ate at Covent Garden, the fantastic Mexican food outside the Stables Market, the lamb Wellington in Earl's Court

Eating lunch, surrounded by giant horse statues

-Windsor castle and Virginia water (go there and wonder at the ruins of Leptis Magna. Well, bits of Leptis Magna that were arranged to look like ruins),


Virginia Water: the ruins. This trip was followed by a mile of walking to the train station, followed by running across a bridge and back to get to the right platform for a train that was leaving that VERY MINUTE

-St Paul's Choral Society's concert at Chingford. The Hallelujah chorus made suffering through 'Lapsi' and 'Imnarja' worth it. For the confused: St Paul's is a Maltese choir. My mother is a member. They went to London on 'tour', singing at St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral and elsewhere.

-Cyber Dog.

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This shop wouldn't stand a chance in Malta

-Constantly having 'Neverwhere' on the brain as we passed through Earl' Court, Islington, Knightsbridge and the like.

London is a roost, for every bird.

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