Monday, May 05, 2008

Saturday in London

Today is Bank Holiday here. It is a day off, sort of like Labor Day is back home. I like days like this. Mondays are usually days that we associate with getting back to the daily grind, so these holidays are a great gift. They give you a longer weekend and then they help you ease into the new week.

Brit Boy and I have been chilling out for the past week and today is our last day of chilling out together for a while. After our trip into London the prior weekend and with my visa stuff and everything, we were quite wiped out. So we have been taking it easy. My quest to get my indefinite visa has taken me three years of hard work, so we figured that we were long overdue for a breather. (smile) So it has been fun to just kick back for once. So thank heaven for bank holidays…an extra day to relax.

We were in London for about three days, give or take a few hours. So I have decided to break the days up into three different posts, so the entry won’t go on and on.

We headed out on our journey, on Saturday morning, the 26th of April. I was a tiny bit nervous that morning, because I knew that I had a big hoop to jump through at the immigration office on the following Monday. But quite miraculously the mail arrived earlier than usual and I got a happy anniversary card from a friend from back home. I have known her since I was eight years old. She is my oldest friend. I was so touched that she had sent me this card and she wrote a note inside. She is always so sweet in the things that she says and she always calms me. The funny thing is that she didn’t say anything about my slight worry over my visa, but she said the right thing to me. The thing that touched me, was her simply saying…“I miss you…and we are friends for life.“ That simple connection with my life back home, coupled with the fact that she cared enough to send me and Brit Boy an anniversary card, just instantly made me calm. I guess that her card helped me remember that who I was back home is that same girl that I am now. So no matter what happened with my visa, things would be fine. I remembered that I had been through much tougher times and made it, so an immigration interview was just another thing. (smile) I was ready. The butterflies left my stomach and didn’t return. I placed her card on the table so I could see it first thing when we walked into the house and we headed out.

We took a taxi into town to catch the train. I love taking the train and so does Brit Boy. He likes it because that means he doesn’t have to drive and I am always glad when he gets a break from that. I don’t drive here yet. That is more red tape for later. (smile) When we go back home to visit though, I always drive…so it works out for us. Anyway, I like the train because you can watch the countryside go by the window and you don’t have to worry about traffic. It is probably my favorite way to travel. I think that it is romantic and you have time to think on the train. To me, it doesn’t feel claustrophobic like a plane, but that is just my take on it.

So we took the train into Paddington Station in London. I love that station. It is a great place for people watching. Everyone is going this way and that, on their way to somewhere. From Paddington, we hopped on The Tube and rode out to where we were staying in Kensington. Kensington is quite lively and it’s a nice place to walk around. There’s lots to do. Here’s a picture of the view out of our hotel room. I liked the church across the rooftops.

After we checked into our hotel, we took a walk around the area and just hung out. Then we went into a shop and bought a few things to eat. We went back to our hotel room and ate and watched a bit of tv. Time flew very quickly and so we got ready for our night out at the theatre. We took The Tube again and went to the Old Vic theatre. The Old Vic is a jewel. It sort of stands there on its own in this neighborhood and is not part of a collection of theatres like you get in the West End. I love that it is an individual. (smile)

When we got inside, we bought a program. We have quite a collection of programs now. Then we walked upstairs and hung out in the bar for a few minutes. It was a warm day, so we stood near an open window. Then we went inside close to showtime. The Old Vic is a medium-ish theatre and I loved that. It felt very intimate. It is not a tiny place, but it was just close enough to really feel connected to what was going on onstage. We went to see the final performance of the run of "Speed-The-Plow" with Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum. It was FABULOUS!!! They were fabulous!!!! Kevin Spacey was like energy on legs and you can see why he is an Oscar winner. And Jeff Goldblum is a tall, lean presence with movements like a cat. He glided around the stage like a schoolboy. I want to be "ageless" as I mature, in the way that I carry myself, just like Jeff does. There is definitely something about doing what you love in life. You can tell they both love what they are doing. They both were amazing and they are just fabulous actors. I like each of these actors separately and together they were like fireworks. The way that they both moved around the stage and used every inch of it, was amazing. The dialogue was rapid-fire and you could tell that they were pros at this. At the end, Kevin Spacey thanked the audience for supporting the play and thanked his co-stars. It was the cool thing about seeing the final performance. It was a great night.

After the show, we took this picture of the theatre to remember it all. What a night.

Then we hopped back onto The Tube and headed back to Kensington. We walked around for a bit and then headed back to the hotel. We were beat after a long day.

Tomorrow, I will share what we saw and did on the Sunday. We covered a lot of ground and I did it all on rather sore feet. (smile)

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