Tuesday, 18 December 2007

In trying to keep in step with one, Chris Bowser, (and to give him a bit of a mention), I am blogging away these days. My parents are in the air surely to be crossing the Atlantic in a matter of moments en route to see me in Londi for the holidays. I am beyond excited to show them my city. I had another "I love London" moment today as I took the scary step out my door into the frigid weather and into the hustle and bustle of Christmas shoppers. I chose Covent Garden as my first destination, trying to avoid Oxford Street at all costs. I spent an extremely pleasant quarter of an hour sipping my grande Starbucks and leaning over the red railing in the center of the market area to listen to a string quintet...no, there were six of them... What do you call that? Anyway, I watched and listened to these superbly talented folks play with such joy. If you have ever been to Covent Garden (at any time of the year, not just during the holidays), you can picture this scene of talented street performers. The word that comes to mind? I must say... "lovely", followed by a deep sigh. The guy playing the stand-up bass ran round and round it never skipping a beat. He would carry his bass around the cafe-type sitting area to cajole passers-by to throw a bit of change in their basket or to buy a copy of their cds. He blocked the staircase and stared at people until they caught his eye and made them smile. Lovely.
The day did not start off quite so delightfully. I saw, what you might say, both sides of the coin of a city today. As I hopped on the 247 bus to go to my Lord's Cricket Ground stop, my head turned to the rear of the bus. A seemingly drunken man (I must mention it was barely noon) began to argue with another bloke about who got to sit in a seat on our crowded mode of transport. Pushing and yelling ensued. The bus pulled over at the first stop possible, and the bus driver yelled from his enclosed seat in the front that he would call the police if they did not calm down. The two men paid no mind to the driver's warning. All of the rest of us who were lucky enough to be witnessing this interaction, which was bit unnerving, to be honest, seemed to be staring at and inching toward the closed doors to make a hasty exit. As the bus driver yelled that he was, indeed, phoning the police, those of us longing for escape were given our wish when the doors were opened. We filed out and all stood around watching the goings-on, quite the show, actually. By the time we had alighted onto the curb, another 274 bus had pulled up behind us at the stop (which I must say, is utterly shocking since I rarely see these busses meeting up as they seem to be horribly off-schedule most days). All of the passengers from my bus immediately went to board this new arrival but were halted by the second bus driver leaving his seat to go support his colleague. As these two bus drivers, the two disgruntled men, and the gaping masses waited on the police to arrive, I chose to walk. When I arrived in St John's Wood, my core was a bit frozen, but at least I avoided getting into the mix of that altercation any further. Life in a big city...lots of people equals drama and delight all at the same time. I do love London. If you ever get the chance to visit, do not hesitate! Lovely.

Word of the day? Christingle. Google this. Our entire church service comprised a skit of one of the student pastors standing on stage in a paper mache orange. Hilarious! : )

Happy Christmas!!!!

Friday, 14 December 2007

I love London. I have just had the loveliest, most humourous walk home I have had in a long time. Oftentimes, I look straight ahead or at my eye level when walking down my city streets. As most of you know, I stopped growing in 6th grade, a.k.a. 11years of age, so my "eye level" is not all that high. This most recent stroll goes to show me that sometimes it pays to look up and around. No lie, as I looked to my left into a window of one of the many brownstone-esque looking houses (picture the Cosby-style houses with white facades rather than red bricks), I saw a man holding a slice of bacon on either side of his face. Yes, bacon. A woman was standing inches away from him, taking a rather professional-looking picture of his face with the meat bookending his face. She had a stand up flash and light meter...the works. A double-take was necessity. Then, as I popped into the local newsagent to grab a Diet Coke, my entry was blocked by a mum and her two 4-or-so little kiddos trying to exit the tiny shop. I looked down to see a pushchair (stroller) awaiting their return from their shopping. As I stepped out of their way, the little boy looked up at me and said, "Well done for guarding our pushchair!", with a smile. His mum almost fell over from laughing so hard. I giggled, as well, and went inside to buy my soda. I exited the shop to see the mum and kiddos still making their way across the street adjacent me. I could still hear the woman giggling to herself. I love London.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

As I took these pictures at FWEL (Friends Who Eat Lunch) today, Micaela (a.k.a., THE BOSS) told the boys that they were going to be put up on my blog. Yeppers! She was spot on. We had quite a gang this week for pizza. Sam is sporting Micaela's nod at festiveness, the Peter Pan hat, which she claimed was similar to that of an elf for our Christmas lunch. Ok. : )
The semester is drawing to a close, and I must say that I am a bit sad to see my friends go away for several weeks. I will miss them big time! It will be nice for us all to have a break from daily routine and crazy schedules, though, no question.

My parentals arrive in a matter of days and will spend two weeks here with me in Jolly Ole'. We will be the quintessential tourists, and I am excited for us to spend the holidays in London. Not being home on Christmas will be strange. I cannot recall a Christmas morning that has happened in any other place than in my own living room in Arkansas. We return to the States on 2 January. I will spend most of my January stateside time in Florida at our Young Life All-Staff Conference that we all attend every 4 years. Palm trees, flip flops, and loads of friends run rampant in this massive gathering of over 3,000 YL staffers! I know we will have a blast!
More musings from the semester next week most likely after the school year is officially wrapped and I have no limit on my time for composing...
Oh, the bottom picture is my friend, Courtney, me, and my pal, Lana, at the David Gray concert here in my neighbourhood!!! We were on the 4th row standing! It was AMAZING, to say the least!!!

Friday, 7 December 2007

Central London WYLDLIFE!!!
We had our first event tonight which involved watching "a classic", in the words of one of these cool middle schoolers, "How The Grinch Stole Christmas", eating pizza, and doing a little Christmas celebrating by decorating a couple of "trees". :) We had a great time, and we had quite the crew, especially for the first gathering ever! I am thrilled! We hope to start getting together for a WYLDLIFE event once a month beginning in February!