Saturday, January 22, 2011

Not very Indian yet, is it?

First off - London is cold.  Colder than I expected anyways.  I have been here for a few days now and the temperature has danced around th 1- 4 C mark.  I have been trying to take pictures (thanks again Diana for the easy-to-use camera!!) and it is becoming more habitual.  At first I felt too much like a tourist.  Then, I realized that I am a tourist, so what the heck! 
Yesterday I "took a drive Primrose Hill.  It's lovely there and the view's so nice."  (anyone?  anyone?) 

Yes, I went there for the sole purpose of being able to say that.  It basically connects to Regent's Park which contains Queen Mary's Garden. 

I walked for hours, until my legs were sore, fingers numb, and it got dark. (".. London ice can freeze your toes.  Like anyone, I suppose you're holding on for tomorrow...")  Baker street at 5-6pm was, so far, the most intensely zoo-like experience of London.  So many people!  Everywhere!  Places have paces, and in London it is frenetic.  I have nothing at all to do, but I am dreaming that I am late all the time.  Everyone is rushing everywhere, talking on invisible phones, reading a thousand newspapers. 
This was taken Thursday night, from the steps of St Martin-in-the-fields, where I got a last minute ticket to see 'London Concertante' perform two of Bach's Brandenberg Concerto's, with a bit of Vivaldi as well.  it was quite good - the harpsichordist was incredible. 
(You know, it is incredible how much of my time here revolves around music!  I am making a point of listening to lots of blur and The Smiths, Morrissey,  MBV, - but it was Sigur Ros that took me through the park.) 
Last night Viiiu took me to the Royal Festival Hall where we saw the Orchestra of the Age of enlightenment perform pieces by Mahler, Wagner and Liszt.  It was terrific, and the hall and the view from it, across the thames (below) was spectacular.

Viiu's friend Nicolas lent me a 'down sweater' since he noticed how cold I have been, and I suspect it will come in handy.  He came and sat with us after intermission since we had better, empty seats beside us. 
Here is one for the folks back home:
Yes.  It was made on commemoration of my arrival.  Actually, it sells kitchen accessories.  At crazy prices. 

Viiu has such an amazing book collection.  I am trying not to get sucked into the desire to read all sorts of things while here.  However, I did find a copy of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations and have been greatly enjoying it.  I have read quotations in the past - why have I never taken up the whole thing?  It is gorgeous, and I downloaded it to my Kindle today so that I can read it on the rest of my journey.  I have found a number of passages already that I want to quote, both personally and academically:

p. 14 (sec 2.16) “For to set your mid against anything that comes to pass is to set yourself apart from nature, which embraces as part of itself the natures of all individual things.” 


  1. I have to say you are really doing that camera well! The photos are great - I love the one with the walking bridge. Hope you don't mined that I stole it and am currently using it as my desktop background. They're possible loading super slow onto the blog because they'e HUGE files. Try going to the menu in the camera and making them smaller OR if they're .tiff, change them to .jpeg (but always keep a .tiff file if you plan to get them printed - better quality.)
    You're making me super jealous. Tell Viiu its my turn next.

  2. The photos really are great! Bruce & I were just viewing them at my email, and both there and here, at the blog, I would not say they were that slow to load ... The quality is excellent - I wish my printer were better! That's fine little camera! Keep warm & thanks to Nicolas & greetings to all! Hugs, Mom

  3. Beautifully captured in words and photos, Rob. Thanks for sharing the experiences of your adventure. Susan G