Some of my wonderful readers have inquired about where I find energy and time to generate so many blog posts. The answer is that I just love exploring my experiences abroad through writing. I’m inspired to create a lasting narrative of this time in my life and open it up to my favorite friends and family and let them inside my world. I’ve had a separate blog reserved for personal and philosophical musings for something like five years now, so it’s not a new concept, although making it pretty public is.
So about my mom “popping over”: it was so, so wonderful! We enjoyed a lovely weekend together and I’d like to give a small recap of some things we did but not everything, or in great detail.
We visited the Saatchi Gallery (thumbs up), found this hilarious little dog at a gorgeous garden shop, enjoyed Middle Eastern food and snagged a pic on the stairs (lights and tiles in background), then visited the Oxo Tower Wharf (bursting with fascinating creative stores and enchanting watches) and Gabriel’s Wharf for some more fun shops and a great little trumpet/snare drum duo that played some upbeat jazz on the waterfront. A candlelight concert at St Martin in the Fields (a b e a u-tiful church in Trafalgar Square) tied up our day, filling our heads with heavenly choral music. Yes, my mom is amazing!
A highlight of her visit was a comprehensive rock ‘n roll tour of the West End. We drove past countless residences, places of death, studios, and landmarks of huge influencers of the rock scene including Bob Marley, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Cat Stevens, the Beatles in general, Mama Cass… it was so great! Our tour guide used to be a road manager for a rock star (forget who) so he was like an encyclopedia. He even threw in a Coldplay location (I went berserk.) Anyone know of the song “Violet Hill“? It’s deep, dark, powerful tune named after a park in a fancy part of London.
I really wasn’t feeling getting a picture at the Abbey Road crosswalk because I felt like such a tourist, but somehow my mom and the tour guide ended up staging the included photo. Can you tell who wanted the pic and who wanted to not get run over? It is pretty funny though.
We learned so much, covered an incredibly large area of London, and rocked out to some great music all the while. The guide even told me that Paul Simon was involved in East London/the UK, recording The Paul Simon Songbook and writing Homeward Bound there!
I’d definitely recommend this tour if you’re into London’s rock ‘n roll history.
Fittingly, just a few days later, my London and its Museums professor told us that the day earlier, when he was teaching at the Tate Britain with a different group of students, he turned around and there was Mick Jagger. A scruffy one, he said, but all the same, Mick Jagger!
The last great thing I’ll mention is our trip to the over-the-top artsy restaurant Sketch. The atmosphere, decor, food, bathrooms… I was incapacitated with wonder.
It was my first real dining experience, and I can’t wait until I have enough dinero to afford another one. The basis of food is art and appreciation for flavor, which deeply resonates with my views.
It was fantastic to have a family member visit me. However, as my friend Caroline talked about in her study abroad blog, it’s also difficult to let go and realize you won’t see that special slice of home again for months. Now that I’ve readjusted to college life, I’m fine, but I sorely missed my friends and family on my birthday (Feb 18). I’m very happy socially over here, but nothing can compare to the physical closeness of friends and family on a special day like a birthday. Can’t wait to see my beloveds upon my return in May or June!
Up next: One-day trip to Venice!