Wednesday, July 23, 2008

accents and architecture

Aren't you glad I brought a camera this year? Two years ago I brought one, but only used it the week Lisa came over. Last year I didn't bring one at all - I used all of Alex's pics. But this year I have no shame. I have become a tourist again. I talk loudly on the tube and feel no guilt. I don't put on phony English accents so I'll get better customer service. None of my old tricks. Take it or leave it, I'm here and I've got a water bottle, and DEAL WITH IT.

But the good side is that now I can post one bazillion pictures on my blog. Which makes my posts really long, but who cares. Is there a blog monitor to fine me? I blog with laissez-faire.

Today was a lot of fun. I escorted the group to the British Museum and dropped them off. I love me some Rosetta Stone, and I'm always a sucker for mummies, but this year I wanted to see what else Bloomsbury had to offer. So I set off, with Kevin O'Keefe along for great company.

The first place we went to was Sir John Soane's Museum. Soane was an architect in the 1800's who bought three townhomes, and then packed them with antiques, treasures, and antiquities. The basement is this giant crypt with an enormous Egyptian sarcophogas. It was wowzers. Every room is an amazement. The fire alarm also went off when we were in there and we had to evacuate! But it was a drill. So exciting!

It was a beautiful day, but I'm always so thirsty. Kevin and I had a drink at this pub. I love beer!*

Kevin stopped for some fresh fruit on the street, and the fruit seller was a little anxious about me taking pictures of his produce. Should I be worried?

A sad part of our day took place in the Jarndyce Book Shop, where the following unfortunate conversation happened between me and this saleslady who looked like Billy Connelly:

(I had spotted some fantastic book covers, and wanted to take a picture)

ME: (SUPER POLITE) Pardon me, would it be possible for me to take a picture in here?
LADY: (ACKNOWLEDGING ME FOR THE FIRST TIME) No, only customers can take pictures.
ME: Um, how do you know I'm not a customer?
LADY: When you buy something, you'll be a customer.
ME: But after I buy something, I leave.
LADY: Well, then you can take a picture.

I'm playing with the idea of going back in a few days with a business suit and talk in my aforementioned English accent. Do you think she would let me take a picture then? I bet so. Anyway, I was done with the Jaundice Book Shop.

Kevin and I rambled a bit more and found some interesting pieces of architecture.

Where's Waldo?

Later, we visited Benjamin Pollock's Toy Shop and Museum. I'm crazy about this place, and I bought a tin fish who eats another little fish. On the side of the box it says This big hungry whale is by no means nasty or unsympathetic. While it is true that he actually swallows the little fish, he does it no harm at all, as you will soon see. Also we tried on some masks.

Tonight we saw the musical Marguerite, which is the latest offering from the Les Miserables team. Our group gave it decidedly mixed reviews. Complaints included:

The lead singer sang flat.
The leading man sang too loud.
The music was too gloomy.
There was a naked boob.
You didn't care about anyone.

Positives included:

The sets and lighting were amazing.
The Jazz numbers were spunky.
The old lady who sang the Paris song was awesome.
There was a pretty song in Act 1.
We liked the German guy, even though he didn't have a German accent.

*Just kidding, I had a Coke.