One of the blessings of staying at the flat on Queen's Gate Terrace is that the Hyde Park chapel is about a 3 minute walk away. In terms of distance, it's about the same distance from my house to my chapel in Provo, except I always drive there because I'M LAZY.
The Hyde Park Ward has now split in two, and it's about time. The old Hyde Park Ward was always filled through to the overflow. Today, the Hyde Park Second Ward barely filled 3/4 of the pews. This is nice because I didn't feel like I was taking someones spot. And 7 or 8 of my students were there too, and they were all able to sit together. Miles remarked that this felt like the American Embassy rather than the church he expected; everyone is American. The Bishop and the counselor, the families sitting all around us, and even the talks were given by a missionary couple from Provo. I don't mind it, because I'm used to it. But I think the students are always expecting something a little more British. We did, however, hear the sacrament blessed by a man named Mike, who studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama with Judi Dench in the 50's. It sounded like it was being blessed by Peter O'Toole and it was fantastic! Very dramatic. I met Mike afterwards and had a great chat with him, as well as my old friend Martin Juul Sorenson. It's always great to see him, too! Miles, seeing Martin's hair, told me "that's what I'll look like when I grow up."
We had lunch at the 2 pound Sandwich Shop and then did laundry and homework. Miles plucked his bass guitar in the flat and I caught up on emails. It was a quiet Sunday, and I like that.
At 4:00 we decided we wanted to do something, so we walked to Hyde Park to catch a bus. But apparently there was another police "incident" so the buses weren't running. And then we tried to pick up some bikes to ride downtown, but they had all been turned off; unavailable for check-out. And the skies were stormy and thundery and threatening to rain. People were stressed out all up and down Kensington High Street - there was nothing to do but walk. It felt like the Walking Dead. But Miles and I kept our spirits up and we walked to the Knightsbridge Stop and got on the tube, which was understandably packed.
We walked to St. Martins-in-the-Field to hear the choral evensong. It's my favorite service. There is some preaching but it's mostly scriptures and Bible stories, and the rest of it is this glorious choral music sung in the perfect acoustics of St. Martins. I love to sit there and take it all in. When the sacrament bag comes around I pretend I don't see it. Is that bad? I told Miles he could play with his ipad while I listened to the music, but he told me he didn't want to. He wanted to sit and listen, too. I thought that was very sweet and respectful. He liked it a lot.
After evensong Miles and I walked to the India Club for dinner. It's the oldest Indian restaurant in London! And possibly the best. Miles has only had limited experience with curries (he told me "mom made chicken curry and naan bread for dinner once, but everybody except for you and mom just ate the naan bread") so he was a little nervous to try it. But he ordered a prawn curry and loved it. Later tonight he asked if we could go back sometime. So his palate is stretching. I played it safe with a little chicken korma. I would recommend the India Club to anyone - if you can find it. It's hidden near Gregg's on the Strand - just around the corner from Somerset House. Walk two floors up and watch for the waiters in white coats!
After that Miles and I walked around the south bank for a little while. We eventually ended up at the BFI, which has a cool little screening room with thousands of titles on demand. Miles watched something about autism and I watched something about Hitchcock until the screening room closed. And then we watched Some Like It Hot on the big screen. We both had seen it, but it's a film you can never see enough. We laughed and laughed and quoted it the whole way home.