London: Day 1

I’ve been back from London for 2 weeks now and finally things are settling down. Steven’s musical has opened (Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), we’re back to routines, and I’m catching up on the pictures I need to process.

While I was there, I bought a little journal and journaled at least the first 3 days. I didn’t get much more done as I was actually doing things and processing the pictures I’d taken. But I wanted to share the journaling I did do about those days.

Day 1 – March 25, 2018

Wow. I’m actually in London. I successfully navigated Heathrow, even though it too,  nearly an hour to get through passport check. And I couldn’t remember the name of Maggie’s school – I worriecd they’d think I was lying!

But, my GOD, the walking! After immigration, I got my suitcase & found an ATM, where I couldn’t get cash. GODDAMMIT!! But I exchanged the US cash I had at a place by baggage claim. Then walking forever to the tube.

I navigated the tube well. Got my ticket, found the platform, and found a seat. My huge suitcase quickly became an issue as I was having trouble getting it between my legs, so it blocked a seat, which annoyed other passengers. Finally did it, though.

Got off at the correct stop (YAY!) and found the hotel. Oh. wow, this hotel. It’s so lovely and charming while also being luxurious. My room wasn’t available yet as it was only 10am, so I ventured across the street to Muriel’s Kitchen, a small restaurant with breakfast fare. Eggs on toast, stripey bacon (so good). The egg yolks were orange, which surprised me and I’ll need to research. I finished and didn’t want to take up space, since people were waiting for a seat. I went outside to wait for Maggie. A lovely flower vendor making astonishing bouquets was just around the corner in a little square outside the tube entrance. Pigeons, children on scooters, people walking their dogs. So many languages, looks, journeys, stories. I watched the black cabs & red double decker buses. 

The hotel is marvelous. Lovely bed with a fresh & modern color scheme. The bath has a shower to die for. Hot, fierce, and refreshing. Then I pull the towel off the rack and it’s WARM. Bloody heated towel racks, y’all. Absolutely amazing after my long, grungy flight. Maggie waited for me as I refreshed & then we ventured out.

She took me to a local Thai place where she’d been before. I wasn’t tremendously hungry as I’d had breakfast on the plane and then food at Muriel’s Kitchen, but I had some fried rice and a glass of wine. It is so different relating to Maggie as an adult – having a glass of wine, discussing life and issues. She is so mature, and has a lot of clearheadedness for a 20 year old.

We walked to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which was quite impressive. A very different type of museum with sculpture and artifacts, but also neat exhibits like fashion & a wonderful theatre collection. With England’s great theatrical history, it’s marvelous to see the impact recognized on a national scale. I was especially taken by the collection of costumes, not only from their “panto” but also from big West End shows & film.

Super cool was the collection of set models. I’ve always be so impressed by Lew’s set models and these are just as impressive. Seeing how different set designers interpret different shows is enlightening & so beautiful.

There was also a great exhibit by a photographer who’s famous for dance & theatre photos. There were 2 that really grabbed me – one of the Queen Mum in a garden & one of the Blairs in an unscripted moment. Both were honest and unposed, capturing more of who they really are inside. Of course I didn’t get a picture of either one, but they showed me more of the kind of photographer * want to be. Anyone can shoot a portrait. It takes heart and skill to get beyond that & find honesty.

Having made it through the day without sleeping in order to avoid jet lag, by 7pm, I was pretty cashed. Maggie and I said goodnight and I went back to my room and was in bed by 8:30!

So that was day one. I was overwhelmed and excited. Couldn’t believe I was actually there and really wanting to experience so much. I already miss it!