Each month I comment on the rate at which the previous month passed and each month seems to go exponentially faster so here I am saying it again. So I’m three very full months into my adventure and I’m already beginning my lasts. Classes are done, yet that doesn’t mean that I’ve conquered finals quite yet. That will come later. Much later.
I spent much of my week making progress in my modules, between the studio, cafes and in the flat. It sounds quite boring, but I managed to enjoy it all somehow. Thursday night was London’s First Thursday Gallery Tour on the east side again. I went last month and had such a great evening that I would be a regular if my time here wasn’t limited. I jumped on the tube with Naomi, Holly, Isaac and Nick and we ventured through Whitechapel Gallery, S O Gallery, Graffiti Life Gallery, The Basement Gallery, Eleven Spitalfield and the Topman, among a few others we happened to run into. We also made the obligatory stop at Beigel Bakery to stock up and there we introduced Nick to his first (prepare yourself) bagel. How can anyone go twenty-one years without a bagel? We finished up the night with curry at Muhib. You can’t really look up which of the 53 curry places is the best because it just doesn’t work like that, so we picked the place that offered the best deal at the door. So for a few pounds I tried Garlic Tikka Chicken, pillaw rice, plain naan, peshawari naan (almonds and coconut) and a half-pint of Cobra. For my first “proper English” curry experience, I was a happy camper. We had to go back to Beigel Bakery after because Nick was already having beigel withdrawals.
I made a day trip out to Canterbury on Saturday morning. I spent a bit of time in the Canterbury Cathedral, dating from the 11th century. The Cathedral was quite large and is home to the tomb of King Henry IV. Because of a late expansion, there are Romanesque and Gothic features. The stained glass, the crypt and the grounds are all fantastic reasons to pay the entrance fee, but really, I loved Canterbury itself. This little town in the English countryside is known for its apples, hops and woman, but I found Canterbury to be a great escape from the city life of London that I’m becoming accustomed to. The weather, once again, was wonderful for exploring the streets lined with weatherboard Tudor style homes and chowing down on a local Kentish Huffkin sausage and balsamic onion toastie on the pavement near a flower shop. The tour whipped us off to Hever Castle next, about an hours drive. This was Anne Boleyn’s childhood home and if you’re any bit overwhelmed by England’s immense history as I, there is a chance you may actually know the fate of this poor woman as she’s quite a popular figure. Being King Henry VIII’s third wife, she bestowed a daughter upon him, followed by a stillborn son and in return, she was beheaded with a double edged sword at Tower Hill in London. Divorced, beheaded and died, divorced, beheaded, survived, as the saying (or six wives) goes. Hever Castle is on a few lovely acres of manicured lawns, gardens and lakes. The castle itself is modest in comparison to the preconceived notion of a castle; after exploring ruins time and time again, Hever Castle, with all its original furnishings seemed quite homey.
The days of adventure are upon me and I’m about to set off to backpack, see, and eat my way through various countries and cuisines. My mum arrives tomorrow and I am so excited to show her why I just cannot come back to the States in mere weeks. Wish us luck.