I told the students yesterday that their homework for their daybooks was to write down, before going to bed, just what happened in day one of their London adventure. “Trust me: you’ll forget it very quickly. You’re tired and jet-lagged and tomorrow will be such an adventure, you’ll forget today every happened,” I offered in my wised way.
And then I managed to go to a concert and fall dead asleep without doing it myself. So my day one of London is really day two. Quick recap:
An effortless flight over – even got the back of Jackson’s new sweater nearly knitted – and all was good … until we hit customs and one of our students, who has a Dominican Republic passport, was promptly told, ‘No!’ Apparently, poor Kirsis needed a VISA to come to London and none of us realized it. That was a very unpretty 2 hours. Rick stayed behind to be beautifully paternal. He sent us ahead to call the coach and get everyone to the flats. Since the coach was late (as usual), we were loading up and we see Rick and Kirsis come walking up, one laughing and dancing and the other still crying (from a mix of shock and relief, I’d imagine). Yep, Rick had talked them into letter in the country. I can’t imagine how, given border restrictions, but some of it came down to the fact that American Airlines should never have let her on the plane (and will be fined for it) and her being our student. Who cares? She’s here and we’re having fun! Long story short: Rick Taylor is a hero!
Elated, we went to the flats, saw how tiny they are, I was in a horrible mood about it all and missing my home-away-from-home on Edgware Rd. The shower was too small (though wonderfully reliable RE the water) and it was just ew … (Today, however, everything is goodish … kitchen is still to small and I wish we had a living room.)
Post-check-in, we walked the kids all over the South Bank and got tickets for a Wednesday matinee of All’s Well That Ends Well.
Drew and I then went to Shepherd’s Bush to see Villagers in concert. Now, I knew that we would be tired and I knew that it was fundamentally a bad idea to go to the concert on landing day. I got there having been awake for over 36 hours! But I knew Kerri Flinchbaugh would never speak to me again if I didn’t go, so there it is. I actually fell asleep, while standing, waiting for Villagers to take the stage. In my defense, our tickets said 7:00 but by 8:00 we were still looking at a bare stage. WTF? Then the opening act started … and I realized we would be there a long time. Never got the name because the woman was Irish and mumbled. She was good but her “lullaby” did me in. I was standing, swaying, and next thing I know, I was stumbling backwards and grabbing Drew to keep from falling. I’m sure everyone there thought I was drunk, which is less embarrassing than admitting that I had falling asleep. Villagers took the stage at 9:00 and they were AWESOME. But my feet and back hurt in ways I cannot adequately describe, and since Connor sang my favorite 3 songs first (after singing 4 songs from his solo/previous work), I looked at Drew and we both left. I’m embarrassed to have left a GREAT concert before it ended, but I couldn’t stand another minute. Sorry, Kerri! But it was amazing!
I slept nearly 12 hours without rolling over. Yep, that tired. Bed at 10:00 and up at 9:00 … crazy for me.
Then we rambled round Camden before seeing a fringe production of A Clockwork Orange at the Roundhouse. Seriously, a wonderful first day of theatre. I was sad sad sad that more of the students did not come out for this cheap elective event. They’d have loved it. It was just splendid and more “true” to the book (or at least one version of it) than the movie. And it only lasted an 1.5 hours … sweet. The star, who played Alex, is a young actor to watch, the real star of the show.
Post show, we grabbed some food and nipped down to Regents Park so that Rick and I could feel whole again. Up to the grotto we walked. I had my lunch while Rick, Anna, and Brent did sun salutations and downward dogs and all sorts of other yogarty things. True bliss.
Then, we walked from Regents through several neighborhoods and down to SoHo so Rick and Brent could buy a guitar to play while here. Rick will soon be serenading us for sure, and I, for one, can’t wait. So much better than my tragic piano playing last year on out-of-tune pianos …
All in all, this is going to be a stellar year and my head is coming out of my butt. It was hard to leave Jackson, Susie, and Rachel at the airport, and I was very tired to start the trip – did you know that a toddler is a lot of work? – but I fell so much more complete already just being here, getting on the Tube, walking through Camden, smelling roses in Regents … it all just feels so much better.
Onward and upward …