when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." — Samuel Johnson
London is far more interesting when you are ambulatory. As my healing progresses, so does my experience of London. Brief note on the foot: follow up declares that no surgery is needed, no further movement of bones is seen, life may indeed return to normal some day many weeks from now. Side note: moving around enough to work up a sweat means a walking boot can become… stinky.
But on to more pleasant topics! Whilst making my way around London with ever progressing pedestrian capabilities, I have begun to sample a bit more of what she has to offer. For example, I met up with fellow Barcelona Hosteller Schnaps, fresh back from Portugal, and she and I procured cheap tickets to a showing of Spamalot. Needless to say, if you enjoy Monty Python and musicals, you owe it to yourself to see this. I’ve seen it once before, but my how times have changed over six or seven years. The play has evolved and at numerous points the cast saw fit to add lib to themselves and the audience, making for a particularly unpredictable show. While it can’t come anywhere close to being as amazing as Book of Mormon (still the best thing I’ve ever seen on stage), it’s a fun show.
In addition, Baylor and I took a turn out on the town to quaff beer and cider at several fine local watering holes. In London, it seems that starting around 4 on a weekday the pubs begin to fill up and spill out on the sidewalks with people who are just damn finished with working and would kill for a pint. I attempted to blend in with the suits-and-tie crowd by wearing all black along with my black walking boot and black-topped crutch. I’m sure I was a natural.
While stumbling from one pub to the next, I got to record a few more excellent buildings in London. For example: the stack of coins:
Another day, while stumping along on my own, I discovered a store that is Geek Holy Ground: The Forbidden Planet. This place is amazing. Upstairs is a sprawling collection of models, figurines, paraphernalia, toys and other goodies related to comics, games, movies, and all things geeky. Downstairs is a massive dungeon of comics, graphic novels, RPGs, sci-fi and fantasy books. A few images to drive the point home:
Another great thing about London: free museums. Yep, just walk right in. And they are non too shabby, too:
Many impressive things await you at the British Museum. Much of it, strangely, having nothing to do with Britain. However, there was one display in a larger collection themed around “life and death” that I thought was absolutely brilliant. There were old pictures, snapshots from moments in people’s lives, lined around a massive center piece which was a tapestry made of pills. Yep, some seventeen thousand and more pills from vitamins to pain killers to heart medication, all stitched together to represent the pharmacopeia of two people’s life from birth to death. There were printed pages detailing how vitamin K is prescribed for a new born, all the way through being diagnosed with heart disease (for the man) or menopause (for the woman) and the requisite prescriptions. I thought it was a fascinating statement about our casual reliance on health in pill form.
Heading home I noticed this at Green Park subway station: if you want to see a map of the Underground, but really don’t like things printed on icky, boring paper, they have hung this on the wall:
Lastly, for those interested in reading (and critiquing!) my in-progress novel aimed (potentially) at the young-adult crowd, I’ve committed to posting new chapters every Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday. Three chapters a week (oy). I’ve gotten some great, insightful, and super-duper-helpful feedback and critiques on what I’ve posted already, so once I actually get the whole thing written I’ll be re-writing it with all the changes I see I need to make. Thanks for those of you reading along and making the story better!