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07 Jul 04

day 3: “november in july”

whew, my legs are exhausted. today was supposed to be day #1 of trips outside of london, but the weather forecast (just described on the news as “freak july weather” and “a july shocker”) didn’t so much agree. we were intending to go to brighton (on the southern coast), but it was apparently hit with gale force winds. london was gorgeous this morning, but luckily i’d seen the forecast and brought a raincoat and sweater with me – and prevented jo and i from travelling into the craziness. it did rain quite a bit in london later on today, and the wind was present all day, but we made the best of it.

my morning didn’t get off to the best start. after a restless night sleep of not being able to breathe (allergies + extreme dryness), i woke up groggily at 8 and showered. i headed down for breakfast around 8:30 and discovered a big lineup waiting to sit at the 8 tables. i ate quickly and headed out to the tube station, and discovered that my trek wasn’t going to be as straightforward as i thought – the subway line i wanted splits at my stop. i got on the train i thought was the right one, only to be told by a woman that the next train over was in fact the one i wanted. i hopped off in time to watch it drive away. after asking a station’s staff member, i discovered i was right in the first place and had to wait about 10 more minutes for my train. of course, i was to meet jo at 9:45 so i knew i was going to cut it close, and i ended up being 5 minutes late because i took the opposite exit at the station as i had planned on taking. oopsie. anyway, i found her and all was well.

we spent this morning in and around buckingham palace and st. james’s park. the wind was so intense that you could see the pollen being blown from the trees (not to mention the sandstorm on the “mall”), which wreaked havoc on my allergies. we got to watch the horse guards parade and the changing of the guard (me through puffy red eyes and in between sneezes) and wandered around trafalgar square and area. apparently the plan was to stage a performance of la boheme in the square this evening, but it’s been cancelled ’cause of the storm.

after a quick stop back at my hotel (so jo could see the closet i am living in, and so i could pay my bill as i had forgotten to do earlier), we headed back to trafalgar and visited st. martin-in-the-fields where we had lunch in the “cafe in the crypt” (which is exactly what it sounds like). we perused the church itself afterwards, and then spent several hours in the national gallery next door, where we saw approximately ten million paintings of jesus. we also discovered that 1600-1700 resulted in a whole lot of paintings that kinda sucked, with a few exceptions. we had to leave around 6 or so after perusing 3 of the 4 galleries ’cause our legs couldn’t take it anymore, so i headed back here to relax for a bit. i’ve magically avoided actually getting wet so far, but it just did start pouring once again so i’ll no doubt have to face it at some point.

oh, and a correction from yesterday: apparently they closed piccadilly circle so they could drive F1 cars down it. good call.

and now i’m gonna go give jo a call to see if we feel like getting together for dinner. i suspect weather may be a deciding factor.

update: it’s now a couple hours later (9:30) and i just got back from a dinner in soho at ed’s diner with jo. for future reference, they make good burgers for reasonably cheap. i’m now in an internet cafe where i made friends with the guy who works there – he knows nothing about computers so i’m trying to fix a driver for him…and he lets me use my laptop rather than the shitty computers that are in here. good deal. also, i just realized how wet i am from walking to the cafe. alas. and now, to post.

3 Responses to “day 3: “november in july””

  1. 1
    Sara Says:

    Come to Southampton!

  2. 2
    pager Says:

    hmmm i’ll see how my schedule works out…i have a billion places to be. email me your contact info?

  3. 3
    Sara Says:

    Cool – no worries if you’re too busy. Can’t believe it – I was in London for a meeting yesterday, and it didn’t occur to me until I read your blog that we could have met up!

    Have written to your post.queensu address. Assuming you are checking that despite the automatic reply.

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Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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