Scenes of London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stratford-upon-Avon – Shakespeare’s Birthplace

i flew
back to london, back to heathrow
how familiar a place. i feel somewhat nostalgic
flight to london:
On the plane, I opted for chicken rice instead of the beef-western-style, obviously, because i was going to be away from singapore food for 2 months and I love singapore Asian food, as I’ve found out from exchange
There is something very endearing about flying above the cityscapes, seeing the range of coloured cartographic patterns below. The meandering river that connects places to places, the roads that links destinations to another. (Why are some squares bright green and others darker in colour?)
The two ladies next to me were from South Africa. I thought about Coetzee’s Disgrace that we discussed during our Jc lit days and asked them about it – the gated communities, the shootings at the farms, the (transferred) anger of the past, the white’s perspectives. History and its irretrievable past. Why can’t they just let go? I could hear the frustration in their voices. The desire to migrate. When will this ever be resolved, and how? We pondered. I drew parallels with the Holocaust (is that a fair comparison – why or why not? Something worth thinking about when my mind has more sleep), by which the deeds of the past have somewhat seem to be a chapter closed. What makes this different, why does it seem hard(er) for this case to forgive the past generation’s deeds? What can be done to achieve ‘true’ justice – and what is it?
Upon landing in London I couldn’t help but feel a surge of joy at that familiarity in heathrow. I do miss the uk! Most certainly, I suppose what I miss is all that the uk symbolized – that freedom that I had in that one semester, that semester I first stepped in, more ignorant and naive. Two years on I can honestly say I’ve grown so, so much from that point, and it was in this place that it first began.
How lucky I am – to have witnessed London in autumn and winter on exchange, and now London in spring, and when I’m back in less than 2 months’ time, summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frankly, I was surprised such a large segment of the church was dedicated to Shakespeare’s grave, and his wife, and his family (his siblings, his parents). A figure so influential the rest of the family gets such attention as well.

 

I walked for a short distance to get to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. It was here I wrote:

Along the way the flower petals fell as the gentle breeze blew
The clouds started to part to reveal the azure blue sky
As I walked along the grassy blades waving with the wind, I felt happy

 

 

So this is how it feels, this was how it felt, this is how it feels – to me, this was one of the best feelings. Wrapping solitude around myself like a comfortable blanket and soaking in the surroundings on a beautiful day.

 

 

Cottage. So adorable looking. Enid Blyton!
It actually creeped me out a little that the first visitors to the museum were from the 1800s, and they had this guestbook where they signed their names and countries. The guestbook is now a museum piece. It occurred to me that the first visitors, and hundreds and thousands of batches of tourists later, I am here. And these past tourists who were once here like I am now are, well, long dead and gone. And I too will be.

So vain, travel alone still take solo shots. Hahahaha. I am surprised at how short my fringe was when i first started this trip. (This is Week 6 Me speaking)

NYE / NYD / Brick Lane

It annoys me that many of my posts are filled only with pictures – like an substandard descriptive post with a lack of content. and thought. 
But I really want to store these somewhere, so…
Right now I’m less than a week to home. School has already started, this feels all too surreal. 
I NEED to put everything up – all the way to Spain – I MUST, I HAVE TO, because I know, I know I know I know if I don’t 
and if I tell myself ‘later’ ‘next time’
they will for(a very long time) be lost in that vast sea of digital images
and I want them to be here, 
on this space
because these memories are SPECIAL
and these memories I want to remember and reminisce
when i scroll back upon my years.
so I WILL PERSIST, AND I WILL MAKE SURE THEY ARE UP BEFORE I LEAVE
in a few days
Looking back NYE was hilarious (i keep wanting to use that crying-laughing emoji to express myself but i cant use it here hahhaa)
i finally went to this BRIXTON i kept hearing about all semester from Helen and I got to see her again and as usual it was funnyyyyy and unexpected and strange things happen like strange people talking to us and inviting us to their house HAHAHA
this time we did not accept
we got tipsy, we kept laughing
but she stayed with me till 7am and we left Brixton because of all the crazy people
and the tube was free
and I slept a little in the bathroom thereafter
In the early days of the New Year I got to meet CHELLY WOOHOO 
Matilda plan failed, but I’m glad we both got to catch it nonetheless

Brick Lane has beautiful graffiti walls, so I’m spamming them below:

I caught Woman in Black, it was… pretty… scary… but I guess the expectations dampened it a little for me. People kept saying it’s TERRIFYING, SCARIEST PLAY EVER, etc etc and it WAS frightening at parts and it’s really, really good for a 2-man show, but well, expectations, expectations
i went in telling myself not to expect anything, but when you have that idea planted in your head you can’t just not expect anything – you can’t help it – just because you tell yourself not to
that’s something i realised i suppose

I think I’ve spent so much on musical / play tickets I don’t quite dare to count
So far I’ve caught – Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Wicked, Woman in Black, Matilda, and the last one before I leave will be Curious Incident – I guess when you compare it to the prices back home it’s alright, and I did enjoy every single one of them, but tabulated altogether I still feel guilty about the $$$

Matilda had an amazing set and I loved the details and the deliberate effort at placing alphabets together along those building blocks that formed a word – like “noisy”, “dream”, I remember spotting them and feeling thrilled
I came back from Spain that morning – actually, I slept over at the Stansted airport and had arrived in Central London that morning. I decided to take the chance to queue and it was 9.47am by the time I reached that long line. I waited for 13 more minutes for the booth to open, and I was surprised to still get the 5 pounds ticket. I think I was really lucky.

Hostels – a congregation of different nationalities, even those I’ve barely heard of. Canary Islands, Cape Verde, the man who wanted to marry me.

Sitting amongst these people it occurred to me that I was incredibly young. I was only 21, and that was so young (yet so old) at the same time. So young, really, I was only so young.

XMAS DAY

The wind got a little too strong that day
(This is one picture that cracks me up everytime HEHHEE)

The Lim family leaves tomorrow, and tomorrow’s Christmas Day. I wondered how long more until I meet them again, and it dawned on me that I had less than a month left. How quick it’s been, less than a month now.

Xmas

In my drafts, I wrote:
Santa Claus, leaving milk and cookies and half-bitten carrots. Easter eggs. Advent calendars, Christmas crackers, tooth fairy. Waiting for snow to fall so they can take out their sleighs to play. Making fine snowballs to throw at the trees, giggling. Snow angels, snowman. 


I feel like I missed out on these in my childhood days. I, too, want to play. I want to feel like Christmas is magical, I want to think that Santa Claus is real. I want to open my door to a doorbell and find a present there and exclaim, with genuine joy and belief, ‘Santa was here!’ I want to think that this Magical man crept down my chimney when I was asleep, he read my letters and proclaimed I was good this year. I want to have truly believed in them. So many of them did, why didnt we?
Why i think i never believed in Santa Claus: Santa and the children in the books were not Asians, and we did not have chimneys. Santa would never come to look for us, even if he did exist. 
Maybe I’ll do something more special for my kids.

Xmas was spent indoors the entire day nua-ing, which was good. We paid with coins and only coins on Xmas eve, smiling at the waiter sheepishly.
We ate char kway teow for dinner on the night itself, played random christmas songs and watched White Chicks. Cosy and simple, just the way I like it 🙂

===

Flatmates had a secret santa event,

and I realised that ‘Secret’ Santa was supposed to remain a secret, except I scrawled my name widely across the postcard to mine

Andersonians in London

Who would have guessed? 😉

My annoying crazy secondary school friends. It was short, but it was really fun. I remember half-running in Winter Wonderland, laughing in the cold and walking quickly towards the bright lights of the wheel, thinking how lucky I am to have them here, to be here, all of us together.
Those were lovely days.

Weekend in London!

GONNA STAY PUT THIS WEEKEND. 
It’s been 8 weeks of school now, and it’s really, really time for me to START to touch my books.
It’s crazy, I don’t know how time is just flying by. The past few weeks I’ve been watching at least a movie and/or a tv show every single night – but those days are over. I have 3.5 100% courseworks due in 2 weeks now, by which I really, really HAVE TO START NOWWWWW

The weekend has been such a wonderful, wonderful one and I’m so happy, happy happy 🙂 
In Helen’s homeland!

Last night I watched my first London musical, and I must say it’s the best musical amongst all that I’ve watched (in Singapore) thus far. It’s the sort that keeps you excited and thinking “omg, this is so good” love the song items by the children!!!! And Veruca Salt.

Stage was so good! So well developed and advanced compared to the ones in Singapore?! Sigh, what have I been missing out on. Charlie Bucket was my favourite, of course, and when the show ended Willy Wonka stepped forth to say that it was Charlie’s last night,  because he had to return to school. Very thankful to have caught his last performance!!!!


Really regret not watching Top Hat 😥 sigh. Now it’s over and I will never get the chance again… It would have been mindblowingly good, I know it would 🙂

If Willy Wonka offers you a job now, would you accept it?!?? After the show I remembered how as a child after reading the book I’d think about how, if there’s a golden ticket competition, how badly I would want to win it. Gosh, I would want it SO badly! But I’d know I wouldn’t be able to win it. I’m just never that lucky.

And I was thinking, 11 years on now, I still hold that same desire. If Willy Wonka holds a competition right now, I would want a golden ticket so badly!!!! AAAAHHHH. I would want to work for him, to invent new sweets off the top of my head, conduct free tastings, work with the oompa loompas in his bizzare factory. I’m pretty sure that I’ll hold this same desire when I’m 50. But I don’t know, we’ll see abit that.
And I thought, wouldn’t EVERYONE want to work for him??

Aaaaahhhhh sigh seriously, because if they do not i would want to know why

I loved Roald Dahl. This brings back much good memories of Matilda, the Twits and the BFG :’)


Helen, whom I absolutely cannot imagine without in Loughborough. We’ve been through so much and talked so much it’s crazy how we’ve only known each other for… 2-3 months?! Ever so thankful and blessed to have bumped into her in the laundry room :’)


This must be one of the world’s noisiest (low-quality) photos but I remember how absolutely happy I was at that point :’) So happy so excited about everything WHEEEEE

Happy, happy, happy – heart-singing sort of happiness riding through Hyde Park :’)
wind in face
 I love that feeling, you know? Where you race through the roads, hair flying back, and you (I) have this immense urge to squeal WHEEEEEEEEE IM SO HAPPYYYYYY (which I did, and some annoying person mimicked me, but whatever, too happy to care)
Happy, happy, free


i spy with the fisheye

:’)


These days it crosses my mind that someday I should take a year off and live on my own. Take up odd jobs, work and move along. I feel like I need to do it for the betterment of myself. I feel like I’ve just tasted the very tip of life, now, and having that one year off would add alot of value in my life. Not yet though, when then? I don’t know. But it’s definitely incubating in my mind, another dream. I’ll tweak it along as it goes.



Sigh. Impromptu weekend trip that turned out so amazing. Really happy and thankful for megabus, despite its crappy timings that rob me of my sleep.

5am now, I should go to bed. At peace, and happy. 🙂

Seriously going to study this week. I promise!!!!

strangers’ kindness

On my way back from the town centre, armed with 4 litres of milk (INTENSELY HEAVY LOAD), a bunch of bananas, pasta sauce and other groceries, and my week-long Italy backpack, I chose to spend my last pound on a pack of Starburst instead of catching the bus back.

Sometimes I’m annoyingly stubborn, and I like to push my persistence to its limits somehow (thinks pots-and-pans day where my arms were dying).

Asked for directions from this sweet couple (just for fun, actually I just wanted to place my heavy bags on their table for a short rest HAHAH) and they offered me a ride back, because they were on their way home after closing their tent at the market square. As I got on the car, he jokingly asked ‘well you’re not a murderer are you?’ and I said ‘you’re not a kidnapper are you?’ and we laughed. And on the ride back we talked abit about… strangers, and ‘bad people’ in this world.

And they told me, there ARE bad people in this world. Of course I know that, I do. But a part of me just CAN’T completely accept it yet, and I worry for myself a little. I know it is naive, I know it is almost dangerous, and I know my luck may run out someday, but for now, I think the kindness of strangers are one of the most beautiful things in the world, and it’s something that warms my heart everytime, and… I feel like a part of me silently seeks for it. I guess I need to be taught a ‘lesson’ of sorts to ‘wake’ me up to reality, but for now, honestly, I live in my little happy bubble where everyone in the world can be so helpful and lovely. :’)

SIGH. But yes, I will heighten my gut feeling and take good care of myself. Still, -does a happy little dance in my happy little bubble- ^^