Parkland Walk, Outdoorsy London

It’s March in New England, and I’m in Connecticut without a winter coat. A silly oversight, rookie mistake, but I just didn’t want to travel with it. I’ve spent the past week trying out various old coats in my parent’s closet, to mostly hilarious results. It’s term break, so I’m home for a visit, and oh my gosh, I’m finally going to get around to writing about something I did weeks ago. Without further ado…

A few weeks ago, I finally picked up a copy of a book I’ve been meaning to get for a while. It’s called Tired of London, Tired of Life and it stems from this blog full not exactly ordinary things to do in London. The book covers a whole year, with one thing to do a day. Some of the things I’ve actually already done, some things I don’t think I’ll ever end up doing (either due to cost or interest level), but on the whole, there are some really great ideas. Because London’s had some beautiful weather lately, I was looking for something outdoors to do. I came across the Parkland Walk in my book and decided to head out for that.

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Catching up (…again)

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Oh hi there loyal blog readers (mom, Bethany, various people with names that start with E). Sorry I am so terrible! It’s just, well, I’ve been busy and London’s been so stupid beautiful that I haven’t really had the time. Look at how pretty it’s been! While everyone back home has been freezing and wandering snow drifts, it’s been downright pleasant over here. I didn’t want to rub it in, you know? Of course, if I lived in the southwest of this here country, I’d be a bit more waterlogged and grumpy. But here in London it’s been a very mild winter (honestly, I don’t think it ever even dipped below freezing? Maybe overnight?). I whine about being cold sometimes, but always have to check myself on that. It’s not cold here. I’d go on and tell you about how my nose is slightly sunburnt from spending too much time outside this weekend, but…oh, sorry.

That said, I admire how committed the British are to doing things outside, even when it’s not really appropriate. I remember a slightly warmer than usual day in November, and how people were sitting at tables outside cafes because it was ever so slightly warmer, but not actually warm enough to eat outside. I’ve twice had drinks outside recently, and while it was mostly fine, after about an hour or so, everyone started shivering, sort of waiting around for one person to boldly suggest we move indoors. Today was properly warm enough to not even need a jacket, though, so.

But yes, things have been busy. Had a dreaded science test, on which, I would like to excitedly proclaim, I got a 74%. That may not seem very good, but considering how I feel about science, I think it’s pretty great. We also had a preservation management test, which I could not actually bring myself to study for, and was only difficult because it consisted of 15 long-answer, hand-written questions. Took a while to get feeling back. And we had a big deadline for our technical logs of all our work and class notes from the first unit. This would not have been such a terrible thing, had we all kept on top of everything from the start, like we were told to. But…yeah, we didn’t. So that was FUN. I said I’d be more on top of things for next time, but we’ve had like 2 weeks of classes since the submission and I’m already behind again. Oops.

Have started a fancy work placement at a fancy museum here, which is exciting. And, if you didn’t catch it, fancy. It’s only been a few weeks but we’ve already learned a bunch, and it’s just nice to actually be in a lab somewhere, seeing what kind of work is being done, how a lab functions, etc. Plus there’s a nifty (and cheap) staff canteen and it’s possible our badges will get us into exhibits at other museums for free. We went to a wildlife photography exhibition at the museum across the street and just had to flash our badges to get waved through the line like super important fancy people. These are the kinds of perks I get most excited about, so I am probably in the right field. Still doing my other placement at UCL too, which means I now have no free weekdays. I am very happy about that. I am busy! I like being busy. Too much free time weirds me out. I feel like a real person when I have things to do.

I’ve also been watching a lot of rugby. It’s Six Nations time. Six Nations is a big rugby championship tournament between England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, and Italy. After my trip to Cardiff, and my purchase of a Welsh rugby scarf, I guess I’m supporting Wales. Scotland is my pity team, since they seem to be pretty terrible. I mostly understand the rules, I think? It’s fun to watch but I missed everything this weekend because IT WAS SO PRETTY OUT.

Anyway, just checking in. Things are good. Heading home for a brief spell in about two weeks. Worried about how cold it’ll be. Had some grumpy weeks a short while back (which resulted in going to Stratford-upon-Avon and hanging out with fun people to cheer me, which I was going to write about eons ago, but I never did soooorrrryyyy. Basically: went to Strats, had a grand time, you kids are the best), and I was all pumped up to go home and was listening to Simon and Garfunkel sing about America. I’m still excited to go visit and see lots of people, but I’d also really love to stay here. I’m having a lot of fun lately–exploring places, hanging out with people, being incredibly geeky about books with other people who are happy to be incredibly geeky about books (and art on paper!). I’m going into the studio early tomorrow to play with paste. That’s the level we’re talking about here. And it’s fantastic. I got to see some beautiful old Hebrew books from the 14th-16th century last week and tried to stay cool about how exciting it was–but then I realized I didn’t have to stay cool about it because everyone I was around would understand–maybe not for the Hebrew books, but we all have our things.

Here’s another picture of pretty London to make up for my absence. I took a wander through Russell Square on Friday on my way to meet some friends (at a delicious Polish bar with lots and lots of vodkas and pierogi) and people were everywhere and everyone was happy. I forget how much the weather can affect my mood. Hope you’re all staying warm! I must go attend to my sunburn.

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