In December 2013, my boyfriend’s brother gave us the opportunity to use his rewards points to book a free flight for a trip to Europe. We planned a 10 day trip to the UK and Ireland. This is our story.
-Breakfast at the Corner Cafe (a place our host, Tope, recommended, saying it’s “cheap, fast, and good”). All British (English) food is pub food. It’s all fried and lacking overwhelming seasoning for a purpose. You’re supposed to save room for a pint. I ate chips (fries) with my omelette…God I love this country!
-Started our day walking along the east bank of the river Thames. The weather was a typical London affair. Drizzle, clouds and gray. Temperatures near 60° F. Yesterday’s 74°F sunny day was very unique.
-Lisa and I walked about 40 minutes to the Bankside Gallery. It was a small gallery that featured abstract art.
-While there, I ran across some good research books and resources for school. Lisa purchased a great children’s titled “Katie and the Mona Lisa“.
-Then moved onto the Globe Theatre. Along the way we saw a few bridges and debated which bridge the Deatheaters destroyed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Lisa said we saw it yesterday. I thought we saw it today. We wanted to watch Julius Caesar at the Globe, but we were short on quid. There’s no way in hell that I was gonna stand in the grounding locale for that amount of time.
-Then went to the Tate Modern museum. It featured lots of very nice conceptual, abstract, cubist, surrealist, realist, and industrial art. I enjoyed looking at the artwork where I had to stop and think “wow that’s talent” or “what the fuck is that?”. Anything that grabbed my attention and forced me to process it and absorb it in all the way. Louise Bourgeois‘s art focused on motherhood and being a woman rearing children. I liked her stuff. Also, three floors of art is a lot of art to soak in. I might need to watch a movie with lots of explosions, so no one thinks I lost my bro cred. I really liked the Russian revolutionary art. It’s a style that’s accessible due to its use for propaganda in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We overheard a tour guide talking about Mark Rothko: “Rothko didn’t want his art displayed with other artists. This is why his works sits apart from others in this room. Rothko wanted to ensure he was a destination and not an also ran.” This fits in with what I’ve read/heard about the artist. He also had specific terms for how his art was to be displayed. No natural light, dim lighting, no other artists’ works. Rothko believed that art should be contemplative and inspiring.
-We ate dinner at the Gourmet Pizza Company. We ordered garlic bread, beet root bacon goat cheese pizza with a sprite and coke. Soda in the UK had less carbonation than in the US. I also thought that it had less sugar, but Lisa disagreed. Lisa hates the lower carbonation, but I like it. The garlic bread was very fresh and very yummy. The pizza was a 10′ thin crust masterpiece. The beets were sweet, the bacon was salty (and as though Canadian bacon and American bacon made sweet, sweet love and popped out a baby called British bacon) and the onion and spinach added both a tangy and earthy flavor.
-On the way home, we passed by a bagpiper playing a lovely tune on the low tide beach of the Thames River. We gave him money. We went in search for a Tesco to buy some snacks for the night. We bought some sour cream and chive crisps and some Jaffa Cakes and chocolate Cornettos… I prefer the strawberry ones. Lisa is liking the crisps, but isn’t a fan of the Jaffa Cakes. We’ve been trying to eat every snack food referenced in Spaced and the Cornetto Trilogy.
-Lisa has mastered which way to look when crossing the street. I never realized how ingrained our habit of left-right-left is until you have to flip it.
Read Part 1