On Wed August 27 I arrived in London, after another grueling bus ride.
Somewhere in Belgium.
My hostel was MUCH better than my previous stay in London, and even though I was in a 12 person dorm, I still felt fairly comfortable.
After a good night’s sleep, I went off the next morning to meet Alex, the nefarious ex-boyfriend, who stopped in London on his way to Greece to hang out and see the Kate Bush concert with me. Our first stop was the Tower of London, which I hadn’t seen on my first time through. They have been installing a WWI memorial with porcelain poppies, and I was excited to see it.
Then we ate some food and walked around Hyde Park for awhile, which was close to where we were both staying.
Alex, doing his best to look like a K-mart model. (Okay, that’s an old inside joke with myself).
This could probably be a Valtrex advertisement.
Someone came up to try to make us pay for sitting in these chairs. Too bad we already took this picture, sucker.
The next morning we had another subpar breakfast experience (London has the worst food offerings of pretty much any place I’ve ever been to). Then Alex posed again, this time like a Sears model.
I look like a sad panda.
I showed Alex the Camden Market, and after walking around for about 20 minutes I needed to go into a quiet tea shop to feel sane again.
Of course I had to take him to my favorite cemetery, Abney Park. This dog belonged to an alcoholic old lady.
What do you do when the idea of going out for dinner is just too depressing because the food in London is awful? You go to a movie theater and buy popcorn for dinner, of course. Then you eat it while walking down the street. Then you go to a Tesco and further destroy yourself by getting little snack cakes and other junk food to go with your popcorn. Amazing.
The next day was Kate Bush day, so naturally I woke up really excited. We started the day off right with a Harry Potter walking tour. Unfortunately, the tour ended up getting retroactively ruined for me, but I got some fun pictures out of it.
The most literary street in London. This place was full of little antique bookstores and was by far one of my favorite places there.
Kate Bush. Oh my god. I actually took this photo after the show, so you could see the lit up marquee.
As we were making our way into the theater and getting drinks, we met some really nice people- a girl named Emma from New York who flew to London for the concert, and her friend- a Londoner. We ended up hanging out with them for a bit after the show.
As Kate Bush requested no photos during her show, all of these were taken before the show started.
What can I even say? It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I loved the whole concert, but I especially loved that she played The Ninth Wave in its entirety, complete with an elaborate theatrical performance. It was beautiful and it made me cry.
“Well I said, “Lily, oh Lily I don’t feel safe
I feel that life has blown a great big hole
Through me” And she said
“Child, you must protect yourself
You can protect yourself
I’ll show you how with fire”
Gabriel before me
Raphael behind me
Michael to my right
Uriel on my left side
In the circle of fire”
“Can’t let you know
What’s been happening.
There’s a ghost in our home,
Just watching you without me.
I’m not here”
“‘Cause every time it rains
You’re here in my head
Like the sun coming out
Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen
And I don’t know when
But just saying it could even make it happen”
I think this one might be one of those dancing Gap ads.
What else to say? As a whole, London was pretty rough on me. I learned that it’s not my favorite- it’s too big, the food is terrible, the weather is pretty bad- and I feel like because it’s so big, it doesn’t know what or who it is as a place. I get the sense that it used to be something else, something less confused.
Anyway, I also learned that sometimes, despite your best intentions, traumatizing things are still going to traumatize you. Time doesn’t really heal all wounds. But you can keep trying.