Thursday, June 3, 2010

Friday, May 28 - Stonehenge and Spinal Tap

Today we piled into a bus (er, "coach") and rolled out west to Stonehenge and Salisbury. I was expecting to be spirtually awakened by the vortex around Stonehenge but all I could think about was Spinal Tap's accidentally tiny stage prop:

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Dutchesses of Hazzard!

When this Mini General Lee jumps over a muddy bog or defunct bridge, does the horn play Dixie or God Save the Queen? Spotted near Brick Lane on 5-23-10....

Street Food! Sunday, May 23

Today I trekked to the East End in search of some spicy Ethiopian street food. I passed through the Old Spitalfields Market in search of the Sunday Up Market, a place we discovered last summer, and it was as good as I remembered. A feast fit for a king is to be had for 5 quid. Brick Lane Market was packed like every Sunday. The weather has been perfect!

Crash Course Tour - Saturday, May 22

Today the students and I had our orientation at our host institution, AIFS. I was impressed that (unlike last year) all of the students had arrived and (ditto) stayed awake today. I'm excited to be here and I'm excited for them.
Buckingham Palace (left), Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament (right)

Getting There - Friday, May 21

I first visited London in the summer of 1998 with my girlfriend (huh - we've been married over 10 years now!). We slept on a hardwood floor in our friend Andrea's dorm room. Some things about this magical city instantly transport me back to those days. The cornucopia of scents and odors that hang in the damp air - flowers, sulfur, curries, mildew, adventure, history - trigger memories through neurological pathways that circumvent logical analysis. Raw emotions.

Since then I've been here biennially, on average, for visits ranging from 3 days to 7 weeks. This arrival was very different, however. I recognized more places and for the first time after all these years felt like I knew where I was going and why. As the taxi approached my flat a wave of excitement and familiarity washed over me: I was coming home, or at least my home away from home. HOME has always been paramount to me, wherever it is and whether it's a 500sf flat or a 4500sf estate. The physical space is, on many levels, inconsequential. It's more of a state of mind. It's a place to work, sleep, eat, recharge, recover, and reflect. So here I sit at my laptop when I should be out in a park somewhere staring at a 1,000 year-old something-or-other.