Friday, May 23, 2008

London Postcard

On a rented computer, so a swift recap of odd details with likely little time to give links for things, so when in doubt, Google them yourself and have fun.

Monday off to the airport with the students, many parents and family in attendance, so feeling the reins of responsibility rather heavily. Ran into Paul, our friend who owns his own island in the Hudson (there's a write up of that on the blog somewhere). So we chatted a bit and then it was time to get the students on board. Off to Philly and another layover where the airport was shutting down. Still 9 students, so that was a plus. On board and on our way with much excitement and eventually, snoring and drooling and sleeping (at least on my part). Through passport control -- not the group line either, so they all got their passports stamped.

Tuesday already by then; we eventually got all the luggage -- poor Pat must have had the first bag on the plane as it was the last one off. Stops at the cash point and then on to the tube where I bought them their Oystercards. We jumped on the Picadilly line and went all the way to Russell Square. Two blocks and we were at the hotel -- the Tavistock is way better than the industrial Royal National. I gave them an hour or so to unpack, then wrangled some lunch which we ate with Gandhi in Tavistock Square. Then we swung by the British Museum so they could ooh at the Great Hall (which really is magnificent) and find that the entire medieval wing is closed off now -- crap. I walked the jet-lagged crew as far as Trafalgar Square, pointing out landmarks along the way, then we jumped on the tube and went to Hyde Park where we walked form Speaker's Corner to Peter Pan, then back to the Lido for hot drinks (the day had turned chilly and they were flagging fast). Dinner with some of the students, admonishing all that they had to stay up until at least 10pm.

Wednesday the hop-on hop-off tours and boat to Greenwich, where one student already gave her preentation. I jumped on a train back to meet my pal Paul, the Holy Dragger, where we had a few drinks and the students kept stopping to ask me questions because I foolishly chose a pub near the hotel.

Thursday, we went to my pal James' school and my students met his and had a good time talking about their expectations of one another and were given English food in a blind taste test. And we all said, "Happy Birthday, James!"

Today I am heading off to Hanwell to see the Brookses which is always enjoyable. I have spent the morning in the shockingly surprising way of shopping for books, which as usual means a lot of reading and perusing and a little bit of buying. Next week is theatre, this weekend more visits. If I have time and inclination, I'll write more, but London calls...

You can see the students' own comments and pictures here.


Mike Rhode said...

Ahh, the Tavistock. We frequently enjoy its Art Deco elegance, altho in a hot summer, it can be brutal. Have they finished renovating? And we've hung around with Ghandi too. Washington's got a Ghandi statue now, over by the Phillips Collection.

C. Margery Kempe said...

Renovating is never finished. As soon as you finish one part, you move on to the next. Nonetheless, it's miles better than the Royal National -- what a cavernous rabbit warren, endless corridors of hospital bleached sheets.

I didn't know there was a Gandhi statue in in DC. But the sum of what I don't know about DC is huge, so that's no surprise. In an election year, I have no interest in knowing more.