Yes, yes. You read the title of this blog post correctly. We’re having a lesson in grammar, starting with a little catch-up. No, no. Not the sort where we spend an hour mingling with my least favorite condiment Mr. Mustard. Rather, we are going to explore the exciting world of gerunds and their subjective taking-action like qualities. Now without haste, these are a few of my favorite things:
- Time Traveling
- Wistfully Staring Out My ‘Rear Window’
- Giving Directions
- Starting a New Relationship
- Reading on the Tube
- Channeling my Inner Magic
- Laughing at Sheep
- Being in London
Forewarning! This is a long post. I have neglected you, my dear friend Dr. Blog. If you are looking for a simplified, or rather abridged, version of this reading material, you will not find it here. Proceed with caution. However, if you’re pondering a quick perusal of this wonderful (excuse me, brilliant) novel, by all means, skip ahead to whichever chapter fancies you the most. But might I add, each is rather smashing and endearing in some odd, nerdy, or humorous way. I’d read it all, but that’s just me.
1. Time Traveling
Every morning I wake up and think,” Hey! I should go to the Natural History Museum!” or “Hey! Why not a stop at the Tate Britain today?” or even “Yo, Tessa. How ‘bout that Museum of London?” Have I succeeded in listening to myself? Absolutely not. Failed, I have. Only been to the National Gallery, the British Library, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Science Museum, the Tate Modern twice, and the British Museum thrice. What am I doing wasting my time? I’ve been here nearly thirty days, and I’ve only been to six historically fantastic places? Good grief.
Despite my obvious historical catastrophe, I have prevailed in at least a bit of time traveling. Side note, I recently watched Midnight in Paris, so forgive my oncoming rosy embellishments. My time travel log: bore witness to Cleopatra’s mummification, sat in the back of the van while I watched the Beatles hurriedly scribble down the words to “A Hard Day’s Night,” read through Jane Austen’s scribbles, fist-pounded Rhamses, lounged around with Annie Lennox in her house, and deciphered a few hieroglyphic sentences. Jet lag is really starting to set in.
A common source of adoration for most human beings who enjoy remaining alive, eating is quite fun. But eating here is even more fun. Guarantee it. There are two schools of thought about the British food-eating culture. One, London food is horrible—don’t eat. And two, London food is incredible—eat it, a lot of it. Guess which one I’ve decided to study? Markets make this London world go ‘round. At the famous Portobello Road Market, between the antique-laden tables and the racks of cheap clothing, are these gorgeous things called food stands. If the fact that I only live a solid five-minute walk away from this daily extravaganza was not enough, I discovered this…thing. This market called Borough, this market of food, this market that receives my undying love. International food galore! Delicious food galore! If you ever find yourself in this beautiful city called London, go to here. Because this “here” is wonderful. Thursday through Sunday. Eat it!
3. Wistfully Staring Out My ‘Rear Window’
While I am not the star of the newest remake of an Alfred Hitchcock classic, I am quite fond of my view. Here and there in London-town town, the sky shifts away from its gloomy grey and Mr. Sunshine comes out of hiding and brings with him his alter ego Mr. Sunset. All I can say is that I think Bert had it right: “A sweep is as lucky as lucky can be. Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey. Chim chim cher-oo!”
4. Giving Directions
Oh, tourists, how I love thee. It was only my second day here when two Russian tourists asked me how to get to their hotel. And guess what? I knew where they needed to go. Yeah. I was renounced of my tourist ties on my second day of residence. Not too shabby. The other three times I was asked for directions weren’t so bad either. Official Londoner: check.
5. Starting a New Relationship
I would like to introduce you to my new beau, Big Ben. I know, I know. He’s a tad institutional, but he’s always there for me. And let’s be honest, he’s insanely handsome. I can visit him at every hour of every day, and he’ll consistently be on time. It’s incredible, really. All imaginary boyfriend joking aside, I love Big Ben. In daytime and nighttime, from one side of the Thames to the other, Big Ben and his buddy Parliament are gorgeous. I can never quite get enough photo shoots with my favorite model, Big Ben.
6. Reading on the Tube
The best thing about having to take a 45-minute tube ride from work and back and another 40-minute ride from school and back is that I get in a fabulous hour and a half of reading a day—for fun. The idea of reading for fun during the school year is a foreign concept to me; thus, it is rather fitting that I take on this foreign knowledge whilst in a foreign nation. The only downside? I have an ever-growing library budding in my London flat, which I will have a hard time repotting and transporting back to Madison. “I can’t take all the books I bought while studying in London back to America!” #firstworldproblem
7. Channeling My Inner Magic
I am not going to go into detail here because my magical journey is not yet done. I have oodles of Harry Potter scenes yet to reenact and lashes of Harry Potter memorabilia yet to admire. I’ll give you a bit of sneak peek, though:
8. Laughing at Sheep
Ha. This is simple. On the hour or so train to Oxford that I took to experience some, ahem, magical adventures, I fell asleep. No, this is not a story of my counting sheep while trying to find a few moments of siesta snoozing; instead, this is a short story about waking up and seeing hundreds of sheep. So many sheep! Hundreds of sheep on an English countryside. The silliness that this image brought was too much for my silent laughing to handle. The “LOL” happened loud and clear for all passengers to hear. Quite classy.
I know I covered eating already, but I thought this would emphasis just how much I love eating food here. Digestives. Despite their bewildering name, these cookies, or rather biscuits, do not improve one’s digestion. They do, however, vastly improve one’s life. With a layer of chocolate on top and a highly highly reasonable price tag, these cookies (or rather, biscuits as they call them here) have won my affection.
10. Being in London
Plain and simple, I love it here. Almost as I much as I love eating my scrumdiddlyumptious digestives.