So quoteth the dame

The Mcdonalds in London is so… different. Everything’s clean, the food tastes better and has herbs and is more “gourmet” (according to my friends that ate there, I didn’t), there’s nutritional and ingredient information galore, and information about where the (free-range!) eggs, chicken, pigs, and cows come from, all from farms in the UK, is plastered all over the walls and on scrolling electronic screens. It’s so bizarre. I’m skeptical. I saved one of Kaci’s fries so I could see if it would decompose or not, but the house-keeping lady threw it out.

Also, all the kit kats and the Starbucks have “fair trade” seals of approval… although, I have still seen some things made in China, mostly in clothing stores. (for ridiculously over-priced garments, too)

I kind of wish I did have an assignment for sociology to do here. It’s so different.

Anyway, I have a lot to post about before I go to Ireland… in just a few hours. I’m so excited. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep much. We’re leaving at 5 AM.


We went to the Globe theater again, this time for a half-hour tour that was pretty interesting. We learned how the Globe theaters today are reconstructed to resemble the globe theaters from the past as closely as possible. The tour guide told us how the people standing where the “groundlings,” once stood could reach out and touch the actors or try to talk to them… and because there’s no roof on the theater, the acting may be affected by the elements. He told a few funny stories of how the actors just went with various things. In one play, a Swedish girl reached out and stroked one of the actor’s calves. And in another play a random pigeon just flew on the stage and kept walking around, not going away. So while the two actors were talking they just kind of followed the pigeon around as they acted. Hilarious! I was hoping something like that would happen when we went to see Henry VIII that afternoon.

Then we had a master’s acting class with one of the actors. This was the event I was looking forward to the least because I don’t act and I’m shy. I’m simply a theater enthusiast. But it was actually not so bad, and quite fun. We played a few games with sound and focusing our concentration. There was also a game where one person could only say “yes,” and the other could only say “no,” and they had to argue with each other.The actor (Thomas) gave us all scripts with lines from Henry VIII, the play we were going to see right after the class. We got into groups and practiced saying the lines a certain way… learning the beats and rhythms of Shakespeare’s prose and iambic pentameter.

I was Campien, Stephanie was Katherine, and Jim was Wosley. It was actually pretty neat… it gave me a new way of thinking of Shakespeare’s writing and made me appreciate it more.

Jim purposely got us groundling “seats,” for Henry the VIII, not because they were cheaper but because he wanted us to have an up-close experience with the acting. Although my legs really hurt after the second act, I loved it! I was expecting to be so bored with this play. We had to read it for Jim’s class and I couldn’t even finish it… it was so boring… and Shakespeare painted Henry VIII in an oddly favorable light. (I guess because it was his queen’s father)

But seeing the play was another story – the acting was amazing, but most of all the directing and all the cues and ways they chose to portray things. When you’re reading Shakespeare (at least for me) sometimes its easy to forget how perverted and funny Shakespeare was. Even if I didn’t understand exactly what the actors were saying, the way they acted and used body language, you could tell exactly what they meant. And there were some hilarious perverted moments! And beaded cod-pieces… Wow. I loved it when Anne put her feathered fan in front of the guy (forgot his name) who was hitting on her and said “yes, but you must not show me.” Haha.

We had a critique with Jim about the play later that evening, and overall we all agreed that it wasn’t really a great play but it was a great production of the play. It even made us like the play more. The director really knew how to make boring scenes more interesting. The actors were always doing something or portraying something instead of just speaking… and it really showed all the revelries and precessions of court life while having a minimal stage (as the Globe theatre is always the same stage for every play).

Overall, it’s been one of my favorite plays. Seeing all the acting up close was a great experience. I actually wouldn’t mind paying another six pounds for another groundling seat for another Shakespeare play. I think they’re mostly doing historical plays right now… I want to see something different if I go again. Comedy of Errors is the only non-historical one right now, I think? I’m so upset that we just barely missed MacBeth!!!

Friday – today!

I went to the Imperial war museum with the history students, for lack of something to do. We had to get up early though. I wish I got more sleep.

Of course the first thing greeting us when we got there were GIANT GIANT missles.

I actually didn’t do much there. We went to the WWII room and I browsed a few things, but I felt pretty faint so I lied down on the couch there and fell asleep. I literally felt like if I got up I would pass out, even though I ate before. So while everyone went to look at things for their classes I just slept until one of the people that worked there woke me up (politely) and said I couldn’t sleep there. I just apologized and said I wasn’t feeling well and got up, and he said no worries. Thankfully I lied down enough that I was feeling a lot better.

I saw the Hitler in Blunderland book again! And read that apparently, before Britain declared war with Germany, there was a law that you couldn’t make fun of Hitler. (like in publications) Of course it was lifted when they went to war.

Not much to say about that – I didn’t find a lot of it too interesting since it was mostly giant submarines and guns and missles and stuff. If I had more energy I probably would have been more interested in reading some of the historic aspects of the wars.

I DID find the security guy interesting, though. They had guys checking our bags with a little flashlight before we went in. (but they glance so quickly I’m not sure what the point is) He was cute. We just smiled at each other. Damn it, I need to find things to say to these young gentlemen. :P

Kaci showed me how to find my way around the metro some more. I’m starting to get the hang of it now, I think. Yay! It’s really fun…. I like the public transportation system. I wish we had something like that at home, but Louisiana is below sea level. More buses would be nice though, at least…

Of course, as soon as I fully get the hang of the metro, I’ll be gone. Damn!

Tara, Kaci, Tiff, Kathleen, and I went to see Ghost Stories too, a scary horror play with a mysterious plot because no one is allowed to reveal the plot. We only heard that it was about three different ghost stories that are linked to each other at the end.

This time we actually got to the theatre an hour early… so we wondered around a bit before it. Tara accidentally stumbled on Diaghon Alley, where she wanted to show me to before! Okay, it’s not Diaghon Alley… but it’s the place that inspired it. They had a Witchy art store! And a new age/pagan store! But it was closing… ): We’re coming back Sunday, though.

Anyway, Ghost Stories was so good! So far it and Henry VIII are my favorites.

The theater was decorated for the occasion – caution tape, ragged walls, flickering lamps, and then to top it off, giant broken wooden dummies seated on bench, tied up in more caution tape. It looked quite mangled, I couldn’t tell what it was at first.

Another thing – theatres here have bars! And you can bring in refreshments.

We got a seat all the way in the back, but in the center, and it was a fairly small theater so that was fine. We had the 7 o’clock show, and apparently most people were going to the 9 o’clock show, because not a whole lot of people were there.

So about 5 minutes before the show, one of the ushers asked us if we wanted to sit in the front since no one was sitting there. What kind of answer can you expect? We said “YES!” pretty much immediately and bolted up. Score! Front-row tickets without paying front-row price.

The play was not what I was expecting… well, I didn’t have much to go on with what to expect, anyway. It was very well done and creepy and thought-provoking, all the things I like in horror! And of course, I’m sworn to secrecy on what happens. (: We told Jim and Drew how good it was when we got back though, so now they’re going to see it.

Oh yeah. After the show we were hanging out outside the theatre, all excited with post-horror adrenaline-rush. We were giggling and discussing the play when Tiff told us to turn around. Up on the roof of the theatre, a guy was poking out of the window, looking out in our direction. He was cute, but it was kind of creepy, just adding to the eerie atmosphere after the play. I couldn't tell if he was staring at us or something else. We were trying not to giggle about it. I waved at him and he seemed to grin and then went back inside the theater. Tiff said he was "cute in a panic at the disco kind of way."

Finally starting to get a little tired… I’m going to sleep a few hours and then get up (5 AM!) for Dublin, Ireland. I’m so excited and nervous. I really hope I can get a lot of good information and interviews on faerie lore… I’ve been waiting for this. I’m nervous that it won’t be what I expected… maybe no one will tell me stories, or maybe not enough people care about faeries anymore? I really hope they do… Ireland seems like the one place where they would actually care….

I really wanted to do the Irish folk tour and candle-lit dinner thing too, but it ends around the time we take our plane ride back and it’s cutting it too close. Plus I was nervous about the idea of making reservations without knowing for sure if I could get there or not… and it was 40 euros. I would pay for that, though, I just don’t want to make reservations if I don’t show up. \:

Still, I hope I find a lot of good stories. ;~; Tara is bringing her camera/video recorder and doing one of her stories on local Irish folklore so she’s going to help me! YAY! I will make her, anyway!