Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sun with Jekyl, Burn with Hyde

Woke up just in time to stumble to breakfast in tres chic glasses and track jacket before stumbling back upstairs with the idea of returning to sleep. That was short lived. Paul wanted to go to a park, and as I'd spent ninety percent of yesterday's daylight hours literally in my bed, it seemed a sound idea. We took the underground to the Hyde Park stop, and walked through the park itself along the Serpentine. There were ducks and geese and some gracefully mean swans, and we considered paddle boating but then reconsidered. The grass is lovely in most of England, so we tanned on the lawn near an Italianesque fountain and pavilion. Outside the park, artists were selling their wares, including one man with replicas of real pub/tavern signs. Among them: "The Man with a Load of Mischief Pub" (featuring a man carrying a woman on his shoulders) and "The Silent Woman Pub" (featuring a woman holding her own head in her arms...?). We walked through Kensington Gardens and saw some men and boys practicing archery before making our way to the ostentatious and slightly grotesque Lord Albert memorial. As far as memorials for loved ones goes, it was not as nice as the Taj Mahal. We then proceeded up and around Hyde Park to Portobello Street, famous for its outdoor market... on Saturday. Sunday is quieter, but the antique shops were out and on display: old skeleton keys and tea cups and even an officer's ship telescope in a maritime wooden box. Neato. We finally made our way to a bus stop, and rode in the front seats of the top level of a double decker all the way home to Russell Square. There are few things more nervewracking than riding in the seats we were in. One cannot see the front or sides of the bus accurately, so everything seems to disappear beneath the wheels: cars and birds and small children with their mothers scampering across the street, all indiscriminately run down. Other buses pass by the skin of their teeth, and the whole thing is just a bit too much like a rollercoaster ride and not at all like public transport. So actually, it was great. We met Cassie at Russell Square and searched hungrily for an open super market, a difficult feat on a Sunday night. Some cheese, bread, raspberries and sunflower seeds in Soho Square did the trick, and we walked back to Hughes Parry to start on homework. I feel asleep for two hours, then wrote about some Glasgow architecture, and will now fall asleep instantly attempting to do some reading. But only after I tend to my unexpected and misshapen Hyde Park sunburn.

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