Our day started off on the right foot. Ray drove Jolie and I into the city in their fabulous new BMW 5 series M Port GT aka stormtrooper limo aka British minivan. It’s the biggest car on the isle.
So we arrived in London in style. Ray took us for an amazing brunch. We went to Smiths of Smithfield, a really cool place in the Smithfield Market area. I had French toast for the first time since America, something I’d really been missing. Jolie had a waffle in her lumberjack stack that was fresh and far better than anything I saw in Belgium.
It felt so natural I tried to order “coffee.” I forgot there is no coffee coffee in England, or anywhere else in Europe. You can try to order “filter” (drip) coffee, but you’ll probably get instant. Typically, you order coffee and then specify whether you want a cappuccino or a latte, etc.
He dropped us off at the door of the British museum. After going to Athens and seeing the Parthenon, Jolie and I wanted to see all of the original sculptures that Lord Eglin repossessed. The museum was a fantastic space. I can’t believe it’s the first time I’ve been there. I had totally forgotten about the Rosetta Stone being there, so that was a pleasant surprise. We also passed a bunch of ancient Assyrian artwork I remembered from Western Art I with the wonderful Reed Anderson.
Shockingly, we saw four or five different people walk up to and touch these Assyrian pieces. The ones I’m thinking of specifically are large winged lions and bulls who are carved into walls at entrances to guard them. The British museum, being awesome, has displayed them in this same way: they are built into the wall at gallery entrances.
People taking photos with them would lean against them, and one man even sat on one. This is why I can’t go to museums. I get too angry, and I’m trying not to become a proper museum vigilante.
The Parthenon sculptures and reliefs were really interesting. It was actually quite moving to see them. It was a little surreal, even, having just been in Greece and at these amazing sites. We looked at a bit of some other things before heading out, but nothing really compared to the Greek art. Once you see that, you’re done for the day.
We made a quick stop to Primark. I realized that my luggage situation could be solved if I had a really, really large bag that I could pass off as a “handbag” or “personal item.” For £10 I got just what I needed.
After this, Jolie was meeting an old friend from Kansas City. When she worked at Halls, this guy was one of her regular customers. He works for Microsoft now, and comes to London quite regularly, but this was the first time they’d been able to actually find time to get together.
The three of us met at Covent Garden and had coffee to catch up. I had one of the best blueberry muffins ever. Jack, the friend of Jolie’s, was very nice. Apparently he’s here to work on Skype, and hopefully fix it. I told him my sad story of how many times it had sabotaged my connection with Matthew.
I’m sure Jack is tired of hearing about it, but I had to tell someone who could maybe do something about it. Fortunately, we won’t be depending on Skype much longer. After Wednesday, I can just pick up the phone! And a few short weeks after that, I get to see him! That’s one thing that will make coming back to America sweeter.
This was the end of our night. We enjoyed Greek yogurt for dinner with strawberries, my favorite. I am enjoying the amazing guest bed here and going to bed as early as possible. I feel like I could sleep forever, but I also have to make the most of my last days here.