As I awoke, we were still on the effing plane. This was taking forever. Everybody always says that it isn’t about the destination, it’s about the trip. Well, I hate to break it to you, but that’s a bunch of shit. Traveling sucks. I want to be there doing things, not sitting next to a mute Morgan Freeman and some old woman in Dr Dre Beats. No thank you. Get me into the city.
To try and dissuade me from being so unpleased with being in the air (and particularly not in First Class where I obviously belonged), I was served a muffin. A nasty orange muffin. It reeked of chemicals. The orange juice was crap, too. I recently read how orange juice is processed, and I’m still processing my emotions. Am I angry? Am I sad? Do I care? From what I can understand, the oranges are pressed when they are ripe and then sealed in an airtight vat for up to a year or more. In their hermetically sealed chamber, all the flavor vanishes, so as the manufacturers get the juice ready for market, they dump in some flavoring agents to make it taste and smell like orange juice. Allegedly, it’s all natural, but still. Eeew. I squeezed my own orange juice yesterday. Took forever. I need a juicer.
Our flight left late and arrived early, so we had to circle around the airport for ages, touring Bramley, some town off to the edge of London. I’m sure it was lovely, but I needed off that horrible metal bird. My legs were dying. I’m too tall for this.
As we touched down, there was the usual stupidity of the other passengers. Are they all idiots? Do they really think they can haul their fat asses and their overstuffed valises to the front of the plane before the people in front of them? They can’t. It’s impossible. SIT DOWN! So, after we all filed orderly out of the plane, we were finally in the beautiful Heathrow Airport. Britain veritably gleams with the afterglow of hosting the Olympics. Everything…well, many things, is bright and shiny. Quite nice that.
It didn’t take too long to get through passport control for me. I filled out one of the voyager cards, but Ma and Jess didn’t as the flight attendant said it was unnecessary. Liar. I stood around forever waiting for them. Don’t really know what took so long. I found a brochure for this new exhibit of Harry Potter movie sets. Looks interesting, but there won’t be time for that.
Before hopping on the Underground, we bought some sandwiches at M&S and prepared ourselves for the long, long, long journey into London. I wanted to eat in the station, but they wanted to go. It felt awkward to eat on the train. Is it allowed? I mean, I’m sure it’s allowed, but is it something a person of bad manners does? I certainly hoped not as I was still dressed ridiculously well in my First Class outfit which conveniently doubled as my Afternoon Tea outfit. It’s good to be versatile.
I have been wanting to see the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology for quite some time now. Ever since I began to read the Amelia Peabody series, my love for ancient Egypt has been reborn and burns again within me. I just need to be an Egyptologist and get it over with. Only a matter of time, I’m sure. The museum was only going to be open for a few hours today, and I wouldn’t have another chance to go during the entire trip, so we decided that I should just go while they get settled into the bed and breakfast and we’d all meet at the British Museum before tea. Great plan. I love doing things alone.
I had to switch trains and got off in something that resembled a mall. The more I wandered its labyrinthine hallways, I realized that it was indeed a mall. Fabulous. Nothing better than a bit of shopping! But, I hadn’t the time, so I found the connecting train inconveniently located across the street. Even more inconveniently, the line was down, so I had to cross the street again and get back onto the same train I had just left and was squished like a sardine for twenty minutes on my way to Bloomsbury. Le sigh. At least I didn’t have a massive bag to carry. I’d left that behind with the others.
I had to switch again at King’s Cross Station and I was charmed by a young girl who was screaming to her mother, “BUT I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE BRITISH MUSEUM! THE MUSEUM, MUMMY! I WANT TO GO!” Girl, I sympathize. I love it there, it’s one of the most marvelous places in the world. That’s the truth, mind you. I don’t exaggerate.
After what felt like an eternity, I was finally in the area that I needed to be and it was just lovely! Bricks, bricks, bricks, bricks, and bricks everywhere! I love bricks! I want to possess all of them. I want stunning brick buildings and brick walls and brick garden paths. I want red bricks, painted bricks, brick floors, bricks covered in cement. I love it all. It’s so chic. To me, anyway. Bricks!
It didn’t take too long to find the Petrie museum, and I was so excited to be there. It’s part of the University College of London and there are students mulling about smoking. I stuck out in my formalwear, but whatever, haters gonna hate. They were just jealous of my Victorian opulence.
You have to climb a few dozen steps to enter the tiny, overstuffed museum. It’s so charming. There are only a few rooms, but they are lined with old fashioned glass front cabinets with skeleton key latches. The lighting is dim and ineffective. The contents are vast. There are hundreds of pieces of broken statuary, thousands of pieces of things removed from Egypt like shabti figurines, beads, shoes, everything. It was marvelous. My favorite was the hallway lined with massive slabs of carved stones covered in hieroglyphics and reliefs of the gods and pharaohs. Some even had the original paint that has clung on for thousands of years. It was ridiculously exciting. I think it’s just marvelous how inexplicably advanced these people were. I hope that someday, we can gain an even better understanding of their religion and culture and how society functioned.
Enjoy these images:
[Isn’t their style just fantastic? I’ve been obsessed with it all my life.]
[I loved seeing how the original paint was still on some of the items.]
[The pharaoh was…erm…well…very virile. I also think he probably had a small penis.]
Another intriguing display was on jar burial, something I had never heard of. It came from a pre-Egyptian civilization in the same area that buried their dead in the fetal position in giant clay pots. They had one on display, the picture is crap, but it shows how it worked. Macabre and beautiful.
I eavesdropped on a couple of students who were looking around and I was distraught to find them talking about Akhenaton and his religious beliefs that dynamically changed Egypt during the Amarna period. I knew all of this. I knew more details than they knew. This is what upsets me about higher education. Why do I need to go to a class if I’m already proficient in quite a lot of the material. I understand classes are necessary for things like English and math and the like, but other classes, I dunno. Can’t I just pay like $100 to take a test and if I pass, I pass the class? It is much more logical to me.
After a bit more than an hour, I had finished seeing the museum and headed out. I highly recommend it if you’re ever in London or have any desire to see ancient Egyptian art.
There was a massive Waterstones book shop across the street, so I popped in to see if I could find the new autobiography of Miranda Hart. I really enjoy her show and her appearances on television that I’ve seen, such as this…
…so I knew I would like the book. I found it easily and decided to take it to the British Museum to do some reading while I waited for Ma and Jess. I had about two hours to kill, and I could think of nothing that sounded better. I also found tiny copies of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and I need them! So cute.
I took my time walking there. I was in Camden, and I think it’s just the nicest place in London. If I move here, I’m not sure if I’ll want something in Camden or in Kensington, I love them both. I certainly understood why Amy Winehouse bought a townhouse here. It’s so calm and beautiful. Even the way the trees are leaning towards the road is beautiful.
As I approached the British Museum, there was an older part of town. I’m not sure why, perhaps it had done better during the bombing of World War II? Irregardless, it was so beautiful. There was a large sunken park filled with thick trees shedding their leaves. Everything smelt damp and there was the oddly comforting scent of rotting nature. That scent always makes me think of Europe, I don’t know why. All the streets of Paris smell like that. I kind of love it.
The British Museum was packed. I couldn’t find a quiet place to save the life of me to write out the postcards I bought. I don’t know why everybody was so hectic. They need to calm down and enjoy the exhibits, not bop around from highlight to highlight. I don’t understand why a person would go to a museum if they don’t enjoy it as a whole. I gave up trying to find a place to sit, so I decided to have a drink at the nicer cafe on top of the rotunda. For some reason, I was seated in the back, literally the worst seats in the entire place. It was hardly in the cafe. I was annoyed. I mean, look at me! I’m the baddest bitch in this place–these threads are custom! Normally, restaurants want to display people like me so that they can show off what kind of clientele they can attract. This isn’t vanity, this is business. I was going to complain, but I didn’t want to come off as a foreign jerk.
We were going to tea in an hour, so I decided to just stick to a drink and no nibbles. I had the mint julep. Very good. They aren’t supposed to taste like straight bourbon the way they did when I made them. Now that I know what it’s supposed to be like, I’m sure I’ll do a better job of it next spring when my massive mint plant comes back to life. I sat there for a while filling out my postcards, sipping my drink, looking elegant, and reading my new book–quite funny.
Still had time to kill, so I went for a walk around the block. I went to Russell Square, a gorgeous little park near the museum that I’m a fan of. I walked by the Montague Hotel, where we would be having tea. I found a post box for my postcards. I had a marvelous time. And then it was finally time to meet Ma and Jess for tea.
Jessica was beginning to flip from the moment I saw her. Sometimes she just cracks and turns into a lunatic. I don’t think she can help it. It’s simultaneously amusing and terrifying. Depends on the location, really. Here, it was a nightmare. We were in a posh London hotel and she’s mumbling about how unhappy she is and how she hates it and then she glares at is and mumbles then loudly blows her nose. Très demode.
We each had four tea sandwiches. I liked three of four. Cucumber-Butter, no thank you. Caramelized onion-swiss, quite nice, perhaps too sweet? Tomato-basil, always good, but perhaps passé? The last was a triumph, artichoke heart with basil. What a wonderful combination! I will have to make this one again when I get back home. It was just right.
I chose a tea that was made with black current and lavender. Quite good and it made a cheery pink color. I love pink. MANDATORY SINGALONG!
The desserts were not very daring, by any means, the whole thing was quite traditional. I had the éclair, raspberry macaron, lemon cone, brownie, and scones. All of it was alright, but none of it was outstanding. The ambiance was great, a beautiful room done all up in red velvet, but the kindly staff was a bit absentminded and the cost was exorbitant. Next time, I’ll take tea at the Ritz or the Goring or this other hotel that my beloved Victoria Beckham tweeted about. I forget the name, but they make sugar cookies that look like dresses that were seen in the latest runway shows. Chic.
We had a few more hours before it was reasonable to turn in, so we went to Harrods. Why not? I was still dressed like Lord Benjamin of Doulton. I made that up. I’m not a Lord. I’m thinking of legally changing my first name to Lord and then having Benjamin David being my middle names. Then, my passport would say LORD BENJAMIN DAVID PHILLIPS and I would be eagerly escorted to First Class and be handed a cigar. Is that what they do up there? Probably not a cigar, a glass of champagne. Cheers, sweetie!
We looked at dogs and cats and overpriced animal outfits. We browsed through the jewels and perfumes. We turned our noses up at Ladurée (overrated, you know?) and then we left. Along the street, all the windows were done up in Disney princesses looking like sluts. I don’t know what they were selling exactly. Jewels, gowns, prostitution licenses?
Finally we made our way back on the train and I kept falling asleep. My journal is filled with lines of writing I began and then fell asleep writing. How very silly of me.
I’m awake again now and we have to ride a freaking bus. I hate buses. Buses are full of peasants. Dirty peasants who don’t like to bathe. This is not a generalization. This is true.
Jessica sniffed some food, so we got off the bus and went into a pub called the Maid of Muswell. Pubs are confusing because each of them seem to have their own rules and ways of doing things. Are you supposed to go to the bar or sit? At this one, you go to the bar. I had fondue. Not exactly typical pub grub, but nothing was. When did pubs get all fancy? You can get nicer food in them than you can at nice restaurants. Odd. Quite good fondue. Delicious when dipped with bread, with french fries, with onions, just with your finger.
Quite full, we took yet another bus up to the Bed & Breakfast and I showered off the grime and muck off of me then passed out.