Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Scottish Adventure

Ok, So as you have all noticed by now I am awful at blogging. Well here are a few blogs that are great to look at to know what I've been up to. They are two of the girls that I spend a lot of my time with. They both went on the trip to Scotland with me and will have way more information that I do. One even tells the story of going to the wrong airport!!!

Scotland is the most beautiful place that I think I have ever been. The city is all very medieval. The old town looks like it is completely made out of castles. We stayed in a small hostel for one night and with one of the girls friends from BYU for the second. It was really fun! Staying in hostels is an interesting experience. Not only are you sharing a bathroom with about 20 girls but you are sharing a room with girls that come in late at night very drunk. Then there is the hangover the next morning. Needless to say I am very grateful that I don't drink. The guy that we stayed with was super nice. He has lived in Scotland for a few summers writing speeches for the parliament there but is going to BYU and graduates with from the masters in accounting program this coming spring. He showed us around and was very nice to put up with 9 girls taking over his life. He even made sure that we got on our train safe at the end.

The thing is that I don't even know where to start with this trip. SO much stuff happened. It was the craziest weekend of my life. This is why I have given you the two other blogs to look at (and I really think that you should).

Thank you for your prayers and love.

P.S. If you have questions please ask! I think that I do better at answering questions than I do at just writing about stuff.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Things I've Learned In London...

1. Strangers don’t talk to each other. (I learned this the hard way when I tried to strike up a conversation with a man on the tube and he told me that people don’t talk to each other in England)
2. You can wear whatever you want as long as it doesn’t match.
3. The only fat people in London are Americans.
4. The English countryside is a beautiful and green as the city is dirty and smoke filled.
5. Buildings are very drafty! I have new sympathy for the sisters in Sense and Senseability.
6. They don’t tag their sheep, they paint a symbol on their rear ends.
7. Everything here is organic and they don’t believe in preservatives.
8. The church is the same everywhere you go.
9. Crisp = chips, chips = fries, biscuits = cookies.
10. Strangers call you love and dear. (particularly cashiers)
11. Most people in London aren’t British.
12. Produce is so much cheaper.
13. Children are so much cuter with accents!
14. You can do anything you want on stage as long as you call it art.
15. Everything is under construction.
16. Les Miserable is amazing!
17. Digestives are actually the best thing ever despite the name.
18. Umbrellas are a must because it always looks like rain. (and if the day starts out sunny it will rain!)
19. No matter where you go someone famous died there. (Winston Churchill lived and died just around the corner from where I’m living.)
20. Everyone smokes here.
21. Americans are generally not liked.
22. The city sleeps at night. The parks are even locked up after dark.
23. Children and strollers are everywhere.
24. Everyone has a very nicely groomed dog that is very friendly.
25. There are palaces everywhere. Like every few blocks.
26. Flowers grow like weed here, they are everywhere.
27. Everyone tells you about the rain but no one tells you about the wind.
28. Everyone with a camera is a tourist.

Finally Back... Sorry.

I am really awful at bloging. I know that it has been over 2 weeks since I have written and there is just too much that has happened. There is no way that I will be able to tell you about everything. I will say that I love feeling like a Londoner. I went on the tube all by myself and only went the wrong direction once! I have started to really dislike tourists. They are so loud and they take pictures of everything. And yet I am one of them half the time… oops. I love just acting like I belong here.

I have been to Portabello Road twice now and let me tell you it is crazy! There is so much there and the road goes on forever. I have gotten some really fun stuff and I love bartering with the people. I even get flattered every once in a while and even though I know they are just doing it to get a sale I enjoy it. The other place that is trouble for me is a place called Primark. It has lots and lots of very cute clothes for very very cheap. I got a pair of shoes for 2 pounds, tights for 1 pound, a sweater for 3 pounds, a shirt for 2 pounds, and a really good white camisole for a pound 50. I got lots of other stuff too and it was all really cheap. The cool thing is that it isn’t like it is really poorly made or will fall apart the first time you wear it. It is all really cute and nice. I have found a weakness and I am no longer allowed to go into that store.

I went to the London temple and it is the most beautiful place that I have ever been. The grounds are huge! There are over 30 acres and it is all this wild looking woodland with benches and flowers. There is even a beautiful pond and stream with a footbridge. It is tamed and yet it seems to have a wild kind of beauty. I could have stayed there forever. I loved just sitting on a bench and enjoying the fresh country air and feeling the spirit of the place and feeling like it looked more at the natural beauty of God than the contrived beauty of man.

I wish that I could just wrap up every minute and show it to you all. I think that is one of the reasons I have such a hard time writing about it. I feel like there just aren’t words to describe it properly. Just know that this is amazing and I’m so glad that I am here and I feel so blessed to have this experience.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I have decided that I haven't posted enough pictures so I'm going to post a bunch now. I'm really tired though so there isn't going to an explanation for any of them, sorry.

Two Shows in One Day

First off, here is a picture for my mother so that she knows that I am still alive and well.

And here is a picture of me at Buckingham Palace gates! It is a beautiful place.

Today was really crazy. My roommates and I woke up late and I got ready in a record 5 minutes. I was pretty proud of myself but I felt pretty gross the whole rest of the day. Anyway we had to get up because we were going on a walking tour with our group. We saw a bunch of crazy things like places that are used in books, the monument built after the great fire, and the replica of Sir Frances Dake's ship. But the best part was seeing the original place where the Globe theater was built and going to the borough market. The market was so much fun. There were food stalls everywhere and I had the most amazing bratwurst ever.

After that we went and saw Macbeth at the New Globe Theater. It was really amazing, but very very bloody. Every death that happens in the play happened on stage even though in the script they all happen of stage and the audience just gets told about it. They also had this thing for the groundlings (the people in the audience that have to stand around the stage during the show). It was a big stretchy black cloth with holes in it for everyone's heads. It was supposed to be like we were heads in hell (picture below)because all you could see was a sea of heads poking out of the cloth. There designated spots in the cloth where actors would come and pop out of the holes and be people in hell. They stood on stools so that they stuck out to their waist and everyone could see them. It was really creepy. The first time I noticed it was when a man came crawling by my feet right before the play started. He was all in black and at first I thought he was trying to steal my bag. Don't worry, he wasn't. He went to a closed off spot in the crowd and was crouched down. So I knew that he was going to pop out of the hole at some point but I wasn't expecting him to look the way he did. There were about 4 of them in the audience and every one of them was covered in blood from the top of their heads to their waist. I mean really covered. They all writhed and moaned as if dying and it was really creeping. The one guy was literally right by us. He almost hit Christian a few times. He was just there for the opening but every once in a while a new person would come crawling through and it was usually either one of the witches (who were scary beyond all belief so it was really creepy to have them push by your legs) or it was a man covered in either blood or dirt or both. I managed to get fake blood on my butt and make-up and dirt on my back from people that would brush past me on their way to the spot. I loved telling everyone that one of the bloody guys (and let me tell you they were really really covered in blood. Like no clean spot left on them) got a little fresh. So anyway the show was really amazing, the acting was really good and they even found a way to sneak a little humor into one of Shakespeare's darkest plays. The part of the porter was played by a rather heavy man who was disgusting and hilarious. The only down side to the show was standing for three hours. I wasn't a fan of being a grounling by the end.

The other cool thing about the show was that about 20 minutes before it ended it started to rain really hard and there were huge pieces of hail. We all got soaked because the globe is an open theater. The funny thing was that it gave Macduff's line where he comes in and says "Hail, Hail, Hail to the King" a whole new meaning. He came out through the audience and pointed his sword to the sky while shouting "hail". The whole audience just died laughing as we got pelted with falling ice. There was also the fact that at this point Macbeth and the three witches were all squatting on the ground next to us laughing because they couldn't get the blood to stay on Macbeth very well because of all the rain and then Macbeth almost came up from the whole before he was supposed to. It was amazing! Especially because the man playing Macbeth was really good looking and didn't have his shirt on at this point. Needless to say I wasn't looking at the stage as much as under the black cloth at this point. The only problem was that near the very end the rain got really hard and it kind of got hard to concentrate on the show because you were so wet and the water was running down your face. This was in the afternoon and I had another play planed for the evening and no time to go home in between. So I spent the rest of the day damp.

There was a talk back with two of the actors after and that was really fun. One was Lady Macbeth and one was the porter. It was really funny to see them all clean and in normal clothes. The porter, who was so disgusting on stage was actually a very nice and well kept man. Who knew!?

The show that I went to after that really wasn't all that great so I won't tell you about it. I will just say that it was Antigone done by a fringe theater (like off Broadway for the West end). It was full of people that were over acting the whole time. There was no emotional arch to the show. At soon as the show started they were yelling with passion and it didn't end until curtain call. But at least I got to sit for that show!

Now after a day of endless walking, standing, and being wet and cold, and seeing two very dramatic shows with lots of death I am very happy to be back in my warm flat in dry clothes. I am ready for a good nights sleep and a nice relaxing Sunday tomorrow.

P.S. Here is a picture of what Christian has been looking like for a good part of the trip. But I'm not complaining because I have been making him take lots of pictures on me!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Hit the Ground Running. Don't worry if I fall there is a good looking Frenchman to catch me!

I have an interesting time here with food. First of all I hate spending money at the grocery store. It all just feels like a waste and I hate spending lots of money at once. But I'm starting from scratch so it didn't work so well when the first day I just bought stuff for sandwiches. That got old before 24 hours even passed. But now I have some more stuff and that is really nice.

In other news I have already seen 2 shows, been to class twice, seen Buckingham Palace, walked around Picadiliy Circus area, gone to the grocery store twice, been to the park, gotten lost on the tube, learned how to navigate the tube(!), gotten used to using the tube, taken a nap (it was very needed), and been asked out by a very attractive French actor! Yes, that's right. Tonight we went and saw a show that was directed by a very famous British Director (he wrote the book that Rodger teaches the directing class from at BYU) and I bought a program (you have to pay extra for a program for every show here. I don't like it) because it was one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen. When I bought it the lady said that sometimes the actors come out after the show and have a drink at the bar (there is a bar in almost every theater). So I waited around and the first one I see I ask to sign my program. He was really flattered and asked me my name and asked me if I was from the states and told me not to be embarrassed because he was French (they aren't very fond of Americans here, they think we are loud and annoying). Then we started talking about the show and how it was working with the director and stuff. Then he told me that the cast was all going out for drinks after and that I should come. He even gave me the location and said if I could come that I should. I was kind of blown away! He was really cute and very fit (that means hot here but his body was also pretty amazing. He had his shirt off at one point in the play and it was beautiful). I said I might and then I want and talked to 3 other actors and got them to sign my program. I don't think that people do that often here because they all seemed really surprised and flattered, one even said cheer to me! At any rate Rodger said I could go as long as I didn't stay out late, didn't drink, and took at least 2 people with me and preferably one should be a boy. Well I didn't even really consider it. It just didn't sound like a smart thing to do so I just went home with everyone else. But I still kind of got asked out by a hot French actor!!!

Tomorrow we are going to see Macbeth at the Glob theater. I get to be groundling (the people that stand around the stage) so all that really means is that I have to stand for all of a Shakespeare show. I think I might just die. Better yet we are starting the day with a country walk and then going to the show in the afternoon. So my feet will be sore already. Oh well, it will be fun.

I road my very first double-decker bus today! It was pretty cool. I don't see why more places don't have them, plus I love having stair in the bus! I have to say that I am loving my public transport pass. I feel like I can get anywhere and all I have to do it show my card. The tube and buses are all included so I can go anywhere!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm Here!!

Well I just got through my first full day in London. It has been a little crazy to say the least. We got here yesterday and spent the day moving in and trying to figure out where to get food and stuff. Then we all got a well needed night of sleep. This morning we had class for three hours and then the rest of the day was for us to do as we pleased. A big group of us went and found our way around the tube and went to lots of cool places like Piccadilly circus, Buckingham palace, parks, and just wandering around in general. We ended the day by going and seeing our very first show in London!! We went and saw 39 Steps and it was amazing! I was really hoping it would be good and I thought it would because it has won a bunch of awards. Well it lived up to expectations! It was so much fun! It is a show with only 4 people, but between all of them they play 134 characters. It was brilliant. I really feel like it was a great way to start theater for us.

Sorry that this has been a fast message but it is midnight here and the jet lag is still messing with me. I am off to get some sleep and I will write again soon!