So in January I went to London with mum. It’s the end of March now. I planned on doing a blog post as soon as I got home, but it took me a while to get in the mood to write and when I did write; I struggled to see any potential. I basically wrote the whole thing. But I never published it. Brutally I felt like my writing was pure shit, it was uninteresting and frankly I didnt want anyone else to see something I couldn’t even bare to read myself. I couldn’t see ways in which I could improve so I just left it. I’ve never been much of a writer, I struggled at school but I did my best to an acceptable level; that meant the teachers left me alone but didnt really praise me either. I can tell stories and have an active imagination but I’ve never been able to write it down. I see a blank page and it makes my mind go blank. So when I realised I could write down what I’m feeling I was pleased that I could finally document what is going on up there (hence the blog name)!.. but I haven’t thought much about writing since, I hadn’t written down any thoughts or experiences at all until a week or so ago. It’s been a terrible start to the year.
My mind has felt mute and its disturbed me a little if I’m honest. My mind is usually full of thoughts and things I wana say. Lately I’ve felt like I had nothing to say at all. Complete blank or thoughts that were not worth sharing!
Now I’m starting to feel like I have something to say again. Maybe it’s a shift in my mind dealing with the grief or maybe the stars have changed. I dont know but I do know that I want to keep writing this load of jib to help me feel some sort of worth. So whether it sounds like a year 8 school holiday diary or not here it is..
I went to the city! I come from a small town in dorset, visiting london only a handful of times in my life for the odd school trip or family day out. You could say going to the city scares the shit out of me. The sheer size of the place, the volume of people, vehicles and buildings around you, the pure thought of it could send a person into an anxiety attack.. which is what happened to me the day before.
I struggled to sleep on the days before the trip, the day before I had work as normal before staying at mum’s, but I woke up late and instantly had a massive bout of anxiety, I couldn’t go to work, I couldn’t phone them to tell them I wasnt going in, I couldn’t leave my bedroom, so I emailed my boss and went back to sleep for 3 or 4 hours. I woke up still anxious but I got all my stuff ready and waited for mum, I had favourited all the places we wanted to go on google maps and got an idea where abouts places were, this started calming me as I felt I had an idea of what I was going to do. Once at mums I chilled out and the anxiety died down.
We had this planned for about month, I knew what was coming, but when i’m worried I tend to ignore it until the day or two before; so that I dont have chance to drop out, i’ve got to push myself to get through life. Its not the thought of travel, I’ve traveled loads, the difference is we didnt have any concrete plans for london, we were just turning up, on a train, with a list of places we were interested in.
The first hurdle was finding our hotel, thankgod for google maps and a sense of direction.
Our train journey seemed to be really quick, we were in London and had found our hotel by midday, we dumped our luggage and went straight out to start being history geeks, I love history and always wanted to study history to become a historian and work in museums, but I gave up on that too soon and feel bitter about it. We headed straight to The Old Theatre Museum, when we arrived there was a talk going on so we joined and listened, I was in history heaven!
It was a fantastic place, very interesting to learn what theatre was like in the 1830s and what improvements were slowly made as anasetcic was introduced in 1849. Somewhat gory but fascinating. We walked back up to Borough Market for a quick mosey and then headed to the Clink Prison Museum, small but informative, we found it rather amusing that this is the second time mum and I have been to a museum set around torture. I feel we are getting a little too informed on torture devices, after our involuntary lock in and in depth lesson on every piece at the torture museum in Krakow last year, gosh was I glad there was another couple there too, haha!
I was feeling a little more confident about being in the city now, we stopped by the thames for a pint, sadly it was on me, mum nearly fainted when the bar tender handed back the change.
We then headed up to Leicester square/ China town/ Picadilly area and wandered around for a few hours, round and round, we had dinner at Bubba Gump, i’m a big fan of Forest Gump and Tom Hanks, it was brilliant and the mango lemonade was the nicest thing iver ever drunk!
After wandering, taking in london at night, we got rather lost trying to head back to the river towards our hotel, this stressed us both out and the anxiety crept back in but we managed to get there in the end.
Surprisingly I got a much better nights sleep in London than I do most nights at home, we were right at the back of our hotel hidden away on waterloo road, no humans, dogs or traffic disturbing my sleep. Today was vaguely planned and going to be jam packed, we had breakfast then set off for the Imperial War Museum, which was a bloody good musuem, we spent much longer than we thought reading through the years and looking at artifacts so we decided it would save us time if we found a tube station to find our way to Leicester Square. Jumping on a tube and ending up in the right place made me feel rather proud.
The National Gallery was our next stop, introducing a very uniterested mother to the beauty of art, Da Vinci, Monet, Van Gogh; “oh oh I know the sunflowers” mum says, as i’m emersed in the colours of the Monets on the other wall.
The angelic, biblical stories told by bold captivating colours, and the frames; gold and monumental, all I could think was imagine having a house grand enough to seat one of these paintings above your bed or dining table. Even just the building was spectacular I could of wanderered around the rooms in aw of just the bare walls.
On from the gallery we had a browse in Fortnum & Mason, I felt a slight satisfaction of feeling eyes watching me whilst I took in the delights of the homewares and looked at the very expensive vintage silverwear that I long to own. We then went to a cute patisserie for a pit stop, mum did give a look of ‘come down from that cloud’ as I said ‘this is what I was born to be mum, a lady that lunches’ haha! She brang me back down to earth as we went on to some shopping at carnaby and had a pint in the cutest oldie pub, stinging me back to the reality that my west country self fits much better in a dark pub with a pint of ale than a flashy posh restaurant. To end our first full day in London we made our way to Drury Lane, walking down Oxford Street and stopping at Liberty to have a look around and take in the amazing structure of the building, finally finding the theatre to see ‘school of rock’. It was a brilliant production, the cast were incredible!
Friday was the day mum was especially excited for, we got up and made our way to Buckingham Palace to see Liz. Unfortunately she didn’t get the memo that we were in town! We watched the change of the guard then walked up The Mall, through to Horse Guards Parade, past Parliment buildings and onto Westmintser bridge, only to find a Hall & Woodhouse pub on the corner, so of course we went in for a badger pint, you have to when you come from the home of H&W. All i had eaten that morning were a few biscuits so I amusingly felt tipsy from my one pint ha!
With a good beer in our bellies we made our way to the London museum via a walk by of ST Pauls and a stop off for a very spicy mexican lunch. On the way back into town we passed The National Portrait Gallery and had a quick whiz around as it was late before heading back over the bridge and ending up having a boozy hot chocolate by the river, that was after we had taken a few tourist selfies in front of the illuminated London Eye of course.
In the morning we headed up to Covent garden for a look around before we had to go home. Its lovely up there, beautiful buildings and entertaining street performers, much reminding me of Bath town centre.
I feel like when I go to bigger towns and cities I feel adventurous, I feel like im challenging myself, I feel like im again expanding myself, my experiences and intellect but it can be lonely.
I like feeling like im an indiviudual that people may wonder about but the fact that you cant walk down the street and say hi or wave to numerous people you know in the spsce of 5 minutes is lonely. No one smiles when they see you and thats what makes you feel worthy some days.
I couldnt wait to get home, unfortunately you cant take the dorset out of the girl, but i did rather enjoy myself in the city!