“It’s funny, you live in the universe, but you never get to do these things until someone comes to visit.“ sez Dr. Zoidberg in Futurama‘s “I Dated a Robot” episode (S03E01) when Fry suggest to go see the Edge of the Universe.
I didn’t visit the edge of the Universe this bygone week, no at least not that I’m aware of, but Zoidberg’s bonmot rings true on a – pardon – more universal level and thus equally applies to London. Where, thanks to a friend from way back visiting, I got to see places and things (& the inevitable people that go with them) that I hadn’t visited in years. Or never even been to at all. So it goes. That visit from my friend, btw., shall serve as excuse for this being another one of those bi-weekly rather than weekly posts. I got started early enough, but the distractions of old acquaintances not forgot, all crammed into the tiny spaces of a London flat, as well as the streets of – and tunnels under the city – and some of it’s meadows green proved too much distraction and provided not enough contemplative alone time for the ponderings that bring forth these wild-waters & sometimes (read: more often) puddles, which we call stream of consciousness, that end up filling the hypertext pages of this here blog. Back to those waters:
I do try to keep active and go places in London, after all, isn’t that sort of the point of moving to a city like that, rather than to a small village like, say, Dunwich or Stars Hollow, but time being a non-thing of limited supply and a sizeable fraction of its passing already being largely occupied by work and sleep and such matters, one does get selective and often chooses the ephemeral (concerts, events, temporary exhibitions etc) over the perennial (landmarks, museums, etc.).
My London history, of course, goes a long way back, basically all the way to my childhood even if – at times before October 2012 it was more of a punctual than an ongoing experience. Which means there are things I have seen and done which I remember having memories about, but can’t recall the actual experience. Which sure sounds peculiar, but… if I remember my memories exactly, I’ve only just written similar observations recently. So avail yourself of the ability to revisit pasts in written forms.
Meanwhile: One way of making sure we remember things, other than writing them down, is to keep them around. Like, say, in a museum (attention: random link). Which is a great place to keep things that don’t fit into your home. Ok, most of those probably don’t belong to you or anything, but you can still go and watch them. (and then there’s this whole thing about collectivism, but I’m not really one of its proponents… rather I am sometimes baffled that after the end of History – as postmerdonism [sic! I mean: what a typo? Almost Freud- pardon, Lacanian!] would have it – we’re still dealing with a thing as immature as ideologies. But I digress…) Museums: Those products of the Renaissance (and children of the curiosity cabinet) come in all shapes and sizes. And dedicated to various topics. Natural History for example. And that was one of the Museums we visited. It’s a cool space. There may be better times to visit than on a Bankholiday Weekend in summer, where it teems with Families exposing the young ones of the species to fossilised life in its unnatural habitat. But nonetheless it felt like time well spent. Surely this Church to Darwin with the Whale-skeleton spanning its atrium and the story of life it tells is…
The Science Museum next door has long been one of my favourites now, so I regretted that we didn’t have much time left to explore more of its treasures. But hey, South Kensington isn’t Kadath, so I’m sure I’ll find the way again.
Talking of Kensington. The day before those museum visits we visited Kensington Gardens – that non-Neverland home of Peter Pan – and Hydepark. Both are really one park, aren’t they? Always a nice walk though, especially in good weather, which we still seem to have quite a lot of. And a nice spot, like all of London, to take photos…. dfkt, my visiting mate (the very same dfkt btw who also did all of the covers for my releases and re-releases on my Ivory Bunker Recordings label) was happy at plenty of photo opportunities and you can see a selection of photos on his twitter. Personally I have, as is tradition, some of my shots at the bottom of this post. But you’ll have to promise to read your way there. No scrolling, ok? Ta!
To make it easier on you I’ll try for a moderate amount of briefness in relating… no, briefer even: Soho & Chinatown, a ride on the 76 Bus from Tottenham Hale (for now still my homestead) to Waterloo, a stroll on the Southbank,.. those were things we also did. And a walk through the Walthamstow Wetlands, a place I had been wanting to visit for a while now. And one I can recommend when you’re nearby. And the British Museum where we arrived in the rain, and I soon went home again, because a cold had hit me. So it goes… Soon it was back to work and into mundanity. Before that we did manage to catch a gig. With one band who were rather ok – The Brothers KEG. Decent psychedelic stoner rock… That’s, after all, one of the great things about London still. Despite all the closures of live venues, you can still go out and discover cool new bands. Have a listen.
We also revisited some episodes of The Mighty Boosh. Because we can/could. It is a great silly show. Some very bizarre, often surreal humour. Rather British.
Talking of Britain. It’ll soon be 6 Years that I’ve been living here. Timeflies are a persistent species, innit. Before that I visited numerous times, and a couple of those times my journeys lead me all the way up to Scotland – for now still part of the UK. I’ve been wanting to re-visit ever since I came here, but apart from a weekend trip to Dumfries and Galloways for a festival, I had not yet managed to make that journey. But this coming weekend – fickle fate willing – I’ll be going up again. Inverness and Glasgow and things you can do around there. So, once again, there’s going to be a longer wait for the next episode. But I do hope I’ll have something interesting to write about and some nice photos to make up for that… And, of course, I’m hoping to relax a bit before the start of the new academic year will make the job of a librarian an oasis of not-so-calmness…