I’m officially at the halfway point of my vacation – 12 days down, 12 to go. I’ve done many THINGS in those 12 days, even on the days (such as today) where I did nothing at all (more on that later). Still, I’m starting to feel the panic of “oh god I’m running out of time”, which is pretty ridiculous .. but when I look at the list of things I still want to see/do/accomplish/stare at, I’m daunted. There is daunt. So much of it. It doesn’t help matters that I’m taking off for three of those 12 days, either – I leave for Edinburgh on Wednesday morning. I’m very excited about it – I’ve never seen Scotland – but that leaves only 9 days to Do Things. And that’s really just 8 days, because I included the day I leave. NO TIME! AHHH!

This is what I’ve done in my 12 days of London:

  • Day 1: Visited Shoreditch, looked at graffiti, wandered through Old Spitalfields Market, outfitted myself in gear for the Secret Cinema at the RebelX pop-up shop, did some groceries (nothing but pudding), topped up my Oyster Card for travelin’
  • Day 2: Went to Covent Gardens where I stumbled upon all the sheep, walked each of the Seven Dials, found the theatre district, spent too much time in Primark and bought all the socks
  • Day 3: Nothing. Brain shut down. Did laundry, caught up on sleep.
  • Day 4: Made my way down to the waterfront, took many pictures of Big Ben, then went to the Secret Cinema which was amazing and I would totally attend another. How do you instil awe over a 34 year old movie? This is how.
  • Day 5: Piccadilly Circus (omg I miss my cats), Chinatown, Trafalgar Square, National Portrait Gallery, and walked Brompton Cemetery, where the old lady ghost yelled at me.
  • Day 6: Went to the first of three lookout rooftops, wandered the Millennium Bridge, partook of some art in Tate Modern, walked along the river until I was sore and frozen. Did some constructive vandalism at a GBK by fixing the spelling on the billboard.
  • Day 7: All the pictures! Went to the Sky Garden, Leadenhall Market, and the Shard!
  • Day 8: Bus tour! Went to Stonehenge and Bath, where I found giant Diet Coke. Both were cool, but Bath was awesome. Wish I could have spent more time there.
  • Day 9: Slept in, then went out in the evening for late night at the V&A. Spent a long time sitting in my favourite spot in the courtyard, then had some cake in the cafeteria while eavesdropping on a loud pretentious jerk explaining politics to his trapped friends.
  • Day 10: Spent much of the day at Portobello Market. Was grumpy at first, but settled into the rhythm of the night crowd and had some fun. Had less fun when a strange man stroked my face and called me beautiful. Was wigged out for a while, felt better after spending money. Had a major epiphany about said money while sitting on a curb eating pizza: money is snacks.
  • Day 11: All the walking. Found a actual, factual hell on earth – inside an American-chain pizza restaurant. It was 3 floors down, dark and oddly foggy (it looked like smoke but didn’t smell like fire or cigarettes), cram-packed with people stuffing their faces with 100 more milling about the entry way, trying to get in. It was sweaty, loud, chaotic, and all together horrible. There was a “salad bar” in one corner, with almost empty vats of mayo-based salads for people to ladle onto plates – nothing green in sight. I don’t shock easily, but this place totally shocked me. You could have told me it was a Dismaland exhibit, and I’d have believed you – it looked like someone miming what they thought American culture was all about, and it was hideous.

    After I escaped (I was there to use the bathroom), I went to Marble Arch (where all of London pees). It was Sunday, so Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park was in full swing – there were people on ladders and crates yelling things, with crowds gathered to listen and debate. All of the yellers were men. Most of them were yelling about religion. I really wanted a soapbox of my own so I could yell things too, but someone was already yelling about Diet Coke so I don’t know what I would have yelled about. Probably some nice vague Canadianesque things, like “THE WEATHER IS BEAUTIFUL TODAY!” “RECYCLING IS GOOD!” “IT’S NICE TO BE NICE!”, etc.

    Walked the entire Hyde Park, which is really big. Spent some time sitting on the shore of the Serpentine, making friends with swans and geese and a little Muslim girl whom I shared bread with for bird feedin’. Found the Diana Memorial Fountain, visited the Serpentine Gallery, and found the Serpentine Pavilion, which sadly wasn’t that great. Much more impressive was the Albert Memorial, which was right across from the Royal Albert Hall.

  • Day 12: Nothing, again. I had some wicked insomnia last night, and didn’t fall asleep until 6am. Also had some weird kidney pain that had me worried and awake. Slept until the afternoon, when I got up and moved to the couch and promptly slept some more. I ordered pizza that is quite delicious, did some work, and now I am writing words.

That’s a lot, right? I shouldn’t feel as guilty as I do for taking two whole Nothing days?

I miss Ed and my cats and TV and water pressure. Still many adventures to have and they will be great but I could use many hugs and someone to bring me icy Diet Coke and cats all up in my business.

my favourite kind of art (by jimmie durham)

my favourite kind of art (by jimmie durham)

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