Saturday, September 1, 2012
Arrival in London!
After all this time - I started toiling on my Marshall application in July 2011 - I am finally here in this phenomenal city and getting ready to start school! It was an incredible summer filled with many trips, including concerts in Montreal and New York, a lake vacation in Kentucky, three weeks at the amazing Banff Centre in Alberta with the Larchmere String Quartet, and then five sweaty concerts with the LSQ at the beginning of August (we performed in 90+ degrees!). And even though I found myself getting a bit sentimental about leaving the states for 12 months, now that I am here I am looking to the future and seeing quite an endless list of possibilities for the next year of my life!
My Masters program doesn't begin until the 10th, so luckily I have some time to get my bearings first. I live in a stunning place called Goodenough College (see picture above of the quad), where everyone is an international graduate student - automatically giving us all something in common. The Queen herself came to visit for its 80th anniversary last year, so I now get to enjoy many of the improvements that were made on campus to prepare for her arrival.....like giant, gorgeous trees in the garden.
The neighborhoods each have a street named after the neighborhood with the word "High" preceding it so that you can always find the places of high activity (restaurants, shopping, etc.) The tall, blinking lights on the sidewalk indicate that the right of way belongs to pedestrians, who I imagine are still in the right even if they are hit by the speeding red buses. There is no such thing as Walmart, but the UK does have Argo's, where you fill out a card with numbers corresponding to the items you choose in a catalog the size of 15 Complete Shakespeare books put together, and then someone goes to the back and brings everything back for you - no aisle searching, just Walmart in a book. But most of all, I love that history follows me everywhere, even in the most unassuming and quietest of streets. Here at Mecklenburgh Square, one house was the home of Virginia Woolf, another was where D.H. Lawrence wrote one of his novels, and the Charles Dickens Museum is one block away.
All for now - updates to continue!