18 January 2009

Week 3

Monday: I was supposed to meet Hilary and a group of her friends from the BYU study abroad program at the Westminster Station, but it didn't work out... Instead I listened to my perfect London mix: Belle & Sebastian, Iron & Wine, The Darjeeling Limited Soundtrack, and a collection of my favorite Beatles songs. It was a beautiful drizzly day and the music was just perfect. I took these next photos while Claire de Lune played in my head.
Tuesday: I went to Kensington Gardens. It was the most beautiful park I have ever been to. The sun was shining that day and the grounds were just magical. I was beside myself with glee at the prospect of being there. I only wish that my friends could have been there with me to appreciate it as much as I did.
The air was cold and the smell of wet earth clung to my nose. There was a hushed awe over the grounds. There was something dense and overwhelming about being in the presence of the trees.  

And then there was Peter Pan. I almost couldn't take it. Being there was magical.

The animals were so friendly. It was like a movie. The squirrels were surrounding me, and one crawled up into my lap and hung out there for a bit. A crowd of people stood and stared and called some over to feed them. 

And then the sun shone brightly and it started to rain. My fingers were stiff and cold, but I loved every second of being there. I left when the sun started to set. 
Hilary and her friend Janna met me at the Oxford Circus Station and the three of us went to Angus' house to watch movies and hang out. There was tons of food and good company. We watched Casino Royale and it was so nice to finally hang out with Hilary! 
Cute school children in adorable uniforms. I love everything about London.
Wednesday: I walked around the V&A, I had a demonstration on flour, I watched a movie and talked to my dear friends online. Today was a fairly nothing day. 

Thursday: I had class all day and we made Creme Brulee and Creme Caramel. It was pretty easy and tons of fun. At 7p I left for Institute, which was super fun. The lesson was good and it was really great to hang out with people afterward. I just love this Church and all the things I get to do because of it! Plus, there are many amiable men in my ward. :) I hope that something will progress...

Friday: Class again, all day. We decorated our baked custards. Look how awesome they are! 

Yeah, I did those... I'm so proud of myself! I'm learning so many wonderful and awesome things! Le Cordon Bleu is so wonderful and I'm so grateful that I have this opportunity to be here! 

After class I met my former french teacher James Mayo for dinner. It was really fun. We went to Chinatown and had dinner at the Friendly Inn. We had a lot to talk about and I really enjoyed hanging out with him while he's in London for a few days.
Here I am in Chinatown!

Saturday: I was supposed to go to the zoo with a bunch of people from my ward, but the 12 pounds wasn't worth it. Instead, my friend David took me to Osterly Park. We walked around the grounds and took many super beautiful photos. I really like David, and it was nice to hang out with him and talk. He's an Oxford graduate and very proper, after talking to him though, I've found that his real personality is quite surprising. I was laughing a lot. I hope to see him again. He took me through Notting Hill and dropped me off at the BYU centre where Hilary, her friends and I went to Indian food. I was thinking of going to Camden Market with them earlier but went to the estate with David instead. 
I can't handle how beautiful everything is here. 
Isn't this idyllic? I felt so Jane Austen, touring an estate.
The stables. 
These trees reminded me of umbrellas. 
England seems to have the most beautiful trees. 
Inside the stables.
View of Osterly Park from across the lake.

After dinner Hilary came back to my place and we hung out for a couple hours. I'm just loving being able to spend time with her now! I've missed that! 

Something that is a little strange... I met Elizabeth Smart at the BYU centre. She is so beautiful and seems so sweet. But I can't help but pity her. If you think about it, and if you are nerdy enough to see the comparison, she is the Mormon Harry Potter. She is famous for something that she's not proud of and that caused her pain. Every time she is introduced a hushed whisper follows her and people crane their necks to see if it really is her. Everyone is intrigued by her presence and you know what they think of instantly. You know everyone is dying to ask, but would never dare. I tried to be as normal as I possibly could and pretended to not even recognize that she was "Elizabeth Smart." It was so strange though. "Do you really have... the scar?" Poor thing. But she did crack a joke, which is probably insane and silly of me to care. But you can't help but hope that she's doing alright! She was all over the news, crazy rumors flying about... Honestly, it's the real version of Harry Potter, except that she has no formidable enemy lying in wait to kill her...

It stormed like mad last night. It was so beautiful. I miss the good old Redding storms that knock down trees and power lines. You just don't get any of that in Utah.

Speaking of Utah. I don't want to go back, but I do miss my friends dearly. Lauren, keep your chin up as Trevor said. BYU is not a bad place to be stuck for a few years. You'll find your niche. And if you don't, well I wont hate you for leaving. I'll just miss you too much to love you.

Sunday: Beautiful peaceful morning. Church. Munch and Mingle. (Hilary showed up by surprise!) And the President Monson fireside. I've never felt the spirit so strongly during a fireside. I know that he is a Prophet of God, and I love this Church that affords me that type of comfort. Then I waited for a bus in the cold and dark. Another brilliant week gone. 

A quarter of my holiday here has also passed. What will I do when it's over? 

Isn't this beautiful? I love the construction of the photo with the man running across.


Rebeccah Louise said...

you look freaking SUPER bald in that picture of you and hil.
i almost peed my pants laughing.

Lauren said...

So picture this: I wake up, turn on my computer, read Lana's blog (with Clair de Lune playing, to set the mood). I am in a dreamy state from looking at all the beautiful pictures and thinking about foreign places. Then I read Becktron's comment. LANA DOES NOT LOOK BALD. SHALL I BUST OUT CRACK ADDICT PICTURES?

Anyway. Those trees are gorgeous. They make me think of old library books - in the way that I imagine them to be kind of musty and worn, but that those attributes make you love them all the more.

Love you, Lana. Soak up all the London you can.

Polly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Polly said...

jees you look REALLY SUPER bald!!! i cant even remember what you look like i can only picture bald bald bald Lana!


lana.aleyse said...

We're no longer friends Jack. Becky, look what you've done!

lana.aleyse said...

Is this all you lot can comment on? And not the fabulous photos?!

Kristy/"Grammy" said...

Thinking of you, loving reading your blog and looking at all your beautiful photos. Have another wonderful week! ♥Dad & Kristy

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