Saturday, May 28, 2011

I sit and Think

I Sit and Think by J. R. R. Tolkien
I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall never see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I miss waking up to this little face every morning. (See her cute little tongue sticking out!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Temple Day is a Special Day!

There's a few girls here that are members of the LDS faith like myself, so we planned a trip to go see the London temple, which is actually south in New Chapel. But we made the trip and it went (Almost) seamless and we got there in time for our sessions. 
I love going to the temple. I love the spirit there, I love the work we do there. It was also fun to have a discussion with my flatmates afterwards about it. 
But going to the temple was just phenomenal.

 These are two pics I took in Lingfield before we got in our taxi to go to New Chapel

Going to this temple was a very special experience for me. One of my closest friends, Braden, served his mission here. Brady and I have spent endless nights and long hours he telling and I listening to his mission stories. And that is just so thrilling. I feel like I really got to know Brady by being there. So much of the spirit he has in himself, I can sense in this place. It made me miss him so much. Words really can't express.
This is the 14th century manor house where Brady (and other missionaries) lived while serving in this area. It's gorgeous and he told me so many stories of this place.

We took lots of pictures in front of the temple, but this one is my favorite. :)

I fell in love with this temple. The grounds are so beautiful, typical English, reminding me of the secret garden. 

The London temple! What a dream!!! I plan on going back on a sunny day (yes this day was very cold and cloudy) and getting more pics. And the grounds keeper saw me doing photography and begged me to come back in a few weeks when he's done planting all his flowers. (Cute.)

The Tower of London. Muaaahhhahahahaha!

Going to the tower of London was really quite fantastic! We went to church in the Chapel at London of Tower. My favorite part was the music and the organ. It was brilliant! And so beautiful! The choir was amazing! The service was lovely! I don't know if I could do it every week though. Although, I'm sure they could say the same about our 3 hour church!

We also got to see the crown jewels, but you can't take pictures. :( But they were gorgeous and I saw the world's biggest cut diamond. Woot. It is now resting on my pillow. Kidding. I'm not THAT good of a pirate.

One of the coolest things about Tower of London was that the palace part of it was a medieval palace built by Edward I or Edward the Longshanks. Who was my great great etc grandpa. It was amazing to sit in a room that was inhabited by an ancestor. Truly fantastic!

 Me with Grandpa Ed's Throne!
 I love London for the same reason I love Rome. You turn a corner and BOOM there's a historical sight you've read about your whole life. This is the Tower bridge! And yes, I wore a hat to church that day. And I got lots of compliments and lots of people wanted to take my picture.

 The white tower! Muaaahhahahahahahaha! :) Last person to be executed on Tower hill was in 1941 and was a German Spy who was caught sneaking into London. 

This was an awesome part of my day. I sat on some steps and wrote some postcards and there was this man who works at the site who ended up talking to me the rest of his shift. He was from Scotland, but knew so much history about the costume he was wearing, and about the tower. It was such an interesting conversation, and the highlight of my day! I love learning about the history of places, and boy did he know a lot!

 Ever Dilligent in their watch, And ever Stoic. I wonder what they think about.

The Tower will never fall until the Ravens leave. (so they clip their wings...)

I love this photo I captured of the Yeoman of the Guard, walking around. 

Walking Tour

Ah. The London Telephone Booth. Yes, They still have these everywhere, but they're full of porn.

Middle Temple hall was a precursor to Indoor theater. They would set up platforms and perform either Roman or Greek plays, but eventually started performing plays written by themselves. Ah the University Wits! This hall is Elizabethan, and Elizabeth sat in here herself. 

 This is one of my favorite photos I have ever taken. It's rare you can capture the true beauty of something your eye saw as well.

In Middle Temple, these lamps are still lit by gas

Christopher Wren designed so much of England. This is one thing he designed. And he designed it without pillars. They told him it would not stand without pillars, but he said, "Excuse me. I'm Christopher Wren. I did the Math. It'll stand." :) But they Argued. So he put the pillars in. One inch short of the ceiling. :) After WWII when it was destroyed and they rebuilt it, they had the pillars go to the ceiling. :)

St Paul's Cathedral


George's Inn. Places like this were the precursor to theaters such as the Globe

Loved the reflection in this puddle

The Globe, can you see the actor coming out to play Hamlet's ghost!? Don't worry, I put my camera away after taking this!

My Love Affair with William Shakespeare

The biggest draw for me to come out here wasn't just London. Don't get me wrong, I've wanted to study theater in London since High School. But ever since I was a little girl I have loved the Bard. I remember when I was about eight or nine (I was in third grade) stumbling across a Macbeth speech in our encyclopedia. I memorized it quickly and remember walking around my room reciting it over and over again. (I can still recite this to this day)

Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

I remember as a child understanding what this speech meant, and trying to figure out the parts I didn't quite understand. I'm not sure what my first exposure to William Shakespeare was as a child. Because of my sister, Kendra, I'm sure my exposure was earlier than this. The point is, finding this speech and being so enthralled by the language was my first love affair with the Bard that I can remember. That was the day I fell in love with Shakespeare, and we've had many love affairs since. 

Throughout my life I find myself thirsting to know more about Shakespeare and know more about his life.

Recently I've started leaving my place on the stage and living more in my sewing room, and it's been torture at times. If I could study and perform Shakepeare the rest of my life, I would be happy. I don't even care if I get paid. (Although that would rock). I have this thirst to understand him more, to know his words more. I want to be able to read his plays and learn his language more. 

And I love this program. I can't believe how much I have learned. It's so overwhelming, but at the same time, It's not enough. I can't learn enough. Class is never long enough. I can't see enough shows. I can't read the plays enough. 

There's something in me that moves me, that affects me physically, about Shakespeare and the things he and Burbage's men accomplished that I can't describe. But it is one of my biggest passions. 

We went on a walking tour of London to sites that were meaningful to the development of Shakespeare, the Globe, and theater history in general. I couldn't believe how much history there was, and that these places existed, and I could see how they completely affected theater today as we know it. After our tour and a great lunch at Burrough Market, I went back to the Globe and was able to procure a ticket to see Hamlet. 

My first show at the Globe was Hamlet.

I cried. I did. I admit it. I walked into that theater, and I cried. I was so moved that a little girl who would walk around her house saying in my most grown up, serious voice, "Out! Out Brief Candle!" with as much feeling and gusto as I could, allowed her life to bring her to this moment. The moment where I stood in the Globe Theater and watched a production of Hamlet that left me breathless. 
It is a love affair, I imagine, that will go on for the rest of my life. Yes, whomever I end up marrying will have to share me with the Bard. Because he was my first love.

I know that everyone out there has had an experience with the Bard. That's one thing that makes him so amazing, he is so universal. Everyone can relate to one or more character. Some are a tortured Hamlet, some are an ambitious Lady Macbeth, some star cross'd lovers (who are also idiots), some are the misunderstood blundering Dogberry. I've always thought of myself as a Beatrice (probably wishful thinking there), although for most, it changes. After all, The world is a stage. So many characters, so much time, and so many lives. I believe that every person's relationship with Shakespeare is unique. Some even hate him (I don't get that, but whatever.) 
My relationship with the Bard is unique. I'd like to think. It's very special to me. And I hold it very dear. And keep this blog post, because I don't like to share about it much. If you don't know what your relationship with the Bard is, then I challenge you to find out. Doesn't have to be something huge. Read a play. Read it while you watch a movie. Find a quote of his that fits your life. When it doesn't apply, find a new one.
But before you dismiss him, remember: There's a reason this genius has been more performed and read than any other writer in the world. Just saying. 

And for those of you who say that shakespeare plays were written by multiple writers? Well, you're an idiot and obviously haven't gotten to know Shakespeare the man at all. :)

Hampton Court Palace.

I am Henry the 8th I am! Henry the 8th I am I am!
OKay, so I couldn't stop singing this song the whole time we were at Hampton court palace. 
it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century.
Henry the 8th built it for his favorite, Cardinal Wolsey but upon seeing it thought to himself..."This is nice" and in his kingly way, coerced the Cardinal into giving it to the King. 
This palace is such a palimpsest! It was expanded by King Henry and again by WIlliam the 3rd who hired Christopher Wren to build additional palaces to the existing building, one that he hoped would rival Versailles. (Yeah Right) but it was still gorgeous. This was one of the first times on the trip I was able to do what I love best, and that's wander on my own, lost in my own thoughts, and taking everything in.

While wandering, I could just see in my mind, nobles and aristocrats and kings wandering these halls. I could picture them hiding away into rooms and nooks and crannies for clandestine meetings or resting in their closets. (In Elizabethan times, a closet wasn't where you put your clothes, it was a room in which you sat in, reading, or doing some other mundane passing of time activity. :)
The hallways just echoed with the ghosts of the past. It was beautiful. It was almost like the people were still there with you. (Not in a creepy ghost story kind of way!)

I sat in the gardens and ate my lunch and watched this adorable family of ducks play. Eventually the little ones snuggled up (like a snuggly duckling) underneath their mom who protected them from the cold wind.

I fell in love with this field of purple flowers in the garden. They reminded me of my Aunt Sandy, and I knew she would love them if she could see them!

 This is the facade facing the River, which had a grand gate with gold leafing on it. So when visitors came to see William III at his palace, this was the facade they say when they left their boats at the Thames. His attempt to Rival Versailles. The Grounds were beautiful!

I didn't take the above photo.
They didn't allow photos in the chapel, but it was my favorite place at Hampton Court Palace by far. I'm always amazed at the spirit that is in any place that gets set apart to be devoted to the worship of God. I love how we will devote some of our finest design, paint, and building materials to make a place of worship so beautiful. It's like when we wear dresses and suits to church. Anyway, it was a beautiful day