Monday, April 6, 2009

Travels with Grammy

We've been having an eventful yet relaxing time here in London. Leisurely breakfasts followed by jaunts into town or around my neighborhood.

On Saturday we decided that we ought to see a show so we got tickets to a performance of The Messiah at St. Martin's in the Field. That was in the evening so we decided to go explore my school area and look around. We took the bus down to GSMD and took a quick tour around the school. It was a lovely day so we bought lunch from Marks and Spencer's and ate in the public bowling green in front of my Finsbury job. Grammy wanted to see the Roman amphitheatre so we walked down to The Guildhall and managed to get there just as the art gallery went from being charged to being free. Well timed us! The art gallery was lovely and it was fun to see the amphitheatre as well. It was hard to believe that the ruins were so old. Particularly as they are bathed in this weird green light and there is an audio track of a crowd cheering/jeering and gladiators running around. It's actually just the tiniest bit silly...

Grammy had seen the 14th century hall that *is* the Guildhall before so we spent a confusing few minutes debating which building off the square it was likely to be. Eventually we figured out that we needed to enter a truly hideous 1960's entryway. The hall had been closed to visitors half an hour before we got there, so that was a little disappointing. I noticed that there were GSMD fliers in their flier area and since I had understood that there was NOT a connection between The Guildhall and GSMD (in spite of the name) I asked about it. It turns out that GSMD is sponsored by the City of London Corporation and The Guildhall is the heart of The City's government. So that is the connection. Once the security guards found out that I went to GSMD and that I was graduating this year, one of them offered to take us back to the hall! So that was SUPER cool. We felt very privileged. Also, it turns out that GSMD has its graduation ceremony in the hall- so it was exciting to see where that is going to take place.

There was lovely early evening light at that point so we walked to St. Paul's and had a quick coffee in Starbucks while Grammy told me stories about Helen. Then Starbucks closed so we hopped on a bus to Trafalgar square. We got some soup in the Crypt, which was very crowded- but a nice woman saw us looking for a table and offered us hers as she was just about to leave. We collected the tickets and were there right as the doors opened for the show. I hadn't been there since the remodeling was finished and it is absolutely gorgeous now. We didn't have the most expensive tickets so our view was pretty poor- but the acoustics were wonderful and it was a total joy. I spent a lot of time watching flickering candle light glinting off of the gold leaf of the ceiling decorations while listening to Handel's recitatives and soaring choral soprano lines. We moved to wider seats at the intermission- for which I was grateful.

See? Doesn't that sound like a delightful day?

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