Tube Strikes in the Rain

I actually woke-up at a reasonable time this morning, climbing out of bed at 8:30 AM instead of my usual 9:00 AM. I got dressed and then had just enough time to finish doing my reading and get down to class on time after eating a granola bar that would hold me over until after class. We had a regular day of class in our classroom at FSU. About half of our class was spent talking about the previous night’s concert and going over more of the history of the symphonies leading up to the twentieth century- our main focus of the class. The rest of the class was spent looking at some key film score composers in the Western genre including Ennio Morricone, Elmerd Bernstein, and Dimitri Tiomkin.

After class I went back into the hotel room for not even five minutes to make sure I had all of my stuff and then I headed towards the Barbican Center to go Workshop Coffee to write and eat before our class tour. Getting to Workshop Coffee was an experience. The tubes were closed because of tube strikes so I decided to take the bus the mile to Workshop Coffee. After sitting on the bus for almost twenty minutes I decided to just get off and walk and hopefully catch another bus further up. I ended up walking the entire way there without seeing another bus, but it’s okay, my FitBit would be proud of me.

The cafe was great and I was able to write Let’s Taco About Church and FaceTime my dad. I also ordered Breakfast Tea and eggs with toast, my first real breakfast in London, even though it was 1:00 PM. A little before 2:00 PM I headed over to the Barbican Center to wait for my class and go on our tour that began at 2:30 PM. I got a latte from the little coffee shop kiosk that was by the lobby area and pulled out Brave New World to read. I sent a text to my roommate to see if they were all there yet. She said she had come by herself, but she would head over to where I was waiting. Finally my professor and the rest of the class showed up and after a quick bathroom break we began our tour.

I absolutely loved the Barbican Center tour! If you want to hear all the history and every single detail feel free to ask me (or just go to London and take the tour), but I won’t bore those of you who aren’t interest… for too long anyways. The site was destroyed in the bombings of WW2 in 1940 and then in the 1960s plans were made to make the area into a residential area. The area now houses 40% of the people living in the center part of London. The plans for the arts center were not finished and approved until the early 1970s and it was not opened until 1982. The whole area is surrounded by a wall and is basically a city within a city. The only thing it is lacking is shops, but those were in the original plans before the city realized that people weren’t crossing through the area as much as they would have liked. I think the reason that I loved the area so much is because I like the idea of being in the city without actually having to be in it… if that makes sense. Either way, the tour was great and tour guide was so passionate. It also served as inspiration for my essay- my approach being how the Barbican helps preserve music and the symphonies in London.

Following the tour it was some time between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM. I considered going to another café, but I was exhausted and my phone battery had just died (even though it was at 20%) so I decided it was best to head back to the hotel. Some of the tube lines were opening and I decided that was the best way to get back, especially with no phone/map. I asked one of the guys working in the tube was the best way to get to Tottenham Court Road was considering there were so many closings and he told me to take the tube to Euston Square and then walk from there.

On my tube ride I met a man who was originally from New York, but his father was from England and he had been living in London as a chef for the last thirteen years. He wished me luck getting back to the hotel safely and then we parted ways. Once up to the main road I turned on my phone and was able to look at directions and how to get back before my phone died again (now at 16%). I knew I was heading the right direction though because I was also following signs for the British Museum. After walking for what seemed like to long I started to worry, but then I turned to my right and saw the restaurant that I could see outside of my room window. I made back into the hotel and then just sat down to breathe for a little.

I FaceTimed Peter and my mom and then my roommate decided to go out for an early dinner. We went to a place called Gigs Fish and Chips Restaurant because I had yet to have Fish and Chips. The place was tiny and the staff was friendly as they had our food and beers out in less than five minutes of us sitting down. I felt like a real London local as I sat there eating fish and chips, drinking my “London Pride” beer, and watching the rain outside the window.

When we got back to the hotel I went into the bathroom to work on hand-washing my clothes to save money. I finished all of the dark colored clothes and saved the rest for the following today. We were then in bed by about 8:30 PM and I was asleep within the hour.


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