|I picture this being the Lord of Misrule|
The play "Twelfth Night" originates in fun. It is about seizing the pleasures of life where ever we may find them. It is about enjoying life before we run out of whatever time we have. The play represents the last party, the last good time before heading back into the grind. As the "Twelfth Night" implies it is the last night of the holiday, the last day of The Lord of Misrule's reign. My time here in Europe is flying by! I'm already starting my fourth week and it isn't going any slower. I'm on the brink of traveling to Scotland, Belgium, Paris, Netherlands, and Wales (and hopefully Dorset very soon). There will be plenty of life to grasp before I go back to America and I intend to grasp all of it. This adventure is by no means the last great adventure of my life, but it may be the last great adventure of my youth (or maybe the first of my adult life). But, for what its worth, I'm happy to be here now. I may in fact be the happiest I've ever been. From now until the "twelfth night" of my adventure, I hope I can continue to say the same thing.
|Trying to grasp the experience in a literal sense. Unfortunately my arms were not long enough in this case. I'll just stick to the figurative grasping.|
|Me with a dolphin, it pretty much is what it is.|
Ok, now on to what I'm doing, enough with the philosophical jibber jabber. Last time we saw our hero he was celebrating his flatmate's birthday and pondering the meaning of family and friendship amongst his fellow students. Today we find him pondering his future upcoming adventures and his trip to Brighton.
|Enjoying some reading in Brighton.|
So, last Saturday we all jumped on the train and headed to Brighton. Brighton is a major port city in the UK. We first visited the Royal Pavilion where King George IV spent most of his young life. Queen Victoria even spent some time there. The palace was unbelievable. Because of the unique architecture (based on architecture from India) it is very difficult to up keep the palace (construction began in the 1780s) in Brighton. Nevertheless, the inside of the palace is awe-inspiring. The banquet hall was my favorite. It seems like a pretty great place to hold some dinners with some of my favorite people (that's you guys!).
|It would be a bit awkward trying to have a conversation with someone on the other end. I imagine long tables like these are what started cliques.|
From the palace we went to the Brighton Pier, where we had world famous fish and chips (I also had mushy peas!). Based on the pictures I am sure you can tell what I thought about fish and chips.
From there, we went to the shore. We decided to touch the water. Some of us touched it a bit more than others, me included. I accidentally sort of jumped in, my feet were a bit wet after that. It was nothing compared to the Narragansett Polar Plunges though. After that we saw some of the shops and then headed back to London.
|Ready for a small swim on such a warm and sunny day.|
The rest of the weekend has been pretty relaxed. On Sunday I went to Sainsbury's in Holborn Circus and bought a sandwich, an apple and some water and sat in a local park next to a church and ate. It was the first time I had really taken to just sit and relax and think quietly. I really appreciate my time doing that. Not a bad Sunday ritual I guess.
This morning I went to Cardinal Pole Secondary School with my district director from London Citizens, Sebastien, to have a talk with the students there. Seb has been going there for the past three weeks and goes every week. I'm going to do my best to go weekly with him! We talk to the students in the class for about an hour and work with them on how they can make a positive impact in the community. Today I worked with a very bright group of kids who I'm going to work on the TESCO campaign with!
As exciting as it was to work with these students, it was quite humbling to see the condition of the school and the status of many of the children. It reminded me a lot of when I would go into Willimantic when I was young for school exchanges. The school in Hackney is one of the poorest in the city and it shows. I saw two kids beating up another one, just to take his drum sticks. Unfortunately there is nothing you can really do except hope that the staff can break it up. Many of these students don't need to hear us lecture what it is like for these people to live with a wage under the living wage (7.85) because many of their parents make less than that, if they have parents for that matter. Hopefully my work in the East Hartford Schools will help me manage these kids. Although interestingly enough I had no problem getting their full attention; maybe it was the accent!
After that I had my first full english breakfast at a local diner near the school and then headed back here to the flat to write this. In about five days I am going to be leaving for Scotland. I'm sure I'll get in another post before then.
I miss you all, and I hope you are all surviving the snow alright.
From what I gather, Waggers is not quite to sure about all this snow, but I'm sure she is still happy!
|Picture taken by my dad...Waggers is usually one to travel off the beaten path, but not today.|
|Mallory and Chocurua, modeling (yet again) in a sea of white. (Picture compliment of Tom S. and Rosalind P.)|