And Again

Hello readers,

Travel, in my experience, has always been hard. Valuable and important, certainly, in that you learn a lot about yourself and your own culture when you’re perpetually in a state of mild discomfort, but uncomfortable all the same. The preparation for this trip was along those lines: visa, flights, decisions, housing, reading, etc. were all somewhat stressful, but manageable and good teaching moments for how these systems work. It is thus continually astounding to me that this first week in London has been unabashedly fun.

What have I been doing with my days? I’ve settled into a three-day rotation system: first day, wander around London. These are great days—I pick the day with the best weather, and go out to listen and look amongst the crowds. There’s something wonderful about being in large, fast-moving groups of people; of starting out in uncrowded roads until you get caught up in a river of energy and language, are swept into whatever monument is attracting the multitudes, and then wash right back out again into narrower streets. I love the aimlessness of having flexible destinations, the satisfaction of having correctly followed a map, watching peoples’ clothes change as my location changes and watching the architecture morph along to match. I enjoy walking briskly along the river, using buildings as sightlines, being guilelessly ignored with no expectation of my mind engaging anything else but itself. London’s a big city, alternatively crowded and not, with places quickly familiar intermixed with vast unexplored territory, busy, organized, with so many diverse peoples chattering away. I love walking in London.

Day two: go running. I should warn you now that this three-day system is organized around an exercise regimen—three plus hours of walking one day, a short run the next, and nothing on the third. And far from being an irrelevant motivator, the fact that I value exercise and have been able to structure my days around it is probably what has been making this adjustment so easy. Having complete freedom over one’s schedule, the confidence to do whatever one wants, time, and money, make for the easiest way of life I can think of.

So on day twos I go running, and because I am tired of carrying around maps, I head into the signage-filled city, into the many green places in London, running to Hyde Park and as far in as I can go before a time limit has me turn back. I breathe in smoke—so many more smokers than in Boston, you have to hold your breath—and weave around walkers on the sidewalk, until I arrive into the sunshine and grass and gravel to share with families walking in the park. There are so many Londoners in the park, so many children. Not nearly so many homeless as in Boston. Plenty of joggers—it’s acceptable here, women walk around with yoga pants on and it’s fine, even fine pushing past people in the street. (I was worried; America’s oddly accepting of runners, especially female, running on any normal street. This is the only other place I’ve traveled to where this seems just as normal.)

On the way back I struggle with which side of the sidewalk to be on. Stick to the right, or to the left? The roads are backwards; shouldn’t the sidewalks be too? I think sidewalks might be in the American way. I still can’t figure it out.

Day threes: stay-at-home days. I am so lucky to have the people I do in my life. So, so lucky. I am staying with Rebecca’s dad right now, for free in his apartment, and he is away on a family trip so I have the entire place to myself. He showed me the supermarket so I walk there when I like. There’s a full kitchen and a full bathroom and light and heat, and the internet is constantly available. On day threes I work on research I’m finishing up for Wellesley, and for my ever-lasting, neverending graduate school apps. Will they never be finished? Scientific soul-searching takes forever, constant tiny battles running in circles and circles in my mind. Do I want to do this because I’m really interested? Do I not want to do this because I’m intimidated? How good am I compared to everyone else? What’s my background compared to everyone else? Am I doing this just because it’s hard? What if it’s too hard? Do I care about male/female ratios? Am I good enough? If I’m not good enough, how much do I want to fight for it? Am I fighting the system or am I also fighting myself? What do I want? It circles, circles, and circles. I’m learning things. It’s always a joy when you can learn things by dipping a finger into the thoughts in your own head; often enough I feel like I’m useless without outside influence. Applications are about lying on the floor staring up at the ceiling at two in the morning, and then shaking the hand of an interviewer months later, with easy phrases on your tongue, your whole realm of arguments neatly organized and confined.

I’m so happy to be working. I get anxious when I’m not, and tired when I’m working constantly, but this cycle I’m in, where I’m sort of on vacation and sort of not, is perfect. I thought I’d get lonely—I’m extremely surprised, every day, when I’m not. The voice in my head is very loud. The internet and its amusements never stop. The grad school work I’m doing is very self-involved, necessitates a lot of internal debates and conversations. Music fills up empty space like you wouldn’t imagine—when I turn it on while I’m working, I can immediately feel myself get dumber; suddenly I don’t have that winding dialogue questioning whether this really is the best way to do this, maybe I should consider this other way of doing it, am I using my time correctly, should I maybe be concerned about. Now it’s filled with: oh, do I like these lyrics? Why don’t I like these lyrics? Ooh, fun. Ooh, dance. And my mouse moves along like it always does, doing the work I’ve assigned it, best use of time or not.

And family. And friends. And so many well-wishing emails, occasional Skype conversations, Facebook and updates and people. Nowadays, when you leave, your people don’t. I talked with Tiffany yesterday, I chatted with my sister Nicole last night, and I’m talking with Emily tonight and my parents too. Nicole’s doing well—I loved her personal statement draft (she’s applying to college). I love the results of applications, of hearing what people find out about themselves and how they put it together. Of how Nicole believes things that I thought she believed, and how her perspective on other situations is not what I could ever have imagined: how her experiences and her brain have led her to interpret events in a way I literally wouldn’t be able to generate on my own. I’ve expressed this before, but I wish that everyone would write their story—life’s so beautiful from different perspectives, not the halfhearted ones that I try to generate, but the stories and interpretations that stem uniquely from another mind.

Hm :). When I was home, my parents both expressed, when I asked, that people’s foundations don’t fundamentally change. (Except in the case of life-changing, traumatic events.) Given that I haven’t had any fundamentally traumatic events in my life, am instead surrounded by a ridiculous number of kind and caring people, who have prepared me for this trip and eventually-adult life in innumerable ways… man, I can see that I write the same way and think the same way as I did when I started this blog ages ago, or when I started traveling. It’s much easier now, because I have more freedom, because I have more knowledge and experience, but it hasn’t much changed, has it? Monica, the same essence and writing style since she was 13 :).

Thanks for sticking it through, readers :). Photos from my three most recent London day ones below. Love you, and all of the people in my life, always.

Monica

—–

Ps. Update: breakers / fuse boxes are located NEAR THE CEILING in England, and they are greyish. My upstairs neighbors—both of them—are super nice and great. I don’t know what a “meter” is (something to do with utilities?), nor can I parse “going to uni” into American fast enough. Take away power and internet and I am largely useless (thank goodness the lights were still on). You are never done with your children—my dad answered the phone and helped me through even though I am 22 years old. So much love to everyone :).

—-

And photo blog :).

Hm :). This first set is photos from my walk with Rebecca's dad last Sunday. We started out by taking the Underground to London Bridge. It looked very sturdy.
Hm :). This first set is photos from my walk with Rebecca’s dad last Sunday. We started out by taking the Underground to London Bridge. It looked very sturdy.
One of the many, many shots I took down the river :). We walked along all the way past Battersea! Rebecca's dad was all: see that bridge? We're walking to that bridge. And then I thought I saw that bridge, but it was the bridge after the bridge after the bridge after... I'm so glad I have someone who will push me to walk farther than I push myself :). (Though he did admit that the bit with the huge circling around construction was accidental.)
One of the many, many shots I took down the river :). We walked along all the way past Battersea! Rebecca’s dad was all: see that bridge? We’re walking to that bridge. And then I thought I saw that bridge, but it was the bridge after the bridge after the bridge after… I’m so glad I have someone who will push me to walk farther than I push myself :). (Though he did admit that the bit with the huge circling around construction was accidental.)

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A preview of Borough Market, where the next set of photos come from :). It's not open on Sunday though!
A preview of Borough Market, where the next set of photos come from :). It’s not open on Sunday though!
Old mixed in with the new :).
Old mixed in with the new :).

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Shakespeare's Globe! Open air theatre with apparently 5 pound standing tickets some nights? I want to go!
Shakespeare’s Globe! Open air theatre with apparently 5 pound standing tickets some nights? I want to go!

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The Tate Modern-- apparently an excellent museum. I can't believe most of the museums are free here!
The Tate Modern– apparently an excellent museum. I can’t believe most of the museums are free here!
Music and people hanging out :). It was an excellent path to walk, down the river-- there were tons of people out on Sunday night, with restaurants and food carts and music. So much energy, and me and Rebecca's dad just cruising down the middle :).
Music and people hanging out :). It was an excellent path to walk, down the river– there were tons of people out on Sunday night, with restaurants and food carts and music. So much energy, and me and Rebecca’s dad just cruising down the middle :).
St. Paul's Cathedral! Another place I made it to in a later set of photos.
St. Paul’s Cathedral! Another place I made it to in a later set of photos.
Each bridge was so unique-- and again with the old and new :).
Each bridge was so unique– and again with the old and new :).
Beautiful lampposts-- could give Wellesley's a run for their money :).
Beautiful lampposts– could give Wellesley’s a run for their money :).
Skatepark :)
Skatepark 🙂
The London Eye, from up close!
The London Eye, from up close!
Hahahahaha....
Hahahahaha….
I loved these statues-- they're more and less uncovered by the tide.
I loved these statues– they’re more and less uncovered by the tide.
And a long walk later, Rebecca's dad and I finally made it to a bus :). I was way too excited about this, and waited approximately two seconds before asking if I could go to the covered double decker part and darting up the stairs. It is SO MUCH FUN BEING AT THE FRONT OF A DOUBLE DECKER. It was like I was floating and in a movie and didn't have to deal with all of the annoying driving parts. Like I said, way too excited. But eventually we made it back to the apartment. That was a very good day :).
And a long walk later, Rebecca’s dad and I finally made it to a bus :). I was way too excited about this, and waited approximately two seconds before asking if I could go to the covered double decker part and darting up the stairs. It is SO MUCH FUN BEING AT THE FRONT OF A DOUBLE DECKER. It was like I was floating and in a movie and didn’t have to deal with all of the annoying driving parts. Like I said, way too excited. But eventually we made it back to the apartment. That was a very good day :).
Crazed and way too excited Monica :). Good, good days :).
Crazed and way too excited Monica :). Good, good days :).
Weeeellll-- after the 15-mile or whatever day, I took a day or two off. But then the London adventures had to begin again! I was ready. Had my fake leather jacket and Oyster card (to get on the Underground) and everything. Also, posing in the bathroom because I am all about the mirror.
Weeeellll– after the 15-mile or whatever day, I took a day or two off. But then the London adventures had to begin again! I was ready. Had my fake leather jacket and Oyster card (to get on the Underground) and everything. Also, posing in the bathroom because I am all about the mirror.
Started out by taking the Underground to the Embankment. My plan for today was to head over to Borough Market, then Petticoat Market and Brick Market and Spitalfields Market and St. Paul's. Tad ambitious. Lovely day though.
Started out by taking the Underground to the Embankment. My plan for today was to head over to Borough Market, then Petticoat Market and Brick Lane Market and Spitalfields Market and St. Paul’s. Tad ambitious. Lovely day though.
Crossing the bridge!
Crossing the bridge!
Getting way, way, WAY lost. Usually I have a fairly good sense of direction, but I've noticed it falls apart when rivers fail to run straight. I usually can't even see the river, but apparently when they tilt I subconsciously sense it and become completely confused? (This has happened more than once in Boston.) I ended up very inland in this case, where inland is
Getting way, way, WAY lost. Usually I have a fairly good sense of direction, but I’ve noticed it falls apart when rivers fail to run straight. I usually can’t even see the river, but apparently when they tilt I subconsciously sense it and become completely confused? (This has happened more than once in Boston.) I ended up very inland in this case, where inland is “away from the river”… (I’ve never actually noticed my huge directional reliance on rivers until this moment. How interesting…) Anywho, it was great to see more “neighborhood” parts of London and less touristy parts. Intriguingly, it kind of looks like the rest of “suburban” London, like where I’m living? But I’m completely out of my range, here– I don’t have a good sense what a “suburb” is in the context of the UK…
I was walking along, a little anxious because I'd been kind of lost for a while, when all of a sudden I noticed I felt a lot more comfortable. I walked a little farther, and lo and behold, I'd made it to a college campus. This happened twice on this walk-- subconsciously relaxing because I noticed I was around students. This whole
I was walking along, a little anxious because I’d been kind of lost for a while, when all of a sudden I noticed I felt a lot more comfortable. I walked a little farther, and lo and behold, I’d made it to a college campus. This happened twice on this walk– subconsciously relaxing because I noticed I was around students. This whole “comfort with surroundings” thing, with regards to people, is FASCINATING.
I eventually arrived at Borough Market. It-- and this is high praise, given how much I love open-air markets-- exceeded expectations.
I eventually arrived at Borough Market. It– and this is high praise, given how much I love open-air markets– exceeded expectations.
I have bad pictures. But this is probably my favorite thing in London so far (Tiffany asked me. I had to think about it. I was very embarrassed because I like this stuff more than cathedrals. But it takes all types, I suppose :)). It had a fruit and veggie section. And a meat section. And a cheese section. And a pastry section. And a bread section. And a cooked food section. IT WAS AWESOME.
I have bad pictures. But this is probably my favorite thing in London so far (Tiffany asked me. I had to think about it. I was very embarrassed because I like this stuff more than cathedrals. But it takes all types, I suppose :)). It had a fruit and veggie section. And a meat section. And a cheese section. And a pastry section. And a bread section. And a cooked food section. IT WAS AWESOME.
Also quite large! With some covered sections and some outside sections.
Also quite large! With some covered sections and some outside sections.
I now know what a Turkish delight is! It is yummy and gummy.
I now know what a Turkish delight is! It is yummy and gummy.
What I finally ended up with :). Two loaves of bread, a bewildering array of coins, and spinach and goat cheese quiche. Life. Is. Good. (Ha, I wrote Life Is Food and had to erase it ;P)
What I finally ended up with :). Two loaves of bread, a bewildering array of coins, and spinach and goat cheese quiche. Life. Is. Good. (Ha, I wrote Life Is Food and had to erase it ;P)

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Alas, I had to take off from Borough Market. Off I went to Spitalfields Market! I love that there are enough markets here you can make a day of it.
Alas, I had to take off from Borough Market. Off I went to Spitalfields Market! I love that there are enough markets here you can make a day of it.
Wandered into the financial section of the city after crossing the river. This is what's called
Wandered into the financial section of the city after crossing the river. This is what’s called “The City” when people refer to London (reported from Rebecca’s dad).
I'm calling this thing the Egg in my mind. It doesn't even look like an egg, but is an excellent landmark. (There are so many things here that I'm observing and completely missing the history of, the significance of. The difference between taking off on your own and going on a tour. I find it so amazing that wherever we go, we're still bringing ourselves, with our perceptions and biases and histories and ways of seeing the world, and everything is filtered through that lens. So much more so when it's just me, not a tour guide leading me in the right, reverent direction-- just me and my egg as a landmark, because that's the best I can do with what's in my head. We learn so much from the people around us.)
I’m calling this thing the Egg in my mind. It doesn’t even look like an egg, but is an excellent landmark. (There are so many things here that I’m observing and completely missing the history of, the significance of. The difference between taking off on your own and going on a tour. I find it so amazing that wherever we go, we’re still bringing ourselves, with our perceptions and biases and histories and ways of seeing the world, and everything is filtered through that lens. So much more so when it’s just me, not a tour guide leading me in the right, reverent direction– just me and my egg as a landmark, because that’s the best I can do with what’s in my head. We learn so much from the people around us.)

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The Egg marked the arrival of the Men In The Suits. Seriously, there were entire streets of people in suits, mostly older white men. I did not know that many suits existed. I'm sure many of them are different. I can safely say I have never felt so underdressed walking around in the street with street clothes on. We have reached The City!
The Egg marked the arrival of the Men In The Suits. Seriously, there were entire streets of people in suits, mostly older white men. I did not know that many suits existed. I’m sure many of them are different. I can safely say I have never felt so underdressed walking around in the street with street clothes on. We have reached The City!
And we emerge from the Men in Suit roads! It took awhile, and I promptly became lost. My most lost yet, in fact, because I meandered into a portion of the city that wasn't as touristy, so there weren't as many map signposts around.
And we emerge from the Men in Suit roads! It took awhile, and I promptly became lost. My most lost yet, in fact, because I meandered into a portion of the city that wasn’t as touristy, so there weren’t as many map signposts around.
Wandered into one of the Islamic portions of the city, I think! There was a small open-air market selling clothes. It was so interesting, because I know that it's a very similar feel to Chinatown, but I'm comfortable in Chinatown where I wasn't here, just because of exposure. I'm treated as an outsider in both cases (I don't look Chinese) but it's all about where you've been taught to believe you can belong. I have that sense about American Chinese food locations (heritage, early exposure) and most things French (immersion elementary school, early exposure) but not many other cultures besides American.
Wandered into one of the Islamic portions of the city, I think! There was a small open-air market selling clothes. It was so interesting, because I know that it’s a very similar feel to Chinatown, but I’m comfortable in Chinatown where I wasn’t here, just because of exposure. I’m treated as an outsider in both cases (I don’t look Chinese) but it’s all about where you’ve been taught to believe you can belong. I have that sense about American Chinese food locations (heritage, early exposure) and most things French (immersion elementary school, early exposure) but not many other cultures besides American.
Still wandering around. Map and direction failure. I got too far away from the river.
Still wandering around. Map and direction failure. I got too far away from the river.
Great to see a different part of the city though :).
Great to see a different part of the city though :).
Turns out I was going the wrong direction, but in a similar part of the city I found it: Brick Lane Market. Not really open the day I went, but still cool-- I still had that sense of foreignness, but if I were braver I'd definitely go and get some of the pastries I could see through the window.
Turns out I was going the wrong direction, but in a similar part of the city I found it: Brick Lane Market. Not really open the day I went, but still cool– I still had that sense of foreignness, but if I were braver I’d definitely go and get some of the pastries I could see through the window.
And I absolutely love this part. Because I'm going down this road, looking at all the language signs... then I turn left down an alley, and run into:
And I absolutely love this part. Because I’m going down this road, looking at all the language signs… then I turn left down an alley, and run into:
This. Old, still kind of rough-looking buildings. But outdoor cafes. H&M. Rough-chic.
This. Old, still kind of rough-looking buildings. But outdoor cafes. H&M. Rough-chic.

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And another two blocks in: we now have tiled floors and high-end boutique shops. ...IT CHANGES SO QUICKLY. Boston does this too, moves from Chinatown to Financial district to Waterfront to Theater district, but it's so startling, every time.
And another two blocks in: we have tiled floors and high-end boutique shops. …IT CHANGES SO QUICKLY. Boston does this too, moves from Chinatown to Financial district to Waterfront to Theater district, but it’s so startling, every time.
Nice flooring, nice building, selling lots of nice clothes.
Nice flooring, nice building, selling lots of nice clothes.

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Curved around the side too, and continued...
Curved around the side too, and continued…
Jewelry on this end!
Jewelry on this end!
Hm, what's this?
Hm, what’s this?
Old couples dancing? Ballroom music?
Older couples dancing? Ballroom music?
...(shakes head) This city is so remarkable.
…(shakes head) This city is so remarkable.
And off we go again! I'm following the crowds, since they're better than maps at this point. Should have caught onto that trick sooner :).
And off we go again! I’m following the crowds, since they’re better than maps at this point. Should have caught onto that trick sooner :).
Hey, we're back to the Egg! Looking for an Underground station, though, since I've now been at this for five hours... :P
Hey, we’re back to the Egg! Looking for an Underground station, though, since I’ve now been at this for five hours… 😛
And here we are. London's transport systems are incredible. Time to go home :).
And here we are. London’s transport systems are incredible. Time to go home :).
All right, everyone :). Last set of pictures! These are from today (Sunday). Shorter walk, since I wanted to do work. That didn't quite end up happening, due to the fact that I used this as a social day catch-up and had miscellaneous adventures (re: blowing out the electricity in the apartment) but one admires the intent. (Ha. As if. Productivity doesn't count unless you're productive :P.) ANYWHO I took the Underground to London Bridge, in order to avoid the whole getting-lost-on-the-way-to-Borough-Market problem. It turns out that the Underground drops off literally 10 steps away from Borough Market, so that was solved! Unfortunately it wasn't open today, so not so solved. But no worries. My plan today was to go to St. Paul's. So off across the London Bridge I went. ...and there were sheep?
All right, everyone :). Last set of pictures! These are from today (Sunday). Shorter walk, since I wanted to do work. That didn’t quite end up happening, due to the fact that I used this as a social day catch-up and had miscellaneous adventures (re: blowing out the electricity in the apartment) but one admires the intent. (Ha. As if. Productivity doesn’t count unless you’re productive :P.) ANYWHO I took the Underground to London Bridge, in order to avoid the whole getting-lost-on-the-way-to-Borough-Market problem. It turns out that the Underground drops off literally 10 steps away from Borough Market, so that was solved! Unfortunately it wasn’t open today, so not so solved. But no worries. My plan today was to go to St. Paul’s. So off across the London Bridge I went. …and there were sheep?
You can see Tower bridge as the next bridge over. So lovely. I'll have to make it down there sometime.
You can see Tower bridge as the next bridge over. So lovely. I’ll have to make it down there sometime.
On the bridge. Very crowded today!
On the bridge. Very crowded today!
... more sheep? Here's another event where I'm completely clueless as to the significance. I tried to catch snatches of it from people's conversations as I went by, but wasn't able to learn anything besides that it was an unusual event. One could Google, but I kind of like the mystery :).
… more sheep? Here’s another event where I’m completely clueless as to the significance. I tried to catch snatches of it from people’s conversations as I went by, but wasn’t able to learn anything besides that it was an unusual event. One could Google, but I kind of like the mystery :).
And wide roads lead to wider roads lead to crowds lead to markets. Beautiful street musician playing at the entrance. All of the street musicians play unusual instruments here, did you know? In all of my walking around, I've seen someone playing a saw, two vaguely African-looking instruments, and two vaguely Asian-looking instruments (I'm really sorry-- they were unusual), mostly pipe and string-based, but I can't give you more than that. They were also all really, really good? Anyway, the entrance to Covent Garden Market. I took a quick detour to the neighboring market though, Jubilee Market. Loved that one.
And wide roads lead to wider roads lead to crowds lead to markets. Beautiful street musician playing at the entrance. All of the street musicians play unusual instruments here, did you know? In all of my walking around, I’ve seen someone playing a saw, two vaguely African-looking instruments, and two vaguely Asian-looking instruments (I’m really sorry– they were unusual), mostly pipe and string-based, but I can’t give you more than that. They were also all really, really good? Anyway, the entrance to Covent Garden Market. I took a quick detour to the neighboring market though, Jubilee Market. Loved that one.
Jubilee Market. Artisan goods. Some really, really lovely things.
Jubilee Market. Artisan goods. Some really, really lovely things.
I want one of these... this was a surreptitious picture, so I didn't get the good ones, but they're hand-carved journals with this beautiful locking mechanism. If I ever thought I would use it, I would have picked one up.
I want one of these… this was a surreptitious picture, so I didn’t get the good ones, but they’re hand-carved journals with this beautiful locking mechanism. If I ever thought I would use it, I would have picked one up.
Cool artwork-- again, if I were richer... (I'd also buy cheese if I were richer. Great food and beautiful artisan items. And air conditioning. That's the plan.)
Cool artwork– again, if I were richer… (I’d also buy cheese if I were richer. Great food and beautiful artisan items. And air conditioning. That’s the plan.)
Stamps. So cool.
Stamps. So cool.
And to Covent Gardens Market :). This one was way busier and high-end, but it was good to walk through.
And to Covent Gardens Market :). This one was way busier and high-end, but it was good to walk through.
Baloons.
Baloons.
Also, an extremely long line to... Shake Shack? Maybe it's less common here?
Also, an extremely long line to… Shake Shack? Maybe it’s less common here?
There's an internal part of the Market that's mostly boutique stores. I liked the outside better, where there were multiple street performances. Also, Wallace and Gromit sheep?
There’s an internal part of the Market that’s mostly boutique stores. I liked the outside better, where there were multiple street performances. Also, Wallace and Gromit sheep?
Aw, Wallace and Gromit sheep :).
Aw, Wallace and Gromit sheep :).
Making my way around the front..
Making my way around the front..
More Wallace and Gromit sheep! They said they were raising money for "sick children"? Really fun regardless, even with the rules that you couldn't climb on them.
More Wallace and Gromit sheep! They said they were raising money for “sick children”? Really fun regardless, even with the rules that you couldn’t climb on them.
For my best friend Tiffany :).
For my best friend Tiffany :).
The crowd :).
The crowd :).

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And this will be my last picture of the night, because it was profound moment for me, when this little girl started asking questions of the musician who I'd admired upon entering. And he was answering and smiling and I was startled. But that story will have to wait for another night, because half an hour later I still can't write coherently about it. Night readers, and thanks as always for reading. So much affection for you all :).
And this will be my last picture of the night, because it was profound moment for me, when this little girl started asking questions of the musician who I’d admired upon entering. And he was answering and smiling and I was startled. But that story will have to wait for another night, because half an hour later I still can’t write coherently about it. Night readers, and thanks as always for reading. So much affection for you all :).
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