Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The birds and the bees in Regent Park

Ipod in ear and book in hand, I walked around Regent park for quite sometime before I could decide where to settle. As I was on my own and tend to be indecisive, I debated with myself for about an hour, going back and fourth between the open fields, gardens and benches with a fountain view.

The idea of sitting by the pond was eliminated fairly early on account of too many ducks.

I like ducks, and most animals, but I think London ducks are a little too forward for me. American ducks are more stand offish and reserved where as London ducks are social. They have no problem surrounding you and making noise when you're trying to relax. And there were hundreds of them. Regents Park seemed to be their headquarters, as well as the headquarters for geese, pigeons, swans, and more birds I couldn't identify. The pond was clearly the least appealing option. Foriegn birds make me suspicous.

Anyway, I eventually settled in what was called "Queen Mary's Garden." The area was made up of beds of roses––more color roses than I knew exhisted. And each rose bed had a name, like "Invincible" or "Happiness" and I thought that was nice except it made it harder for me to choose a place to stop. I eventually took a bench between "Nostalgia" and "Singing in the Rain" and I sat their quietly by myself for 2 hours––ample time to read, think and people watch.

Whenever I spend time at a park I like to take note of the gold plated dedications posted on donated benches. You know, the ones that say things like "In Memory of Sally Benchsitter, who spent many beautiful days here."

I wondered if I would have have a gold plate like that at a place that I loved, and I started to wish I could start going to that place immediately.

After reflecting on the last few years I determined that the only places in my life that warrent bench dedications are the St Anns front desk, the Art floor in the Admin building and the Student Publication office. I think thats pretty depressing. All three locations are at Emmanuel, directly related to my work and stress, and a bench would just look silly there or at least be in the way.

Its hard to admit but my time in London is running short. I don't suppose its possible that I make myself any kind of home here with only 18 days left at my leisure. But I hope I can take my aspiration back to Boston––I won't waste a minute of my senior year. I'm going to get through my work and its not going to be easy but I'm going to do more of what I want to do, where and when I want to do it. And someday, maybe, there will be a bench with my name on in the Boston Commons.

Or at least at the Muddy River. Who can say?

I really enjoy days like yesterday. It may be hard to believe if you know me but I truly value time to myself where I can just be quiet. I know no one forces me to talk on a regular basis but sometimes I get caught up. I'm always trying to joke and keep things lively but its good to sometimes be silent and selfish––not responsible for anyone elses entertainment.

The only thing that bothered me was all the bees buzzing around my ears, forcing me to sit a little more still than I would have liked. But I suppose thats just how it works. If you want to sit among the roses you have to risk getting stung by the bees, right? Thats how its always going to be. I'd encourage anyone to try it––I think its worth the risk.

Well, unless of course you're allergic to bee stings, in which case you could always give the ducks a chance. They are cheerful and you may just find their enthusiasm rather charming.

Ah, I feel the need to apologize now. You readers, if you're still with me, must be terribly bored. I should be writing about more exciting things while I'm here in Europe. Perhaps I should be out right now––bungee jumping, or getting a tattoo, or at least participating in an old fashioned Pub crawl.

I may not be getting too crazy but I am, for the most part, doing what I want to do. I'm exploring and taking time to think and learn about new things, just like I planned. The only dream that remains unfufilled is that of my time as a London dog walker.

Early this morning while reading The Revenger's Tragedy before class in Trent Park, a woman walked by with seven dogs––all her own. They followed her obediently, except the one she called William, who stopped by to say hello to me.

Oh, cruel pup! Why must you mock me so?

Philly, if you're reading this, please come out and visit! We will have fun! I PROMISE! And you can bring Kathryn too but you'll probably have to lend her some cash for the plane ticket. It's alright, you know shes good for it!


For those of you who don't like reading, and I know there are a few, here are a few on my favorite pictures from Paris. I was able to visit the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Musee d'Orsay, Notre Dame, and Jardins du Luxemburg. Overall I thought Paris was beautiful! But, I admit, I have little use for the rudeness of most of the french.

Navigating. We're like pros at this kind of stuff.

Me, Chrissy and Adela at the Louvre

Jardin des Tuileries

Notre Dame de Paris

I try to humor Adela sometimes... I guess she just likes fun.

Shout out to my NOTRE DAME SISTAHS! St Julie is MY GIIIIRL!

Jardin de Luxemburg... so beautiful.

The river

Jardin de Luxemburg. Chrissy, you're perfect.

I literally begged Adela to stop taking pictures in the Musee d'Orsay..
she responded "Stop complaining, you're gunna have some really SWEET pictures if you just relax."

Eiffel Tower with Jason, Meredith, Nicole, Adam, myself and Chrissy. Friends made in Barcelona meeting up in Paris? Pretty awesome.

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