Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ramblin'

Rambly updates are rambly. But that's all I've got right now. Too much going on in my head, too much to get done, too much to be excited about, too much to be sad/upset/frustrated with.

The big YAY thing: we're going to London at the end of May! I wanted to do this trip for my 34th birthday which passed a little over a week ago. I didn't really update about it because it's one of those "eh" birthdays. I'm getting older, but I'm not old, and it's not a terribly significant age. 35? Maybe. 40? Probably. But not 34. Granted, there have been HUGE changes in my life in the last year. Living in Germany, what? So, a London trip where I get to actually wander around and see stuff has been on my "things to do before I croak" list since...I was old enough to know I wanted to go places. Probably at like, 4 or 5. Then, a few months back, I was able to be in London for just a day and I completely fell in love.

I'm, without a doubt, an Anglophile. Some of it is hereditary. My entire family, both sides, is British/Irish/Scots. On at least one side only 3rd gen in the U.S., too. So I grew up with a lot of Irish American pride/history/culture. I'm sure it made some friends of mine annoyed, everything was always "Irish, Irish, Irish". My paternal grandmother was also a big British history buff, I think Queen Victoria in particular. She had many friends in London, they lived there for awhile when my father was young post WWII, and they visited quite often when I knew them. They were always bringing back strange things like violet candy, pearled hair nets, and books. They also observed afternoon tea most every day.

British TV also factored hugely in my childhood as we were only allowed to watch PBS for awhile. At the time that meant Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, a lot of nature shows and Masterpiece Theater. The latter was unquestionably my favorite. The Edward Gorey animation enchanted me, influencing my budding art. I consumed Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes obsessively, fell in love with Miss Marple, and even developed a fondness for Poirot and Inspector Morse. To this day when I think of murder mysteries I think of little old ladies gossiping and knitting. I also died of laughter watching Monty Python (even though a lot of it went over my head), Fawlty Towers, and Black Adder. Looking back on it, a great deal of it was far too sophisticated for little me to properly process, but it solidified a deep sense memory of all things British, including a tendency to lapse into its slang.

So, to say I grew up with a kind fascination with London would be an understatement. Coming out of the tube into Trafalgar Square was...I can't quite describe it, and I should be able to because I'm a writer. Using words to evoke feeling is my job. It was like awe wrapped in joy, holding hands with my wondering childhood self finally realizing a dream I never quite believed I'd manage. It filled my heart up and made it feel warm and light. Like walking into your imagined version of a place and finding the reality more than you thought.

Now, I know London is just a place and it has funky parts and problems and less than savory aspects. But it's still this place that holds magic for me, because I fell in love with it as a child and that kind of magic never really dies. Thank goodness.

So,I can't wait to go. We're staying in the midst of Trafalgar square, minutes from Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Thames, and just about everything else you can think of. I plan on having so much tea it'll be like it's blood. That and Guinness.