Last week I went to London for 4 days and it was a blast !
Non-stop raining, but sweet experiences with my girlfriend nevertheless. We visited the wonderful Benjamin Pollock Toy Museum. An old charming place full of old toys ! It's impossible not to like all the fun stuff packed inside. Especially the paper theatres. although, the dolls creeped me out. I didn't want to stay there during the night. check the museum site here [link]
and here's a few more pictures [link]
the squirky nice lady from the museum told us: "people don't know, but I give them stars. hee hee. I had this lady with her 2 noisy kids and it was just awful. she couldn't control them and didn't say hi or anything. she was definitely not on top of my list" - chatting with her in a nice way for 20 minutes or so, I think we were pretty on top. but you're never sure with ladies like that
My girlfriend went chasing second hand clothes shops for a retro outfit and she managed to assemble some cool stuff. I'm planning on trying to look more 50's too. classy and all. We went to Camden and Notting Hill too, all fun times. I left a postcard of mine between the postcard-section in the bookshop that was used in the romantic cheesy movie Notting Hill. I thought the movie was awful, but I can now say I was there and left a card there.
In Camden a chubby pregnant punker girl in black leather and full of piercings passed by, with a bored look on her face saying: "shhiiiiiit". probably not as funny as it sounds, but it was an instant classic moment to witness
We thought we would have a Comic Sans-free holiday in London, but in Notting Hill that dream fell apart.
Bought some old toy stuff, a paper theatre booklet, a bunch of cool postcards and some other things. I visited the most awesome comics shop "Gosh Comics" where I saw the book "Hot Potatoe" by Marc Bell. I FELL IN LOVE. I HAD TO HAVE THAT BOOK. But it was 30 pounds and I wanted to save some for later, so I thought of buying it later on. Keep this in mind for the rest of the story
We also visited the Tate Modern again, British museum ( nice expo about Mexico now ) and the National gallery. classic stuff. I love it that London's great museums are all free.
During the stay I had some great food too, like a kickass fish and chips + pint-meal in a pub. can't get more cliché than that, but I love it. also ate a 3-pound meal in a chinese restaurant and it was damn good too. best cheapest meal ever, I think. one of the chinese waitresses had a bit of a moustache.
Now, I still wanna tell you about the miracle happening.
I planned to meet the brilliant Luke Pearson again. Mumblingidiot on dA. [link]
I met him in July 2009 in London, but only for 15 minutes or so. We planned to do better this time...
we arranged a meeting, tuesday February 23d, 12:45 pm at the statue, trafalgar square. We did it the same way last time and it worked like a gem, so why take extra precautions ? my cellphone doesn't work overseas, so I didn't think of asking a phonenumber or something. besides, it has something mysterious and old fashioned to it.
My girlfriend and I were in Harrod's that morning, looking at all the crazy luxury. it's all over the top, but it was quite an expierence to visit it. tourist classic, I know, but I had skipped it after being in London for 4 times already. She bought me an awesome cupcake. superdelicious, I have to say, and then we noticed it was already 11:45 AM and we decided to make a bit of a move so we could walk up to Trafalgar on our ease. The clock was ticking.
In the meantime, the little bit of sun changed into a drizzly rain and we also took a wrong direction. We kept on walking through all these different streets that looked very similar. The clock reached 12:30 pm and we still were at Hyde Park. crap! we speeded up through all kinds of streets. when you're in a hurry, suddenly the road always seems to be longer than usual and there always seem to be more obstacles somehow. we came closer though, but it was already 12:45 pm ! Damn, hope he would wait if he was already there. a stressy mind often thinks the worst. but finally we arrived at the statue at 12:50 pm
click this link and let the music play[link]
we were both excited and relieved we got there. but, no sign of Luke yet. I kept on standing on the statue and looking out like an indian for cowboys, or a cowboy for indians. people walking and running around like a large group of ants. I kept screening everyone. I knew what he looked like, but in large masses it's harder. I figured he would be looking at the statue as well, so I made a sheet saying "LUKE". I was afraid he wouldn't recognize me with my new beard-thing going on.
my girlfriend went drawing some houses and I kept looking around like an eagle. 1 pm. no stress yet, but a little worry, though. my mind started making up all kinds of things. he's late. has he missed his train ? Did the train get a delay ? Were we too late ? Was he abducted by aliens ? it started raining. I set a goal to my girlfriend, because we didn't know anything of course and could perhaps be waiting for godot. if he didn't arrive by 1.30 pm we would go. after all we were in London and it was pretty cold and wet at the statue. finally there were no more people on trafalgar square except for us and a few running people with no umbrella. We did have an umbrella and eachother, so it wasn't that bad. But I kinda get how bad it must feel when one of your relatives is missing. You wait and keep waiting and don't know anything. this uncertainty is a stupid feeling
- I felt bad for Luke too, because if he would arrive later we would be gone. we wanted to leave a message, stick it to the statue or something, but it wasn't possible because of the rain.
we went to the national gallery at 1.35 pm to warm up a bit. I didn't want to give up, but I knew it could be a lost quest anyway. if only I had a phonenumber. damn ! we visited the museum and thought of the stuff we wanted to do. at 2 pm I had a look again to see if he was there, but without success.
so my girlfriend and I went on with our holiday, disappointed a bit, because we really wanted to say hi. but you can't always have what you want, as the rolling stones say. and it was ok in a way, we did a lot of cool stores and places, had a nice sandwich, took some more nice pictures here and there, we had a good time definitely. but still, I kept feeling it was so silly, we were so close ! what happened ? so we went to the apple store and sent a facebook message, just to let him know we had been there. the day went on and I also kept thinking about my "hot potatoe"-book by marc bell. I definitely wanted to buy it. when we passed chinatown it was already close to 6 pm and the stores were closing. we were close to the "Gosh comics" store and so we went in that direction. and after that we would go to the hotel. as if an external force pulled me towards the store. I knew we weren't gonna meet Luke today anymore, unless some kinde of miracle would happen, so I had given up already and was mainly thinking about the book.
finally we arrived at 5.50 pm at the comics store, still right in time. I entered the store and still knew the book was in the downstairs section. as I walked down the stairs I said to my girlfriend, in a laughing way, "you know what would be funny ? If we would meet Luke Pearson down here. haha" having said that, 1 second later I'm standing in front of Luke.
HOLY SHIT ! Luke, it's totally you ! he apparently had a severe train delay and of course couldn't reach us, so he kept wandering around London to finally end up here. I felt sorry for him feeling sorry for us waiting in the rain and all, and him sitting in a delayed train thinking about us. It didn't matter to me at all, joy after all. like a happy end movie.
The joke and painful thing being the book by marc bell had been sold ! but it was totally fine now we found Luke. If I did buy the book the day before we wouldn't have met at all. crazy how things can turn out.
after he bought a nice stash of comics, we had dinner together and did some comic strip collabs, it was awesome and I will post them soon. In the end Luke almost missed his train back home and even had to run for it. they could make this day into an action adventure movie I think. anyways, we all had a great time and thanks to Luke the London trip was even more super awesome. What a great and talented guy.
so there ya go, hope I didn't bore ya too much, but I had to update my journal anyway.
travelling is the best. rock and roll everyone!
I also saw a pigeon eating two bagels on the street. that was awesome. it must've thought that it was its lucky day