So, it is the Easter holidays, and I just got back from a week-long jaunt through a TINY FRACTION of the hundred million awesome free things you can do in London. It was essentially museumarama. Well, museums and churches. AWESOME.
We stayed with my uncles in St Albans. One of my uncles was a masterchef contestant and made us up little tarts and quiches to take into town with us so that all we had to pay for was transport. HOW SWEET IS MY FAMILY. There were two occasions on which money changed hands: one totally worth it, and one which makes me kind of sick to my stomach. We spent a tenner to explore St Paul's Cathedral - we climbed right up to the Golden Gallery, which it turns out is 280 feet up, can only be accessed by twisty metal steps you can see though, and is OUTSIDE. So you wind up clinging desperately to the side of one of the most famous cathedrals in the world hoping to god your glasses don't get torn off your face by the wind and wishing you didn't have to climb all the way down.
The other payment was £6 be locked into a 'comedy club' and have horrendous 'stand-ups' talk about rape to the ten whole people they'd managed to lure into their basement lair. I'm not joking. There were four comedians and one - umpire? Guy-who-introduces the others? - and all but one of them told jokes about rape and domestic abuse. Collectively they got about three laughs the entire night but none of them thought to KNOCK IT OFF FOR FUCK'S SAKE. Urgh urgh urgh I don't even want to write about it any more, it was awful. We thought we were going to die.
Apart from that, though, the whole week was excellent.
The biggest surprise was really enjoying the art galleries. Art just isn't something I ever seemed to gel with. The old stuff is all pictures of saints crying or ponds at sunset and the new stuff is all molds of people's faces cast with their own blood and kept frozen with a special machine. (Okay, that one is kind of cool.) But my girlfriend isn't as profoundly ignorant as I am* so, you know, turns out a lot of the boring old stuff actually have sort of cool stories behind them. Also, I've become a fan of St Jerome's bitchin' red hat. (Google isn't. I can find any awesome pictures of it. Sadness reigns.)
Then there was the Wellcome Museum which we'd never heard of, with an exhibit on personal identity (mostly to do with gender and science) and another on the history of science; carvings from Assyria in the British museum; the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum (for this one, we met up with an aunt-and-uncle and their kids: the three year old did pretty well with the ANIMATRONIC T-REX which I have seen a hundred times and will always find awesome); How Formula One Racing Will Save the World at the Science museum and supermodel!Jesus
at St Martin's in the Field.
I don't doubt that people get sick of it, but God. I need to live in London someday.
* One: History in Scottish schools should be subtitled The Triumph of the Welfare State. Two: I did not go to a good school. I was taught about the extension of suffrage and a bit about Beveridge's Five Giants and that's about it. The closest we got to world history was the Weimar Republic, over and over and over again. Three: I try to read a lot, but honestly, most of it goes... well, not in one ear and out the other since you read with your eyes, but something along those lines. It doesn't lead to the most well-rounded understanding of the world.