A Little Bit of London in My Life

This is nearly a month late post, but hey, you’ll like it anyway. 🙂

So I flew to Spain from London, and planned accordingly so I could have some time in London. Essentially I really wanted to see a show so I made it happen.

My time there can be summed up in a few words:

1. Remembrance

I left for Spain on Remembrance Sunday, but before I left I went to see the poppy display at the Tower of London. For anyone who doesn’t know, the Tower of London had this fantastic art display of tens of thousands of ceramic poppies – they started putting them up in the summer (I think it was late July) and gradually the grounds around the Tower of London filled with them. One poppy for each British soldier who dies in WWI, which was over 88,000.

As you can tell, the display was very popular. I happened to get there at the 11:00 moment of silence for the warriors. I absolutely love stuff like this. I think it’s incredible how a whole country can share reverence for the people that served them, even 100 years ago. I wish I’d see more of that worldwide.

The poppies were available to buy once the display was to be taken down on November 11. Listening to BBC Radio 2, they had a debate on whether the poppies should remain for longer for the public to see, but so many people ha bought the poppies in memory of their ancestor who fought in WWI, that didn’t happen. I think it would be a really beautiful thing to have that poppy in memory of your ancestor.

2. Revolution

The show I decided to go see was Les Miserables. I know it’s a stereotypical show one must see in London, but I’m not ashamed. I personally feel that Les Miserables is one of the greatest stories ever told, and I love the music so seeing it live in London was a dream come true.

This story about love and redemption…about fighting for your beliefs and rights whether it’s futile, and whether it’s just you fighting against one man your entire life because he’ll never stop hunting you down…it’s so human and so beautiful. I have never been so emotional watching anything. I was on the verge of tears for pretty much the entire production. I also have to say the acting and performances were better than the other big name shows I’ve seen: in Phantom of the Opera, the Phantom was pitchy the whole time, and in The Lion King Scar’s overacting was driving me insane. The only flaw in Les Miserables was that Fantine hit one of her long notes nearly a whole half step flat. Other than that, perfection. And whoever was playing Marius looked like Niall Horan from One Direction which was delightful.

3. Resistance

I also spent a while in the Victoria & Albert museum (which is one of the best museums in London, which is saying a lot because I’ve loved every museum in London). They had an exhibit called “Disobedient Objects” which I found fascinating. It was a collection of items used in protests and resistance forces. Many of them were hand made or re-purposed ordinary items.

My favorite was these “book covers” that students used as shields against police forces as they protested for better education opportunities. The idea originated in Italy, where the book cover above is from, but spread and was used in several different countries, including Britain and the US.

They also had a digital map showing where protests were held globally every year since 1975 (or around then) and it was amazing to see how the number of protests has risen every year, and where they were. There was a spot in Kansas that has had a protest every year since 1975 except maybe 6-7 years. I’m really curious what’s going on there.

The protests weren’t just classic street-marching, but are evolving to fit our modern culture.

This is a screenshot from a phone app game where you had to make child slaves go mining, beat them, sell them, and all kinds of terrible things in order to win. Essentially to show that these kind of atrocities are still happening. The app was only available for a few hours before the app store realized what it was and took it down. But I think it’s absolutely brilliant.

Another thing I love is the innovation of the human mind when it feels the need to express something. Check out this robot graffiti artist:

I feel like if I lived in London I would just go to museums and shows all the time. I mean, there is enough in the British museum to spend a good month there, probably the same with Victoria & Albert. I’ve pretty much decided I should live in London at some point.

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