Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thank you for an amazing last week!

Despite losing a few pictures on my camera card (listen to your friends when they tell you not to transfer photos from a camera that is about to run out of juice), my last week in London was the best ever.

The weather was surprisingly wonderful and warm, and if it did rain, the moisture made everything an even prettier shade of green.

Wednesday was my last day of work. I left a quiet office early, and headed home in the warm afternoon sun. In the evening, I went over to Neil's to have dinner and play a rousing game of Scrabble among my favorites. Neil's wife Joss made delicious Macaroni and Cheese and continued her winning streak. Amber came to visit on Thursday on her way to India. We went on the rounds--Westminster, Buck Palace and some fish and chips. woop! Later it was chocolate scrabble. Technically, I lost, but who really loses when the tiles are edible? Then (Friday) it was time for the all Elgar program performed by the Royal Philharmonic with guest cellist Steven Isserlis playing Elgar's Cello Concerto. From the first milky wonderful lines I was hooked listening to Isserlis and his 200+ year old cello. I couldn't believe I had been hacking away on crummy rental just the week before! We awoke, Saturday, to a beautiful and sunny morning--one of those relax in the back garden until you get a sunburn kind of days--and I ran off to Hyde Park to enjoy some strawberries in the sunshine.

There were a few of us who played frisbee, too. I had a wild throw at some points, but eventually my aim was under control...sort of. That night, my lovely friends threw me a wonderful going away party.

Delicious pasta bolognaise a la Tom, loads of wine, dancing and a private Blisters concert in the shed was everything and more that I could have asked for. I was ecstatic as I climbed into bed and thought about how lucky I was to have met such amazing people. Sunday was such a nice lie-in, and then an afternoon movie at the Covent Garden Odeon: Persepolis. After the film, we walked all the way back to Earl's Court from Leicester Square--I saw the Physic/Psychic Garden (ha!) and Chelsea Bridge at dusk. It was one of those nights when, after you think you've seen enough of a place, you go on a little walk that makes you realize there's so much more and you'll have to come back. And guess what else--Scrabble!

And then it was Monday. Last fully day. And a wonderful one. I met up with everyone from work and we went to lunch at Leon--where we ate on my first day. Later on, I picked my project up from Imperial College (in case you weren't aware, I've also been taking class this entire time), took a stroll through Hyde Park and wandered into Notting Hill, a favorite. The sun that had fought through afternoon clouds was soon replaced by stormy weather. A cold rain bore down on London as I jumped into a bookstore. Tom finally arrived, and we picked out some good reads--Gold, I am a Cat and The Learners, to name a few. Finally, it was time for a drink at the Churchill Arms, a pub I had been meaning to go to upon seeing it four months before.

When we left the pub, this is the sky that greeted us:

Back in Ealing
, we had a delicious dinner and an even better game of Scrabble with Tom, Rich and Andrew. I went to bed sleepy and sad, but still completely happy; I couldn't have asked for a better ending to my English adventure.

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