Monday, March 16, 2009

This Is The Week I Turn 30

And you know what? I don't mind! There are much more momentous happenings this year than my little birthday. Moving on...

I had another nice venture into London this week, and my opinion on the city is improving, little by little. I went with a friend, ostensibly to see a show in the in/famous neighborhood of Camden, which I have decided is sort of like Haight Street without all the hippies and activists. There you can find tie-dye, dreadlocks, Mexican food (though I can't vouch for its authenticity or deliciousness), punk rockers, probably a variety of illegal substances, hundreds of Doc Martens, even Western shirts!

Before the show, however, we headed over to the British Library, which was in a shockingly new building and held some fairly amazing documents and manuscripts. Aside from the usual suspects (some Bronte or other, Darwin, Thomas Hardy, etc.) and some ill-gotten gains (Hindu and Muslim scrolls and illuminated manuscripts), they had a few leafs of the Magna Carta, which is sort of like their Constitution (though I'm sure they would take issue with that, somehow). However, I spent most of my time hovering in front of the glass case that held, among other things, handwritten lyrics of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "In My Life", and several others. They had messy handwriting!

I don't think we were welcome in the stacks without a membership, but I am sure they would've been amazing.

British Library Stacks

This was as close as we could get to actual books, and they were housed in a tall column surrounded by two-inch thick glass. I suppose they were just decoration.

This fellow was crouched outside, playing with what I think was a compass, but I couldn't tell what he was working on.

In front of the library

By the time we got to the show, it had been a wonderful day already, and the music just made it better. I believe I mentioned this already, but the band was Rupa and the April Fishes, and I highly recommend them. They're a San Francisco band; needless to say, it made me a bit homesick.

And this week, to celebrate my birthday, I'll be seeing a bluegrass/Americana show (brought to us by an Australian band, oddly enough) and working on a couple projects: comparing several translations of Anna Akhmatova's "Poem Without A Hero", and translating a poem by absurdist poet Aleksandr Vvedensky. Good times.

4 comments:

sq meals said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATIE!!
41 1/2 weeks gestation and 30 years...with quite a lot of accomplishment to show for it too!
Congratulations...have great fun and celebration! You are the BEST!

silvergirl said...

Yes, happy happy birthday... the world's a better place with you in it. Keep on takin' excellent pictures– those stacks look amazing. Someday i will have a library like that ;)
(i wish.)

p.s.) Hyde Park is actually filled with lovely surprises, have you ventured there yet? An oasis in London, for sure.

bird feet said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes! And HM - you know, I haven't been to Hyde Park yet. Now that spring is nearly here, though, I plan to make it a priority the next time I get to the city.

Carla said...

you don't look a day over 17!
that library looks cool