Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sitting In An English Garden

Today was a day of childhood memories. Not because I had ever traveled to Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill, or Abbey Road as a child. In fact, I was 17 the first time I visited London. But our activities today made me feel like a little kid again, which is always a good thing for a children’s librarian J

First we walked. And walked, and walked, and walked some more until we finally arrived at Regent’s Park. And let me tell you, the British know how to take care of their parks! The lawns were beautifully maintained; there were colorful flowerbeds everywhere you turned. One could easily forget that they were in a large, urban city. It was so nice to just appreciate nature for once, albeit a very pristine and manicured version of nature. Our panorama assignment (of which I have many to share) was very fitting considering our beautiful subject.

Me on Primrose Hill, trying to get my kite to stay air born
After some time exploring Regent’s Park, we walked a little bit more to Primrose Hill. This is the same hill that the children in Mary Poppins fly their kites from. In the movie, the cast sings that catchy song, “Let’s Go Fly A Kite.” And that is exactly what our group intended to do! As soon as we finished lunch, we grabbed our kites and set off running down the hill. I ended up running up and down the hill at least four times—my kite gained some wind, but it was too heavy to keep up in the sky for long. I felt like I was five again, flying kites with my mom at the beach.

Just a small portion of people's remembrances
in front of Abbey Road Studios
But the fun and excitement had to end eventually, because we still had one more stop to make. And so we walked, and then rode a bus, and then walked some more, until we arrived at a place I never had a chance to visit on my first trip to London—Abbey Road. Though there was a big ugly scaffold in front of the building, you could still read the Abbey Road Studios sign above the front door. The low, white wall in front of the building is signed by tons of people, with their names, remembrances, Beatles lyrics, and anything else you can imagine. And just a few feet away from the studio is the same zebra crossing  that's on the album cover for their aptly titled Abbey Road record. Unfortunately, there was heavy traffic while we were there, so it was hard to get a good photo without angering some of the drivers. Nevertheless it was overwhelming to see all of the “graffiti” in front of the building, to have a physical representation of just how many people their music has touched. I remember when my sister and I went through our “Beatles” phase—I think it was the first time in our lives we were listening to truly good music. And 15 years later, I still love all of their songs.

Its funny how doing something new, whether it be flying kites on Primrose Hill, or walking by Abbey Road Studios, can feel like déjà vu… déjà vu in the best way possible.

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