This morning, Emily, Anna, and I woke to probably 6 alarms (all set by us) from the period of 9 to 10:30, and we finally rolled out of bed at 10:36. We’ll get on a real schedule one of these days. After slowly getting up, eating breakfast, and finishing some of our politics readings, we all gathered in the classroom for our first Tuesday of back-to-back 2.5 hour British Politics and History of London classes.
Five ours of class in one seat is, admittedly, a very, very long time. But, somehow, it actually wasn’t unnearble. Professor Rosen is an animated and passionate teacher, and it was very clear from the get go that he knows about what he is talking about and he knows it well. I can’t tell you how many names of Emperors of Roman Britain (that’s right, London began with the Romans. It makes sense, but I honestly had no idea) ending in “ious” he spouted out along with their associated dates, but it was a lot, and his telling of it was compelling. I honestly can’t say I fully understand the British government yet, but I’m getting there, and it’ll be nice to be more in the know, as all the Londoners seem to know a lot about American politics.
What also kept me going during those 5 hours? Our 30 minute “tea” break in the middle, in which Emily, Dan, and I walked over to the nearby Starbucks for a coffee. (Yes, I see the irony.)
As you can see, they spell my name wrong here, too. Some things never change.
The real adventure, though, began after class. This past Sunday, lovely Alyssa from Wake alerted me to a Julia Nunes concert playing Sunday through Tuesday only at a pub called the Islington in London. I wanted to go because 1) Alyssa told me to and 2) I ACTUALLY knew who this more-obscure-than-most Singer-Songwriter was, BECAUSE, freshman year, Joseph B. recommended her to me as study music, and I instantly fell in love. Her upbeat and honest music paired with a stellar voice and fantastic ukulele is the perfect combination. SO, I polled the house to see if anyone would want to go with me (cause Lord knows I can’t navigate London by myself), and Mike said it sounded good, so we bought our tickets that night.
AND TONIGHT we set out to go see it about 15 minutes after class let out. We boarded the Tube and got off at the stop that google maps instructed Mike to get off at at around 6:50. (Our tickets said the show started at 7:00.) We then walked for a while before we decided to ask someone for directions to the street the pub was allegedly located on. The woman we asked said it was “very far away. Out of walking distance.” and suggested we get on the Tube. So we headed back, but upon arriving at the tube station again, we found the street name, so we turned onto that street and kept walking, passing the bus stop the woman was talking about (apparently the bus and the Tube are synonymous) on the way.
And we walked some more. Then we asked for directions again. The next woman wasn’t sure if the pub was still in business, but she pointed us in the direction of where she thought it was. We kept walking. We stopped outside another pub to see if I could get wifi. We asked another person, and older man, and he graciously pulled out his Smartphone, plugged in the address, and told us the way (just another 10 minute straight walk and a turn away!) (I love technology.)
So, at 7:45, convinced we had missed most of the concert, we arrived. To discover that the concert didn’t start at 7, but the doors just opened up then! We missed nothing. Hooray! “Cathedrals and Cars” opened, and soon Julia was on stage. I loved the concert, and was able to get some pretty good snippets of video! Check them out below. She has fantastic music and also a pretty great sense of humor. (She’s from the States, too, so it was great to hear a familiar accent, and a sympathetic commentary on some British culture shock.)
We got a picture with her after the concert!
Also, because this was probably the funniest part of the night, I will go ahead and mention this now: The entire concert there was a very drunk, teetering man behind Mike and me. He kept shouting things up to Julia during her breaks between songs, and she, amused, would call back to him. It was highly amusing. Although, it did become a little uncomfortable at the end—namely, when she sang her final song for her encore “Build Me Up Buttercup” (a famous cover of hers, as suggested by an audience member). The man came up behind us, put an arm around each of our shoulders and swayed back and forth shouting something incoherent along the lines of “Have a grood tymme! Just gooo with it!” …So we did, until we were about to wriggle away.
Afterwards, when everyone was going to talk to Julia and get her autograph, etc., he walked up to her (very drunkenly). She was cool about it, and he wasn’t really doing anything, but eventually he had to be escorted away, but not before he told her “It’s alright, I’m an MP!” (MP, I learned through my British Politics reading, stands for “Member of Parliament”–Class reflects life! Only, in this case, I really hope it doesn’t. …Only I also kind of hope it does.)
Bought an old concert tour t-shirt for 5 pounds, and she signed it! Whoo!
Cathedral and Cars Opening Act
Julia Nunes described this song as “What it’s like to date me in 30 seconds. Really hard.” Shout out to Alyssa, because the way she opened actually reminded me a lot of your sense of humor. Miss you!
Julia on the British sense of humor.
“Short and Sweet,” by Julia Nunes.
“This is What I Used to Know,” by Julia Nunes
“The Debt,” by Julia Nunes