Sunday, August 22, 2010


Day 1

So here I am, jolly old London. It’s finally here. The day that I’ve been dreaming, fretting, sweating, and yearning for.

I took a separate plane from the rest of the fam, me getting a direct flight while the rest of them had to suffer four hours in Denver. Muhahaha. The plane ride seemed mysteriously quick, at just under 10 hours I felt like I was on there for maybe 5. And then there I was, in my favorite city in the world. Surreal doesn’t begin to describe what I felt and still am feeling as I type this. How can I actually be living here for a year??

After an exhausting but successful trip to the hotel carrying around two suitcases filled to the brim with all my things, as well as my laptop bag over my shoulder, I decided to explore. Started off with a croissant at Pret A Manger, my favorite sandwich shop in London (also with free Wi-Fi) and caught up with Facebook thingamajigs. Afterwards I decided to visit my college for the first time.

The trip wasn’t too bad. Our hotel is at High Street Kensington, and about a 20 minute ride from my university. First stepping out, I must say I was a bit... puzzled. The area is not the nicest, with run down stalls and shopping centres around and run down buildings on every corner. However, after a battle with the subway system (underground tunnels there, used sometimes instead of crosswalks) I approached my school. I ventured inside, butterflies in my stomach knowing that this is where I will be exploring my art for the next year.

Seeing as it’s summer, there wasn’t much to see on initial entry. I’m not an official student yet so it looked like I wouldn’t be able to get in much further than the entryway. But I went into admissions and talked to a lovely lady who said she’d give me a little tour of the place so I could see what I was getting into. And it was then that I decided that yes, I had made the right decision, even if it does mean I might get mugged walking to school.

She started by taking me through the building, showing me the various lecture halls and eating areas. We have a common room, which at night blasts loud music (sometimes live) and sells cheap food and alcohol for students. Sounds amazing to me. She took me by the graphic design shop, where I’ll get discounts, which was a treasure trove of wonderful supplies. From there on I got to see the printing room which was incredible. The school used to be a printing school, so all the printing machines that have been used for decades are still there. I was shown the library and study areas, full of macs and endless learning tools. The whole thing just made me extremely excited to see what kind of work I’ll be able to produce through the university and afterwards.

I then headed back to High Street Kensington and sketched for a bit in the park before meeting up with my family. We quickly checked into the hotel and ventured off into London. We went to an amazing exhibit at Kensington Palace that was themed around the entire home being enchanted.

Each room reflected a different princess that had lived in the palace at certain times, but it was the way these princesses were portrayed in the home that made the exhibit so incredible. Designers and artists helped create the separate women in extremely creative and thought provoking ways. It focused on things such as their lost childhoods, the intense pressure that comes with being the future queen, and the fragility of time. One room had a chair that beckoned people to sit on it, with a quote on the wall saying, “Sit here and feel your power, your words can change lives, speak out, be careful what you wish for.” At some points people would sit in the chair and one of the people who worked at the palace would come in costume and kneel for the....

And that’s when I literally fell asleep on my bed while writing. Good morning!

Anyway, he would kneel and tell whoever was sitting in the chair that they had all the power in the world, and everyone would proceed to kneel for them. It was quite cool, and while sitting in the chair I felt quite vulnerable. Another room focused on Princess Victoria waking up discovering that she had become queen. The room was dimly lit in a blue light, with the bed piled with overstuffed mattresses and a towering chair in the middle where one of the workers was telling bedtime stories. On the ceiling there were birds and branches projected, and eerie sounds throughout. It was just extremely creative and was an experience that I knew I could only have in London.

And here’s where the drowsiness set in. My sister and I ended up stumbling along Kensington Gardens, which is quite beautiful and has become one of my favorite areas of London. We walked across and found Royal Albert Hall, which is a gorgeous building and has some significance to me since The Killers recorded their DVD concert there.

We then met up with my parents and walked along High Street Kensington where I showed them the Whole Foods market there that I had walked through earlier in the day. This is not just any Whole Foods. It is incredible. They seriously have everything. An entire room of cheese that’s kept cold to keep the cheese at premium temperature. A truffle bar. A food court that puts the one in Awesome Town to shame. All were impressed.

Afterwards we walked to a pub to have some dinner, a place called Britannia. It’s a more modern pub, one that has been recently renovated and sells great pub food that’s usually a step above the rest. So we all had cottage pie (ground beef in gravy covered in mashed potatoes and then baked with some English cheddar on top) which was fantastic and a few pints of Strongbow. The Strongbow worked wonderfully as a sleeping potion, as it wasn’t long after we came back to the hotel that my sister and I crashed before 9. I had a hard enough time taking a shower before I went to sleep.

Hopefully this didn't bore you to tears, cause if it did this'll unfortunately be what my adventures will be documented like. So piss off if it did. If not, thanks for reading!!!



  1. Loved, loved, LOVED THIS POST!!!!!!! So awesome to hear everything play by play - you had me hanging on every word! What a fabulous beginning to your trip and art school adventure! I can't even imagine how interesting those exhibits were - everything, in fact, sounded just wonderful! Can't wait to read more tomorrow but I'm off to bed for tonight! Hope you're loving Dublin - I know you are :)

  2. (Please bear with me, this is my very first blog)
    Well, well, well... absolutely FANTASTIC! You sure paint a wonderful picture and I cannot tell you enough how happy I am for you. Enjoy, Liam. Know that I miss you very much, and we all are so proud of you. The pictures that you have posted are incredible. Wow. Such beautiful scenery! One can't help but feel a tad envious but I'll deal with it. Congratulations, my nephew. This is your time, your fabulous journey; you have arrived! So nice, it is to be a part of it. Best wishes and lots of love,

    Auntie T