At this moment, I am sitting in my room at the Wigram House where I will be staying in London for the next month or so (the view from my window is pictured) and while I am relaxing now, the trip here wasn't as relaxing.
It's actually a great long story, one of which I won't bore you with the details. Synopsis? I got rained out. Yes. I, like a baseball game, Bernie Madoff and the Gulf Coast, got rained out...of my connecting flight to London and had to stay an extra two hours in the international terminal at DFW. Which is when it happened. My first celebrity sighting. Well not really a celebrity. I don't consider him a celebrity really, but some of you might so I will label is as such. Kirk Franklin was on my plane to London. I saw him waiting with some of his crew and then they all got on the
plane when I did. THEN, one of his crew ended up sitting next to me on the plane.
Please remember that I find flying to be uncomfortable and tedious, so any silver lining is as good as gold with me. He and I got to talking and turns out he doesn't just play piano for Kirk, but he also plays piano for Prince. That's right. The Artist Formally Known as Normal himself. So we were talking about each of them, how they were when cameras weren't on them, blah blah blah. We talked about what music we like, what artists we don't, and of course, since he's been playing piano with Kirk since his very first album, we talked about my favorite Kirk Franklin songs. Fast fact: Did you know that the Christmas album was recorded in one day? Absolutely it was. One day. And we all know that 'Now Behold the Lamb' was a game changer for me. Game. Changer.
There's this moment I've blogged about before and today, I was actually able to live that moment. It's the moment in Love Actually where they are saying that there's no happier place than the arrival gate at Heathrow Airport, with all the hugging, the people happy to see you, etc. Well, I walked through that arrival gate today and would be lying to you if I said that in the middle of it, I stopped walking and took it in. I mean, I was living that moment in Love Actually, the best romantic comedy ever made, and I can hear Hugh Grant in my head saying the lines of the narration, and I'm looking around at all the families and friends who were so excited to see whoever they were waiting for. It was a really profound moment that probably doesn't mean anything to anyone else, but for me, it made my entire day.
Fast forward to me getting in the cab, grossly over-tipping, therefore making a British man very very happy, getting to the place where I will be staying and walking around the city with my advisor in the afternoon until my feet hurt so bad we had to stop. (I've been sitting for 9 hours straight remember) I've seen a lot of things already, all of which I will be revisiting so I won't go into detail now about them.
I will say this though. I've never been overseas and so there are a great many things I will have to adjust to, but let me tell you. There are far more beautiful people wandering the international terminals than there are in the regular terminals. I don't really know why, but the people watching was about the best I've ever had.
What I am going to be searching for over the next five weeks is the heart of this city. It's not in the shows and it's not Buckingham Palace, I know that for sure. But I'm going to be searching to find the heart of this city. I think I have an idea as to what it is, but I'm going to hold out to see if that changes as I see more. But I'm getting there. I'm actually getting there.