February 09, 2011

Be happy while you're living, for you're a long time dead

Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!” William Butler Yeats

Yeats’ plea is one I could have echoed until recently. The days were filled with monotonous hours of television, or reading, or even staying in bed till Midday as what is the point of being awake, when no activity exists to fill the long hours.

The long, or rather, short, hours of daylight are now filled by the job I started 3 weeks ago, but that’s not the correct chronological order to start there. Instead, let me tell you a bit of a story.

Ange and I live in Beresford Road in the borough of Haringey, London.

Count four chimmney's down and that's roughly Beresford Road
Exiting the front door, turn right and you reach Green Lanes. Another left hand turn takes you towards Wood Green. There are shops, cinemas, and a library here. Turnpike Lane tube station is on this route, and I use this tube daily.

If, back at Beresford Road you turn right, this will eventually, on a rather circuitous route, take you through Camden, and other “suburbs”. If you’re on the 29 bus, you’ll eventually end up at Trafalgar Square, from which you can visit, Buckingham Palace, The National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, and St Martin’s in the Field (to name a few) or you can walk to Soho, or Covent Garden, or Leicester Square or Oxford Circus (again to name only a few).
Trafalgar Square - overlooking National Gallery on far left, and St Martin's in the Field just off centre.

At the start of Advent 2010, Ange and I went to Westminster Abbey. This was the one request made by my Grandad before I left Australia. We were up early, the day was bitterly cold and there were masses of people (pardon the pun) queuing up outside. A vast majority of these were site seers being turned away by the Keepers. Ange and I followed the other worshipers inside, found seats and settled in for the service. The sermon was relevant to life today – the priest spoke of people wanting everything instantly. Of gratification being automatic instead of earned. I haven’t got quite the right word for this, but the theme is right.

Some days, you just want to get out of the house and other days you get told by a darling cousin that you have to. On the 13 December 2010 I decided to go for a walk around the National Gallery. Once off the tube, my phone alerted me to a voice mail message. I called back and discovered I had an interview with the director of the Tisch School of Arts, London. So I had a nice walk, viewed some incredible art, and got a job interview all in the same day.
Another view of the National Gallery and St Martin's in the Field

Inside St Martin's in the Field
I started at the Tisch School on 17 January 2011 after being offered the job in the interview. You might note that I’ve skipped over Christmas here. That is another story, and will be told in its own individual post.

My boss, Mary Jane Walsh will be able to give you an idea of what the Tisch program is via this link. I don’t have sound on the work PC so I’m not sure what she speaks of.


The school is based in the bowels of the University of London. We have two sizeable rooms. One as our office, and one as the students class room. The building we’re located in is Senate House and is directly opposite the back entrance to the British Museum. I’ve been in a couple of times on my lunch break, but must always remember to watch the time. It’s quite a nice set up and I have to admit, the vibe is a lot healthier than the job I left. With Mary Jane I am an equal partner, not a lackey, employed to do her bidding.

The Crush Hall. Looking down the stairs to the entrance. This is where the opening scenes of Batman Begins were filmed.
There are additional benefits to the Pounds paid to me each week working here. Last Wednesday, 2 February 2011, I was given a free ticket to see the Royal Shakespeare Companies performance of King Lear. I enjoyed it enormously, though there were some fairly obvious flaws within it. It was interesting to see actors “live” when I’ve seen most of them on British crime dramas. Speaking of British crime dramas, one of the teaching staff was a screen write editor on the Inspector Morse series.

Life travelling on the tube is never dull. I’ve sat opposite this lady twice now.

The first time, when I snapped this photo, she was reading the White Queen by Phillipa Gregory. About five minutes into the journey she laughed out loud, and then continued to read to the carriage what she had in front of her. Complete with voices and on occasion actions. It was amusing for a few moments but quickly grew tedious.

You also see fashion victims on the tube. This poor lady couldn’t decide which fashion mistake to make.
To conclude this post, I’ll show a few pictures of my wanderings with Angie on 30 January 2011. We decided the Tate Britain would be a good place to visit – we were optimistic it would be a little quieter, and it was. As we walked in, all the trees were bare and we noticed in the branches, little pieces of wood with words on them. With cameras on phones though, the image quality isn’t that good.
Once inside we viewed a lot of Turner’s work as well as some rather interesting and eclectic pieces from others.

Wandering back to the tube we went to Green Park, and walked by Buckingham Palace. That’s when we saw this – the fountain dedicated to Canadian soldiers.
And then this. Velour track suits, bleached blonde hair and heavy black eye liner seem to be all the rage. I am informed this is called “Essex” style.

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