Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Brian Blessed in the Eighties, an amphibian and missing home.

At the beginning of the week, I went to Kingston-upon-Thames for a few days. I spent one of those days with a best friend of mine. She is a curly haired American with the same depressing humour as me. We've spent many hours in a coffee shop, sipping on some hot beverage discussing the following topics:

-Why skin coloured leggings exist - at all? They have no desirable or practical purpose.

- Why it seems every time we have found a quiet spot in the library, a massive group of loud, outrageous students will sit at a computer next to us and discuss how Sheniqua was waaaaaaasted last night bruv!

I actually quote this word for word from a student sitting next to me:

"Yeah that all good bruv but I'm hitting it up to second floor now innit to do maths"

Me: (silently inside)


Anyway me and my curly haired friend had decided to go to the National Archives. A place where you can view over 11 million historical documents. We had never been there before so walk through the entrance completely confused about what we are meant to do next.

We walk up to a reception desk to be served by someone I can only describe as a guy who resembled the merging of Hugh Grant and a cod. We didn't know if he was somehow beautiful or just an intimidating amphibian! He directs us to the second floor desk where we meet the next crazy National Archive resident.

At the desk were two people, on the right there was a Chinese lady who looked perfectly normal, on the left was a Man with a grey curly mullet tied into a ponytail.

We get served by him.

The room is completely silent and my friend almost whispers:

"I'd like to take out some documents please..."

He responds by talking with the volume and vigour of Brian Blessed.


I was there for support really, I didn't need to view any documents and a pretty bench outside surrounded by geese, ducks and swans had my name on it. I still had my journal and pen in hand, eighties Brian Blessed turned to me and said:

"You aren't allowed pens."

I said:
"Oh I'm not taking any documents out, I'm sitting outside after this."

He responds:
"You still aren't allowed pens"

He points behind me

"There are lockers there for you to put it in"

So I have to walk over to a locker and place my journal and pen inside it for the ten minutes while my friend books her documents at the computer.

After this wacky day at The National Archives, I wander around London and remember truly how much I've missed it. I go to the V & A museum and view an exhibition on post modernism, then next stop St. James Park. It was already dark so I could only make out the silhouettes of ducks while I walked through. I hear Big Ben strike six times, walk through Parliament Square, see the Millennium Wheel in the distance and cross the road towards it. I take this picture and sit by the river.

In front of me the wheel turns peacefully, some boats sail past, behind me Embankment Station bustles and cars are tooting, their engines in overdrive. It feels like I'm in two different places at once.

When I came back to Essex a few days later, I didn't actually feel that bad. I'd started to miss home which on most counts doesn't happen, normally by the time the train has reached Stratford I start to see the familiar Essex stereotypes and want to turn back around, but it was sunny, and I was actually looking forward to stepping off the train at Southend Victoria.

London only stays appealing to me because I don't drown myself in it, because I was not brought up there, because it is so different from Southend-on-sea.

But sometimes, although I don't often admit it, it's fun to come back to a town where 'the nutter on the bus' will sit next to me, where it is normal to see a preaching christian, surrounded by emo's at the top of the high street and a clown overdue for retirement in the middle. Southend is crazy but full of character, and I wouldn't be this cynical or even be able to write this blog without those sorts of things.

Quite a sentimental ending I suppose...

Right I'm off to town to buy and then eat my weight in chocolate!

Toodle Pip!


No comments:

Post a Comment