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London, 2002

Tags: Books Events London Me Movies Music Pictures Science fiction Vacation

In the summer of 2002, July 3-9, I had a summer holiday in London. This time I didn't have much planned before I left home - only some addresses, some vague ideas, and a feeling that I would get up every morning and then decide what I wanted to do that day. Actually I ran out of ideas the last day, bought a guide book, and went to the first place that sounded interesting. It worked!

This review of my trip won't mention dates and stuff like that, and I won't include every single thing I did. Only those I found very interesting, and would recommend to others.

Forbidden planet

For the first time I had a strong feeling, I would shop while in London, and this feeling primarily had something to do with going to Forbidden planet. This shop has everything a fantasy and/or science fiction fan could wish for: books, videos, merchandise, autographs, a discount system for Star Trek fans... I found some books, I very much look forward to reading, including a book of Star Trek quotes - boy, at some point I was planning to do one of my own! It feels great to have been here (I heard about it for the first time a few years ago), it didn't quite meet my expectations, but I will still come back here, I hope.

The store

Tate and National Gallery

One of my big plans was to see a lot of paintings, and I had a couple of guided tours at Tate and National Gallery. I have this feeling seeing a painting is just like reading a book: a story is being told, or a feeling is being conveyed, or... Trouble is, in this case the book is in Japanese, or in other words: I don't quite know the language of painting yet. Which is why I need the guided tours, because they translate the paintings for me. I saw a depressing picture (1), and didn't know that depressing was "bad" at the time it was painted - today it is accepted. I saw a picture with nature showing its teeth (2) - and didn't know, that at the time grandeur of any kind usually was connected with the greatness of God. And then one of the really complicated pictures, where everything was a symbol for something (3): the number 9 on the sun dial (the holy trinity if I remember correctly), the poppy flower (opium addiction), the dove (innocence) and so on. I saw Virgin Mary in a blue dress (4) - blue usually meant royalty, because the color blue was very expensive. And so on, and so forth. I just loved the guide mentioning the hover tiger (5)! And for some reason, I quite liked the few van Goghs I saw (6). And of course, with some pictures (7), the story wasn't that important - the colors were beautiful, that was everything that mattered. And with other pictures (8), I never quite understood why the painting was ever done - there was no story I could see, it was ugly and so on.

The boring details. (1) The field of Waterloo; JMW Turner. (2) The fall of an avalanche in the Grisons; JMW Turner. (3) Beata Beatrix; Dante Gabriel Rossetti. (4) The virgin and child; Masaccio. (5) Tiger in a tropical storm (surprised!); Henri Rousseau. (6) Sunflowers; Van Goghs chair; Long grass with butterflies; A wheatfield, with cypresses; all by Vincent van Gogh. (7) Norham Castle, sunrise; JMW Turner. (8) Sunny morning - eight legs; Lucian Freud.

A wheatfield


Before leaving home, I accidentally read about 3D movies in London. I sought out IMAX and saw Space Station 3D. They were very friendly at IMAX - I bought my ticket very early, and was allowed to see the end of the movie before mine! The 3D effects were very good - at some point I was sure I could have touched a thing on the screen! Alas, that was only the intro - the actual movie was very sober, and didn't abuse (?) the effects... It was a good movie, with a serious narrative by Tom Cruise. I learned a few things I didn't know about ISS - a project that has sort of snuck up on me, a big surprise for an old space program and SF fan!

Space Station 3D


Saturday night I was lucky enough to be at a party. Some of the music was live, a man and a woman and a tape player or something. Suddenyl the man left, and in came - Elvis! I guess my fast mind thought: if he can be an Elvis copy, I can be a fan copy! So I threw myself on the floor in front of him, fondling his knees, looking at him with big, wet eyes. Well, he liked the joke, and played along! Before I knew it, he was singing a love song (Can't help falling in love with you) mainly for me, we were dancing and holding hands, and I even think he gave me a kiss, before finishing the song. The other party guest also liked the joke, and laughed. This was a very personal, very strong experience for me: Elvis sang a love song to me! And the biggest thing I remember from this vacation.


Les Miserables

I had half a plan, and found the energy to turn it into a full plan: buying a very good ticket for Les Miserables. The musical, you know. Running for 18 years or something like that. Way back when it was playing in Denmark, everybody asked me whether I had seen it - after the show had ended! So for 10 years, I've wanted to see this. And now I had the chance! I knew the music quite well, but hadn't quite figured out the plot. Well. Now I know the plot. And I like this musical, and have plans to see it again, if possible. I actually cried a couple of times near the end - only quality does that to me! Since then, I've read the book.

Miserable child

The loot

And finally. As I said, I shopped a bit. And here's the loot.

Books and stuff

Created: 8 April, 2003 - Last changed: 4 June, 2008 - Comments (0)