Sunday, October 26, 2008

Episode 34: Matins At Westminster Abbey

Convinced my dad to go to the matins at Westminster Abbey instead of going to All Souls Church, partly because the former's nearer and this way, we got to see the inside without paying the entrance fee like the other tourists. Seems like there were quite a few people who had the same idea as us. The service was interesting. Very liturgical. The lay choir came in, and most of the singing was done by them, except for a congregational hymn towards the end. The sermon was incredibly short and sharp. Altogether a rather inspiring experience! It's a very different feeling from what you get when attending a contemporary worship service. More solemn and stately is the best way that I can think to describe it. I mean, the moment I stepped into the building, I felt like I just had to keep quiet, and if I absolutely had to say anything, to whisper. It's a psychological association, I think, which a lot of people share where old buildings are concerned. Anyway, the building's really magnificent, and I think stained glass is really beautiful and more churches should incorporate it into their architecture.

Headed back to the hotel to check out, and then took a cab down to the French Connection store to get my belts exchanged. (They were one size too large for me, even though they're labelled as size 32. Maybe I really am smaller than a size 32 now?) That worked out okay, and I picked up a few more basic tees too, so it's time to try out some new layered outfits when I get back to Warwick. Cabbed once again (because it was raining and my bags were heavy) to meet Shou Jie to leave my stuff at his place, where I'm crashing on the floor for one night. Then I decided to save my dad some money, so we took the Tube to Covent Garden. Got fish and chips at some restaurant, which was okay, although it had quite a few bones in it. We walked around Covent Garden Market for a while, but didn't buy anything. I made sure he knew how to get on the right train to Heathrow, then I went off to meet Eugene across the Thames. He brought me to Le Pain Quotidien, which supposedly has wireless Internet, but it wasn't working today, so I wound up working on my poems for Wednesday. Don't think they're that good, but oh well...

Hung around at Le Pain Quotidien until it was time to meet the MOE people for dinner. Quite a few showed up, thanks Jared for organising! We had dinner at Garfunkel's, which Eugene said serves good drinks, but we all thought that the food and service sucked. I had an omelette made with four eggs, which tasted okay, but certainly was nowhere near being worth the money I paid for it. Maybe if I'd ordered dessert, I'd have been more satisfied because the desserts looked pretty good, on paper anyway. Caught up with the MOE people, and they seem to be having fun in London. I walked around for a bit after dinner, from Leicester Square to Big Ben, and then took the Tube back to Charing Cross after I got a text from Shou Jie. So I headed back to his room, where I'm now sitting and reading more of Syncopations. It's interesting stuff, although I think it isn't going to be very useful for the purpose that I borrowed it for, which was to help with my 'Howl' essay. Thankfully, I've found quite a few journal articles through Google Scholar that should be of great help. I've also planned out an essay outline! Incredible. I've never even done that for anything in JC!

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