117.September 6

First Day in London.

Cool, Partly Cloudy. I'm sitting in Kensington Gardens under a tree, brown leaves are on the ground all around lightly. The trees are still green. I can't wait until fall really hits. I've walked from Earl's Court Station of the Tube to my hotel. I took a shower, fantasized about sleep, and got ready. From the television news, I got a strong feeling that much violence is going on around me, but this area feels safe (many accidents, I remember that a bus had smashed into a building).

My hotel,The Oliver Plaza, is bad. Right now it is 15:20. I will meet Rachel at her dorm at 17:00. I just walked passed it. I need to eat, but I might wait. I wouldn't mind living in a flat around here, but I wouldn't have a car. Walking is fun. I think I will go to The Goat.

At The Goat Free House. I'm enjoying a pint of John Smith's Bitter and having a ploughman's with Brie. There is a sign saying that the drinking age is eighteen. I'm happy to see they have one. Sweet pickle is good. The Goat is right across from the end of the Kensington Gardens. I think I'll walk over to Hyde Park tonight, and then bump around tomorrow in this area. It is so great to know that I can come back and that I don't need to do everything now. My meal totalled almost 4 pounds. I have a salad, some small potatoes, bread, Brie wedge and whatever else in the confection bowls. It is almost 16:00.

Richmond College, Kensington. Cool, breezy, no coat though. After a pint and a walk in Hyde Park (which included stalking a pigeon or two, and generally acting crazy so that I would fit in with the scruff a little better), I walked down to Rachel's on Victoria Street at 1 St. Alban's Grove. She will always be a Grover. Her dorm room was small and the building was old, but the area would be excellent. We talked, and then walked around Hyde to the Serpentine. It was beautiful, and the leaves were ripening and falling. We ate burgers and French fries at The Texas Lone Star. I had a Cajun burger that was horrendous. We stopped at a pub called Something? Arms. Bruce Springsteen sung there once on a sing along (Karaoke) night, and they advertised it. Rachel had a lager and I had a pint of Guinness, but first I bought us both Jamesons, which she shot, and I savored. I drank a half pint more of hard cider. All was good. I walked her home, and two of her friends from Drake walked me home. We went a long way on Kensington West.

When I returned to the hotel, I called mom and dad in the lobby. Two sixteen-year-old Italian women asked if I was going to the disco. I wasn't. That night they came to my room and kicked the door many times. I had my headphones on at first and thought it was a noise upstairs. Then they started calling me and hanging up. Finally they asked me if I would talk to them, so they came back up to my room. We went down to their room because it was bigger. Their aunt was there and acted as translator for us. We talked about what I was doing there, and music, and stuff. They had me recite some of my poetry, and then to write it down. I wrote down Melting. Then the aunt asked me if I thought they were silly. I said yes. They were offended. I left after a bit because I was bored and they were offended. I don't think I will understand what went on that night. I was very tired.


Gloucester, Mass

Fine Arts Museum in Boston. I took pictures to see if they could be any good. I saw the familier names, avoided others. I sat in wonderful museum chairs. I ate a pesto and humous bread appetizer with a feta Greek salad. I determined to try making lithographs. Multicolor. I determined to get some modeling clay and to paint Japanese and Chinese art styles.

The I took the train to John's, bought some banana bread and water at Maddies and drove to Gloucester in 50 minutes on Highway 1 North, then 128 North. Not a bad trip. I went over Tolin Bridge, which is extremely high.

Mary showed me Wellspring House, where she works, built in 1649 as a carriage house.

We went to a bar called “Rhumbline” for Ipswich Ale and I ate haddock. We finished up the evening at “The Sailing Ship,” all alone in the post Labor Day emptiness, talking about Luther friends and family. We came back to Wellspring and talked, had show-n-tell with our hobbies (her’s was sewing) and listened to Joni Mitchell’s “Blue”. Now I’ve written, still with the Ipswich and Anchor Steam beer tastes in my mouth, and time to fall asleep.

I feel like I've known her so long, like I've been told her stories before, about her family, but I have not. She was very good company all night long. Not it is Midnight, and she will come to my room, an office, and wake me after 06:00 sometime.


My family came over shortly after 10:00, and be did some damage to my yard. We ripped out all of the rail-road ties that were used to hold back walls of earth and gravel. Then my father used the John Deere tractor to smooth out the angles and pull fence posts. We did 6 hours of work, and moved most of the debris to a spot in my parents woods to be burned later.

Rachel and I went to the read-through of "Blithe Spirit" and eventually went to sleep.