I apologize for the sideways images; I could not get them to rotate this time around. From top to bottom: (1) Standing next to the entrance to Dumbledore’s Office! (2) Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes (3) A Police Horse: Hampstead (4) George Eliot’s Tombstone: Highgate Cemetery (5) Most of the Myth, Legend and Horror Class in the Eagle and Child Pub (where the Oxford Inklings would gather!)
As my adventure in London continues, I grow more thankful for this opportunity every day. This week has especially catered to my literature side, and my nerdy side! I have been to Coleridge’s home, the Keats House, Highgate Cemetery (resting place of such big names as George Eliot and Karl Marx), back to Oxford (and still have not seen all that it has to offer!), the Harry Potter Studio Tour, and the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
I could spend all day talking about the Harry Potter Studio Tour, so let me just say that it was better than I ever could have hoped for. I learned so much about the filming process; it really changed my perspective on the adaptation of books to film. It takes a lot more work than we think. For example, the Inferi, who only appear in the background of the films, took almost one year to create and use! On the other hand, I had an underwhelming experience at the Sherlock Holmes museum. For what there was to offer, the 15 pound price was quite high.
Although I had a ton of fun nerding out this week, the visit that really hit me was Highgate cemetery. Most of the gravestones are quite large, and the whole area is surrounded by trees and ivy, and small gravel paths break off of the large main path for access to the many graves. To be quite honest, as weird as it may seem, it was quite beautiful. Families really took the time to immortalize their loved ones with the elaborate gravestones, and this made the area seem to be more of a celebration of life than a dreary graveyard. I am not used to such grandeur in a cemetery. In my family’s resting place, back in Oregon, there are no large protruding gravestones; they are all flat tombstones at the heads of the graves, and it is just a grass field with a few trees. As the plots in this cemetery are all taken, I think I’ll look for a more wild final resting place for myself (in the very distant future). It is so strange that traveling to the UK has given me a whole different perspective on death! Who would have thought?
Although I am having a fantastic experience, I am also growing a little more homesick every day. This did not hit me until this weekend, but it is really taking hold (probably because I am exhausted!) There is something about the little things that make me miss my life in Oregon. One such little thing is the friendliness that is so prevalent in our small university town. I have found myself to be a little less caring about smiling at everyone that I see, and saying excuse me for the hundredth time; this makes me kind of sad, as I pride myself on being friendly to others. I am also pining for fresh air, my own bed, and I am missing my roommate (sorry if I am embarrassing you Shannon ;).
But I only have one week left over here in the UK, so I am going to make the most of it! See you soon Oregon!