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February, 2012

  1. Old friends, new places

    February 8, 2012 by Kaitlin

    Some rare sun en route to Edgeware Road

    Welp, I’ve jumped continents again. Geographic stability is not my strong point these days. Actually, I’ve been here over a month at this point. And I’ve been busy. Too busy too blog? Not really. Too wrapped up in Downton Abbey? That’s more like it.

    This final semester of grad school brings me back to a place I know and love. The last time I spent any serious time here was the summer of 2005, right around the time London learned they had won the bid for the 2012 Olympics. That seemed impossibly far in the future, but here I am, back in London and all it’s pre-Olympic glory.

    Coming to London has also brought about a fun reunion with Sarah Kane, a former roommate from Cape Town. She spent the entire fall semester in South Africa, so I hadn’t seen her since August. It’s nice to be bedroom neighbors again, even if our rooms are tiny and in a basement. It happens to be a basement in a very nice apartment in central London though, so no complaints.

    A lot of my time here has been spent finding ways to stay out of the biting cold. Living in close proximity to a heated yoga studio and a pub with good Czech beer on draft has been infinitely helpful.

    The six of us who are here from Annenberg still have a full course load, so two evenings a week and Friday morning are spent in an academic building in Bloomsbury in classes taught by professors from University of East London. The classes are much more theory-based than the hands-on production-based classes at Annenberg. In some ways, this is alright since we’re all working internships in the field, but it is a strange flashback to undergrad lit classes to be discussing Barthes and Baudrillard.

    I ordered the vegetarian breakfast. It came with veggie sausage and....real bacon. So close.

    During the day, I help gather and record sound for the European correspondent of an American public radio show. It’s a pretty ideal set up. I get to go all over the city, meeting and speaking to all kinds of people, and then come back and edit and upload the sound from the comfort of my apartment. Some days this means learning about an innovative chocolate shop and some days this means standing on a street corner in Soho and asking people how they feel about drinking straws. There’s no lack of variety, at least.

    I find myself missing some things about LA, namely friends, my dog, and food with flavor (I’m in the UK now, I’ll use an Oxford comma if I want).

    Here are things I don’t miss: Long car commutes. The Trader Joe’s parking lot. The Annenberg equipment room.

    More updates to come, this time with actual stories of people and places. Promise. Season two of Downton Abbey is ending soon. What else am I supposed to do?