This weekend I hosted my mother and one of my sorority sisters here in London. My sorority sister was visiting for the weekend from Paris where she is studying for the semester. I love when people come to visit me because it gives me an oppertunity to explore things in the city that I wouldn’t otherwise see since I have become so set in my routine.
We saw the events in Paris unfold on CNN while at a pub. My sister’s face immediately tensed up as she read the report scrolling across the screen. One of the shootings had taken place just blocks from where her host family lives. The situation became even closer to home for her when it was determined that about 20 of her close friends were attending the football match between France and Germany where one of the bombings took place with shooting involved.
The next day we decided to make the most of the situation and go through our day as normally as possible. This exercise also helped to distract my sister from becoming to frazzled about a situation she had no control, but some stake, in. After quick photoshoot with a phone booth and a stop at Westminster we went on to our next activities. We made our way in the rain to Spitalfields market where we spent time shopping and sampling small plate from an adorable shop inside the market. The layout of the market, in a series of rows, makes for easy browsing of merchandise. Once the rain had stopped we went to Buckingham Palace.
The rest of the night I spent with my mother enjoying a lovely French meal and laughing hysterically at the play that goes wrong. The Brasserie we went to was dimly lit with dark wood accents. The massive amount of seafood I devoured was succulent and made me so happy I couldn’t stop smiling. After sprinting around the opera district trying to find the theatre, we made it to the lovely Duchess theatre. The show we saw was “The Play that Goes Wrong.” This comedy was set around the scene of a murder mystery play that was being performed by a theatre troop. The ensuing comedy of errors left my howling with laughter for most of the show. The fun thing about this experience was also sharing it with others. Hearing the laughter of others helped to distract me from worrying about my close friend who was in a foreign city the night after a massive event occurred in her new home.
Sunday was spent at Buckingham Palace watching the changing of the guards. Due to the heightened security that was sure to accompany my friend on her way to Paris, we decided to make sure she had her ticket to the airport all settled well in advance. As a result of the three days of mourning the city was under, my mother and I decided to cancel our trip to Paris. This decision came out of respect for the people of Paris who were recovering from the aftermath of this traumatic event.
The weekend was finished with a lovely Sunday roast at a local pub.This seamed like a fitting, relaxing end to the calssic London weekend. Despite the rollercoaster of emotions experienced, I think we made the most of it.
All in all I am glad that my sorority sister came to visit this weekend because I think the distance from the situation was a good thing for her. Getting her mind off things, even for a couple hours, also helped her from spiraling into a worried mess. The weekend’s events reinvigorated my desire to explore more of London.