Hello world. Greeting from London! It's really late at night and I am sitting in the hotel lobby by myself listening to David Bowie on my pod and watching a lot of families with small children going to and from the hotel restaurant. Curious that they are here with small children at such a late hour, but whatever. Lots of different languages in my ears, love it! So, since it is late and I am too tired to write a new blog but want to update anyway, I am just going to rewrite a little of my journal here for your reading pleasure or pain, whichever. This is a little bit from June 17th, a few days ago when we were still in Dublin.
Next we started to stroll in Steven's Green, another lovely, green park. The only difference between this park and all the other ones we have seen so far is that this one has water, rocks and ducks. I took a lot of tree-reflecting-on-the-water pictures that always make one seem like a better photographer than they really are.
After lunch we (myself and the G-parents) were walking around and passed a flower stand we had passed earlier, but this time I stopped. Always when I see a flower stand I want to buy a flower, but on trips such as these there is no more in-practical thing to buy. What would I do with it? Keep it in my hotel room that I am hardly in so it can wilt and be admired by no one? However I had seen this particular rose earlier and wanted it. So I bought it.
This rose was unlike any I have ever purchased or even seen before. It was rainbow. Not one of 2 colours, but every ROY G BIV color in the rainbow. I don't know how they did it, besides dyeing each individual petal separately which is what it looked like happened, but I will use my imagination and assume, logically, that it was grown like that and that somewhere there grows bushes upon bushes of rainbow roses. It had very long thorns and blue tinted leaves, and it was beautiful. The women warped it for me in enough paper for a dozen roses and we were on our way.
SO again, why buy a flower? Here's what I think happened: Oscar Wilde's spirit snuck into my mind for a second and convinced me to get the rose for him. I have to doubt in my mind that if Oscar Wilde were walking down the street today he too would have bought that same rainbow rose for his lapel, and would have brought it up in conversation all day until it's petals began to wild. There is another reason I believe this, and it came from the very words of Wilde himself.
In order to explain I need to fast forward a tiny bit and explain a little about things I believe. Next to mountains, ice cream and taxi rides there is not much I love more about travelling than statues. Whether they are just a bust, striking a stunning stance or naked, I am always glad to see them. I went statue crazy in Rome since you cannot take two steps in any direction without running into a Bernini Angel or someone who's probably Cesar. In Dublin there are much fewer, but still a respectable many. Another thing about statues is that I believe there is a tiny bit of the real person in every statue you see, if the artist is any good, which they usually are. You cannot capture the image of a person without also trapping who that person was on a least a small level.
Here's where I fast forward. Later this same day one of the last things we did was find the Winding Stair Bookstore we had read about in the paper. It was a cute little one room bookshop with books hanging from the celling as well as stacked in the shelves. The major theme of our visit to Dublin has been books, seeing as James Joyce's Ulysses is the reason we are here in the first place, so I felt, being the one with the newly completed English degree that I should probably buy a book. Being a life long book lover, book worm and aspiring writer, this was something I looked forward to a great deal, and the Winding Stair was the perfect place to make it happen.
I wanted something by Oscar Wilde seeing as he is my favourite Irish writer (next to Mave Binchy) and as he lived and went to school in Dublin. I found at first the complete short stories by him, which I did not already have, but in the end settled on The Happy Prince, a collection of his children's stories. The burgundy cover and gold lettering had me sold at first sight.
Nestling into the covers at our hotel, I started to read The Happy Prince. However the story was not at all happy, not in the least. The Happy Prince is about a statue of a Happy Prince who is covered in jewels and gold and is loved by the village he oversees. However, after a bird lands on his arm and is soon drenched in his tears, we learn that the Happy Prince is not happy at all but sad to see the unhappiness of his subjects around him. SPOLIER ALERT: in the end the little bird becomes his friend and helps him make his subjects happy by spreading his jewels to the poor people, leaving the Happy Prince quite bare looking and ugly. I will leave the very ending a surprise still since I hate spoiling the ending or anything of any book.
There in bed I realized what had happened to me, I was the little bird to Wilde's Happy Prince. Oscar must have taken a liking to me the fist time I went to this statue the way I kept taking pictures of him and freaking out about how awesome he looked. I admired him for some time, impressed by the details of his rinds and the color of his outfit, loving his smirk and smirking back. Being a bit of Oscar himself he must have certainly loved the attention and thought he could use my love of him to his advantage. Why else would I buy a rainbow rose on the streets of Dublin of which I had so practical use? Why else was it rainbow when clearly my favourite color rose is deep red? Nothing else explains it.
So I bought Oscar Wilde a rose. I brought it to him not yet realizing that it was his idea all along, and placed it in the crook of his left arm. His smile forever etched in stone seemed a little brighter and I am sure that deep inside his man made stone mind he was thinking “oh the cleverness of me!” quoting Peter Pan and laughing at me.
Man that took forever to write. No pictures, computers here won't let me upload for some reason. I Hate European keyboards. They are basically the same, but just different enough that it takes twice as long for me to type anything as it would at home. Oh well.
OK I should sleep now. More later from London!