My history class took us to Smithfield to visit the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great. According to our teacher it’s the oldest surviving church in London, founded in 1123 by Rahere, a courtier of Henry I and according to a poster inside the church cafe, a scene from Shakespeare in Love was filmed here. The first thing that greeted us was a Tudor style front that led to a courtyard. Finally, the church. It was pretty stark, grey stone walls, plain glass windows, no gold or colors, but there was a nice wooden choir screen, and rust and white checkered pavement. As it turns out the church is missing a lot of parts, including the nave, the transepts, and 3/4 of its cloisters. I guess you can’t really expect the oldest surviving church in London not to be crippled. And now queue intelligent conversation about the distance between the nave and the altar that physically represents the spiritual distance laypeople felt from their religion. Or something like that.
Yesterday my art history class was at the Courtauld Institute. I’ve been there before with Emily when my uncle took us, but I still had a hard time finding it. Standing for 2 hours when your body is incredibly sore (see next paragraph) is not a fun time, but I enjoyed the art (and seeing all the works I’ve learned about in previous classes). Usually there’s an admission fee to get into the gallery, but since we were there for a class it was free, so I made sure to walk around after our lecture and take advantage of the whole not paying to get in thing.
On a non academic note, I’ve been trying out some of the clubs and societies, including rugby. What?!?!! Yeah. I am so not prepared for this, I mean, I didn’t even bring running shoes, so I came to training in canvas Vans. I missed the first week of practices, so never mind learning to pass and other basic stuff, I got to start my experience by learning to tackle. Ha! Yup, I tackled people (successfully) and got tackled (a couple of scrapes, no bruises). Most surprising bit, I’ll be continuing with it, which means going out later today to buy proper shoes and a mouth guard. Oh good grief, what am I getting myself into? Now to figure out how to deal with the soreness (two days later and my neck is still sore… looking up and to the left is painful).