Without a pen I’m an actor whose truth becomes muddled, with a pen I can’t hide it. So it becomes exposed for the world to view.
So at the beginning of this week I finally journeyed to my first open mic night here in London!! Exciting I know. Plus it was free entry. Where was this wonderful event? Brixton my dears, wonderful Brixton. The place where I hear “My sistah.” a lot. Brixton in the past has been known as not the best of London. However, it is a diverse neighborhood far away from the tourist central I live in. It reminds me a lot of Baltimore, Maryland. The Afro-Carribean culture can seen almost immediately as you get off the bus or tube in Brixton. Reggae, hip-hop, and even some salsa hums from the shops and market as you walk through. This time I went at night. Most people who travel to London will learn quickly that most things in London close super early. Weird, but true. I was happy to discover Brixton was alive at night as much as it is during the day. Of course the first thing to do in a neighborhood is pop into a shop and grab some food. My friend and I spotted a chicken and rib joint called Marley’s and I could not resist. Not being stereotypical, just been living off of noodles and Asian food. It was affordable and tasty :) I was a very full and happy woman. In Brixton, I noticed that when learning British slang you also have to learn Black British slang. African American slang does not work well with Black British slang at all. All you get from this is empty stares and a headache. Now I have an acting challenge.
Now the whole reason for this trip was to make it to the open mic night a few blocks away.
Travel tip: Don’t wear heels you aren’t comfortable walking in for blocks on uneven possibly cobblestone streets.
My friend did not get this memo while my heels are what I like to call “City ready”. Now the actually place the open mic was held at is the Half Moon Pub in Herne Hill the neighbors to Brixton. It was a pretty nice set up with it’s own stage space where events are held at. Including the open mic. There were a lot of acoustic performers. Some amazing while the others were okay. The poets were unique for sure. Even though I was late I was able to sign up in the last spot. By the time my time came most of the people were off to get the last tube home. It was till amazing to do. I’ll probably go on my own next time.
Performer tip: Arrive early to sign up for a good slot in an open mice line-up.
I got to have some good conversation with the people around me and they were extremely nice.
There he goes again, surpassing expectation
Faith was gripping tight
His line of wisdom told the spirit to wait
Pacing heart stared at the gate
Excited fingers flipped through his word
This will not be stopped nor deterred
Set goal in mind
For this possibility
Prayer calls upon an angel
To deliver the message ASAP
Wouldn’t ya know he showed up and showed out
Wasn’t the original goal
But hey when is a broke soul got time to be picky
I mean really
*Things in life are never set in stone and some changes can be shocking, but is truly a blessing from God. So, do your best to be open and ready for those changes
So a few weeks ago I went to the Bloom Festival here in London which is basically a festival celebrating the African Diaspora. What is the African Diaspora? Is how Africans were dispersed throughout the world due to slavery. This festival was celebrating the African culture here in London. The first thing I went to was the short film showings and discussions which was pretty amazing. Then a friend and I went to the dance workshop to learn Afro-Caribbean dance. It was pretty fun. At first I was reluctant to join in because of the crazy amount of movement plus thick girl equals a very hot SOLS. But I made a new friend who convinced me to join in. Tehee moment for me I missed all of the warm-ups or bad moment for my legs? Our choreographer was amazing made the whole experience for me. He was telling us to put our attitude into it and not just halfway do it. I even busted out my french for our new friend from France. Overall it was a great day.
The video is below. I didn’t include one of me because I refused to record it so don’t expect me in the video lol.
I’ll post about my life here on the weekends next… Maybe??
So one of my favorite things about walking in London is when I walk around and then I look up and realize I see something that I thought was really far, but it is right there. I have abandoned taking the tube unless I have to grudgingly go somewhere far. What have I been up to? Classes, exploring, and meeting British people. Meeting British people is a lot harder than you think, but I just have taken chances by going to random events. This one event that I went to was an international cafe where I met people from all over the world because apparently that’s what happens at the events, but I just saw a poster that said all welcome and free so I went. I also got to have scones and crumpets with my tea which are pretty tasty. It’s so posh of me I know, but when in Rome… Wait I’m in London :)
My travel tip for this entry will have to be take chances when traveling and put yourself out there. Actually you should do that everywhere. Even if you are shy. Many British won’t just walk up to you because of their reserved nature. At least I haven’t experienced it. Usually you can just be approachable and open yourself up to conversation. I have had some interesting ones.
How’s class? Ummmm well… Just kidding I love them. They are extremely different from my American classes and apparently the classes we are taking with our program are different from British classes that most people who go to undergrad take. My creative class is amazing just because I get to do the thing I love. It is filled with older adults who work daily, but keep there minds going by taking this class. They range from late 20’s to late 50’s. They are a fun bunch of people.
The video below is of me discussing classes, very serious.
Warning: I will be talking about poetry for this blog :)
Happy Poetry day!! And if you missed it, that is really sad. However, it happens every year and if you live in the US or Canada there is a whole poetry month. So how did I spend my poetry day?
First order of business was waking up early for class discussing the British and European government. Interesting things… After that a friend and I made our way to the Southbank Centre for the National Poetry Day Live :) Tip: The SouthBank Centre is a great place to go to events while in London. (Just saying) Plus it is right by the London Eye and street performers are always around to entertain.
Back to Poetry Day :) It was really for all ages as this years theme was GAMES! They had a mix of things for children and adults alike. For all of my poets out there there are competitions that one can compete in. For those interested there is the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and that is for ages 11-17. This one ends on poetry day, but opens once more in March. There is also the for those over the National Poetry Competition age of 17. This one closes at the end of Oct., so jump on it. (There’s a fee though)
What did I see and what did I do? I heard many amazing poets. There was a wide range from prose writers, free verse, slam poets, an MC, and all from different careers and places. I felt at home with them. It still astounds me seeing so much diversity in London, but seeing how people respect their cultures and include their backgrounds. I got the sense of inclusion for young, old, and those undefined. Kids seemed to enjoy, the teens liked it, and the adults had good things to say.
All in all it was an evening well spent. I even got inspired with three poems ;) The only downfall was my desire to jump on stage and spit… But I didn’t. One year I aspire to be an invited guest. *cough,cough* Still loved it though.
So I’ve been in London for a month (gasp). Now I walk every where and noticed that when looking at a map something that looks extremely far is only minutes away. Yesterday I made it to a poetry/art meeting for people on fire for God. Yes it was pretty nice. I can’t wait for National Poetry day tomorrow :) That shall be fun.
Which part of London is my favorite so far? I have to say I really enjoy Brixton. Not only does it have a great market and cheap places to shop, it has a vibrant sense of diverse cultures. I even found a free open mic night over there. And even though I am NOT a skater there is a pretty rad skate park right as you enter Brixton.
For Fall break we have decided to stay in London, but make day trips away to other places. Like the seaside, an adventure to find this cottage ground, and probably a haunted house for Halloween. There is a train that will take you into France in about 2 hours so that might also creep on our list.
Here is a video of our programs trip to the London Eye :)
Jump Rope Sis
Fitness. Life. Art. Travel.