"And the moral of that is:
Be what you would seem to be,
or if you'd like it put more simply:
Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise
than what it might appear to others
that what you were or might have been
was not otherwise than what you had been
would have appeared to them to be otherwise."
-Alice in Wonderland
It's Friday afternoon, and I'm daydreaming. The sun is shining, the puppies are snoring, and I swear I can finally taste spring in the air from little my deck spot. But my mind is somewhere else.
In a few short days I'll skip the pond for greener, and likely rainier, pastures. I was 21 during my last trip, and spent my time spinning records on a penthouse deck overlooking Hyde Park or in the back of a cab drunkenly screaming Spandeau Ballet songs at the top of my lungs at 4 am. So this time, I plan on frolicking through London, maybe whirling through another rabbithole to bid a quick salut! to Paris, and after a quick little half marathon in Fleet, making a mad dash to the waters of the South Coast. Guided by a ruminating art historian, Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumish Bristolian physicists, and the inhabitants of one Mad Neon Tea Party, I'll play the wandering blond through my own sort of Wonderland.
"The Wonderland Trifle" is a Victoria sponge cupcake, sliced in half, and layered in a glass cup with vanilla bean whipped cream, fresh sliced strawberries, a strawberry reduction, and Grand Marnier. Fresh and fruity, it's the perfect light spring treat for an afternoon of pondering.
The first time I landed in England, I woke up at Stonehenge. I snuck into a head shop in Liverpool, and hummed "Here Comes the Sun" along with a long-haired street musician in Bath. The food was beyond terrible, and I took shelter in a luxury hotel with my parents by the London Eye one night, promising myself I'd never go back with my classmates, so long as I currently had good takeaway and plush robes.
But everything aside, there was nothing quite like my last night in Wales. We had pulled up to a church and unloaded, as a group of gap-toothed Welsh teenagers rolled spliffs in the parking lot under an eroding gray steeple. It was freezing inside, and the echos seemed unending as we stood on the cold marble, a bunch of American kids next to an white-haired English choir. But then a song broke out: Procul Harum, "A Whiter Shade of Pale." And in a sort of haunting moment, the room started humming harder, and the ceiling really did seem to fly away. It's funny how when you're 15 and full of wonder, the accents start to sound the same when you sing.
With some big decisions on the horizon, I look forward to losing my way in the good old UK again. And until then, I'll take to daydreaming on my well-lit deck. Here comes the sun, do do do do...