What I look like on a Friday night after a week of feeling homesick, two days of being ill, and an afternoon of a sad movie:
Not a lot accomplished these past few days. I held steady through Wednesday, but yesterday just couldn't stay at the library. In the morning, I tried to do some research at the Royal Society, but ended up spending much more time feeling sick in the loo than I did doing actual work. I also spent some time sitting by myself on the platform of the Piccadilly Tube Station, watching trains go by, but feeling too upset in the stomach to get on any of them. When I did finally get on, it was clear I wasn't going to be able spend any quality time working, so I rode back and forth for a bit on the Piccadilly Line, waiting for my temperature to come down a bit.
In the end, I decided to spend the afternoon at a museum. I didn't feel like going all the way back to the house, and anyway, I knew my housemate was trying to get her lesson plan done and she didn't need me to be in the way. Museums have bathrooms, and they have benches, and they often have temperature controlled rooms, so that sounded promising. So, on my second time through the South Kensington station, I got off the tube, and walked over to the V & A. I spent a lot of time in the Sacred Silver collection, as well as in the stained glass collection. If you're feeling like you might vomit, these are good places to be, because the lighting is dim, no one else is around, and you can bolt down the ceramic staircase to the bathroom in an emergency. Also, the lighting is dim in the hallway with Lord Leighton's frescoes, and there is a nice floor-to-ceiling window at one end, so that is also a good, quiet retreat in times of distress.
What is NOT good for distress is to book a ticket for a special exhibition. This might seem obvious to everyone else, but it's difficult to walk out of a ticketed exhibition in search of a bathroom. I was thinking only, "High end exhibition = good temperature control, surely comes with benches." Unfortunately, it also comes with a tightly controlled path of movement--once you're in the exhibition hall, you're stuck until the end. Still, Cold War Modern was worth the nine pounds, even if I rushed the last two rooms a bit (the rooms for "revolution" and "last utopias"). If you're in London, and you're an architecture student, this is a great place to look at some architectural renderings for Soviet building projects--they're amazing, and they're BIG. I also enjoyed the recreation of the 8-minute "light and sound" experience originally plotted by Corbusier. Fall-out shelters, space suits, modular furniture, hammocks---this exhibit has it all. Except an easily accessible bathroom, so keep that in mind if you're not feeling 100%.