Next to the house of God flows a river. The brown water is silt-y, not filthy, they insist. Across the river stretch the vertebrae of a metallic Gigantosaurus. Treading on them noisily, you reach the other side, where you see an erstwhile power station, which is now an art museum: the chimney meant to bellow out smoke now wearing a purple tiara, unless it is, as I have come to believe, a gigantic middle finger that Modern Art sticks out at its Seventeenth Century counterpart across the muddy waters. God-art and Machine-art attract Nikons/Canons with equal gusto, and make for good places to sell ice cream by.
Behind the art museum is a dumpy brown building that looks ashamed to be standing on the prime property it occupies, since its job description is not grandiose like its neighbours'. On the third floor, there is a room that is designed oddly, like the bit of cake left on the silver circle of cardboard when the candles have been blown out and everyone has been given a slice, and some people have even had second helpings, and nobody wants any more. The room has nine walls instead of the usual four, and the shower room attached to it has seven.
Outside the window is a building that has been under construction for over a year, and is still not quite done, although it is now abundantly clear that the glass monstrosity that is being built will look old the day it is inaugurated. That, and a patch of grass, and if you really, really lean to your left, a section of a railway bridge, completes the view.
This room I have called home for the last few months, and it is here that I am scraping Blu-Tac off the walls today, as I remove the posters (Van Gogh and an Archies Ganesha) that made the room mine. Bags of various sizes lie with their mouths agape, waiting to be filled with clothes, books, CDs, talcum powder, half-used packets of rice, and Septillin bottles full of spices, resourcefully packed into empty Pringles tubes.
I'll be in another, smaller place nearby, where nothing is as grand. The elephant close to it is not a patch on the gigantic art museum, and the castle is nothing compared to the house of God. The river that flows there is black, a sea of Black faces, and the black stroke of the Northern Line. It is a big step down from this place I've grown used to calling home (me and a bunch of students and a handful of millionaires). However, all is not lost… there is the furniture!
Nobody believes me when I tell them I came to London to see the furniture in the residence halls. A friend of mine got into the school the year before last, and told me the furniture was great. I thought that detail merited an application to a Masters programme. In case you're planning to study, you should apply here. The furniture rocks. No, actually it's quite stable.
Wendigo, you're right. My jokes suck. I'm going to cry by the riverside and flood London.