Old Bailey and Shopping

Trip Start Dec 27, 2011
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Trip End Jan 11, 2012


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It was a dismal day for my first trip to the Old Bailey. The Old Bailey is where the criminal cases are heard in London. It was pouring down rain all morning. We took the No. 17 bus down to the Old Bailey, and battle the torrent to the tunnel where the access to the public galleries for courtrooms 5-16 are located. Other than a very publicized murder trial (two men were on trial for a hate crime they committed 18 years ago), there was nothing going on in that side of the building. The galleries are very small (maximum 33 people in the larger courtrooms), so only family was allowed to sit in on the trial in No. 16. 

We were sent around to the other side of the building, where we stood in the pouring down rain for a good twenty minutes (until they were ready to let us in to the warm and dry inside). Security was stringent; they went through everyone's bags and wallets and made us each walk through a metal detector. We were supposed to be seeing a manslaughter case, but for some reason were not able to get in to the courtroom. We waited at the top of the stairs until another courtroom opened up. It was solely a procedural hearing. The barristers and the judge (who was an up-and-coming barrister acting as a judge) spent the entire time working out a date for a hearing. The Crown (prosecution) got reamed for having not received one of the judge's emails. It was interesting to see the "civility" between the barristers. At one point, one of the barristers said something like, "I'm sure my lady will do..." something by a certain date. It seemed very forced and fake. Also, they do really wear the wigs and gowns, but the gowns were hanging off their shoulder and it made it look almost comical. 

After they settled on a date, we discovered that it was the only case that we would be able to see for the day, so we got the afternoon off. It was incredibly blustery and rainy, and we decided to wait out the storm by having lunch at All Bar One, a restaurant just at the corner of Old Bailey St. It had lightened up by the time we were leaving, so we walked to St. Paul's tube stop instead of taking a cab. We were headed for Knightsbridge and Harrod's Department Store. When we got off the tube, the sun was out and the sky was clear. 

We shopped around Harrod's for a while. I didn't get much, but I found some cute souvenirs for people in the Harrod's Arcade. Next, I went to Top Shop, but was put off by the rude employees who felt it was more important to fold sweaters and be able to talk to each other than it was to make me want to buy the merchandise. After they pushed me out of the aisle, I got frustrated and left. We walked in to Burberry, but the scarves (which is what I was after) were just as expensive as the ones at home. I bought a London pin from one of the souvenir stores, and then the group (Katie, Correne, Colleen, and I) headed home to get ready for the pub crawl and a talk by Father Araujo. 

Before the pub crawl, we met in the Churchill Room at Goodenough College for a talk about the "Nature of Law" by Father Robert Araujo. It was nothing against him (as I am sure that his lecture was very nice; Francis said it was one of the best he has heard in a while), but I was concentrated on keeping my eyes open more than actually on listening to what he was saying.  

We started the pub crawl at a place called Blackfriar's pub. The pub is from the 20th century, but it sits on the site of they monastery where King Henry VIII came to plead his case to the Papal Leggett to grant a divorce from Katherine of Aragon. I had only one beer at this pub before crossing the river Thames into Southwark. The next pub was called the Founder's Arm, and the group was to eat dinner. I had a chicken club sandwich and a beer. It was pretty tasty. Dean Faught wanted to show me something (which ended up being the view across the river...which was pretty), and I ended up outside without my coat for a time. 

After dinner, we moved on to the next pub, The Anchor. I had a beer (on the Loyola tab) and ended up falling in love with the glass. It was for Kronenberg 1664, which has been my favorite beer on the trip. 

One the way to the last pub, we passed the Clink (a medieval prison), a replica of the Golden Hinde (you can rent it for slumber parties!), and the Southwark Cathedral. The George was the last pub on our crawl, and we overtook the back room. We were all feeling good by this time. At one point, Dean Faught told the girls that if "[we] see a guy [we] like, [we] should go out and take him...as a gift from [him] and Francis." Christine did a recitation of the prologue to the Canterbury Tales (complete with accent), For those, like me, whose English class struggled through it:

WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open ye,
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages:
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmers for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The holy blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.
 
Exactly at 11PM, the bar closed down. They started putting the chairs on the table and all but threw us out the door. More than a few people in the group (i.e. everyone) was confused because the bar was packed. When Correne started a healthy conversation with some of the British about the difference in cultural (not at all claiming that one way was better than the other), they wanted nothing to do with us because we were American. 

Francis brightened our spirits with his original "goat joke." No one wanted to go to bed when we got back, so we had another pajama jam in the 4431. Unfortunately, I did not get back to the room until 2AM. I was one of the first to leave the party.
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