(Photo by Jane Brannen)
It was our first full day in London. We decided to split into two teams to cover more ground: Professor Wheeler, Jane, Courtney, Amy and I in one, and Will, Hillary, Cassie and Cameron in the other. Our group of five left our adorable townhouse in Leytonstone and rode the tube for 45 minutes in order to get to Kensington Street, where the torchbearer would be running through.
We set up our hefty tripod and Panasonic 200 camera and joined the throng in the middle of the street where excited spectators were already waiting for the parade. Our goal was to shoot some B-roll footage to use for an interview we will do on Aug. 3 on Taylor Amerman, the torchbearer from Kentucky who ran through Nottingham earlier this summer.
Traffic had been stopped both ways, and there were so many people overflowing onto the road that police had to keep pushing the crowd back behind the median. Finally the parade came through, featuring several double-decker buses, booming music and a fake torchbearer, who started running down the street holding a torch and wearing a white jumpsuit.
People started cheering before they realized he wasn’t the actual torchbearer. A policeman on a bicycle immediately chased him down the road and out of sight. We can only assume that the illegitimate torchbearer was brought to justice.
The actual torchbearer then ran through, surrounded by policemen and raising the torch jubilantly above her head. The temperature that day was an unusual 80 degrees Fahrenheit, balmy for London, and while we were tired from standing out in the sun, the energy of the crowd was so contagious that we were cheering just as loudly as everyone else.
After stopping back at the house to pick up more equipment, we boarded the tube again for King’s College, where we were to interview Keli Nace and Amelia Orwick, two Kentucky students studying abroad in London.
Amy and I thoroughly enjoyed the comical ways that everyone drifted off to sleep during the ride: Jane with her mouth slightly open and grasping the large tripod for dear life, Courtney with her head tilted to one side and Professor Wheeler with his head in his hands and smiling slightly to himself.
King’s College was beautiful, complete with an unruly herb garden and an old Grecian building which served as a home for lonely pigeons. We met with five Kentucky students, including Amelia and Keli, and shot some footage of them talking, walking around campus and doing the Kentucky Wildcat “three-goggles” pose.
After an interview with Keli and Amelia, we said goodbye to our fellow Kentuckians. We downed a more American meal of burgers and chips and then boarded the tube one final time. It became so crowded in our car that all I could do was laugh. People were pressed into us from all sides and everyone was breathing the same air.
Courtney was next to a small child, who began to scream about halfway through the ride. We were still suffering from jet lag, which made us deliriously happy. Everyone stared at us while we cracked up, and we felt incredibly loud and American.
We finally arrived back at the house at 11 p.m. to find the other team waiting for us. We collapsed onto the couches, opened our laptops and caught each other up on our eventful day exploring London.
(Posted by Becca Price)