the strong, silent type…
no, I’m not really… I have just been a bit busy. Had a much less intensive weekend this one just past than I have lately. I think I am getting over the frantic tourist “must see everything in London in 4 days” attitude and starting to believe that it is not a mortal sin if I don’t see anything new for a week.
Had an in-principle frustrating day on Saturday. Went to yet another photo lab to discover that they have never heard of medium-format, and think black&white is what Granddad used to watch the cricket on in the shed when Grandma wanted him to mow the lawn…
However, I am learning to deal with these disappointments by embedding my forlorn visits to camera shops in long walks with interesting things in.
Last week it was Regent’s Park and Camden, with a nice, apologetic paraglider whose film technician had just resigned. Even the back-in-5-minutes sign was not too disappointing, as it meant I found the Chinese tea shop 1/2 a block up.
This week it was a stroll around Victoria (eventually). I was diverted to Marble Arch by (apparently) planned engineering works on the Circle Line. But fortunately everything in Central London is accessible on foot (if you are a Sherpa). And it needs to be – the daily congestion charge is now 8 pounds, before paying for parking.
I did find a very nice espresso maker and a teapot to go with my tea of last week, so mustn’t grumble. After waiting 15 minutes for the “oo er dunno” response to my enquiry on film processing, I grumpily walked up the street. I was cheered by first seeing the London Eye from a new vantage point, passing New Scotland Yard (I was too frightened by the frowning bobbie to take a picture), and ending up at the headquarters of the London Underground (St James’ Park). This Tube station is notable by being:
a) faced in terrazzo marble,
b) apparently never closed for engineering works
c) unusually clean
As I had achieved my target of 10,000 steps before I am allowed in a Tube station, I rode the magic railway home.
Sunday was rain, wind & grim, so I stayed home and cleaned things. It cleared up briefly about 2:30, so I went out for some retail therapy and a stroll around Holland Park. Had a classic Enid Blyton moment sitting on a park bench involving squirrels, a magpie, a robin, and some obese doves (I know that sounds weird, but they were really, really fat…) If I had stayed out a bit longer there would probably be foxes too. A major culture shift in moving to England from Australia is learning to think of foxes as “aaaaw, cute”, rather than “aaaagh, shoot!”.