London, baby. My initial expectations of London were quite low, to be perfectly, almost disturbingly, frank with you. I had always seen it as a low grey metropolis, soot and grumpy people. However it revealed (well more accurately threw off its coat and flashed) itself as a paradise, a land of beautifully groomed moustaches, well dressed denizens and fun. I love it so much I wore a white t-shirt to take a silly snapshot, and you know I NEVER wear white.
Poetic, yes. Marvelous, yes. Diverse, certainly. Scary, never. ❤
Selected moments of glorious warm fuzzy feelings:
- Brick Lane, beer and delicious beigels from a Jewish bakery.
- Shoreditch – my expanded thoughts on the holy hipster land are over at Alt Albion.
- Oxford Street shopping, especially Uniqlo, Selfridges and ‘losing my shit’ (that’s my composure, folks) in Topshop.
- Seeing some world class art – including Banksy and Blu, who I have written about previously.
- Meeting with my friends Miles and Alice for a drink in a pub. Good times!
- The London Eye, a perfectly clear day and a private pod.
- Finally visiting the Tate Modern and seeing the giant domestic cat.
- Staying at the Bloomsbury Radisson, aka Bloomsbury Radsville. It’s a fabulous hotel, if only they didn’t keep asking if I was sure I was in the right place!
- Wasabi Sushi – nom, nom, nom. Excellent vegetarian options.
- London A-Zed – I conducted a wee project, taking photos of London signage to create an alphabet. Please note the punctuating crown. Majestic.
I miss you London but I’ll be back soon. Seriously, we only managed to say hi to each other. Can’t wait. And you, have you been to London? What’s your favourite city? Where do you feel alive, connected with the human condition, or just your real self? I’d love to know.
England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales. This time Scotland! Post the Loch Lomond extravaganza, we nipped down to Edinburgh for a romantic Valentines Day with Bryan, a poor lad trying to carve out a career as a half-assed theatrical tour guide. He was to take us through the dungeons of Edinburgh and did so with not-entirely-positive panache. It got a bit chilly however and we we forced to flee into the night.
One thing I did get out of the experience was an understanding of just how ancient the settlements of Albion are. Such beautiful old buildings everywhere!
Other highlights of Edinburgh: the Hilton Club Suites and bar, eating cheese and chips, mildly enjoying a crepe from a street vendor (people kept pronouncing it “crap”, which I found hilarious).
The next morn we awoke and cruised to Glasgow in the Transit van. 62mph was our top speed at all times. Glasgow is a mixed land – a day of beautiful buildings and parks, special op-shops and of course, teaspoon adventures.
Then conversely – a night of scandalously interesting people and glorious clubbing at Optimo until the wee hours (read Duncan’s take on our experience over at Alt Albion). Who knew?
Over the last few days I’ve been so excited most of my words have come out muddled and I have nearly developed my own language of squeaks. Why? Because I’m off to the United Kingdom next week! (Yup, that’s my secret – I only found out on Monday.)
A grand surprise, I’m lucky to be road tripping with the Alt Albion crew on a 12 day cultural voyage (does that mean beer?) of discovery.
We’re checking out Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Cardiff, London and Brighton. I must say, the “we” is a very cool bunch of people – I’m looking forward to getting to know them.
Some of the things that I might (and very likely will) do:
+ London Fashion Week + See Magazine in Manchester + High tea at the Ritz + Grouchos + London Eye + Eat Brighton Rock + Stay in a 17th century inn on Loch Lomond + Try some (vegetarian) haggis + Go to a chippery + See a fox + Party at Optimo in Glasgow + Drink a daily bucket of tea + Go to a football match + The Royal Pavilion in Brighton…
And a million other things I’m sure. The 9th largest island in the world is my oyster! If you’ve got any suggestions, please let me know – I need some starting points.
As this trip is so last minute (I hurriedly bought a down jacket yesterday, and am struggling to find boots!), I haven’t prepared any posts for while I’m away. I’ll definitely try and keep up but no promises. However, it looks like I will be blogging daily over at Alt Albion site however, so check it out. Yay all round!