Two weeks in London. Catching up!

Friday 31 May 2013 – London

I should confess to being really slack lately and having little motivation to write blog posts since I have been back in London, so I have now left myself with two weeks worth to catch up on. Fortunately I have not actually done a heck of a lot worth recording, though I have been managing to use up all my time. My other excuse is I have been experiencing a bit of neck and shoulder pain typing on my small travel laptop so I was waiting to get my full size laptop back from my daughter, which I did last weekend.

My flights from Sydney to London via Kuala Lumpur on Malaysian were as expected – long, tiring and rather boring ! I flew on one of the new A380s fro the first time from Sydney to KL, they are huge, they feel so much larger than a B747 – though it has been a while since I have been on one of them I will admit. Malaysian are great to fly with and if it wasn’t the fact it took almost twenty eight hours to get from one side of the planet to the other it would have all been almost enjoyable.

El took the day off work and met me at the airport, it was (of course!) lovely to see her again and I am really looking forward to spending some time together hanging out.

As I am English it is my birthright to talk and complain about the weather, so I may as well get that all out of the way now. Apart from a couple of nice sunny and vaguely warm days it has been pretty miserable since I have been here. It was reported on the news last night that it was the coldest spring since 1962 – good timing on my behalf I guess. It has been damn cold though and I am very glad I had appropriate clothing when I arrived this time around. Today was the best day of the year so far, hope it is a sign of things to come!

So, what have I done ?

I have moved back into the room I was staying in in London Bridge – which is fabulous, it is nice to know the area I am living in, but there is also a lot to explore around here as well. I have been applying for jobs left right and centre, but not having any luck so far – this was expected though and I am not too worried about it all yet, I will leave that for the end of next month ! Though next week I aim to change my strategy a bit and see if that makes any difference, it is a tough market.

I have been managing to get out and about most days, though it has been cold it has been reasonably dry so walks most days have been achievable. I even got out for a run yesterday, which was good. My first ever run along the Thames, it was almost enjoyable – I always struggle with the first run after few weeks off so it was never going to be great fun!

I have taken my camera out on most of my walks, so here are a few things I have done, starting with a visit to Canary Wharf to visit my mate John for lunch.


I have, of course, seen El a few times and after meeting her for lunch one day in Camden I decided to do one of my favourite walks and strolled the tow path alongside Regents Canal to Angel, picking up a bit of street art along the way.




I am going to say the anti-climb paint puts me off far less than the massive spikes on top of the gate!


The next day I walked along the Southbank, watching the rain coming down over the city on the north side of the Thames, fortunately it remained on the northern side until I crossed and then it swung south so I managed to stay dry on my way to the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square.


I love the gallery, (along with loads of other people !) and it was quite crowded, I was trying to enjoy a moment with Seurat’s Bathers at Anieres which I love, but it was proving too difficult – and I did get told off for taking the picture…..

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Though no one saw me grab this one of this artist painting an interpretation of one of the works.

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Last weekend was a long weekend in the UK and on the Saturday El and I visited Broadway Market near London Fields in Hackney where there was a couple of good bits of new street art. I really like the bird by Boe + Irony.




After lunch we took a walk along a bit more of Regents Canal and walked to and round Victoria Park for a while. Outside of the exhibition last weekend I have not seen so many Christiaan Nagel mushrooms in one spot.




After Victoria Park we walked back up the canal, past Broadway Market and on to Shoreditch. I have never seen a canal boat going through one of the many locks before so it was quite interesting to watch for a while.




We visited the Geffrye Museum of the Home. I loved the building which is a series of 18th century alms houses. The museum itself was only vaguely interesting, furnishings not really being my thing 🙂 But there was an interesting photo exhibition there which we enjoyed.


On the way back to the station I found this piece by Israeli artist Tant, part of the Broken Fingaz Crew. There used to be two Tant pieces on the front of a closed pub on Shoreditch High St, but the pub has been completely renovated since I was last there and the paintings have gone – one of things I liked about street art.


Back in Shoreditch on Sunday I met up with my daughter Mel and her BF, Rich who were up from Bristol for the weekend. They stayed at a friend’s place on the Saturday night and he joined us too. It was a nice sunny afternoon and Shoreditch was packed so we ended up buying a couple of beers and sitting in Hoxton Square park with loads of others and enjoyed the sun and a good catch up. We wandered down to Brick Lane for a curry and it was heaving with people and loads of buskers to keep the crowds entertained. I really liked this guy playing drums in a van…


Dinner was good and while we were there Mel’s friend got a text from a family member and we got invited to a rather posh infused gin tasting at the Hoxton Hotel, it would have been rude to have refused ! They were very nice too.

Mel and Rich stayed at my place on the Sunday night and after breakfast on the Monday we ventured into west London. Mel and Rich went for a picnic in Hyde Park with a friend and I met up with El for lunch in a cafe before we strolled up to the park , finally catching up with Mel at the Science Museum which was our goal for the afternoon.



After the museum El went home and I spent a short time over a beer with Mel and Rich before they caught the bus back to Bristol. It was lovely to see them both and I look forward to seeing them again.

On the Tuesday I visited my uncle over in Dartford and picked up a pile of clothes and things that I had stored there, after a reasonably fine weekend the weather returned to normal!

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I did a mega walk the next day and wandered up past Elephant and Castle to Peckham and then back down to London Bridge, it took over three hours and I was knackered at the end of it. It was nice to get out for a really long walk, plus explore a potential running route, but not the most scenic part of SE1 !  I did like this old abandoned housing estate in E and C, I would love to have explored it but I am guessing it would have been seriously hazardous to my health. But there was some quite good graffiti and street art around, including an old Malarky ‘fox’ head.





That was pretty much it for the week !

I did get this email and got excited for about 10 seconds before guessing, correctly, it was a scam 😦


As a result your application, I would like to invite you to attend an interview.

You will have an interview with the department manager, Edie Wilson. The interview will last about 30 min.

Please bring three reference (If available), as well as a copy of your ID, e.g. Passport, Driving License to the interview.

Please contact me on 07064848733, in order to arrange an interview

We look forward to seeing you

Best regards

Charles Brown

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Wannabe writer and photographer. Interested in travel and place. From Auckland, New Zealand.

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