The week I bought some wheels, and the rest of the bike.

Sunday 30 June 2013 – London.

For a wee bit of variety I thought I would start this post on a Saturday rather than the more common Monday. It’s not that I even achieved what I planned for the Saturday either, so nothing particular to write about. There was a club organised trail run that I completely failed to attend, I had excuses in my head – but that was all they were really, excuses.

At lunch time I met El in Walthamstow and we joined one of her friends for lunch at another foodie month pop-up cafe, this time at a local house. The food was good, we ate in the garden until the rain came down and then it was time to call it quits. We sort of mooched for a while, I was feeling uber lethargic and a little de-motivated; I think the lack of work is starting to wear me down a wee bit, and it was a slow afternoon until we left the house to go for a walk up to the indoor market on Wood St, where there are a few little second hand record stores. I wasn’t going to buy anything – honest ! but in the end could not help myself. Three singles for seven pounds, they were begging to be bought. We had a good time in the one stall we visited, there was loads of cool stuff and when I get a job, a house and a turntable I will visit again.

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In the evening we went to a James Bond themed 50th birthday party, we both dressed up for the occasion, me in my new suit, though I wasn’t going to go fully posh, not really in my character, so I wore a skinny black tie and my Converse sneakers. El looked great. The party was good fun, in keeping with the Bond theme there was a roulette table which I played once I learnt how it worked and I also had a few hands at poker, all in fun of course! There was also a vodka luge, which looked great – it was made of ice. A shot (or so) of vodka was poured in the top and came out the nipples, I had a couple of attempts, though most of it seemed to go down my tie 🙂

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I snagged this off of Bookface, thanks party photographer Juliet…

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Sunday was slow, I was not unduly hung over as I did not drink a huge amount, but it was good to just walk down to the cafe at the end of the road for sausage, egg, beans and chips for breakfast…. In the afternoon we went back to El’s friends place and watched a few more episodes of season three of Game of Thrones, such a good series…

I have spent most of the past week looking for a bike, second hand or new I wasn’t fussed, cheap was my main priority. I was really after a single speed mountain bike with road tyres but never actually saw any advertised and haven’t seen that many on the roads either – and there are an awful lot of bikes on the road in London. I checked out a whole bunch of bike shops and spent hours on the Gumtree sales website before finally settling on a bike with gears. Practically it makes sense, my fitness is not what it used to be and I plan on riding a bit so a single speed may just have been a bit too much.

Here she is anyway, an old Gary Fisher – with gears…

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On my roaming on Monday I went up to a bike shop near Brick Lane as well as visiting an exhibition of images from some of the UK’s universitie’s photo schools at the old Truman Brewery. The exhibition was OK, I was not overly amazed, however not much of the work was to my taste so I am being horribly unfair by saying it was OK I guess. It was a huge space and there was a lot to look at with so many schools being represented. The show was part of a seven week program of art and design from students at the various universities – so definitely something to be supported and encouraged.

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On Tuesday I went over to Canary Wharf and me my mate John for lunch, it was nice to have decent sunny day and I really liked how the Canary Wharf managers had some big screens on Canada Green showing Wimbledon to the lunch time crowd that assembled there. When the sun is out any patch of grass in London is covered in office workers lunching, I think it is great.

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I caught the over ground over to Shoreditch and walked up to Hackney Central to visit a couple of bike shops but was not excited about their stock so slowly walked back to Shoreditch again. I was definitely off my game as I wasn’t even really interested in looking around for any street art, but I did see this Stik on the way.

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As I got to the edge of the city I ended up catching a bus back to London Bridge, I have been feeling really tired and worn all week so must take a rest day soon, and probably eat some meat, feeling protein deficient !

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Wednesday I had my final failed attempt at getting a bike from a shop up in Waterloo, but I did revisit the Leake St graffiti tunnel near Waterloo which was cool, there were a lot of people there taking photographs and it is quite obvious that street art and graffiti are becoming reasonable tourist attractions now.

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El came over after work and we walked up to Bankside and had pizza for tea, yum yum – it has been fat too long between pizzas! We walked back past Southwark Cathedral just as the sun was setting and the lights from inside lit up the stained glass windows quite nicely.

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I picked up my new wheels on Thursday and took a ride over to Temple to test it out. I have been keen to visit Temple for ages as it looks really interesting from the Embankment. Sadly I was completely underwhelmed by it all, plus it started to rain so I rode home again!

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On Friday I walked back up through Shoreditch again specifically to see a new piece of street art by Australian artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers, and it was worth it – I really like it….

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Plus I also found a new piece by Jana and JS. They haven’t been to the UK for a while and I have now found out there are a few new bits and pieces around so I will have to go and have a hunt sometime soon, before they get painted over !

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I was going to walk over to meet El after work in the usual in Camden, I walked the Regents Canal from Kinglsand Rd but ran out of steam in Islington and ended up catching the train, definitely not got the energy I used to have, plus I have been getting a lot of foot pain lately, old age maybe ? 🙂 Anyway I was forced to have a pint and read the paper while I waited, which really was not as awful as it sounds.

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We had a couple of parties on over the weekend again which was all good fun plus we got to watch the last three episodes of series three of Game of Thrones which was very cool indeed. Sadly it will be another ten months or so to the next series I guess. It may be time to read the books…

It was a good weekend again, and we even experienced the hottest day of the year so far. Wahoo !