Tuesday, 26 March 2013

A week of loveliness in two halves: London

And then, after the animal rescue angst and the family visit, we were off to The Smoke, just the two of us again. H didn't disappoint in his planning, lots of little surprises up his sleeve, revisiting all the significant spots in our history, booking us at no less than three of our favourite restaurants. The weekend was basically spent over-indulging in food and drink, strolling the snowy streets, and taking in lots of what my German speaking husband refers to as kunstgenuss. And - because that's what we had done when we were first dating, to celebrate three blissful months together (probably a good two months after we both realized that this was it) - on Friday night we drank prosecco from plastic cups, huddled close together under a blanket on the chilly evening terrace of the Southbank Centre, looking out towards the Parliament buildings and the London Eye and across the Thames. And you know what? It felt a bit like it had then: a little bit new, a little bit hopeful, a little bit scary and exciting, a little bit full of possibilities.

But as for London (the backdrop to so many a happy memory for us), I think she speaks for herself.* So for those of you interested in what else I was up to during my recent internet hiatus, here is just a glimpse...

Borough's bounty



Kaleidoscopic
Riding the rails

Brick gallery at Brick Lane


Raindrops on the river



* Having lived in various points around the UK, and having tasted the varied charms that each region has to offer, I nonetheless am the first to admit to being one of those really obnoxious Londoners at heart. Basically, as much as I love England's countryside, (and oh, I do), everything of interest or significance to me ends at the M25. 

11 comments:

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    1. Thank you! I like taking ones that aren't the standard, postcard images, and instead show something familiar in a new light.

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  2. How nice... that riding the rails picture looks very much like an image from the elevated subway train here in Queens (New York City.)

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    1. The overground train (as they call them here) is one of the best kep secrets in London - not as claustrophibic or crowded as the underground, and you get great views.

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  3. I love to visit London, it always seems to have a special kind of romance and magic, but I am also always pretty glad to leave, I don't think I am made to be around that many people.

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    1. I agree, it *does* have a special romance and magic for me too. I think London was a perfect place to spend my 20s, it was so vibrant and full of opportunity and diversity. Now, sometimes when I'm there I feel like you, and others times, like last weekend, I longed for such an exciting urban environment again.

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  4. I'm glad you had such a good time. I hope to visit London some day in the not too distant future. Nice pictures, too. I LOVE food pictures (and food)!

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    1. Thanks! I can highly recommend a visit to London :)

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  5. I love London, it really draws me. But, I also love the countryside (I was born in Colchester so my parents were here and there most of the time). But like Luna, I am not sure I can take the crowds of the big cities all the time. We have talked about it and if we were to live in a huge city like that, I would have to live near the workplace (that is, so as to avoid commuting) in some kind of pretty neighborhood like South Kensington or somewhere equally charming, close to gardens, markets and to where we have to be(so it's not gonna happen because we are not millionaires).
    I am glad you had such a lovely time, it does sound great, and going to those meaningful places is always special.

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    1. You know, I've lived in all the major postcodes in London, and when I first arrived in the city for my PhD I lived precisely in South Ken; (my landlady, very eccentric, was the friend of a colleague with this huge house right in the midst of it all, and I didn't pay millionaire's rent). I can honestly say it was my LEAST favourite part of the city in which to live. It just feels so monotonous and culture-less (sorry Madonna and random aristocracy and football royalty, you don't count). If I was to go back, I'd prefer some very village-y feeling neighbourhoods in the east or south of the city.
      One of the things I love about the UK (unlike Canada) is how easily you can access the countryside. Even from London, just hop on a train and in an hour you're in beautiful, tranquil surroundings.

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    2. Yes, I don't know London that well, but like you say villagey feeling neighborhoods would also be a good choice (it's what I was trying to explain).

      You find South Kensington culture-less? I guess I just loved it because the Natural History and Science museums are there and also all those french bakeries / cheese places, nice cafés, bookshops... But I was just there as a tourist. It's difficult to know the places with that "gezellig" (cozy) vibe if you don't live in the city.

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