There’s a funny thing happens up here in Cumbria whenever you mention you are visiting London. People get a kind of pitying look, then say ‘London, eh? It’s OK, but I wouldn’t want to live there…’
I sort of know what they mean too. It’s so very different from the rural life we have here; the bustling crowds, the vacant stares on public transport, the expensive cafes and bars, the traffic! But as someone who has lived there, albeit briefly, I do have a soft spot for our capital city. I love visiting it and am still discovering new and interesting places and things every time I go down.
For example, this weekend I went to Camden Lock, a place that people have often said I should go to, but I never have. I loved it! What a fascinating, buzzing place it is. I imagine if you lived there, it would piss you right off – all those tourists and crowds – but as a tourist, it’s fabulous. the weather was pretty hot on Sunday when I was there and droves of people were sitting basking on the banks of the canal, every free space seemingly occupied.
The first markets we found were very ‘samey’. Every stall selling the same gear, but the further along towards the lock we got, the better it was. In the Stables building – a warren of tiny stalls and old brick sheds – the goods were varied and exotic. The food stalls had everything from Pakistani cuisine (which was delicious) to Eton Mess! There was food from Poland, Turkey, russia, Israel, the Caribbean, Mexico, etc. You name it.
Antiques, curiosities, musical instruments, sheet music, hats, retro clothes, crafts – a whole array of wonderful and charming things.
It won’t be the last time I visit, that’s for sure!
At the other end of the scale, I also visited the Albert Hall to go to the Proms and to do more people watching, this time a different set of people…
We dined first in the Albert Hall in one of their restaurants and had a lovely three course meal, very elegantly presented and served: I had a goats cheese and red pepper tart to start, followed by trout fillet and crushed potatoes and a beautifully arranged strawberry cheesecake to finish. Accompanied of course by a few glasses of wine – a lovely Italian Pinot Grigio. The prom that followed was the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra who played a lovely selection including pieces by Borodin, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, plus a new piece by T Edward Cowie called The Great Barrier Reef. The conductor Giarrandrea Noseda was absolutely charming and the whole experience was amazing. I was wowed to be in the Albert Hall, which is smaller than I thought it would be, but much more glamorous!
So a very worthwhile weekend, spent with good friends. we did lots more than I’ve written about, including the Prudential RideLondon cycle, which I loved too. I will be back, dear old London – I do love visiting, but I couldn’t live there….
Home again last night, and some great memories to look back on. What I’m going to work on next is finding someone that I can come home to, someone who will give me a huge hug on my return, ask me all about my trip, then cuddle up with me on the sofa and tell me about his weekend. The first step is to lose some weight, as I’ve put on almost 2 stones in the last 2 years. It needs to go and there’s only me that can get rid of it. So, I will devise some healthy meals this week and get my bike out in the evenings…
Then, when I feel a bit more confident I will tackle the idea of dating agency. The ones I have already looked at were the free ones and the men on there were… let’s say dubious. So I guess I ought to fork out some dosh and see if there are any serious types on the paid sites.
Surely to goodness, there must be one man in this world that finds me remotely attractive and can put up with my snoring!