I’m not what you’d call the sporty type, but I do love London and the ice rinks that open during the cold season are some of the most beautiful winter spots in the city, especially during the dark evenings.
I live in Crouch End. If I had to pick, I’d say my favourite part of the week is going to the Farmers’ Market in Alexandra Palace on Sunday mornings to grab some delicious treats from the little Portuguese stall. They’re incredibly overpriced compared to what you’d actually pay in Portugal, but I’d pay ten times as much for the pleasure. During the ten-minute walk from my apartment to the park and back, I get to see the beautiful park and the beautiful North London streets I love. It’s just perfect.
A few weeks ago, life brought me to Croydon, far away in the south of London.
I stayed for one night in a hotel (Jurys Inn), as there was a conference in town. Sadly, there was no time to have a proper look around the village, but from the little I saw, walking from both East Croydon and West Croydon stations to the hotel and to the conference venue (Fairfield Halls), it seemed like a not so bad place to live. It particularly pleased me that the pub (The Spread Eagle) we ended up in had sourdough burger. Maybe somewhere to go back to…
Last Friday, after work, some of us headed to the Cask, one of Pimlico’s locals. Alas, I’m not sure how much of a pub I can evaluate when I only had a glass of tap water and crisps. Apparently the Cask has the best and most unsual beers. The interior looked like somewhere I wouldn’t have minded spending a few hours over a nice pub meal. Maybe some other time.
Last weekend I saw the Time Of The Signs exhibition at the Lazarides Gallery in Rathbone Place. Truth be told, we stumbled across the gallery on our way to Charlotte Street Hotel for some cocktails (I had tea), but I had never been there before, so it counts as something new. It was an exhibition by the hyperrealist painter, Boxi—a nice addition to a good day out.
London is a beautiful and exciting city.
Earlier on this blog I mentioned how one of the best things about London is knowing you can do all these wonderful things, if you want to, while most of the evenings are spent indoors and most of the weekends are spent close to home.
I feel I need to get to know London better, to enjoy it a little bit more. From today on I will attempt at doing as many new things as possible. Life has the habit of getting in the way, so I won’t commit to a specific number or a specific frequency. Keeping this challenge until December is as much a commitment as I am willing to make.
Suggestions are welcome. It can be something from going to the end of the Piccadilly line to visiting Buckingham Palace, anything can count as new.
I moved again, in the beginning of December. I narrowed my search for a new place to live to Balham and Crouch End: both seemed like village-type areas, where you could spend a quiet weekend without having to go into town.
Crouch End won merely because the first suitable place I found was there.
And I’m delighted that it happened like that…
It’s so easy to fall in love with this part of London. It is indeed a village inside the city, close, but far enough from all the buzz. It has all the kind of stores you need. All the types of food you’ll ever desire. Pubs and coffee shops. Florists. Parks. A farmers’ market that sells Portuguese delicacies. What else do I need?
I’m still, slowly, discovering all the interesting spots in Crouch End, but I’m really glad I ended up here. I wonder for how long I’ll stay.
This was not my best week. It wasn’t the worst either, but the lack of energy and inspiration to do anything didn’t help.
Luckily, I’m in London, so getting out of the house and walking around its streets (even under this cold weather — ignore the photo) seems to be enough to cheer me up.
It reminds me that the things I’m stressing out about are probably seen as good things by anyone else other than myself, and, if not, well, we can’t have everything — we might as well be happy with the things we’ve got.
I love this city and it’s starting to get really hard to image my life without it.
I’ve been in London for over one year now, and I still think that when a person is sitting on the left seat of a car, they are driving.
Today I was approached by a woman that was recruiting movie extras for her company’s books. She said I looked like a Londoner, and that was why she gave me her card.
✓ Look like a Londoner