So, who would have thought that a simple discovery day walking around various London areas would be , literally, such a pain in the arse (or ass for US readers)? A few years ago i suffered from a tension in my lower back/buttock area – like some-one had kicked me and bruised a muscle. After several expensive trips to a chiropractor, turns out my spine is lop sided due to fallen foot arches. 4 visits at quite a lot of money to be finally told to buy some plastic in-soles that would support my arches. £35.00 for 2 strips of hard plastic? And then I remembered that my Dad ( mum’s second husband so not my genetic dad (so she says)) was excused conscription in the 50’s because of flat feet. Can’t check with my actual dad if he had flat feet too because he’s dead too. But I digress. A few weeks ago Mrs C and youngest are off to visit her sister in Devon. A few days peace and quiet for me. Yay! Do I drop them off at local train station and go home to do good deeds or house work? Or do i go with them to London and further explore the big city? Having waved goodbye at Paddington, I set off to wander – and decide what to do. To be honest, without a definite plan, London is so big, has so much to explore, it can be pretty daunting. The older tube lines, with their “cut and cover” technique have fascinated me as it’s more easy to see their origins than the dark deep tubes. So – Central/Metropolitan line -and a a whim get off at Great Portland Street.
Those Victorians had an eye for detail even the bridge across the platforms has detail. I Guess a window on the bridge made for an interesting view for Victorian train geeks – plus helped with steam and air circulation. It still fascinates me the level of detail that went into these early tube platforms. In our modern era we are building Olympic and World Cup stadiums, extensions to the tube etc. Are we thinking “this will last a Hundred years, look at the small stuff??” So – exiting the building and heading out aimlessly on foot. Where to go next? Regents park loomed ahead – all those big terraces built for the Georgian rich.
Was he great? Or did his assination change the world looked at this womanising President?
One thing that London has that I never see in other great Cities, is how the haves and have-not’s live so close to each other. Along the Grand Terraces beside the park, behind them were the mews for the horses and carriages, some are still there, some got bombed in the war. And, surprisingly, I got to see how the landscape was physically changed. the Grand terraces are raised up for a better view, the mews behind are at least 1 floor lower.
A place facing the park about £3m plus – sorry couldn’t get a clickable link. But my point being that 2 streets are so close in distance but a million miles apart in class. Still – Alabany street had a decent selection of shops and a cheese sub for my lunch.
or a few yards behind, a flat on Albany Street is a tenth of the price
, moving on – I wander around and find a beautiful hidden street with beautiful homes in Park Village East – then hear the train from Euston and realise that even back in the day, the rich had no choice but to adapt to teh new railways. Have a look here – within jut a few meters there is train lines, budget housing and millionaire properties
And then I was back into Camden and the tourists. Interesting fact – I’m a huge “Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy fan, listened to the radio show under my bed covers back in the early 80’s – and now I see an influence on the writer
Today is all about random, so – right fork as I see some cars for sale. As it happens, I’m in the market for a new car and I see the Ford Galaxies used by the biggest private hire company in London. In my price point, but all 100k miles. A nd just a few yards down a most amazing building.
The London Building. Google Goggles only came up with “Art Deco” but this is a beautiful building with a wry happy twist to it’s renovation. And a lot of images of our new cat – so our family now calls this the “Betty Building” (Our cat is called Black Betty)
Move on. Back towards Euston/St Pancras – hmm.. been there before – come on I’ve all day and it’s only lunch time. Jump on the next bus, and end up in Oxford Street. Where I remember that John Lewis has done something to their roof.
Up 5 floors of International shopping, a brief flight of stairs, and some astro turf and planting. Not a lot up there, but the view makes me ponder on my earlier thoughts – those Victorians had so much attention to detail – detail that no one else would have seen. I mean, no planes, no Tower Cranes yet their roofs have detail, design. The 20th century stuff is all concrete, air conditioning – flat. And time to move on. Too many tourists – open your eyes! One of my favourite blogs is a guy who lives and talks about the Isle of Dogs. Or, as most people now know it – Canary Wharf. So that’s where I went next via Jubilee line, then DLR the robot train. Another tale of two halves. Across the river from the bottom of the Isle is Greenwich – and the Navy and all their rich friends hated looking at the dregs of society across the river, so they brought those dregs a garden. I do urge you to find out more – some areas of London have history, but the Peninsula of Dogs just sums up London’s expansion.