Deserted London over Christmas

Wandsworth Travel Blog

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On top of a double decker leaving Putney
December 23

Sunday sunday, Christmas is coming. My flatmates are all gone (leaving) to their countryside destination for the coming celebration. On my side, I just started to prepare the flat to be cosy for a few days alone. Not moving and relaxing. I did my major grocery at Asda when I went by bicycle by night passing through Wimbledon Common, which was a weird adventure.

So now I prepare myself a nice meal (especially with the tons of eggs I received from the kitchen of the sandwich job). Set the TV on, computer on, music on, heating on, christmas lights one, blanket on the couch and watch some movies. I just made myself some omelettes and relaxed in the heat of the flat. I felt alright, I was having days off and was not feeling too bad about being on my own by Christmas.
Zoe hosting seeking attempt at the Free Hugs meeting
It won't have beent the first time anyway.

The day and night were pretty cold outside in London, the sky was clear and it was feeling frosty... will it snow? (Sadly it didn't) But it feels like it may. Through the windows you can notice that most of the flats are empty and that people are away, the streets are so calm.

December 24

Christmas eve!
I slept on the couch, didn't have to go outside except for leisure and have a short walk in the coldish air of December. It was all frosty but I didn't stay long.

The day consisted simply of relaxing, more cooking and more TV. I had a talk with my brother, and also with my parents. Sharing the wishes, talking about how thing goes in life. Knowing that I am about to have an interview and feeling confident about it giving my a nice positive push.
Free hugs meeting guests ... on my blurry making camera
Though it will be some days before it and that means more days to kill with your own mind without planning anything out of unknowing what the issue will be.

My christmas meal was a mixture of eggs, veggie food and loads of stir fried veggie. I bought a cake also for the occasion.
Back home, they have had some of the highest and harshest snow fall ever. It must be about 150cm already on the ground, which makes me dream of seeing it and being in it. I love the snowy days out of pure cold snowy powder making the trees and branches bends and keeping the whole landscape on a pristine white blanket.

December 25

Merry Christmas!

My christmas day was a relaxing one at home, I barely showed up outside and other than that I enjoyed putting the christmas lights on and lie down on the couch watching tv.
An afternoon walk nearby Leicester Square
I also got to talk to my parents a bit over the phone. Despite being alone (I have seen worst... thinking of last year), It was good nonetheless.
December 26

Frosty day!

Brrr brrr, it feels like winter and it looks like it too. Of course it is not snowy but the frost certainly makes the grass look white!

December 27/December 28/December 29

Celia (flatmate) did come back from her Christmas festivity, though sick. She had to work or was sleeping most of the time. Anyhow I didn't not really see her as I had to prepare things myself and go out as well. On the 28th especially, I was going back downtown to meet with Tom at the Recruitment Agency with the information regarding the interview and preparing it, answering questions and so.
An afternoon walk view from Trafalgar Square
I spent the rest of the day shopping on Oxford Street for a suit at good price on from the boxing day. I did a few shop, tried a few things and finally bought a mix/match stuff from different store. Buying my tie, shirt, sweater and shoes at Burton, and my suit at Primark. I liked it, I think it is a nice one. My first suit ever and first tie too.
Now I had to struggle to find out how to make a tie knot, hopefully the internet come to help. Only a few days before the interview.

December 30/December 31/January 1
Happy New Year

You might wonder and think, New year eve in London might be an event. Well I didn't take part of it. My mood was not for that, so what did I do. I went to sleep. I had no motivation and didn't feel like my mood would be up to face people at the new year celebration party I could have taken part of.
My embassy on Trafalgar Square
So I won't have seen the downtown firework and thrill... sure it is dumb and I most probably have regrets but I have to live with it now.
I did get woken up at midnight by the firework, I decided to gather outside in Putney then. What amazed me was that there was firework really everywhere in town. And that went on for so long that it made our National Day firework feel like a child firecracker.
The fact that Putney Heath is a bit higher also gave a view on all Western Greater London towards Heathrow. The sky was cloudy and the fireworks were reflecting on them. It made me feel like I was on a war zone, banging everywhere and lighting all over the city as far as in Willesden, Chiswick, or other places I could see in that direction.

I am at least glad I had this experience, it was quite one actually.
War Monument on defense of London near Embankment by River Thames
Though hard to share.

The other day I went to gather information about the train to Frimley, Surrey where the interview and job prospective will be. I bought my ticket and learned about the schedule and so. So I will be fully prepared. I also studied a bit more the planning system, but end up being more last minute at that than anything else. Seems I was just skimming things and moving to something else when I was seeing something interesting priorly.
January 2

Early waking up, putting my suit on and walking to the bus stop.
For the post of Development Control officer in charge of the Flood Management consents of the upper Thames river in Surrey, at the Environment Agency.

I made my way to Frimley way early more than an hour earlier.
War Monument about battle of London near Embankment by River Thames
So first I tried to go and pay the flat bills as I was in charge of it and was such a pain to organise it all (especially seeing it all getting off my account). It was a cold dry day, I finally made my way to the Environment Agency office nearby afterall, introduced myself and sat down and wait.

I met the director and a planning specialist and we sat starting discussing and answering questions. It went quite fine to my taste, I did answer their question, I did explained my past position and job the best as I could. Though it had been such a long time that I had not used the technical professional term that they were sometime skipping me, especially in English and in a different country with a different system and name for the terms and positions.

I tried to return some question but didn't want to sound ignorant either.
Battle of London monument near Embankment
Though most of my question seemed to have been understood in the more general way as the answer I received were all involving what I had already read about the Agency. I couldn't really formulate the sentences I wanted.

It went on for about an hour, then I greeted them and made my way back to the station. I was wondering about it. Was it perceived as good? Was it good? Was it nothing special? I wonder how interview are usually getting along in this country.

This time the train went on through Ascot where I needed to change and then again in Richmond to manage to get out in Putney itself instead. My shoes started to hurt my feet like hell, I couldn't understand why people wear those! It is such an inferno, so I did my grocery on the way and headed home.
Night view from Trafalgar Square

I got a call from the recruitment agency, we talked about the interview and he would keep in touch to let me know how it will turn out.
Then home for some relaxing cooking moments

January 3-4-5

The days went quite, I will be back to the sandwiches next week and nothing other than that went to disturb my nothing happening day.

On the 5th, there was a CS/HC Meeting in East London. It took me some courage to make it as it was all across the city but I did go with the bus. It was fine but far and of course the pubs just shuts too early. I could meet with Aga again and of course some more of the London crowd which I don't really know. Some people were going for an after-party but I ended up walking with some travellers in the city until we all had to go to catch our last bus.
National Gallery by night - Trafalgar Square movement
I met with Zoe who is trying to come to work in the city and now being a guest somewhere we planned on meeting up after my work hour as she is in south London as well.

January 6-7-8-9-10

Back to the Sandwich deliveries, in the cold cold days. The selling went quite bad again and that didn't really make me happy and quite depressed, especially since I do not earn anything at all. That is really really rough. I kept on going on this week though, I did so until they got a new rider to take my place over as it was impossible for me to continue in such condition.

I missed the first meeting with Zoe but by midweek we met around Clapham Park for a walk and some sandwich (eh what I didn't sell).
I had also taken the habits to give my unsold sandwich to the indigents on the streets and there were some in the park too so they had a snack then.
Putney High Street from Double Decker
So finally she had been carrying way too many luggage (as I would notice!!!) and she was about to move out to another guest so I offered her to leave her stuff at my place in the meantime so that she wouldn't have to move them around. We went to the surrounding of New Cross to get her things and I brough it back home by bus. That was a rough and heavy thing to carry.

Sandwich Deliveries

January 11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20

So it was the end of the sandwiches for me, I was free again and started looking even more for other jobs through Gumtree and trying to get appointment at some Interim agencies, but most of them were never returning my calls. I also kept on contacting and applying on planning jobs, as I need something professional at once!

On the 11th, Zoe came to join her bag and stayed at my place for a couple of nights.
Putney Train Station
I was fine with it, but was a bit unease as I wondered if my flatmates would be annoyed and the only place I had to offer was to share my bed. That was all accepted and well I was even more uneased at the fact that I tried to make it guest-host relation and be fair but of course it was winter and in bed needing warm, I don't even know if it felt like (by already being on the same bed) it was some pressure or if it just happened through her but for me it had been ages I had not slept with a girl in my arm. Nothing more than that happened, maybe I would not have dislike but I had no idea how to deal with that situation and knew that I was a host so I had to be fair for my profile and all that.

Zoe managed to find a host at the following party in Central London, it was a free hug party but we only went on the afterparty at the Glasshouse Store.
Zoe's amazment at a Texas Restaurant in Central London
I met for the first time with some members, such as Alain and many others but I still sticked to my usual talking to people I already know. I had a great night and we took the night bus back home.

The next day Zoe left and was staying somewhere else in north London, for me the following days were more the usual job seeking and what not.

So since I had plenty of free time, although no money, I started to join some of the CS meetings since the crowd was pretty active. It gave me something to do and on the Wednesday 16th I walked all the way to Richmond upon Thames at the Revolution bar for a meeting. It was 2/1 and all that and I met with some cool members whom I would become friends (as they all lived in my neighbourhood), especially with Steven.

I had an interesting night but didn't walk back and took the bus.
Chris (CS) Free hugs meeting

The parties and meetings went up and I showed up to another huge one at Chandos in Central London on the 19th. I didn't know yet then, but I was to meet someone (saw that night, through the crowd but sans plus) that was to become someone important in my life.
My usual not really thinking of anything and of course never ever believing in anything I just hanged with Patrick that night and met another Quebecian girl that was living in Scotland so we chat and had several drinks.

This night was the first day Megan crossed the Atlantic to come to Europe and Chris (her guest, later friend) did throw out that meeting and to be crowded, it was! About 80 CS members. So of course I did drink and cheer with plenty whom I don't remember but had in total a great night and again the night bus (the 14) saw me doing its long ride until the terminus at the Green Man.
Alain and Aga (CS) Free hugs meeting

19th- CS Party at Chandos in Central London

January 21

The actual only day that I will have written my thought freshly on the same day itself and it isn't because something special happened of anything interesting travel wise. Just my plain boring life thought.

JUST DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING, it won't of any interest for travellers and won't give any information about London, travelling or whatever. It is plainly my boring deep humanly situation, just a journal. Not written on the right place but this is the place I write.

Today, I thought it would be the deadline for receiving my long awaiting answer from my job interview. My damn interview which I have been told I had performed well and in which I put my hope for something better, it happened 20 days ago already.
Some guests at the Free hugs meeting at Glasshouse pub in Central London
For those 20 days, I put m life on stand-by. Oh I did went out, met some people at CS meetings had some on a few sporadic days during that 20 days, but the tension and uncertainty was a burden that was stressful to carry. Not only because it was for 20 days, but because it holds a total of 4 months of being unemployed and a total of 3 years not having been employed on my professional field, 3 years where even though I did study 26 years of my bloody life I end up having the prospective of a restaurant job, which anyway I don't even get because I don't have the waiting experience or because I hold a title of MA on my CV.

The phone call didn't arrive, it might tomorrow. Yeah right, it probably will as I sent a message but it isn't the point anymore. I did stretch my hopes with that last 20 stand-by days.
Tipsy Patrick at Free hugs meeting
It's vanishing and I am cracking up... I had entered a bad circle and I am stuck in it. No I don't manage to find a job, or don't seem to reach objective of stability which would enable me to look forward. 3 damn years that I have been roaming the roads in hopes of finding my way, I can't hold it anymore.

It is 3am on Monday night and I am just feeling like hitting my head against the wall, didn't get to sleep or a bad short sleep as it has been way too common those last many months. I am feeling like shit, thinking about myself, wondering if I actually did accomplish something those last years of if I have just been living them as a cattle does. I especially think the last, my mind is just on this 'let another day pass', 'let another one go' either you will get nearer to something brillant that will cross your path or otherwise it will at least just be another miserable waste of the existence gone.
The one that loved to hide at Free hugs meeting

I'm thinking about myself, about the places I have been and the people I have met, be on what is on this blog or my previous blog website of my past journey. I did have a great experience, I did have fun, smiled, shared great moment. Though, I also had those huge insecure moments gap, where I was just 'letting another day pass'. Why?, mainly because I was hoping that some stability would arrive bringing me some sort of life objective that I could aim at. Which would at last make me somehow happy, none of the journey did make me reach that.
I feel I have lived a sponsored life those last months, one of my biggest dream have been the stability through work experience, projects, financially and also the pride of accomplishing something and not envy my peer who all seems to have it easy or decent job.
Chris and Zoe at Free hugs meeting
I feel that I am being looked upon, I feel like I am just constantly failing, I feel like anyone is damn able to find and get the opportunities but me.
All the help and accomodation that I received, the drinks that my friends paid me... I just dreamed of reaching the situation where I could offer something back, be useful for once, return the same favour to them without having to fear that I might be financially stressed on the long run. I feel that anything I receive give the impression that I am cheating and acting as a grudge, I hate that feeling and fear that perception.

Or simply, having the chance to live it the same way as they do. Get myself a drink, going out. Not fearing taking the tube instead of the bus because it is cheaper. Not locking myself in front of the tv because this is a life feature already paid while venturing out of the flat would lead to some expenses.
Trafalgar Square by night towards Westminster

I feel like shit, all this weight has just affected my social life so deeply that I stick more often inside instead of venturing out. I don't feel like I am being an interesting person to discuss with and feels irritating more easily. I certainly won't even try to talk about dating experience or anything as such, how can I even put myself as an interesting person to be with if I don't even like myself. I am not even looking for a date, I am not even trying, I am feeling just lazy, unbearable, uninteresting. My hopes on that subject are still vanished and deeply buried since when... October 2004, from the moment where I passed from a life dream objective of being engaged, ready to move to another country, was working for a purpose, not doing anything else in life that was not helping me towards that purpose.
Dog walking at Wimbledon Common
Then the purpose vanished, 5 years after the romance had started. It vanished to the point that I don't even know anymore who she is, even my memories are getting blurry but I don't feel the return of my strenght towards another purpose to reach, love to share, life to share, energy and attention to share.

All these cumulated together... I can not bear anymore.

I want to be happy, just happy. And just share these, not feel bad anymore. I want to find a single purpose on my life to work from.
I don't even know if I will manage even any of that, I just can't keep on going on. My life is getting bitter and bitter, I end up reaching envy, bitterness, irritable character which I want to change. I am cracking up.

Right now, I am thinking of abandonning everything.
Crossing at Wimbledon Village
Packing up, flying home! How do I see my prospective then? A ten second thinking and it is 'nil'. That thought does not makes me feel any better then.
Dreams... what dreams do I have, and which must not be confused with which dream did I have.
I do dream that something would happen, that I would find something stable... work in my profession! My profession that I consider as my vocation and feel proud in it. From that on, building up my life as a worthy human being. Meeting up with friends!, inviting over for dinner at home!, sharing moments and eventually even strenghten the relationship with some friends instead of purely have friends contacts that you meet in social events and gathering. That is something I dream on. With that, I could even see continuing my life in London, in Brussels, somewhere else.
Wimbledon Station
.. It is probably what I wish as a current ideal.
I do dream of relationship too, that was my past ideal which failed. I am just feeling scared about it and not willing to engage the first step into that anymore. So it has clearly disappeared from my priority scope.

Why did I write it, I know anybody can read it. And most people will probably find it freaky or think that I am stupid or whatever. I did write it because it makes me feel better now, I might even manage to fall asleep right after. I did write it because it is an important archive of my life, my situation, how I felt and what motived my actions. I do dream that maybe one day my life will get better and that I will reach something, maybe not, but if it does or not, some people might be interested in understand my behaviour and past actions or what was going on my mind here it is.
Taxi Stand at Wimbledon Station
I do not even expect that anybody I personnaly know will ever read this, so I am not even looking for feedback or whatever. I have actually never think that anybody read my blog. Maybe watch the photos but that would be it.
Also, maybe it is purely cultural from my part of the world. But such things are usually things you would never ever share with anybody. Back home in my tiny northernland with the top 3 world high suicide rate you usually carry all your deep thought together in your tomb after you figuratively take your life away as many people at home does, including part of my family, my friends or people I studied with. Being a shut personnality do scare some people or makes them fear... sharing your thought does the same well, right now I did both in my life anyway.
Taxis standing at Wimbledon Station

I will take the coming days to flood this thought under a pile of factual information in writting about the previous days anyway.

Good night

January 22

I didn't get the job.
I am back at zero and have to start looking for something again. Kick myself!

January 23-24-25-26-27-28-29

On the 23d, there was again the REVolution Pub meeting but this time it was switched to Chiswick instead of Richmond. I did walk there with Lina who lives just off my street though when we started to walk (on this quite warm night) I had forgotten the map and we needed to guess the path. We did manage to find the bridge in Barnes to cross the Thames and then took the north shore Thames Path for a while into Chiswick where there was some parking along the river.
Quiet moments at Trafalgar Square
.. and in the dark, some of the cars parked looked pretty much like 'gone dogging'.

We kept walking for a while managing to get out of the darkest area of the riverside to reach the A4 and cross it. Then we followed it for a while before deciding 'let's cut inland here'.
Luckely we did it to Chiswick High Street then, and Lina immediately spotted the Revolution Bar on our left! Lucky Guess! It took us 1.20h to walk there.

So there was plenty more people than the previous week, and it was nice. Some belgians guests whom I talked with and a few other people but I ended up talking mainly with a few people which were sat nearby. There was some people I wanted to go to talk, especially someone that was at the previous party. But for some stupid reason, I never did the first move to walk towards her and things remains in some statu quo where I talked with Alain, Lina and Dieter and she was the opposite side of the table.
Quietness impression over Trafalgar Square - Movements

The evening went by as such, and quite quick as well... time flies by when it is nice.
People started to leave by group, Megan did as well lacking my chance to talk. But I still thought she was living in London and the only words I could mumble then were 'sorry, I will look forward until the next meeting' with a hug... or handshake. My mind gets confused regarding that.
The she approached me back again to whisper some words that made me freeze instantly, I didn't even know what to answer and blabbered a vain 'Thank you' without even knowing what reaction to have. I stupidly let the group leave instead of cutting short the other conversations I had at that moment...
It is only on my way back that I realised and learned that she was a guest and wasn't living in London, and even more bad was leaving pretty soon which made me feel even more dumb.
Towards Piccadilly Circuc
I first had at least the interest of discussing with her most simply as a friendly contact as she seemed a really interesting person, I only managed a few words at the meeting at Chandos and again even less now.

I decided to go downtown on the 24th, I tried to contact most people (Chris, Alain) in matter to either meet them or at elast meet anybody they could pass my details to. Though, I didn't get any feedback so I did some photo and walked around by the river for a while, but the weather turned cold and I headed back home as dusk came. Sadly, now I knew that Megan was leaving the next morning so it was a missed opportunity to discuss :|.
I wondered for a while if it would be polite to write or send a contact link through CS or it would be perceived weirdly.
Piccadilly Circus
Well I did it at least just to keep in touch. Though I will stupidly have answered a bit delayed my messages later on, I might write once more although I suppose it might look weird if I do so.

By the end of the week:
I got another interview for Ealing Borough, this time it was for being an Enforcement Planning Officer. I immediately started studying for the post and learn about the borough, its Local Development Framework and Planning application regulations. I found it pretty interesting as I found new documentation about Tree preservation orders, Sattelite dish orders and also about the conservation areas in the borough.

In parallel, I also studied the UK planning system in term of policy planning. I find that in its deep it is pretty similar concepts to what I learned at university and even applied.
Piccadilly Circus movement
Mainly the procedure and names might be different but it is nothing as challenge I wouldn't able to go through. I would really wish just to get a few months experience in the field at least to get into the deal again, just practicing and revealing myself and my talent. I am pretty sure and motivated that I would be valuable and it would just help me out to gain more comprehension which I might lack out of the theory.

Basically, I grew up to be even more enthusiastic regarding the job as I was studying it. The only elements I couldn't handle yet would be tiny elements where I would get a grip once getting into the function and reading it from the appropriate paper even during my free time. I would definitely even do it on my own personal time, just because I love my profession.
Screening View on Piccadilly Circus

So the interview was scheduled for the 29th. Though the day before it got pushed forward of a day. So it will be the 30th instead.
I studied till then, the 29th. I went downtown to bring Zoe's suitcase which I had been hosting for more than 2 weeks by now. I was finding it strange that she didn't even bother calling or trying to get it over earlier and that I had to call myself about it.
Finally, it is me that brought it to her place in Piccadilly Circus and I spent the evening with her.
Well obviously even if she is someone nice, it seems obvious that we do not get along really much. She obviously did find me creepy or weird in some ways I act or think, but sometimes I did think the same. Anyhow, it is pretty obvious that from such point of view she won't be calling or hanging with me much.
Tube Station Piccadilly Circus
At least now the connection is cut anyway as I do not have to worry about her things anymore and she is more lucky than me as she did manage a job in a bar. It doesn't look so brilliant for me so far.
We talked most of the evening and went to do the grocery and ate a salad, until it was looking akwardly time that I leave.
I don't even care that the general impressions look like I overdid help at her benefit. I didn't have any forethought about it.

27th- Wimbledon Common Walk

January 30 - 31
Ealing Borough Interview

I went early and walked  along the Broadway a bit to discover the place but finding the right door to the City Hall was hard. I loved to see the 'behind' where all the clerks and civil servants work. It made me dream on having my desk there too.
Piccadilly Circus Square
So the interview was surprisingly short and seemingly went well. They even told they were going to call me by the end of the week to give their answer as they were suppose to urgently be in need of a planning enforcement officer. Despite my lack of experience that postition was way below my educational qualification, but why not! I could make it!

31st- TravBuddy meeting in Camden

January will mark the end of that blog! Over the coming days I will complete this entry and the previous ones.
Though nothing really happened that are of interest for travellers or anybody else besides some personal reading and just my thoughts and what I did as activities when it occured.
For more explanatory purpose, the next blog will be titled London Calling and will be more a sight view of neighbourhood and part of London and life within this metropole city!

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On top of a double decker leaving …
On top of a double decker leaving…
Zoe hosting seeking attempt at the…
Zoe hosting seeking attempt at th…
Free hugs meeting guests ... on my…
Free hugs meeting guests ... on m…
An afternoon walk nearby Leicester…
An afternoon walk nearby Leiceste…
An afternoon walk view from Trafal…
An afternoon walk view from Trafa…
My embassy on Trafalgar Square
My embassy on Trafalgar Square
War Monument on defense of London …
War Monument on defense of London…
War Monument about battle of Londo…
War Monument about battle of Lond…
Battle of London monument near Emb…
Battle of London monument near Em…
Night view from Trafalgar Square
Night view from Trafalgar Square
National Gallery by night - Trafal…
National Gallery by night - Trafa…
Putney High Street from Double Dec…
Putney High Street from Double De…
Putney Train Station
Putney Train Station
Zoes amazment at a Texas Restaura…
Zoe's amazment at a Texas Restaur…
Chris (CS) Free hugs meeting
Chris (CS) Free hugs meeting
Alain and Aga (CS) Free hugs meeti…
Alain and Aga (CS) Free hugs meet…
Some guests at the Free hugs meeti…
Some guests at the Free hugs meet…
Tipsy Patrick at Free hugs meeting
Tipsy Patrick at Free hugs meeting
The one that loved to hide at Free…
The one that loved to hide at Fre…
Chris and Zoe at Free hugs meeting
Chris and Zoe at Free hugs meeting
Trafalgar Square by night towards …
Trafalgar Square by night towards…
Dog walking at Wimbledon Common
Dog walking at Wimbledon Common
Crossing at Wimbledon Village
Crossing at Wimbledon Village
Wimbledon Station
Wimbledon Station
Taxi Stand at Wimbledon Station
Taxi Stand at Wimbledon Station
Taxis standing at Wimbledon Station
Taxis standing at Wimbledon Station
Quiet moments at Trafalgar Square
Quiet moments at Trafalgar Square
Quietness impression over Trafalga…
Quietness impression over Trafalg…
Towards Piccadilly Circuc
Towards Piccadilly Circuc
Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus movement
Piccadilly Circus movement
Screening View on Piccadilly Circus
Screening View on Piccadilly Circus
Tube Station Piccadilly Circus
Tube Station Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus Square
Piccadilly Circus Square
The Windmill in Wimbledon Common
The Windmill in Wimbledon Common
photo by: maplefanta