London, grey and dreary?

London Travel Blog

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Palmer's Lodge, 130 years old and showing it in style.

If you had to say only one thing about London, you'd be hard pushed to find a phrase which summarises it. Someone once told me that if you go out every night and try something different you will never have to do the same thing twice. This city is changing all the time. There are always new exiting things happening. Whether your forte is music, history, flowers, art, or prince Harry, London's cup is overflowing. Everywhere you walk you are tempted to stop simply to drink in the scenery. Unfortunately, this sets you firmly in the tourist camp. It is even worse if you are carrying a backpack and a camera. Your typical Londonite is so oblivious to what is going on around them (in general) because they have walked over the same 300 year old cobblestones 300 times a year since they were born.

Ewan McGregor. A picture says a thousand words.
Nevertheless, perspective lends itself to creativity and I will defend my right to feel exited about cobblestones.

I've already talked about black cabs in my last post so I won't go there again; we hopped in one to get to our first destination outside of an airport: Palmer's Lodge in Swiss Cottage. This is a tourist destination in itself yet we lived there for about 10 days. It was the former home of Samuel Palmer of the Huntley and Palmers Biscuit Empire. If any of you are interested, it also serves free breakfasts: (as many croissants as you can eat).

Not only is Swiss Cottage great because it just is (sorry, thinking on my feet), but it's also great because the stars in your eyes walk down the street. Pardon the poetry but it is not every day in New Zealand that you are going for a stroll and you see Ewan McGregor coming towards you on the footpath.
Portobello Road. Less busy today.
He walked right past Hannah and I! I would love to say that I said “hey” but I didn't and by the time I thought of it the opportunity had passed. We heard him say “hey” though; to some guy on the opposite side of the street. His voice sounded about the same as it does on tv... maybe not quite as loud.

From Palmer's Lodge, (using the free internet connection), we found a place to live in Notting Hill. Yes... that is the place where Julia Roberts got swept of her feet by Hugh Grant. We don’t have to pay council tax or water and we live two roads down from Portobello Road. Yes.. that’s the place where your cousin bought that bag you are wildly jealous of. Nevermind... it was outrageously overpriced. :)


Sorry about the interlude. I needed to go down to the laudrette and wash our clothes.
Regent's Park walkway.
Incidentally that brings me to another point I wasn't planning on making: In London it is unusual to own a washing machine and drier. Most people go down to the laundrette to wash their clothes. This costs anything between £3-£7 per load and then another £3 for drying. This can be quite a drain on the ol' feedbag and initially you are tempted to overuse your clothes to save a couple of quid. What this does mean though, is that you generally feel like you have to shower at least once a day so as to keep your clothes in better condition which then costs you more in your water bill at the end of the week so it isn't really worth it.

Anyway, one thing which really attracts me to London is the tube stations. You can probably tell this from the amount of pictures of tube stations I've loaded on to this blog.
Oxford Circus. If you look really closely you can see the trapeze.
In a recent conversation I was having I was told they were all the same. This is not the case. Not only are they mostly different colours (Queen's Park is yellow, Lancaster Gate is white, Green Park has wierd blue and pink bubbly looking things on the walls etc.) but they... um... well... ok so they’re different colours. Call it an infantile attraction but I like them so there.

Oh yeah... Prince Harry has come back from the crusades. Apparently I look like him. I keep getting people looking directly at me when I’m walking past them as if they recognise me too. It’s most disconcerting; I guess there are worse people to look like though. :)

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Palmers Lodge, 130 years old and …
Palmer's Lodge, 130 years old and…
Ewan McGregor. A picture says a th…
Ewan McGregor. A picture says a t…
Portobello Road. Less busy today.
Portobello Road. Less busy today.
Regents Park walkway.
Regent's Park walkway.
Oxford Circus. If you look really …
Oxford Circus. If you look really…
Regents Park tube station. The la…
Regent's Park tube station. The l…
Green Park station on a normal day.
Green Park station on a normal day.
Oxford Circus sign with an attract…
Oxford Circus sign with an attrac…
Green Park walkway (one of the lon…
Green Park walkway (one of the lo…
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photo by: ulysses