Thursday, 26 February 2015

Hello world

Having no internet for four days is odd - oddly calming, but also incredibly frustrating. Checking the weather and/or if there really was an Earl of Sandwich/what cooking oil is best at a high temperature and if dogs do in fact see in black and white, etc, etc, is suddenly challenging. What did we do before? remain ignorant or went to queue up at the library behind a load of other people asking for dog biology books, I suppose. I can't even really remember now . . .
Anyway. I can finally do a blog about our (me and son) trip to London. It was time he conquered his fear of flying and saw/heard/tasted amazing things, and was shown where I lived for the first thirteen years of my life - good old Muswell Hill, or at least an offshoot of it.
He was great and didn't yawn at all as I showed him 'the place where the bins used to be', the flat where I first saw a nude man (I couldn't totally explain this as I don't really remember the details other than I had gone there to feed someone's cat) the launderette I used to go to with a copy of the Beano and other nostalgic details.

My favourite shop - ever. Martyns in Muswell hill: still there; thank the lord of dried fruit and special tea.

A tree just outside the flat's gate that I was particularly fond of - a Holme Oak I think

We stayed in a brilliant little hotel called St Athans, just off Russell Square: cheap, friendly and with Old Furniture in the rooms, and still a fair bit of Georgian character about it.
Most of the time we walked - miles and miles and took buses; sitting at the front on the top deck, just like I used to do. I was amazed and so happy to see a re-introduction of the Route-master 'hop-on-and-off' style bus, without however the old warm fuggy smell and with rather more groovy seat upholstery.

We didn't eat in here. I can't imagine why people want to eat cold fish in an over-lit laboratory environment on a grey wet day.

But we did eat in here: Pellicci, on Bethnal Green Road. I wanted to show Ezra a real old Caf; sadly so many have gone now, but this is the real thing: great, warming food, cheery owners Formica tables and original 1920s fittings.

We ate wonderful food: Rasam soup (ow-ow-ow) as hot as I recalled from when I lived just off Goodge Street, at the Ragam; Turkish food, liver and onions at the above mentioned Caf in Bethnal Green Road and lots of crisps (the variety in the UK is boggling); visited art galleries, gawped at ridiculous stuff in Harrods (well, you have to go there once, and Ezra hadn't) looked at The Shard, but didn't go up it (high price tag as well as dizzying height of building) and wandered about The City wondering why so much construction seemed to be going on in this financial mess time - especially that weird edifice that looks like a early-learning centre mobile phone

The Ragam Indian restaurant: somewhere at the back of Goodge Street - I didn't recognise the road as most of it seemed to have morphed into new vast office blocks.

One of many building sites around the City. I like the way they number the floors in big blue letters so construction workers can remember which floor they left the bag of filler on.

And look at this! I just had to stand for minutes staring at the impossibility of this bit of machinery. Like something out of Batman, this giant screw/digger thing (one of many, I suppose) is the reason why so much of London's floor can be delved into at such a depth.

Possibly the highlight of the trip was seeing 'The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime' at the Gielgud theatre: stunningly complex lighting and sound; beautiful, moving, funny, AND, I got a badge as I was sitting in a prime number seat

So may odd things to look at on London pavements, like this Christmas tree netting device, running free after escaping from a Christmas goods lockup somewhere.

And so many windows to look in

And so many silly things to buy

Harrods Dog and Cat clothes display . . . we rather liked the pure silk coat for tiny runty dog back home, but at 180 quid . . . maybe not.

Better than the Tate: a lone and dangerous vegetable in Harrods Food Hall.

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