Coronation Chicken

Friday lunch.
Like most days, I treat weekday lunchtime to be an exploration into British culinary culture. First thing to note, obsession du jour is sandwiches, actually ready-made sandwiches. Actually, ready-made sandwiches on really shitty cheap bread. My parents told me that 5 years ago when they were visiting, baguettes were all the rage. My best guess is that the dreaded white carbs got a bad name within the last few years and the delicious baguette was pushed aside for seriously, what looks like Wonder bread.
To each their own.

Having already mastered the ready-made take-away sandwich places (Pret a Manger, Eat and M&S) I’ve been venturing into places that bill themselves as ‘cafes’ but really are basic, no frills sandwich bars. At least the lunch is cheap. And the cappuccino’s are decent.

Friday. Coronation Chicken.

I’ve actually never heard of this before, I simply pointed at the bowl of yellow stuff and asked for it on baguette (no Wonder bread for me). The name was announced as it was brought to my table.
I don’t think it gets anymore British than this. Pieces of chicken in a sweet Indian curry sauce with a pompous sounding name.


I could do without the raisins though. I’ve often said I don’t like raisins in my baked goods, I’ve now learned they don’t belong in my cold curry sandwich either.

Happy Canada Day!

Hard to believe it’s July 1st, what with all the rain and the freezing cold weather!! It makes me mad that on Canada Day I need to wear a cardigan! But yes, i was warned about the rain. After a nice soak in Notting Hill and my Sunday morning cappucino I jetted across town to Angel to meet Jason and James at Foxtons, the most dreaded of all property agents. ps. everyone in London is named James. 2 people at work (out of 35 that’s impressive), our mortgage broker, and our real estate agent. They’re all around the same mid-30 age. Must have been THE name back in the early 70’s here in england.

Foxtons does a great job of living up to it’s horrible reputation. I called them 2 weeks ago about a flat I saw posted on their site. The guy called back 2 days later, to tell me it was sold. oh ya? No kidding! This is London, flats are sold within hours here. People put more thought into buying a hand bag from the Kate Moss Top Shop line than a fully attached 400 sqft flat. Anyway, my consolation prize with James was an appointment to look at properties… 2 weeks later. sigh.

So today was our big day with Foxtons.
Tuns out we only get an hour slot, and he only had time to show us 2 properties. Of course of that hour we spent about 20 minutes of it trying to find the properties. The guy didn’t know where they were! Seriously. What kind of property agent is this?! Long story short… no sale. We were not impressed with either property, or with Foxtons. Shame that they have the best website, and work the most convenient hours (there are too many agents who don’t work past 6)

So, back to Angel to meet with 2 Canadians for some Sunday roast. Sometime between the gravy and Yorkshire pudding (which by the way is not a pudding at all, it’s more like bread, a gross semantic misrepresentation) the clouds parted. The laws in London meteorology were over ruled, and my long lost friend, the sun, returned. Within minutes we had blue skies, a bounce in our step and a hankering to share some love for Canada. So off to the Covent Garden market we went.


I’ll give the Maple Leaf pub lots of credit, the place packed in more Canadian cliches than I thought possible. Sleemans and Moosehead beers on tap, Tragically Hip and Nelly Furtado coming through the speakers, old hockey games on the telly and poutine on the menu. But it went further. The place was decked out like a giant log cabin with Mountie figurines on the wall.
A giant grizzly in the corner, with a well placed hat:


And the placed was sufficiently packed with a pushy enough crowd that instantly transported you back to your favourite university bar. And in my opinion their crowing achievement was achieving a Canadian smell. Picture a nice hot ripe hockey bag with a splash of the Ridout (or Bruny for you UofT folks). Impressive.

On the way home we noticed that weren’t alone in our love for Canada:

I think might go back on the 4th and see if they show the same love for the USA.

Flat Hunting

We are as they say, in the market.
After probably far too much analysis we’ve decided that we should be flat owners in London (I’ll spare you the details of my spreadsheets and emotions that lead us to that decision). So we’ve started to look. Kings Cross, as many people know is a ‘diverse’ area to say the least. A shit hole with a sprinkling of gentrification is probably more accurate. It’s also the intersection of 3 different postal codes (N1, NW1, and WC1) and operated by two different city councils (Islington and Camden). This makes Kings Cross have pockets of massive housing diversity. Our area of choice would be in WC1 in one of the gorgeous red brick 1930’s buildings that seem to be well maintained. Of course one look at the floor plans and we quickly decide that a 475sqft 2 bedroom flat will just not work (how you manage to take a space that size and fit in 2 bedrooms is beyond me).
We then found this one pocket of Kings Cross that seemed to have reasonable prices so after looking at a few listings online we decided to see the area for ourselves and this is what we find:


Now I know that when you’re busy thieving and such, morals aren’t too high on your list of priorities, but surely assaulting a poor man in a wheelchair who’s only trying to make a phone call, say to wish his mother a happy birthday, has got to send up some sort of red flags! Christ, he’s in a wheelchair! And might I add, that at 8:40pm it’s broad daylight!

Nice neighbourhood. Seems like some great people live here.
I think we’ll pass on buying a flat here.
And so the search continues.

This one goes to eleven

I started my day today with a fine bit of National Rail nonsense, care of First Capital Connect. I admit that I’m completely insane by living in London and commuting up to Cambridge every day and yesterday was a reminder of that.

King’s Cross Station

King’s Cross. I’m not sure what kind of monkeys run this train station, but they have a wonderful policy of not telling you exactly what platform your train is on until the last possible minute. Sylvia often runs into this when she tries to meet me at the station – they don’t mention what track the arriving train is on until all of the passengers have alighted, walked home, fed the cats, watched three reruns of East Enders, and finished off the latest Harry Potter novel. This morning, however, was really the crowning acheivement of King’s Cross mis-management.

This morning I left at 9AM to make the 9:15 train. Plenty of time. After two failed attemps to get tickets from the machine the third time was a charm but I was getting a bit concerned – it’s was 9:12 and my train was leaving at 9:15. I rushed out of the ticket office and checked the big board – the 9:15 to Cambridge is departing on … they don’t know. 3 minutes to departure and they don’t show the track number. Of course, the train is still listed as “on time.” They don’t know where it is, but by golly it’s going to leave on time. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that space and time are one and the same and you need both to specify a train departure.

A few moments later the board changes – platform 11.

Let me explain something to you about King’s Cross. It’s a pretty damned big station. There are 8 platforms in the main station. If you walk along to about the end of platform 8, turn left, walk outside, pass platform 9 3/4

Platform 9 3/4

… you’ll eventually arrive at the annex trainshed, which, as you might infer by its name, is a really bloodly long ways away from big board in King’s Cross. In fact, it’s so close to St. Pancras that you’re practically in Paris. This is where the fine aging trains of First Capital Connect are often relegated. They’re like the Ryanair of train travel – sure they say you leave from King’s Cross, but you really leave from the annex trainshed half-way across London.

It was chaos. 2 minutes until the “on time” departure of the train and a wave of people start running towards the trainshed. There were men in nice suits who blew past a woman with a giant suitcase who was left to fend for herself by her travel companion. I was in trainers so I quickly made it near the front of the pack. And who was there to greet me at platform 11? One guy, yes, ONE guy, who was checking everybody’s tickets. Asolute and complete chaos. I flashed my ticket over the heads of some clueless tourists and made it on to the train. A few seconds later the doors closed leaving at least 90% of the passengers still on the platform. An employee of First Capital started waving his hands yelling “Don’t leave! Open the doors!” Absolute chaos.

But by this time I didn’t care as I was comfortably sitting in my seat – the only person in the car. I opened my bag, pulled out my noise cancelling headphones and breathed a sigh of release knowing that I managed to push just enough old ladies out of the way to make it on time. Sadly they did open the doors to let the poorly adapted passengers on and a short 15 minutes later we were on our way.

Thanks First Capital Connect! Remind me to work from home tomorrow.

The Ascot!

I probably should have done more research on what the Royal Ascot really is about. It was bigger and fancier than I ever imagined. To get to the Ascot you need to catch a train from Waterloo. I decided I was too embarassed to be prancing around on the tube to Waterloo station with my facinator on, but when we surfaced at Waterloo we found a maze of dressed up people queing for train tickets all in their hats! The amount of guys in top hats is what surprised me the most. I should have worn my little hat thing on the tube too, but I didn’t know. Actually the whole day seemed to be for people who are in the know. The train to Ascot was packed, and we immediately realized that our 10:50 train was BYO-bottle of champagne! If I had only known! It was an hour ride out, and some champagne would have been very nice. Instead we rode to the sound of champagne bottles popping open every 8 or so minutes. We felt like amateurs.


The trained pulled up to the Ascot where there was even more of a crowd! There were police on the platform and even drug-sniffing dogs! (My friends who arrived on a train shortly after ours had the privilege of seeing one bloke get hustled away after a dog sniffed his pocket!).

Jason has decided that if he goes next year, he’s renting the full Ascot outfit:


That by the way, is entirely typical of the people who were there. Aside from the glossy stadium, you really don’t feel like it’s the year 2007.
Jason and I missed breakfast that morning and spent some time perusing the grounds for food. I’d say that the food and beverage stands were 90% booze only (dominated by Pims and Champagne). The other 10% that was food related were fairly high end too! We found lobster & champagne boxed lunches for £38, a restaurant serving a set meal for £60 per head. We happened upon a high end deli shop that served up some ready made over priced sandwiches that we quickly snapped up. Such the Ascot amateurs we are! Turns out we were too close to the Royal Enclosure area:


As soon as we went over to our general admission area we saw a burger kiosk, a curry stop and even some pizza. No lobster and caviar on this side, simple food for the the simple folk.

I suppose the most amusing part of the event is the Royal entrance. They take a horse drawn carriage all the way from Windsor to the Ascot (about 10 miles or so) and then ride in onto the race track before ascending up to their Royal box:


And then the races start. There are only 6 races, the rest of the time is spent waiting in massive lines for more drinks (thanks boys!), placing bets on your horses, and playing spot the crazy hat.

These are some of our favourites:



I particularly like this one because in her pink outfit she’s sorting out her bets on the next race:


Here’s what we wore (Heather I’m sorry to post one with your eyes closed, the other picture I had of the 3 of us my eyes were closed, and well… it’s my blog… and..):

The races were actually quite exciting to watch:

But I can’t stress enough how much of a booze-fest this was:

By the time the last race finishes this group was pretty exhausted:

I’ll give the Brits plenty of credit. They have impressive drinking stamina.
And of course, we’re already planning for next year.

More on Hats

It’s been a hell of a week! Work has been excessively busy, and even included a very last minute trip to Latvia. I landed back in London just this evening and after a massive delay on the Gatwick express due to a fire at some random station, I went straight to Selfridges to pick out my Ascot outfit (I know! A little last minute? But I was planning on shopping every evening this week after work … I just didn’t expect to be on a business trip this week!.. anyway..). I picked out a dress no problem, the hat situation .. well that was an ordeal. I can’t stress my vanity about this enough… I look damn good in hats. The hard part is not finding a hat that looks good, I’ll be honest they all look fabulous on me, the hard part is finding the right one to match my outfit. And p.s. to the sales lady at Selfridges, telling me: “on one hand it really goes, but on the other, it doesn’t” is really not helpful advice!! Either my tangerine jewel encrusted facinator with black veil goes… or it doesn’t!!

After no luck at Selfridges, I dashed into Debenhams relieved to find it open until 10pm and to my surprise ran into a coworker at her wits end over the exact same thing! In the end I we picked a bow-thing that isn’t so much a hat as a hair piece. I’m pleased.
We’ll post some photos tomorrow.

When they say TUBE ..they really mean: hot stinky oven

Here’s an idea.
You know all that gold crap locked up in Buckingham Palace:

Ya, that obscene pile of gold. Why not sell it (auction it off, melt it down… I don’t care) and use the proceeds to put new trains on the London Tube that are perhaps AIR CONDITIONED!? Surly one family doesn’t need that much gold in their occaisonal home?! (To the Brits who read this, I’m sorry… I just don’t *get* monarchy. It seems dumb)

It’s June now. Riding the Tube to work is like taking a 45 minute joy ride in a crockpot.
I think it might be time to take the bus again.

As Seen On the Tube

With my very own eyes earlier this week…

An old man pulls out of his pocket a giant wooden cross about the size of package of bacon and quietly, but visibly, prays for each and every passengers soul. What was particularly interesting is that he only prayed for us whilst we were in motion. At every tube stop he quietly put the cross back into his pocket and stood in silence until we were in motion again.

Sunday: Swimming, Shopping and Sitcoms

My idea of a fantastic Sunday in London (when husband free):

Sleep in.
Go to the gym for a nice long swim (ignore the screaming kids having lessons 3 lanes over, and the mom&tots in the kiddie pool, and well.. the corresponding diaper-poo smell in the change room)
Take the tube to Nottinghill
Enjoy a chicken wrap, cappuccino and a fresh travel magazine on Kitchen & Pantry’s soft leather couch
Take the tube over to Bond Street
Spend the next several hours getting acquainted with Selfridges and reacquainted with my old friend Marc Jacobs (and the stupidly high exchange rates! This stuff is WAY cheaper in Canada)
Dinner at home with the cats
A pint at the local to help finish off the magazine
and finish with trashy American sitcoms.

Silly Tube Names

When I first got here looking at the Tube map provided me with endless amusement. I was certain that half the names were based on dares. Aside from the obvious ones that clearly raise eyebrows (Cockfosters, St. Johns Wood and Shepards Bush) there were other ones that made me giggle like: Burnt Oak, Tooting Bec, Gallons Reach, and Hornchruch (which when the Brits say it sounds too much like whore in church…). I used to sit on the tube and wonder things like exactly who are the Seven Sisters?! And what would i find at the station called Mudchute?! (these were the days before I discovered free newspapers and their trashy gossip columns).

But today… I was looking at the tube map at Gloucester Station (pronounced Gloss-ter because that doesn’t make any sense, so obviously it should be pronounced that way) and I noticed that the names don’t even phase me. It’s kind of sad actually. I’m shifting out of my tourist mind frame.


My life unfortunetely has been all about work, and studying for an upcoming exam. So unfortunetly i have limited stories to share. On the weekend I did manage to do at least one interesting thing. I went down to Putney to meet my friend Kaila to watch her boyfriend play some cricket. Amazingly, after 7 days of rain Sunday was glorious and sunny. It made cricket watching very pleasant:


What was surprising though, was given their prim and proper appearance, Cricket involves a lot of equipment adjusting. I think when they guys get ready to bat, bat, and finish batting, they spend more time sticking random padding and sorts down their trousers, adjusting and then removing said padding than they actually hit the damn ball!
But we did get flashed quite a few times!

Speaking of flashing. I joined a gym last week near my work that has a pool. I went Monday morning for a swim and flashed my whole lane and apparently my neighboring lane too, since it was a girl in the lane beside me who pointed out my dropping bathing suit. nice.
When i finished up a little while later, the life guards were quite smiley with me.
On the bright side, I know my chances of drowning are super slim.

Rain: Day 7

To be clear, it’s not a constant rain. No, it’s much more elusive than that. It’s a sporadic drizzle. It appears in brief fickle moments that require you to have an umbrella at all times. My new approach is to treat the umbrella like a fashion accessory. Like shoes, I should have many to coordinate with various outfits and moods. Yes, boys who read this, this is the inner workings of the female mind.

I purchased this cheerful printed stick umbrella today:


RyanAir – Evil Temptress

Just when I’ve sworn off their wretched airline, they announce 1 million free seats – including taxes! Damn you Ryanair… stop luring me back in! Since we’re now in Day 7 of rain I can’t help but browse. Of course, it’s not all rose petals and kitten tails. This special only applies for flights on Mondays – Thursdays, successfully screwing out any long weekend plans on the continent. But when it’s free, how can I not try to snag at least ONE flight?!

Rain: Day 4 or is it 5?

Maybe it’s day 6. I’ve lost track.
This evening it starting to wear on me. But that’s because I arrived home with wet feet and wet trouser cuffs. And yet I see people walking without umbrellas! Londoners must have a built up tolerance. They also seem to think it’s ok to go out in this weather in unusual shoe choices. Today I spotted suede loafer, open toe sandals and loads of the converse runners (yes, they’re back in fashion apparently). It seems only the likes of Kate Moss will wear Wellies.
I think I’ll feel better about this rain if I expand my fashion choices with some coordinating umbrellas. Five days of my trusty black one is getting me down.

Rainy Sunday

Another rainy day in London. And so far, it hasn’t got me down. I went to the Kitchen & Pantry in Nottinghill today. A cute cafe with awesome comfy couches that comes recommended from a friend of a friend. There are the odd smattering of couples who are actually there to talk to each other, but on a whole this place is a place to come drink coffee, sit and read or look intellectual with your laptop. Oh and the unwritten rule is Macs only.

After deciding that I’ve had enough of the couple making out in the couch across from me (note, everyone else in our area just raises their newspapers a little higher – or a script if you’re the guy beside me – to block the Sunday indecency) I trudged on in the rain to another cafe. There I ordered a soy cappuccino and a pretzel (odd thing to have in a cafe, but they looked tasty). I ended up with a regular cappuccino with an almond croissant. It never seizes to amaze me that in London it’s possible for two people who both speak English as their first language to misunderstand each other that much.

In other news, my London Look must be solidifying because I got asked for directions on two separate occasions today, bringing my weekend total to 6! And the scary thing is I was almost correct with the directions. I would always realize a few minutes later my slight errors, feel a bit bad but then think: meh! Don’t be asking a foreigner!

Backpacker Season Has Begun

I guess it’s the right time of year. We saw our first batch of backpackers today at Paddington Station. Giant clean backpacks (rucksacks as the Brits call them) obviously new. So full of stuff they don’t need (such newbies). And they even had big maple leaf patches sewn on. Of course that made me assume that they must be Americans, but on closer inspection they were carrying MEC packs! (sniff) Real Canadians. I Got a bit nostalgic seeing them staring at the Tube map in confusion. It will be 5 years in June since I did my cliche backpack around Europe trip.

Tea Culture

I noticed it immediately. On my first day of work actually.
It must be some stereotypical politeness that is ingrained in their culture combined with some desire to not waste energy on something that would only be for themselves. But ANY time ANYONE feels like a cup of tea or coffee (this is London, it’s obviously tea. The coffee is for the sole Italian who works here) they stand up and pose the question to the office: “hot drinks?”

Inevitably most of the office in turn lets out an enthusiastic squeal of .. ‘oh yes… indeed, that would be lovely!” The person than collects everyone’s mugs, plugs in the kettle and proceeds to fix everyone drinks. It all seems so civilized and considerate. And it is. And it happens about every 35 minutes, like clockwork. I knew I was moving to the island of tea, but I didn’t expect this sort of ritualistic addiction.

What’s also interesting is the mad stash of cookies …err.. biscuits as the Brits call them, in our communal kitchen. Seriously, there are about a dozen different kinds, plus snack sized kit kats in our fridge that seem to get restocked nightly. And whenever one girl in my office does the hot drink round, she does a “biscuits?” round while she waits for the kettle to boil. Now since I’m new, I don’t want to be rude so I say yes to everything, but as a result I’ve eaten more junk this past month than I have all year!

On the bright side, I think the obsession with biscuits explains the teeth.

Just another day on Oxford Street

Poor Oxford Street. It get’s such abuse! A few weeks ago I mentioned the stampede at the opening at Primark. Last week there was a big fire above the NEXT store which crippled traffic in that part of Lonodn for hours (I look for the good YouTube video later). And now today chaos again as Top Shop launches it’s Kate Moss line.

No I didn’t go down there myself, I know better than to fight throngs of trashy (and chavy) British tweens. No, this photo is from the news, and it will do. But I do wish I worked a bit closer like my friend Adrienne who works just around the corner. It would have been very amusing to see the madness.


London, the new Polandia

I swear, I hear more Polish here in London in one day than I heard all Easter weekend in Warsaw! I’m not even counting my Polish co-worker, or our Polish office who I speak with often .. no I’m talking about hearing Polish on the tube, on the street in the shops, seeing people read Polish magazines and newspapers. But today was a new one. Today in Primark I heard the store manager talking to one of her sales associate in Polish!

600,000+ Polish immigrants indeed.

Perhaps there is still hope for housing prices

Saw this today: Irish house prices stage first fall since 2002

First time in 5 years!
Of course let me just add this detail from the article:
pushing the annual rate of house price inflation down to 7.4% from 9.5% in February, when prices were unchanged on the month.

7.4% is still nuts.
I can only hope that a little bit of that price correction trend finds it’s way into London.

London’s Insane Housing Market

I think I’ve been here long enough now to comment on the housing market here. I think I can sum it up with: it’s bloody crackers. (british speak for absolutely insane).
Looking at prices you have to ask, how on earth do people afford to own in this city? Take this nice modern 2 bedroom flat similar to a modern condo in Toronto. It’s listed at £545,000 in my Kings Cross area! Ok, that was a super high end looking property, I’ll give you that, but even something more modest like this one bedroom is listed at £338,000! £338,000! At today’s exchange rates that’s $754,182.19 Canadian! And it’s not like I’m shopping around Notting Hill, or South Kensington (though you know I wish we were). No,this is King’s Cross, London’s version of Toronto’s Parkdale – if Parkdale was once known as Toronto’s red light district / drug capital, and was now undergoing a massive gentrification that included a Eurostar link to Paris (details, details).
But the key phrase there was ‘red light district’. I admit, this area is actually getting pretty cool and I see more drunk people at the park near my work at lunch time than at Kings Cross… but come on! THREE quarters of a million Canadian dollars to own a lonely little one bedroom flat in a mediocre area?! A flat that’s posted as less than 500 square feet I might add!!

So I decided to infiltrate the madness by posing as a potential buyer, and met with a mortgage broker yesterday. Well, it seems buying is a lot easier than in Canada. Down payment requirements are MUCH lower, in that there really aren’t any, it just impacts the interest rate you’ll get. But not even by that much. You put down 15% you’ll pay a rate of about 5.2%. Put down 10%, you’ll pay a rate of about 5%. Interesting. So apparently you don’t need much money to put as a down payment. Good to know, since stamp duty (land transfer tax in Canadian speak) is 3%!! (4% if your property is more than 500K!). So that gem of a flat we just saw would require the purchaser to pony up £10,140 on tax alone! Ouch. I also learned that most people in London have interest only mortgages, and choose to make principal payments intermittently through out the year; like say when their banker bonus comes in.

I left my meeting with the mortgage broker with such mixed feelings. At first I was thrilled to find out that immigrants like us with pretty much no credit history and only a week old credit card can get pre-approved for a mortgage pretty much on the spot. But then the rationale kicks in. How hot, and insane is the market?!. And I’m still absolutely gobsmacked to know that when I shop at Tescos for my groceries I’m shopping amongst people who mostly all live in million (Canadian) dollar homes. But I think you just a hit a point when you get used to the prices and these things seem normal.

And no, moving out to Slough is not the answer. There’s a reason I didn’t live in the ‘shwa in Canada, and that reason applies for England too.

Mobile ‘Museum’ of Extinct Technology

I saw an article in The London Paper about an exhibit on display in London at Liverpool Station’s Exchange Square. This is what it said:

” As of today, a new exhibition will celebrate technologies past, with a tongue-in-cheek look at everything, from maps to the mobile phones of old. Crammed into five, 2.5 metre glass pods, the Mobile Museum of Extinct Technology features 3D illustrations of real-life situations … passers-by can pick up a telephone attachment to each exhibit and listen to a comedy voice over explaining what they see.”

Sounded interesting enough. And when we arrived it LOOKED interesting:


But then you press the button and listen. At first it seems quite funny, referring to us as ‘tribes’. But then the blurb ends with something about this technology seen in front of us will likely go extinct at the end of April when Nokia launches the new something or other product. Wtf?! Are you serious?! Hmm. Next pod, same thing. Bloody hell! We’ve been had. This isn’t a ‘museum’! This is a giant 3D advertisement for Nokia’s new product! How dare you pretend to be art! How dare you even use the word museum!! You lured us here under false pretenses. And the technology you’re claiming is extinct isn’t even extinct! PC’s, mobile phones, CD’s, maps? This insults me on so many levels. I was thoroughly disgusted.
I think tomorrow I will channel some of my commuting rage into a nice piece of hate mail to The London Paper for reporting this as an ‘exhibition’.

Sunday, Hangover Sunday

It turned out to be a pretty busy weekend. Saturday morning hat shopping with 2 friends was a lot of fun. I really should have been born in another time, because I think I look awesome in hats. I did learn though, that hat shopping is a lot more complex than I thought. There are hats, facinators and petite creations. I liked the petite creations best on me (although the facinators really suit my friend Kaila) . What do we think of this one:


ps. did you notice the crazy hats in the background? They’re insane, and yet I love them all!

I’d gush some more about the weather but I worry that I might lose my loyal reader(s), so I won’t – hi Jim! But I will say that us ladies who shopped for hats equally enjoyed coffees by the river in Putney, and it was glorious.

Saturday evening started off with going to meet one of Jason’s coworkers for a quick pint or two with intentions to go out clubbing later, but instead morphed into something must messier. we did go to a pub, but then after it closed we went to a tiny Cuban place that had some deadly (and delicious) mojitos:

Almost as delicious as the Mojitos at Cafe Havana in Manhattan. Eventually we did leave, and I recall taking a night bus. Actually we weren’t very efficient, we took a series of 3 buses to get home.
This morning with a slight dull headache I decided we should try to cure ourselves with an injection of culture at the Chelsea Art Fair. Upon arrival, seeing a entrance fee of £6 each proved that our cheapness greatly out weighed any desire to enrich our lives with the local Sloane Square art scene. Or maybe it was more so our desire for a nap.
Over at St. James part, the London marathon was out in full force (crazy freaks!), but so were the picnickers and other seemingly lazy people. 36,000 people are spending their Sunday running the streets of central London, and we’re in a state of near REM under the shade of a tree.
Photos of two very different Sunday afternoons:
marathon2.jpg stjamespark3.jpg

For what it’s worth we did go over and look at the runners, but got bored rather quickly. Marathons are so predictable, it’s usually a Kenyan who wins anyway

Curses to you, Victoria Line

Old faithful, the trusty Victoria Line failed me again this morning. I arrived at Kings Cross to find the platform heavily backed up and an announcer encouraging people to move down and ‘use all available space on the platform’.

1st train arrives, I don’t even try to get on, I figure the crowd will pass soon, and the next train is about 1 minute away, no sense in getting pushy.
2nd train arrives. Surprising to me it’s just as rammed as the one before.
3rd train comes and goes and I realize if I want to get to work anytime soon I will need to get aggressive. I also realize that the heat inside one of those trains must be unbearable with all those people, so i remove my overcoat.
4th train comes. I almost make it on, but some fat lady successfully deters me with her fowl b.o stench. Well played.
The 5th tube arrives. Success! I manage to shove myself in. I ride the next 3 stops with my left arm pressed against some woman’s flabby chest (although it provided excellent impact absorption on the hard stops) and my right rib being jabbed by someone’s blackberry. I could actually feel his thumb scrolling along my ribs. eww.

Trip in this morning took just over 40 minutes. That’s quite a while for 5 stops!
And yet again, wish I had my camera. This morning would have made for some funny pictures!