As is tradition, when you return from one trip you must immediately book the next. We’re going back to Ireland! More on that later, though – here’s all about London.
I had a great time, even though I was sick and had to work and was very cold and had many internet issues. Still, London. All of those things are minor annoyances when you’re in your favourite place in the world.
That being said, next time I think “hey I should go somewhere in January”, please remind me that most people would go someplace WARM, as opposed to some place colder than the place they left. London was surprisingly frosty, and in my delirium (I was so sick) I kinda forgot to bring a coat. I don’t wear a coat in Vancouver (mostly because I do not go outside), so I should be fiiiiiiine in London. And I wasn’t, at all! The first day I went outside (still sick), I had on 5 layers of cardigans (because that’s all I brought) and I froze my vagina right off. It was cold. Luckily, I had internet and money, so I bought a coat and arranged for it to be delivered the next day. It wasn’t the warmest thing I’d ever put on, but it did the trick and I spent the rest of my time in London delightfully warm-ish and also plaid.
The last time I did London solo, I was gone for over three weeks and found that to be too long a time to spend inside my own head. This time I was gone for just two weeks, and it was perfect – I missed Ed and the cats and general human contact, but I wasn’t despondent in my lonely despair. This is good information to have, because now I know I can be all “lol bored going to Germany now bye” yet retain the majority of my sanity.
So, what’d I do in my two weeks of me time?
- Wandered Brick Lane for hours, taking pictures of graffiti and finding my favourite piece again to test my location memory
- Visited Spitalfields Market
- Watched the sunset from Sky Garden
- Attended the Women’s March on London
- Took a canal boat from Little Venice to Camden Lock, wandered the market, drank SO MUCH orange juice
- Did nothing (was sick)
- Went to the V&A (three times)
- Visited the Saatchi Gallery
- Explored the area around my flat, which included squares Sloane and Duke of York
- Saw many Sloane Rangers (hah!)
- Went to the Natural History Museum and spent a lot of time in the earthquake simulator as practice for Japan
- Met up with Jen of Oxford and had Lobster Rolls!
- Bought every damn pair of leggings from Primark – sorry, everyone else
- Went to the waterfront by the Tower of London and took several thousand photos of Tower Bridge all lit up at night
- The V&A is open late on Friday nights; discovered it turns into a bizarre nightclub with live acts and fancy people going WOOOOOOO
- Got locked in the V&A courtyard and had to literally scratch at the door to be let back in (aka stand and wave at people until someone made eye contact, then played charades until they realized I was trapped) – luckily, that courtyard is one of my favourite places on the planet (albeit much more so when it’s warm and I’m not locked outside) so I didn’t mind all THAT much
- Discovered that eating grilled pieces of halloumi cheese with a spicy-fruity sauce is fucking amazing and that’s all I’m going to eat from here on in
- Had many adventures with the Travelling T-Rex
- Portobello Market! Love this place. Wandered. Did not buy boots, but did buy pearls. I am so fance.
- ASTRONAUTALIS SHOW WOOOOOO I’d been wanting to see Astronautalis in London for some time and it just so happened that he was playing London while I was there so I went to the show and remembered to stand on stage right and it was so awesome and YAY
- Chinese New Year! Went to Chinatown and watched dragons and crowds and got totally soaked in the rain.
- Seven Dials. Accidentally bought four boots.
- Covent Garden! London Transport Museum is awesome! Also, Shake Shack. So good. Missed Ed.
- Finally visited Tate Britain!
- Waterfront, this time by the London Eye. Took many photos of Big Ben, the parliament buildings, and the Eye.
- Science Museum! No cosmonauts this time, though. Still cool.
- Ate fish and chips (but only once, on my last night there)
- Had an amazing fucking time
- Finally shook off my terrible flu/cold thing
- Rekindled my need to live in London for a while
.. I did a lot of things. I walked a terrific amount, so much so that my watch and ring were both very proud of me. Had some fun shopping, which caused issues bringing stuff back even though I tried really very hard to be good. Honestly, I didn’t want to come home: I wanted home to come to me. I missed Ed and the cats and having hot water and water pressure and loads of internet, but dammit .. I want to be in London. Especially now that Vancouver is fucking covered in frozen white bullshit. Yes, the UK gets winter too, but some things are easier to manage when you’re where you need to be.
Half of my pictures can be viewed here. The other half will be uploaded shortly, but I experimented with not hauling a camera around with me and looking like a tourist, but using my phone instead. I have some extremely good iPhone lenses that extend the abilities of the already-amazing iPhone 7 Plus camera, and it was nice to be able to wander around with fewer things to carry. I don’t think I’m going to repeat this in Japan because I’m going to want to capture every damn thing ever, but for a place I know very well, it was nice to have options.
It was a really good trip, yo.