Posts Tagged ‘Nana’

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sans l’internet. (+ Chiswick Park & Turnham Green)

October 14, 2012

I am sitting in Caffè Nero on a sunny but chilly Sunday afternoon writing this. Toby has gone home to our wonderful new flat in Chiswick, where we’ve been living for a week now, while I continue catching up on all the errands that need doing online (of which this – blogging – is the last). We’re not going to receive our home broadband until the end of October, and I don’t want to exhaust my phone’s 3G data limit unnecessarily, and so I find myself taking my laptop to cafes along the Chiswick High Road in order to use their internet connection.  This is how Toby and I have managed to research an exciting city break to Prague next week (which Toby booked the following day – I can’t wait to experience a new city and country, and I am sure to share some photos on here with y’all!), but just as we’ve been getting used to living in a new flat with a new layout, new light switches (when I’m wandering around in the dark, my hands automatically slap the wrong locations and I have to consciously remind myself where the switch is located) and a new commute to work,  so I’ve also been learning where the best wi-fi spots are. I actually wrote an entire blog on Monday afternoon in a Starbucks a bit further up the road, along with a picture of Chiswick Park tube station – but the wi-fi there was so erratic that the entire blog post seems to have disappeared. So:

 

And for good measure:

 

Chiswick Park was around the corner from a large Sainsburys where I spent an inordinate amount of money last weekend getting essentials for our flat. And then on Thursday evening, Toby and I got off at Turnham Green and walked to Starbucks in the pouring rain to use their useless internet. Caffè Nero’s service is far superior! This morning, we had Nana round for brunch as the first guest to our new abode, and among the many things we discussed was how we can’t live without the internet, but it’s nice (if inconvenient!) to not have it at our fingertips all the time. I remember the days of an old dialup modem that made the pingy-pongy noise as it connected – and nobody could call the house while we were online, because there was only one line… It seems like a bygone age, but it was only 12 or 13 years ago! Nowadays we can do more or less everything online, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the internet – but at the same time, I sit and watch television and films with Toby, we read books (I have started Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh – it’s very good and reminds me of my time at Oxford a great deal, and makes me realise that the university was a wonderful place but far too monolithic an institution for my taste) and magazines, I go out and about and socialise – my mum came up to visit London yesterday and I took her to Harrods, Sloane Street and King’s Road; it was wonderful. Without the internet I wouldn’t be able to blog and share my music, thoughts, reviews and so much more with you, and I would never be foolish enough to renounce it (nor would I even be tempted to), but while being without it is inconvenient for the multiple logistics of establishing ourselves in a new flat and area of the city, it’s refreshing in that it makes me actually connect – and remember how to connect – with the more natural and simple pleasures of life around me that we can risk taking for granted.

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London tube extravaganza: Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus

March 19, 2012

Yesterday Toby and I headed into central London to avoid the hordes of people descending on the Earls Court Exhibition Centre for the Ideal Homes Exhibition (although we did bump into Said, which was lovely), the Chelsea fans, and to see Nana for a nice catch-up. We firstly headed to Leicester Square and walked down to the Strand via Covent Garden:

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We had a yummy lunch at Leon (Toby has collected their recipe books, but I’d never been and was very pleased by their falafel wrap), I wished my mum and my grandmother Happy Mother’s Day, and then we wandered up Regent’s Street (visiting Guess and H&M on the way) towards Oxford Circus, via Piccadilly Circus:

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We also went to Carnaby Street, and during our journey we saw some of the Fabergé Eggs which have been “hidden” (i.e. sprinkled liberally in plain view) around London for Easter / the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. I particularly liked the Postbox one, which apparently was stolen! But it’s back now:

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We met up with Nana and went to Vapiano’s, where we had a really good chat (I swear I didn’t stop talking for an hour – there was a surprisingly large amount of ground to cover since we’d last met up in January!), coffee and tiramisu. 

I have nearly finished the western half of Zone 1! I can’t believe both how long this is going to take (there are many stations – which I already knew, but touring them all is really bringing this hope to me), and how many places I am exploring as a as a result. Which was the point! Nevertheless, I am aware that my blog has lately become London-travel focused, and I apologise for the lack of non-Underground-related material. I am hoping to learn to make an omelette before the end of the month for my cookery project, and I have also been writing some articles for a project I am currently developing… All will hopefully be revealed fairly soon, I just have to keep on writing and plotting! But rest assured I have plenty more in store 🙂 Much love xx

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Tube update: Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park.

January 22, 2012

Today Toby and I went to meet Nana at the Hummingbird bakery on Portobello Road. I had never actually been inside a Hummingbird bakery or tried their cakes; I had a slice of vanilla cake and it was very nice! Nana and I had a good catch-up, despite the fact that in total the bakery has 6 available seats and so Toby had to stand up; very awkward when there is a long line of people (half of whom are taking pictures of the red velvet cupcake!). Once we had finished our food and coffees, we went for a walk along Portobello Road (the market part I don’t see very often because my office is based right near the beginning of the road) and in amongst the tourists, we found a handy craft shop!

It reminded me of the first time I went to Portobello Road with Toby and Said, and I had a bright idea to go to Golborne Road (which is quite a long walk from Notting Hill Gate!) to see what Little Morocco was like!  This time however, we didn’t venture that far but we did get to see Ladbroke Grove (which has a nice colourful part of the Westway bridge next to it!):

And on the way back, we stopped by Westbourne Park tube station too:

Toby directed me to get a better shot of the station extending up the street, rather than straight on (which omitted some of the building). 5 tube stations in one weekend is certainly not bad going!

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Tube update: South Kensington, Knightsbridge and Sloane Square

November 6, 2011

And again, here I am! I went to see Nana this afternoon, and I was very well-behaved and walked to Harrods to meet her, and then walked back from Sloane Square! So my quota of exercise for the weekend has now been fulfilled, and I have hopefully worked off last night’s Chinese takeaway! And during my journey, I passed by three tube stations: South Kensington, Knightsbridge and Sloane Square. (So today, I masqueraded as a posh, wealthy person.)

 

5 stations in 2 days is not bad going at all! I expect that I will add Notting Hill Gate to my collection tomorrow, and maybe West Brompton also… and then it’s going to get more difficult! Nana approved of my idea though, and after this initial flurry of capturing the most convenient tube stations, it will get more challenging and expand my appreciation of the city of London. A new discovery that I made was the Starbucks in Belgravia (on Motcomb Street) – the staff were really friendly, it was set in what looked like a giant white hotel, and inside there was a spiral staircase and special little booths with wooden screens. Possibly the nicest, poshest Starbucks ever – and it was not even that busy! A wonderful afternoon 🙂

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Tube update: Earls Court

November 6, 2011

Lo and behold, as predicted, my next entry into my London Underground photo blog project is Earls Court.

This was pretty easy, as I can see this tube station from my window. I have taken a picture of the Warwick Road entrance as it is the entrance I am most familiar with. And then, at the same time I was able to take a bonus picture of…

… the Earls Court Exhibition Centre across the road, which is the main attraction of Earls Court and what most non-Londoners think of when they hear the name “Earls Court”. This was taken on the return from Tesco this morning, when Toby and I were both sneezing into our tissues and feeling very sorry for our cold-afflicted selves. Being able to watch the fireworks going off from outside my window last night was a lovely bonus to living in this area.

I am going to see Nana in Knightsbridge this afternoon so if I go past any more tube stations, I will diligently try and add them to the collection! Watch this space.