Day 12 - Tuesday March 9th 2010
Working in Brent
Today I went to Brent for work which is north west of the city.
It was a fairly uneventful day, and went quickly as I spoke for 4 hours straight in what was supposed to be a 2 hour meeting. I tend to do that.
On the way to my meeting I had to change trains and discovered the boots chemist has a set of fancy scales, this was good news as I have been hunting scales that work, and I assume they are accurate because they had LED's and printed you out a ticket and everything.
Unfortunately changing trains and waiting around for a while meant I ate a cake. I dont think I ate anything else that bad on my whole visit so far.
To make up for this I walked around a lot and in the evening I walked from Earls Court to Picadilly Circus and back, and had soup and salad for dinner.
Brent is quite near Wembley, this is Wembley stadium, its pretty well known, you may have heard of it.
On my evening walk I spotted this on a phone booth, its one of the most tasteful ads I have ever seen.
This is the museum of natural science I walked past on my walk, it lights up with various colors but due to the long exposure it averaged out, still looks good though.
Spotting nice cars in London isnt even a sport, its too easy, however this is a Mclaren SLR, the base price of which is 300,000 pounds.
Day 13 - Wednesday March 10th 2010
Getting paid to walk around Soho
Another work day so not many adventures to report.
I did however visit lots of our secret hidden depots in central London around the Soho area, all down secret alleys and behind non descript gates etc. Was quite interesting.
In the evening I went for a walk along the Kengington High Street and ended up at the Whole Foods Market, which is by far the greatest food store I have ever been to. The cheese section was immense, and all the products were interesting. Lots of hot and cold freshly made food as well. Unfortunately I was far from home and bought nothing, as I hate carrying stuff.
On my way back I walked through backstreets in Kengsington, im amazed at how people leave their fancy cars right on the street. I saw examples of everything expensive, sometimes 3 or 4 in a row, the narrower the street the nicer the cars, I suspect I was in amongst the most expensive houses in London. Some places you had to walk down alleyways through like a piazza all cobble stones but it was clear everyone there was really rich.
I took no photos on my walk, so all you get is a shot of my dinner, which is singapore noodles with chicken and prawns, from Sainsburys.
Day 14 - Thursday March 11th 2010
I got stuck in a lift!
Yet another working day (2nd to last), so again not much to report. Still didnt rain in London since the day I got here but remains cold.
Had VIP guests from France today, so lunch was catered and was a 5 course tasting menu, it was very good, rare beef and raw tuna were involved, as well some other things I couldnt actually identify. There was wine to accompany but I dont partake, the labels had no english on them though and wine people seemed excited by it.
In the evening I got off the tube at Earls Court and got in the lift, with only about 5 other people, and the doors shut. And thats all that happened. After about 30 seconds I say, looks like we arent going anywhere.
One guy freaks out and presses every button he can and runs back and forwards in the huge lift and tries to pry open the doors. Another girl starts getting worried at this point, so I take charge. First I explain that we are at the bottom of the lift shaft, so we arent going to plummet and die, the guy questions my logic, how do I know the hole doesnt go down further? I asked him if he was digging a lift shaft, would you keep digging further than you have to? The phone emergency thing did nothing as best I could tell, some people on the lift who didnt speak english were trying to use their phones, of course they dont work in lifts. And then after about 5 minutes the doors open, and the guy runs out and jumps, and says hes going to call the mayor...ok!
In the evening I went for a long walk around shepards bush, the main street there is interesting, theres people pushing carts selling things, theres a phone card cart, fresh corn cart, glow stick cart and there was even a guy with a mobile phone unlocking service.
For dinner I had...a salad, I like salads.
Shepards Bush Empire, famous live venue where many DVD's I stole on the internet were filmed at, including Opeth, Arch Enemy and Steve Vai. I cant remember who was playing tonight but it was a sellout.
Day 15 - Friday March 12th 2010
Last day of work
Today is the last day of work for me, then I will be on 2 weeks holiday, so you can look forward to longer even more pointless things written in here accomponied by even less interesting photos.
It also rained a bit today, but never when I needed to be outside and it was more a brief drizzle, but its set to be fine again now.
Worked finished a bit early, and I read up on all the formula 1 news, because I am more excited about that than is normal I think, not sure why, im that kind of loser.
In the evening I went for a huge walk, I measured when I got back, about 14 kilometres in total. This did take in some museums that open late, but mainly because their toilets are free and I drank a lot of pepsi max along my journey.
I didnt really have a dinner, I ate various snacks along the way, nuts, fruit salad, jelly beans. I also only got lost once, because I am a London expert now.
In other news ive decided im staying at this hotel until I leave, so I will only be going for day trips and wont go to France.
Reasons for this, 1. this Hotel has free internet, 2. this Hotel is very convenient and is on the line to heathrow, 3. French people seem more annoying than ever, whole groups of them on the tube are just generally idiots, 4. Its cold
Here I am standing outside one of my public toilet visits.
Someone give this guy a sandwhich, in London you can look at corpses for free late on Fridays
Day 16 - Saturday March 13th 2010
I went to Reading for dinner
Today is formula one qualifying day for the first race in Bahrain, my excitement is peaking.
Before it started I went for a walk for a coffee and got asked for directions 3 times, and I was helpful on all 3 I think, at least I spoke like I knew and pointed, I sure hope I didnt send people in the wrong direction.
After the formula 1, I headed out to Reading which is a town west of London for dinner with a strange person I know who lives there.
To get there I had to change at Paddington for the London overground, but I also had to buy some chocolates because you shouldnt just turn up to dinner without bringing anything. I expected there to be options at the station but there were not, so I headed out into the street into arabic world. It was quite interesting, people were smoking hookahs in the street etc.
Finally I located some chocolates at Waitrose and headed back to the station.
The train to Reading was very fast, and dinner was fantastic, 4 different curries all were delicions, followed by fruit salad. Whilst there I played guitar left handed very badly before giving up and playing Nintendo badly.
The train ride back was equally as fast, and I got home quite late.
If you were doubting that I really got stuck in a lift, here is proof, this is earls court station picadilly line lift with a notice telling you its busted. I think I broke it.
Whilst at Paddington, I spotted Jeff Loomis's awesome armoured van, one day I hope to be cool enough to have my own armoured van to transport my guitars around in.
Day 17 - Sunday March 14th 2010
I walked in a park
Today was formula 1 race day, which turned out to be quite boring!
Before the race I walked through Kensington and Hyde Park and had a coffee.
This is a little street off the Kensington high street, they are all like that.
Heres a busted water main, with lots of water coming out, it was doing the same thing when I was here 5 days ago, so I presume its been spewing water since then. If this were the case in Adelaide people would be arrested.
Here is some sort of huge impressive monument in Kensington gardens with gold statues on it.
This is the Royal Albert Hall, things happen inside.
On the way home I entered the natural history museum to use the toilet, and you can now ascend through the globe.
I climbed up a pillar
After the race, I headed into town to go to the fire on london monument. The fire was in 1666 (a great year indeed) and started near the monument, apparently if it were to fall over it would hit the pudding shop from where it started.
You climb up a spiral staircase to the top, its very tight and cramped and over 300 steps. Lots of people were really struggling to do this, I did it twice for exercise because im some kind of super hero.
Vertigo shot, if you suffer from vertigo you wont have a problem viewing my photos because they are of such poor quality you cant tell what you are looking at.
The spiral staircase, it gets tighter the further up you go.
Brace yourself for boring skyline shots
Day 18 - Monday March 15th 2010
I went to Brighton
As the title above says, today I caught the train to Brighton. Its a pretty expensive off peak round trip at 17 pounds, it only takes 50 minutes to get there from London Bridge.
The exciting thing that happens along the way is you go right past the end of the main runway at Gatwick airport. Its very impressive how many airports thre are around London, from the train there were at least 30 Jets I could spot at the gates or lined up to take off. And Gatwick is only the secondary airport.
The seating on the train was seats facing each other with a table in the middle, the woman across from me decide to sit on a 45 degree angle and therefore take up nearly all the room for 4 seats, and kick me most of the way there, meanwhile another guy across the aisle yelled loudly on his phone the whole way and missed the stop at Gatwick all together, for which he then blamed whoever was on the other end of the phone. The amusing thing about this is the train doesnt stop again until Brighton.
Arriving in Brighton is quite interesting, theres hills surrounding the station filled with identical looking houses, rows and rows of them unbroken by any tree, park or distinguishing feature. Its a shame I couldnt photograph this because it looked very depressing.
When you get off the train you are in the tourist area, and its a walk down hill to the beach, or what they call a beach. You see there is no sand at all on this beach, just lots of pebbles.
I walked out to the end of the pier past the cheap tourist attractions and disgusting seaside food stalls selling jellied eels, cockels and other things that shouldnt be eaten.
Back on land, theres a maze of back streets that have been converted to pedestrian only areas with a mix of shops selling junk, mainly childrens toys from the 60s and strange lunch boxes.
Heres the other pier that burnt down a few years back.
And heres the pier that didnt burn down.
Welcome to the beach, stretch out and relax on a sea of rocks.
More of the pier, it has 2 roller coasters on it, and 2 'casinos', but not real casinos, just cheap slot machines.
Here I am on the pier, yellow caution tape has been erected to signal my arrival.
Welcome to the TUB coaster, its supposed to say turbo but 2 of the huge letters fell off, probably killing small children in the process. Pretty much everything was in a state of disrepair.
boring cityscape shot.
This is brightons china/india/arab street, they stuck all the foreigners in one spot, and theres a pub along there that says 'no foreign food here ever we promise!'
Dinner in Islington
In the evening I decided to go explore Islington, I had heard that Upper street was full of cool restaurants, and it was.
I bypassed all the cool places, and found a cheap mexican place, called desperados, then I ordered a sirloin steak, which isnt mexican food at all.
I had to visit the bathroom, so I asked where it is, and the guy shows me and then asks if I am easily offended? I say no, im rarely offended, he tells me the artwork in the mens is quite interesting, but if I am offended use the disabled bathroom.
So I head into the mens, and am confronted by artwork that is indeed very offensive, its a huge mural of skeletons raping mexican girls at gun and knife point in graphic detail, lots of pink bits everywhere on the girls, and the skeleton equivalent on the skeletons. It was really quite bizzarre, its a shame I left my camera on the table...although taking a photo in a toilet isnt always a great idea.
Meanwhile back at my table, a young couple were planning their holiday, and the girl wanted to go to phuket. A huge argument ensued, because the guy wanted to go to Japan, and the girl wanted to go to some place to get drunk with other english tourists. This went on and on and got really bad, there were only like 3 tables with people at them (it being a monday). The guy then phones his friend to explain to her how stupid she is for wanting to go to Phuket. Later his phone rang and he went outside (his food had arrived) and yelled in the street about football or something, then said 'oh get this, jane wants to go to Phuket, the silly cow' and im certain Jane could hear all this cause I sure could.
After dinner I decided to walk a long way, but I thought I would walk into the city, I took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in dark dead end streets, meaning I had to backtrack to Islington station to get home...fail.
My dinner, its huge, I didnt eat it all.
As I set up the camera to photograph the outside a rubbish truck pulled up.
Day 19 - Tuesday March 16th 2010
Shopping and stuff
Not a lot to report today, I did a lot of shopping, or looking at things.
I did go to a huge toy shop, but I forget its name, the scalextric track was quite cool, I had to elbow some children out the way to get a turn and then I wasnt about to give up the controller.
Then I wandered around soho and found a good spot for lunch, that stole my idea. Some time ago I wanted to start a shop where you designed your own lunch on a computer and then they made it for you, and the computer told you the calories and fat etc and kept stats for you. This place did exactly all of that. I had this delicious pita stuffed with things that are apparently good for you, but somehow the actual pita bread was much nicer than any other.
In the evening I went for a big walk, and ended up at wagamama, the very same as we have in Australia. And like the Australian ones I was the only male in the place. A bunch of schoolgirls sat near me, and all of them had about 20 modifications to their choice to make, because they dont like bean shoots, or coriander, or basically anything, none of it based on allergies but just dislikes, so they ended up as best I could tell with chicken and white rice with soy sauce only.
Welcome to the future, gee whiz it should be fantastic.
This is the cool toy store, its 5 floors high, although mostly stuffed toys they did have an awesome lego selection including a place you can mess about in the store and build stuff, which I did for a while until it felt a bit creepy.
I stood and pondered this sign briefly, and a guy handing out pamphlets from the orange shop said 'awesome deal dont you think?' and I told him is it free or 15 pounds? and he said its free. So I said great, give me a handset and I'll be off then. And he said all you need to do is sign up for 24 months at 15 pounds a month. And I asked hows that free then? And he didnt know. So I whipped out my camera and lined up to take the photo, to remind me of my discussion, and he stands between me and the sign and says I cant photograph that. So I say ok I will photograph you instead then...smile! And he gets mad and tells me hes getting the manager, great I say as he walks into the store in a hurry, as I take my photo and walk off.
This is my dinner from wagamama, I ordered extra chilli's on the side, but they were about as hot as capsicums, still it was quite nice.
Page 5 now has stuff on it, even more pointless and mind numbing than the last, and I have tried extra hard to take photos with even more blur and noise on the next page.