28 December 2007
Saturday saw us head down to the Borough Market as part of our exploration of London. The Borough assaults all five senses: intense crowds, enticing colour, mouth-watering smells backed up by amazing flavours and the whole buzz of the place. Upon arrival, we sampled some hot apple juice with cinnamon... like drinking apple pie, yum, and soooo good for the cold day. Then a little later I had a barbecued bratwurst hot dog with ketchup, mustard and sauerkraut. Nooot too bad! Then pre-departure, the most decadent chocolate brownie imaginable. *WHIMPER*
Anthony and I moved into our own flat a fortnight ago. We're really happy with it, since given it's location and amenity, it seems a real bargain when compared to the other places we looked at, some of which were asking almost twice the rent. Unable to explain why our little garrett (it's literally in the roof space of a house, on the third floor) is so cheap, we decided that it was possibly because of the proximity of Emirates Stadium, the home ground of Arsenal Football Club, which looms large from our bedroom window. On the first match day, walking home through the post-match crowds, our street felt so alive! Second time round, we could hear the crowd roar with each match eddy, also cool, and no more noisy than Guildford Road traffic. The only negative has been the closure of our tube station. During fixtures, it operates exit-only, quite an inconvenience when heading into town.
After we moved in, in shopping for the basics, we discovered that we're located in the midst of the Holloway local centre, with three department stores (Argos, Marks & Spencer & James Selby) and three supermarkets (Morrisons, Waitrose & Marks & Spencer) all within five minutes walk from home. There's a major hardware outlet on the corner, TWO luggage stores, a cycle shop, in fact, most goods/services you could want are on our doorstep. Yet even though we explored the area thoroughly in gauging the context of all the places we considered, we somehow skipped over this major shopping strip. Who knew?
It's also spectacular at night. From the end of our street, an avenue of twinkling blue starlit trees stretches off into the distance.
This afternoon, I went into the city to sort out some paperwork with a consultancy on London Wall (a street name), near Liverpool Street Station. A road closure due to a traffic crash aborted my bus route near Angel Station in Islington, so I chose to walk the rest of the way down into the city. It took about an hour, but I now appreciate those areas I walked through so much better than I could have from a moving vehicle. One of the highlights was a visit to 30 St. Mary Axe, a recent Norman Foster addition to the London skyline and the city's tallest building.
P.S. Apologies for the fuzzy images, but I just couldn't discard some of these even though they're not the pinnacle of photographic excellence!