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December 2nd 2007
Published: December 4th 2007
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Swan LakeSwan LakeSwan Lake

Hyde Park style
Week 2 London - the flat is confirmed, the job hunt goes on, but more interviews so I shall be working one way or the other this week. Had the pleasure of my National Insurance interview so at least the UK formalities are out of the way and am counting down the days until I move. The hostel I'm staying at is OK, but let's face it, I'm a girl who needs her space. I haven't quite managed to get a handle on the art of living on top of 4/5 other people in one small room, doing the kitchen dance every day (3's a crowd!) not to mention the joys of hostel politics and bitching (save me!). I'm managing to hold onto my cheeriness by getting out as much as possible, being positive and talking to random strangers in the streets and undergrounds of London.

The quantity of activities have faded a little this week. There are only so many museums you can do in a row, however I did have a visit to the wonderful Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), which is a museum of handicrafts ... you name it they cover it ... glass, sculpture, fashion, etc
Glass SculptureGlass SculptureGlass Sculpture

V&A Sculpture in the main entrance
- some wonderful displays but after an hour or two I needed fresh air. V&A is not far from Hyde Park so I escaped into the blue/grey yonder and had a lovely stroll through the Park, stopping to provide directions and have a chat to a lovely Icelandic couple (Mar & Erna) with whom I now need to look up when I visit Reyjkavic! The joys of random conversations ... they lead to welcoming locals in remote (and expensive) locations. Hyde Square has set up a christmas market at the marble arch end of the park with stalls, decorations, a big ferris wheel, ice skating rink, etc so I admired it from afar (the swans on the lake were prettier). It didn't open until the weekend, but the pretty lights were on. In Europe they really turn on the Christmas lights and cheer. There are ice rinks, christmas markets, lights, decorations ... you name it everywhere ... I believe this is their way of trying to stop everyone running off to the traditional markets on the continent.

Friday provided another chance to catch up with another part of my Indian adventures as Bruce was visiting from Manchester. We caught
Tate Crack ... revisitedTate Crack ... revisitedTate Crack ... revisited

Bruce looks a bit puzzled by the complexities of the divergent paths available to adequately explore in the foundation splitting artwork
up for a good chat and then went to visit the Monument, however it was a monumental pile of scaffolding, so we may have to have to try that again in 2009 when it reopens. As it was a reasonable day we instead walked along the Thames and I took the opportunity to introduce Bruce to my friend Tate Crack. It's amazing how much time can be spent making up the artistic merit, why and wherefore of a crack in the floor. It was then a walk along through South Bank, past Westminster and Big Ben then off to the Argyll Arms near Oxford Circus for lunch and a chat and the odd one or 2 ... or so beers before Bruce had to go and see the person he was staying with and I caught up with Scottie, a guy who used to work at HP in Brissie and who has been very kindly collecting my mail!

No week would have been complete without food, beer and sport all which were answered with a Saturday visit to the Borough Markets near Tower Bridge followed by a walk to Temple and the temporary home of Speight's London Alehouse. I
Albert HallAlbert HallAlbert Hall

from Hyde Park
expected to learn more about many beers in Europe, but Kiwi Beer wasn't really on my list, however having now tasted a couple of their brews, nice job!. The 'alehouse' itself was built in NZ and shipped by boat to London to provide the Kiwis with a little taste of home, I think it's eventual home will be around Canary Wharf. Our visit nicely coincided with the Barbarians Vs South Africa Rugby game so a couple of quiet ales and a game of Rugby was a nice high point of the weekend.

Well that's it from me this week




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V&A reflectionsV&A reflections
V&A reflections

The pool in the main courtyard at the Victoria & Albert
Ferris WheelFerris Wheel
Ferris Wheel

1/2 the height of the London Eye ... lighting up Hyde Park
Decision timeDecision time
Decision time

Divergent paths point towards the pub ... happiness all round
Stormtroopers on alertStormtroopers on alert
Stormtroopers on alert

Protecting the capital from the evil forces of the universe ... hang on ... who's protecting us from them?
Via WestminsterVia Westminster
Via Westminster

Iconic London ... from across the river!
Beer O'clockBeer O'clock
Beer O'clock

A windy path but the goal was finally reached ...


21st December 2007

Albert hall
what a fantastic photo of Albert Hall, looks like you got it when the sun was shining on it or the lights were on it.

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