Last time I was in London I didn't want to ever leave. It was after the Will-Kate wedding and it was so bright and happy and painted and sunshiney. This time it was cloudy and crowded - where had all these people come from? I almost had a panic attack in Oxford Circus. And so expensive, much more expensive than Manhattan. Some things have not changed from when we lived in Notting Hill 12 years ago. Wild at Heart florists looked the same, just that it was surrounded by posh clothing stores.
|Wild At Heart florists in Notting Hill|
But back to the beginning.
|We flew into the City airport, you have to try it sometimes, you land spookily close to the buildings.|
|Embankment. By this time we had heard all about the cabdriver's three operations in quite some detail|
There was no real time for shopping, it was just a short day in London and I already had my new outfit from Santiago in Spain. I could not face three days in Santiago and one in London in my walking shorts and anyway this one outfit from Massimo Dutti cost less than what the hotel charged to wash our clothes. True story! (why do they insist on ironing everything dry, even the underwear?)
Anyway I can justify anything. Massimo Dutti is that very classic Spanish look for medium prices. I thought I had struck gold until I saw a huge MD store in London and loads of other people walking around in my outfit.
Have been very happy with the outfit, it keeps on giving and plays nicely with the rest of your clothes. I was tempted by some over-the-knee suede boots but Kevin sceptical - what do you think ...over-the-knee okay or mutton/lamb?
|My hairdresser Karen always says when you get to a big city always have a blow out - and I did. It feels very unnecessary and decadent but it worked miracles for the two inches of grey. Weird selfie expression sorry|
There were other new stores in Notting Hill, ones with pretty meats and apples with gold cores
|I love stinky cheeses don't you?|
Loads of pretty people serving and bespecled people eating...
And loadsa dogs and loadsa kids. Actually that's one of the things that drove us from London. When we left 12 years ago there was dog poop everywhere. Not this time. Progress.
We saw our old rental flat BK (Before Kids) and it was still the same. It used to be an old convent. And then you do that tortuous thing where you think about what the owner offered to sell it for, and the genius realtor friend that told us it was way overpriced and the idiots who believed him (us). Coulda shoulda woulda...is that the order?
And then we went to see the subterranean flat we eventually did buy - literally it was under the street. All day you looked up at people's feet and our kitchen was an old coal skuttle. Some friends of ours - top surgeons - lived even lower down, you could not even see the footpath from their living room and one of their kids slept in a little cubby cave under the stairs. Middle class squalor they called it back then.
Is there any other model in London except for Cara and her archy eyebrows? She was on every billboard I saw.
What do you think of London these days? I know Samuel Johnson said: "You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." I felt a bit weary walking through this time. Guess you can view apples with the golden cores but you don't need to buy them. And let's face it - after War and Peace in the next hotel room I was lucky to be still alive.
We always used to get that love and dried fruit bread and banana and choc chip cake from Sally whatsit - and I miss it like crazy!
I like the Massimo Duti outfit and in perusing their line it all looks very nice and so very Jody! The best kind of Euro-Casual and you're right; not terribly expensive. Count me as an over knee boot skeptic too...I'm sure archy eyebrowed Cara has at least a dozen pairs. Right now I'd say they only work well on grown-up women at night in NY, LA, SF if you're tallish and thin so Jody you're in....but they do presently carry a trampish air elsewhere.
On reflection mebbe the over 't knee boots were not for me, can't see me getting them out for an evening out in Oakland.
she did recommend it with a big sweater to balance... with a smart blazer is also a look I love.
And of course if the sparring Russians had finished me off in my sleep I would have been good to go.
Of course it is a phantasmagoria of history and wonderful art and next time I want to re-do all the old tourists traps that I still love, like changing of the guard etc
Leicester is where I was about done in.
Property prices in London are terrifying. As, by the way, are the prices of theatre (theater?) tickets. When we went with the li'l uns this summer, the four of us went to Matilda, and I was very pleased that we saw every single second, no bathroom trips, no squabbling, no getting frightened and hiding in my lap... We were so pleased that we took them out to dinner and spent more.
Sounds like Kevin recovered? v. relieved.
Next time come South of the River. Crystal Palace is very ecelctic and fun, I promise!
Will heed that next time for sure.
My cousins used to live past Crystal Palace at a school in Dulwich so have nice memories of that.
Also I worked for the Brixton Council for a while (for my sins) doing Righ To Buys when i first got to London and apparently Brixton is changed beyond recognition.
Next time when there are more days would love to organise a bloggy meet-up!
Sadly, nothing about my hair these days is natural, its straightened, highlighed and based within and inch of its life.
I'm amazed it hasn't all fallen out.
I'm looking forward to traveling to Prague one day and tasting their version of stinky cheese, really really stinky is it?
I love reading about your travel adventures-you give just the sort of perspective that makes me feel like I have gained real insiders knowledge.
You rock that outfit, but then you rock everything
*sobs into mug of builders tea and consoles self with a hobnob*
Devon is nice.
I love London, it being my home town and all, but I don't think I could live there now.
Love the MD outfit, and your hair is so chic!
Blessings and Bear hugs, Jodi!