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First month in London

so it’s been a month since I left the leafy Surrey ghetto for the mean streets of London nd I wanted to write a bit about how its been going,

Why London?

I moved out of my rented house in Cobham because I felt like my life was going nowhere there. i wanted to experience London first hand by living there.

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I now live in my friend’s flat in Westferry, a ten minute walk from Canary Wharf. Its also near to Mile End and Hackney. I think its a really cool area. You’ve got the typical rough looking East End streets of Limehouse and Poplar, but also the ultra modern Metropolis style buildings of Canary wharf. I’ve had a fascination with this side of London since i saw Bob Hoskins as a gangland boss in the Long good Friday. Suffice to say, the area’s been completley renovated and there are no signs of its criminal past.

Sometimes if I’m up early I’ll walk over to the Crisp Street Market. Its a good place to buy interesting Asian fruit and veg that you don’t see anywhere else.

I’m a swimming nut, and I love the fact that you find public swimming pools everywhere in London. The one i frequent most is the one near Shadwell. however I’ve also been to the one near Mile end and the lovely outdoor pool at the Oasis centre near Holborn.

Limehouse has some great pubs. I like The Grapes on Narrow Street. You can go out the back and be looking directly at the Thames, the scenic side without the rubbish. Occasionally you hear the Clipper speed past, otherwise, it might as well be as it was in Dickens’ day.

At Canary wharf there is a museum of the docklands, its worth a visit, but the politically correct captions start to get tiresome quickly.

I thought that the cinema would be expensive but its not really. There’s a totally cool arthouse place on Stepney highstreet (Genesis Cinema). They’re always doing some really cool special screenings of obscure Italian horrors as well as most new releases.

My favourite pub has to be the Old Blue last in Shoreditch. Its owned by Vice magazine(the somewhat porny free magazine, usually sold on ebay) and they often have live music. Its a great pub in itself and always seems to be full of the right mix of trendy locals and some business types.

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The Sunday market at Spitalfields and Brick Lane is rammers. you can find so much vintage clothing as well as food from anywhere else in the world, unfortunately there is no seating anywhere to be found, so most unfortunate customers end up sitting on the pavement, hardly conducive to good dining. If you hang around long enough, you normally find you have enough free samples to make up one whole meal anyway.

Casual sex

I am not sure where straight Londoners go for random encounters. Maybe they book them online… I haven’t had any random sex and I’m getting worried. what’s the point of living in the world’s greatest city if you can’t meet strangers for sex?

the tube

I spent a week trying to travel by tube before I realised its much quicker to go anywhere on foot/cycle/scooter. The tube is often horribly overcrowded and sweaty. There are much pleasanter ways to see London.

Theatre

Aside from Broadway, London is the world’s greatest theatre destination. Its getting harder to find tickets for smaller plays at venues such as the royal Court and the Donmar warehouse., but there is something to be said in going out on a fine summer’s evening to watch some electrifying theatre with Helen Mirren/Gambon or Vanessa Redgrave.

Free stuff

there’s loads of it. From the free museums and art galleries, to all the concerts at the South Bank. London is a boon for people who don’t necessarily want to pay for their culture.

Right, that’s my highs of London so far. enjoy discovering them, or maybe you feel like finding some of your own?

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