Jolly good time, Govna!
On Sunday morning I left Shanghai for London. Our flight was business class on KLM Airlines. KLM is the official airline of the Netherlands and cow-hipped, middle aged, and blond stewardesses. I had only flown business class once before. And as before, I was overjoyed to have expansive leg room, a reclining seat, real plates and utensils.
Our departure was delayed by an hour due to Chinese military exercises in the sky above. Once airborne, our flight was 11 hours to Amsterdam. I was unable to sleep.
The final leg to London was only 45 minutes. We arrived at the airport and a man with a sign led us to a futuristic European model Ford minivan. Our ride into town took an hour, despite our driver’s best intention to drive like a maniac.
For our stay in London, we have been provided serviced apartments by the production company. They are a little sterile and house a confusing surplus of complicated light switches. They are conveniently located a mere chamber pot’s throw from Aldgate East Station.
On Monday, I awoke early and went on a walk.
Room number 6: immediately inside the door are some safety deposit boxes with keys.
Lady smokes next to a large brick building along the Thames.
Tower Bridge seen from Potters Fields.
Construction cranes and the tampon building.
Tower Bridge as seen from London Bridge.
Decorate, car-blocking pole.
Blue metal fence.
Sadly, I didn’t find the humps I was was looking for.
I read “TO LET” as “TOILET”.
Traditional London stone bread.
Ice skating rink at the foot of The Tower of London.
The Tower of London.
Moss on a roof.
These premises are alarmed.
Painted metal train bridge.
Around lunch, coworkers and I met up for lunch. From there, it was time to actually head to a post production company to check on our project.
Miso ramen for lunch.
Coworkers on a walk to a post production office.
New London cab. I want one of these.
Spiky bar to discourage sitting on or breaking in through a window.
Pink ball on moldy stoop says hello to purple door.
Entering the alley to Time Based Arts.
Clocks in the stairwell.
Old brick wall and pipes in the alley.
Garbage in front of wall.
Old train cars rented out as artist studios on the roof of an otherwise normal looking building. Very cool.
Another studio car.
View of train tracks from the studio roof.
Good British dinner at a bakery/restaurant. I had steak and broccoli.
After our checkin, we went to a bar and a nice dinner with the director and her producer. Jet lag started to hit heavily around 6PM. A single drink seemed to make me tipsy, and I was more of a zombie than a conversationalist during our excellent and heavy dinner.
Much like Sunday night, I slept like a log. But I also woke up refreshed and ready for anything at 6AM. I decided to take the Tube to Westminster Station to see the sunrise over Big Ben. From there, I walked around town a bit before returning to the apartment around 9:30AM for a work call.
Sunrise looking south on Westminster Bridge.
Sunrise looking north.
The Eye of London.
Joggers on a promenade.
Houses of Parliament.
House of Parliament and Big Ben. Click for a 2000px wide panoramic (opens in new window).
Westminster Abbey under a morning half moon.
Knobby tree-lines walkway at St. James’s Park.
A black goose and very rippled water.
Buckingham Palace as seen from the Mall.
Groundskeeper in green tends to the green grounds.
Golden sculpture in front of Buckingham Palace.
Warmly lit trees and curious man in Green Park.
The morning garbage includes an umbrella and a bottle of wine. It’s a Merry Poppins estate sale!
Bricks in the sun.
The dumb side of the National Gallery with a dumb little man being dumb in the distance.
The four British soldiers that have died in Afghanistan.
Cool brick building.
After the call, the two agency producers and I went out in search of some good Indian food. We had a wonderful meal and then split up for the rest of the afternoon.
A basket big enough to fit a whole ham or my wiener.
A large amount of suspicious looking pigeons.
T. ONIFA I 7 LE T
Hand painted sign, perhaps by David Shrigley?
Excellent and cheap indian food from a place called Lahore Kebabs.
And more. Not pictured: mango lassi, fish curry, and chickpea curry.
Sack of clams outside an olive colored doorway.
Steps down to the river.
Algae coated foundations.
I don’t want to put a finer point on it, but here are some birdhouses in a tree.
Tires in an old set of locks.
Look both ways before getting hit.
A children’s playground made by the criminally insane: Glamis Adventure Playground.
A playground to have seizures too.
Secret garden in Glamis. Ooops.
Another part of the garden.
A sad looking cabbage.
Oil fill door.
Carrousel near Piccadilly Circle.
Lights hung above Piccadilly Circle.
In the evening, everyone met up near Piccadilly Circle and we went on an epic walk through drizzle in search of dinner. My legs were tired from walking since the early morning, so I lagged behind as the gang traveled through the bustling streets of London.
I was excited to climb into bed. My throat was feeling sore and my legs needed a rest. I went to sleep hearing sirens outside and wishing J. could be in London with me.