Friday, October 07, 2011

Arrived ... and knackered

Despite my major pre-travel anxiety, the journey went well and I'm here in London. I was a bit nervous because I was flying a different airlines (Delta instead of Virgin Atlantic), from a different terminal at Logan (A instead of E), arriving at a different terminal at Heathrow (4 instead of 3), taking the Heathrow Connect into town instead of the tube, and going to Spooner's new flat in Maida Hill, a part of town I'd only seen briefly from the #31 bus a couple years ago. Some things were better about this scheme (less crowded plane, so I got to spread out over two seats; much shorter line at immigration; far speedier train) and some were worse (inferior in-flight entertainment, jarring bus ride from Paddington to Maida Hill). But I had no trouble finding the flat, no difficulty with the front door lock, and was greeted inside by a trail of post-it notes pointing me to the toilet, computer, power shower switch, and my room -- a bit Alice in Wonderland or Hansel and Gretel.

And despite getting about an hour of sleep on the plane and another hour when I got to Spooner's flat, I boldly ventured forth today and covered a respectable amount of new territory (and a bit of old pavement as well). I left the flat just a few minutes past noon, and headed down the Harrow Road to the Ha'penny Steps, crossed the footbridge, and walked down the towpath past (and a bit through) Meanwhile Gardens. Though I'd never been here before, these spots looked quite familiar -- the blue railings on the bridge, the paths through the gardens, the coots and geese in the canal, the reflections of the buildings in the water -- because I'd seen them so many times in my friend Helen's photostream. London seems empty with her no longer in it. I know I'll think of her often and miss her enormously during this visit.

Continuing on down the towpath, I walked through Little Venice, on the pavement through Lisson Grove (no access to the towpath through some sections here), along the edge of Regent's Park, and up to Camden Town. Weather was kind of variable -- some grey skies and warm, then blue skies and blustery, chilly wind. I took a lot of photos, but haven't reviewed them yet. I'll try to add one or two to this post tomorrow or the next day.

I started out with every intention of walking up Kentish Town Road to Jeffrey's Street to see the new-ish Banksy piece (particularly as his pieces along the canal have been buffed out), but was just too tired by the time I reached Camden Town. So, I decided to do something tried and true. I hopped on the #168 bus, rode down to Euston Station, and went into the Wellcome Collection for a few minutes to see the brand new exhibition -- Miracles and Charms, which is all about Mexican votive paintings, milagros and other amulets of faith and healing. I only had about 20 minutes to spend there, but really liked the exhibition and may try to go back later next week.

Spooner has gone out for the evening to a play. I just took a hot bath and am now making my dinner. I'm going to try to stay awake until about 9 pm, and am hoping to get a good night's sleep and wake up with energy and good spirits for tomorrow's adventures.

$2.40 Mass Pike toll
$22 bus ticket (return) from MassPort lot to Logan
$2.29 bottle of water at the airport
£8.50 Heathrow Connect (single) to Paddington
£20 to top up my Oyster card
£2 for a piece of quiche at Camden Lock Market

21,858 steps
8.62 miles


  1. did you knit anything on the plane?

  2. I didn't bring any knitting in progress, but I do have two small yarn bombs with me that I plan to sew into place somewhere in Meanwhile Gardens. My friend Helen always enjoyed my knitting projects (though she was not a knitter herself), and I think she would have welcomed some yarn bombs from America in her patch.

  3. 2 airplane seats worth any other inconveniences. Sounds like a great ramble. And, the Quiet Evening At Home, sans Spooner, was probably welcome at that point. Looking forward to pix.