Sunday, October 16, 2011

I yarn stormed London

It's hard to believe that my nine days in London are almost over. The time went so quickly, yet it was long enough for me to feel the closest to being a real Londoner that I've ever felt.

Yesterday (Saturday) morning, while Spooner was at the steam bath getting all remaining traces of buffalo, pig and soil out of his pores, I took the two yarn bombs that I'd brought from home down to Meanwhile Gardens. I found good places to attach them -- I put a green one with leaf pattern on a metal railing near the pond, and a striped one on a hand-made stick railing in the wildlife garden. As I was sewing them in place, a young man did Tai Chi on the platform above the pond near my first location, and the birds and squirrels scurried and hopped around my feet at the second spot. My friend Helen used to come to Meanwhile Gardens, and to the stretch of canal next to it, often to photograph the birds, plant life, and the reflections in the water. I like to think she would have noticed my yarn bombs straight away, and would have smiled and approved of my creative mischief in her garden.

In the afternoon, Spooner and I went to two art events that bring street art indoors. The first was the Moniker Art Fair at the Village Underground in Shoreditch. We also walked around the car park behind Holywell Lane and looked at what was new on the walls there. Neither indoors nor out was as good as last year, but we saw some interesting things. After that, we rode the bus across London Bridge, walked through Borough Market for some nibbles (much of which was free samples of chutney, cheese and bread from various vendors), and took another bus over to Waterloo to see The Minotaur in the Old Vic Tunnels under the train tracks. Some of it was cool, some creepy, and some puzzling.

Another long bus ride took us to Hampstead for dinner with Greg and Esther at a nice little French bistro where we'd all eaten together a couple years ago. It was a great meal, with lovely company, and a very nice way to end my trip.

I managed to see most of the people I wanted to meet up with, though I really regret not seeing the ones I missed. I ticked off most of the things on my massive list of exhibitions, historic spots, markets and rambles. The places I didn't get to will just have to go onto the list for the next trip. Except for the first couple of days, my back held up and didn't ache. I didn't lose anything or get lost. The weather was decent -- no real rain to speak of, and the final two days were full of blue skies and sunshine. And I didn't wear my rain boots once.

Big thanks to Spooner and all my mates who made this such a fab trip.

£5 last top-up on my Oyster
£2 spinach packet at Borough Market
£10 tix (2) for the Old Vic Tunnels
£17 dinner and wine

17,738 steps
6.99 miles


  1. A fitting tribute in the aptly-named gardens.

  2. Can't wait to see photos!