Tea time!

Tea time!

Experience shows! That’s the way to compensate the British weather: tea and colourful biscuits! – sofa and a good read optional (in my case compulsory! 🙂 ) XX, Angie

12:03 from Paddington

Last Sunday Gonzo and me took a break from looking for flats, working all week, the hustle and the noise – in short: from London.
We took the train at 12:03 from Paddington and spent a lovely afternoon in Oxford. 😀

Oxford CollageOxford is a cute little town – not too far from London actually; it took us only about one and a half hours to get there.
It seemed to me the city is entirely constructed in beige freestone. The buildings look old, serious and impressive, just as you’d expect from a city known for its Colleges and Universities. And the streets are full of cute little shops and cafes.

Apparently JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter in Oxford – and I have to say, seeing the enchanting streets, winding alleys and old Universities, all of a sudden the Harry Potter Universe doesn’t seem such a flash of genius to me. But considering that also JRR Tolkein and CS  Lewis wrote in Oxford, one certainly can’t deny the power of the city to inspire magical stories – and make authors shorten their first names to their initials.

As for us, we just got lost in the town center and strolled through the Covered Market, walked past Christ Church Cathedral and the Botanic Garden. Further we saw the Radcliffe Camera (a famous library apparently) and visited the Divinity hall at the Bodleian library, where scenes of Harry Potter were shot.
Out of the library we went straight into Blackwell’s Bookshop, where we spent ages rummaging around and looking at all the books we didn’t buy in the end. But it doesn’t matter, as I really enjoy looking around, reading cover texts and just get lost amongst books. Gonzo got me The Unbearable Lightness of Being, as he thinks I’ll really enjoy it (- I started reading it on the train back). We found out later, that Blackwell’s claims to be the biggest bookshop in Europe – but we got stuck at the ground floor, so we can’t really tell 😉

We had amazing burgers for dinner and headed back to London on the 19:55 train; where we saw Oxford Murders as a perfect finish for the day.

XX, Angie

(Wingardium Leviosa!)

 

NHM and BAFTA

Sundays are kind of a dilemma recently. On the one hand it’s the only day of the week when I am finally off, but on the other hand Gonzo and everyone else I live with has to work. Ergo I’m home alone.
I really like to go out and do stuff, see the city and travel – but to be honest I really don’t enjoy doing things on my own. I just believe it’s more fun, if you have someone to share walks, exhibitions, experiences and memories with.

nhm CollageAnyway, today was a absolutely lovely, bright and sunny day and as I got up, I decided to not let this day get wasted. So I went to see the Natural History Museum.
I went there in the late afternoon, thinking I‘d be particularly clever and avoid the crowd of families. Well, the plan didn’t really work out, I still had to queue for half an hour in order to get in – but it was definitely worth it!
As soon as I got in, I stood in that great entrance hall, light flooding through stained glass windows, the famous dinosaur skeleton right in the middle, welcoming the visitors.
I wandered through the immense minerals collection and The Vault, some of the most precious gemstones of the world and I went up to the third floor and had a look at the section of a 1500 year old tree. Further I walked through a forest of colourful birds, the center of earth and a Japanese supermarket destroyed by an earthquake. Finally I had a walk amongst dinosaurs and I saw an (almost) real-life T-rex.
Of course I had nowhere near enough time to see all the exhibits, but I tied to see a little bit of everything.
When the museum closed, I had a nice walk up to Knightsbridge, past brightly lit Harrods and all that fancy boutiques.

I already planned to conclude my evening with cooking some nice curry and reading a little – but I remembered just in time that today is BAFTA-day! So Maria, who came home just after me, and I ended up on the sofa watching the BAFTA ceremony life on BBC. How amazing is that?? And that’s just one of the joys of living in London! 😀
We act as our own commentator committee, judging films, acceptance speeches, dresses and performances. I write this as we watch the show and so far we laughed a lot with the opening speech of Stephen Fry, decided that the dress of Patricia Arquette is not very flattering, loved the accent of James McAvoy and found the acceptance speech from Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor utterly adorable.

I forgot to mention that we feast on chocolate cookies, as we slouch on the sofa – today’s definitely a good day!!

XX, Angie

N8 to Stratford

IMAG0499_IIIt’s a Saturday night, Oxford Street is deserted – it’s too early for the partygoers to take the bus home, it’s merely filled with a couple of people who had to work late shifts.
The light of the new Tottenham Court Road station shines bright onto the empty and quite streets. I take a window seat and look out to the empty streets of London. I feel like a silent observer.

The streets in the city are chaotic, there are construction sites, diversions, roundabouts and one-way streets. It seems like a maze, open for everyone to see, but only for the skilled ones to conquer.
We drive past the British Museum (it’s not lit in the night, but I know it’s there), Holborn, around a corner and there it is: St. Paul’s Cathedral. By now it is too late for the lights to be turned on, but the light from the shop windows around dip it in cold light. The majestic building is crowned by the full moon, standing high above the dome and completing the magic picture. No one pays attention but I feel a little special to watch St. Paul’s asleep.
Onwards to the Bank of England. I can’t help but think of Mr. Banks, who passes by St. Paul’s every morning when he walks to work. ‘Feed the birds, tuppence a bag…’ I hum. The buildings along the street look old and full of memories of long passed, yet not less busy days.

IMAG0501_IIBut suddenly the scenery changes. The beautifully decorated brick houses make way for glass and steel, and we drive past the Gherkin as we approach Liverpool Street Station. On the right I can see Spittalfield’s Christ Church, next to the Ten Bells. It is lit brightly agains the dark sky, creating an eerie atmosphere. I remember having heard, that Jack the Ripper stalked the streets in this area.

We drive on towards Shoreditch. Girls in short dresses are waiting for the bus. For a moment, I swear, the constant drizzel turns into snowflakes dancing through the air and everyone looks around in awe.

The bus fills up now, as we drive past Bricklane and the windows steam up. I listen to the conversations of my fellow passengers in English, Italian, French and an Asian language I cannot place. The neon signs paint colourful patters onto the misty windows.

We are out of town now. The High Street is seamed with Halal Chicken Shops, 24 Hour Off Licenses and more and more residential houses.
After a while the bus starts to empty. I can already see the big red silhouette of the Arcelor Mittal Orbit against the sky. Bow Flyover. Stratford. “This bus will now terminate here. Please take all your personal belongings with you when you leave the bus.”

As I get off the bus I can almost see Gonzo sitting at the window, waiting for me.

Buona notte and XX, Angie

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Completing Hipster-mode

About two weeks ago a new member of the family arrived.  – No, not what you are thinking. 😉 I’m speaking about the lovely Macbook family nests in our living room (sometimes on the sofa and rarely on the selves).

macII

Tha-daaa! I proudly present to you my new baby: a lovely, slim and lightweight Macbook Air. 😀

Yes, I’ve always been a victim of peer pressure …

XX, Hipster-Angie