Because I forget stuff. Part of

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May 2011

Posts made in May 2011

What The Dickens

“So what shall we do this weekend?” came the plaintiff cry. In the end we decided a little trip out into London, with a couple of things on our mind. First we made a trip to wander around Camden Markets. Now personally I can see why a certain type of person why simply fall in love with Camden. It has a certain buzz and style that would simply irresistibly attract them. However, quite apart from being charged four quid (!) for a pint in the Camden Eye, I am most certainly not one of those people. Markets in general have always slightly disturbed me—too much confusion and people ready to talk to you as soon as you look at something. Nor have I ever understood the attraction of store after store of below quality, identical rubbish through which one has to wade to find anything decent. I wandered round with a look of perplexity wondering at the throngs of people seeming totally enjoying all this. I think next time Jan would probably prefer to be with someone other than me! We did buy a little cat ornament though.
Springy cat bought in Camden Market
The second place to visit was the Charles Dickens Museum, housed where he used to live in Doughty Street (not that far from the British Museum which would have frankly been a better choice). Neither Jan nor I are admitting to having come up with this idea in the first place. While it is somewhat interesting to wander through the rooms Dickens must have known at £7 per person there simply isn’t a lot to see—a room full of various editions of his books which one can’t touch, a few displays of writing materials and an “exhibition” around the musical version of Oliver. I may have missed it but there seemed to be almost nothing around the social and historical background against which Dickens was writing and which, to a none English scholar like myself, makes his work interesting. The website says the museum is undergoing a refurbishment very soon, which can only improve things.

After that disappointment we hadn’t time for much else, so after a walk done for a pint in the Euston Flyer opposite the British Library we headed home.

Big Photo Update

Really ought to be quicker with the processing. Anyway, big 365 update:

A Bank Holiday Wandering

A May Day bank holiday Monday saw Jan and I wandering into old London town in the sunshine. We were there mainly to see the Museum of London (more below) but managed to have a bit of a wander round too.

Morris Dancers

Coming into London Bridge station we headed along the Thames towards the Millennium Bridge. Along the way we were treated to a traditionally English display; men and women flinging handkerchiefs around as bells jangled in a display of Morris Dancing (which is of course, actually quite scary).

We made it past the scary dancers though and over the no longer wobbly bridge. Around St Pauls and up to the said museum (a strange building reached by a footbridge over the roundabout in which it seems to sit. General impression was that it’s similar in feel to the rejuvenated Hancock in Newcastle. A walk around history from the origins of the city (Romans etc) through medieval period (disease) and on to the industrial victorians and the swinging ’60s. Interesting in parts, a little dull in others; about what one would expect. The reason for visiting (other than never having done so before) was my desire to see a London street photography exhibition on show there (which should have been under the promised ticketing system given the lengthening queue). That was pretty much a run through of photography, with an obvious emphasis on the immediatey of street photography. The really early stuff was of course more just impressive for getting anything at all out of the camera more than a distinct style but the theme did emerge with time, so to speak. I think Jan and I agreed there was just about enough good and interesting stuff in there, such as Lolesworth Street, E1 by Paul Trevor


Lolesworth Street, E1 by Paul Trevor

Customer in the Pommelers Rest

After the museum it was a wander back along the river, stopping off at the Mudlark for a bite to eat (Jan’s chicken burger looked alright, while my gammon and chips were fine once the barmaid understodd me). We took the obligatory photos to show Tower Bridge in the background and then ended up in the Pommelers Rest where we saw the strange faced man and the explorer.

All in all a good day!

Damn You, Rochester!

Anyone in the country can hardly have missed the great big wedding happening in London this Friday just gone. Having pretty much zero interest in such events, Janet and I decided to evade it as best we could by going to see a castle in the relatively nearby town of Rochester. This turned out to be a bit of mistake.

The signs were good; there seemed to be bunting, and a little fair by the castle spotted from the train pulling in. There were even signs for some sort of festival. The first signs of problems came walking down the High Street (the only place in town it seems), which was pretty much totally deserted. Never-the-less, we had a look round the cathedral (nearly getting lost in the Crypt). The signs also declared that we were a day early for the Sweeps Festival.Never mind, never mind. We retired to Ye Arrow pub for a quick drink (wedding unfortunately on the big screen). That turned into some quite reasonably priced food as well (mushroom wrap thing for Jan, chicken burger for me).

Rochester Castle

Refreshed, onwards to the castle (that’s it from the outside in the photo). There we found a little sign at the entrance. Closed all day. To celebrate the Royal Wedding.” Ahhhhh. Damn you, Rochester!

We made the best of it with a stroll round the outside and a look around the second hand bookshops (one can believe Baggins’s claim to be the largest in the UK—we didn’t even make it to the end), A pint in the Jolly Knight (which turned out to be connected to Ye Arrow). followed. Looking for adventure we also strolled across the bridge to Strood, which even with my almost holding a (male) stranger’s hand on said bridge and the two men having a semi-jovial fight, seems best forgotten.Back across the bridge and into one pub too crowded and onto another where we waited an age before being served, but at least they had a pleasant beer garden. There the trees dropped bits in our pints. Damn you, Rochester!

We will return!


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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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