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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Day 23: Another Sunday in England [20041031|03:21]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
We meet with Janelle to visit Ian and Anna at their new flat in Richmond. Richmond is in West London. Geographically, it's not that far from Camden, which is in North London. However, it's a real challenge to get there on a Sunday. It takes us no less than two and a half hours. It is a very British experience.

First of all, several of the tube (Underground) lines are never, ever operational on Sundays. These are the Circle and District lines. They are constantly undergoing construction. They are also critical to getting around Central London. Naturally, the District line has a stop directly in Richmond. It's the only line that does. It terminates there.

Since those two lines aren't running, it's impossible to get to Embankment station from North London without taking a roundabout route. It's easier to go to Waterloo. It's faster to take an overground train from Embankment, but Embankment rail station just happened to be closed that weekend. Some of the overground rail tracks were also undergoing construction. You see where this is going, right? The train we end up boarding has its last stop in Richmond, but not before hitting just about every other station in South London first. When we finally get to Richmond, we are supposed to take a bus to Ian and Anna's flat. After much backtracking and argument about which was is north, we locate the correct bus stop, only to discover that the bus doesn't stop there on Sundays.

This is when we give up and take a cab.

We end up having a good time. We walk past the only farm in London. It is protected by Parliamentary order, because Joseph Turner painted exactly that landscape at the turn of the nineteenth century. The painting hangs in the Tate Britain. We go to a pub and have a proper pie-based dinner and a few pints. Some other friends of Ian and Anna's join us, and Nikki tells us amusing stories about her co-workers. One of them moonlighted as a dom, calling himself Master B. He carried a portable dungeon in his briefcase. He loaned Nikki and another co-worker a tape of an interview he gave in which he makes a number of practical suggestions for the beginning dom. The tape showed him walking through a kitchen store and picking up a wooden spoon. "Look at this," he said. "It makes a lovely sound." He thwacked his hand. "And it's only 35 p!"

Lots of people have secretly kinky lives, claims Nikki. When she was up late one night watching Bravo, she suddenly realized that the Amazonian young lady in the nurse's outfit on the screen was her rather severe and dominant co-worker. She was being thoroughly spanked. "By Master B?" I asked. Nikki roared. "I wish I could say yes."

[User Picture]From: opheliablue
2004-11-07 16:21 (UTC)
Welcome to our wonderful Underground system. It is always undergoing reconstruction somewhere; the escalators are always out of service somewhere; the ticket system always doesn't work somewhere; if you use it to get to and from work you risk getting squashed to death and/or slipping under a train if you want to be forceful enough to actually get on a train eventually; once you are on a train you will usually be overcome by B.O. fumes from someone; you also must never look someone in the eye because they will think you are about to kill them (or they will decide to kill you).

Oh yes, I love it! I'm in North London by the way (North Finchley).
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-08 12:02 (UTC)
Generally I avoid the tube for all the reasons you mentioned. It's expensive, it's smelly and the Northern line is so deep that it's always baking hot in there. Oh yes, and you must not talk while on the tube. No no no. And you must bury your nose in the Metro or in your book and pretend the other passengers don't exist, especially old ladies and pregnant women, or else you might have to give up your seat. I use the buses whenever possible!

I'm in Camden. The first week I was here, they started doing road work on my street. They just finished last Friday. I sure do love the sound of pneumatic drills in the morning. Although it was interesting to see the strata of London revealed as they dug. :-D
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[User Picture]From: opheliablue
2004-11-08 12:51 (UTC)
Yes! I do exactly the same thing on the buses - I either pretend to be asleep or I stare out the window with my 'deep in meaningful thought' look on my face - obviously with higher things on my mind than noticing anyone who might want a seat!

Road works...another wonderful thing about London. They're always doing that somewhere (usually in my street :P). Especially at the end of the council's financial year when they realise they haven't used up all the money they've been given and they better do something with it so they're given the same amount the next year ;)

I haven't been to Camden for ages....it used to be one of my regular haunts - The Dublin Castle pub in particular...not sure if that's still there or not.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-09 09:23 (UTC)
Is this the end of the council's fiscal year? That would explain a lot. :-P

Hm, so far I've been into The Lord Stanley and The Oxford Arms (to watch footie w/the manthing). I know I've walked by The Mac Bar, The World's End, The Halfway House, The Devonshire Arms (goth pub) and The Elephant's Head, but I'm blanking on The Dublin Castle. Which street is it on?
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[User Picture]From: opheliablue
2004-11-09 10:31 (UTC)
hehe...I don't think it is actually - I'm sure that was a few months ago when EVERY road was dug up (but particularly my road :P).

hmmm...I can't remember what road The Dublin Castle was on...I'll have to check because it's driving me mad now trying to remember. It was very near Camden Town tube station (think it might have been on Parkway but not sure). It's a long time ago now...the heady days of my youth..hehe. Ah memories...I used to go there nearly every night to watch the bands playing...I was a bit of a groupie :P But I got that from my mum...she's the one who started taking me along with her. I hope she doesn't read this ;)
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