Sunday, 27 April 2008

London with a view

Here are a couple from the top of 'New Zealand House near Trafalgar Square, on a work information session - with free beer.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

More hideous pics from France and Switzerland

An unexpected discovery

I received an email today from a cycling buddy in France, Sadrra, enquiring as to what I was up to. It turns out he is living, literally 200 meters from me in Stoke Newington! If I didn't hate the phrase, I'd say it's a small world indeed!

Here's a few long-lost photos I from his PC:

Monday, 14 April 2008

Stuck here for a quarter-year

In the the time it takes for the weather to change in this country, my situation and mood have performed a complete reversal. This sudden high note may have something to do with the fact I now have some sort of stable platform to continue my planning and saving. For once, something I planned actually saw itself through - in this case, it was acquiring a new (and livable) abode. It was a little dicey for a while there, for my newfound friend, flatmate and London newbie Sarah was a little more apprehensive of the chosen residence. Sure the house was terrific, said she, but the neighborhood was a little too far on the 'ghetto' side of the railway tracks.

In a swiftly planned and well-executed operation, myself, the landlord and an unidentified foreigner managed to sway her to the "Yeah, why not - It's only for three months, I can get out of there pretty soon if I have to" camp, of which I belonged, it was the scenic and well-narrated tour of the local area by the landlord that did it, I'm sure. The move-in date is Monday the 21st of April, very soon, so that means that it is time for me to load up the bike once more, hit the road again (for about 4 kilometers) and resettle like a good little nomad.

The rent is higher, but for an extra £15 a week, but I think that uninterrupted electricity, heating (think 'air-conditioning' if in Australia), friendly similar-aged housemates, and a seemingly trustworthy landlord is well worth the extra cost. I've always told myself, and probably others as well, that I could live anywhere whilst on this trip, as long as I kept my eventual goal and dream in my mind. How wrong I was! I'm really a gutless wonder at heart. I can't wait to be in a real house. Here, I shall put it in a way that soothes my conscience:

I appear to thrive when I am either fully attached to general society, or completely autonomous. I crumble when it comes to semi-attachment. Give me the open road, a tent, some visas for far-off countries and I'm in my element. But having a semi-reliable income, a nigh-unlivable residence and an uncertain -foreign- bank account leaves me feeling like I'm on the run from the cops - It could all come crashing down at any moment.

The new house should hopefully give me some much-needed relax-time, because if it doesn't poor old Sarah is in for a rough time, looking after the weird depressive social misfit that convinced her to room-share - but hey, "It's only for three months, you can get out of there pretty soon if you have to".

A picture is worth 1000 words - here's 6000 words

Tower of London

Tower Bridge


Tower Bridge

Old Thames Side Inn

Not sure where, but its London.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Loitering in London

Loitering in London

Filed under: London, preparation — kyle @ 5:14 pm

Let’s start on a positive note! The past few weeks have really tested my will to stay in London and save for the next stage of the trip. For the most part, I want to leave now, with less money, and save my sanity. The place where I am staying at the moment (for the month, anyway) is quite unpleasant, my job is not bad, but it is retail, and watching paint drying and grass growing at the same time generally has more entertainment value.

Ah yes, it could be Gorky Park!

Cold, recently

Panorama 1

It’s not all doom and (London) gloom, though. There a few threads of the rope binding me to England still hanging in there. I have met some wonderful people and have had a great offer to share a room and subsequently have cheaper rent and some non-religious, sane human company - something decidedly lacking in my current accomodation. Summer would be a far more agreeable time to cycle through notoriously gloomy Eastern Europe, I’d rather see out the rest of this season from behind a pane of (double-glazed) glass, but I’ll get to the weather in a minute. Last but not definately not least is money, and more precisely lack of it. A convenient roomshare and the job should take care of that little issue as time passes.

Neal's Yard

Area behind ‘Seven Dials’ or ‘Roundabout where seven roads meet’
as I have heard a certain London newcomer call it.

Thankfully, I haven’t been too lonely. I met Sarah, a fantastic girl ‘fresh off the plane’ from Sydney, and we have been hitting the tourist trail, wasting time watching movies, listening to obscure yet terrific bands and searching for a decent shared place to see out the rest of the time here. Her blog is here: ( but beware, she’ll slap you through the internet if you comment with incorrect grammar! I haven’t got away with being in England and not picking up some local habits scot-free, so I’ll talk of the weather, a undeniably British thing to do - it snowed in Central London on Sunday, quite heavily. Walking the streets, I was beaming from ear to ear the biggest smile I’d had on my face in a long time. Sarah wasn’t too keen on it, though. To my dismay, the next day the heavens were back to their regular dull-grey shroud over London (presumably, God has to store all his clouds somewhere).

Upon reflection

So I will trundle along, for the next three weeks, feeling sorry for myself until I find a new place to live, either with the aforemetioned, or with a Kiwi bloke that is coming back from Italy in a few weeks, whom I’ve convinced to join me on my insane marathon pushie trip - but that’s another story.