To Hel and Back :: Edit your Template To Hel and Back: April 2006

Friday, April 28, 2006

Argentina in time, Banbury in body

It's first thing in the morning in Argentina, lunch time in Banbury.

Around my desk: tissues, lip balm, hand cream, massage oil, tiger balm, chocolate biscuits, After Eights, water, Easter egg, hands free for two Nokia phones, two Nokia phones, head set, lap top, four pens, a notebook, Strepsils... you get the picture.

I've just scoffed: canned Bob the Builder spaghetti, a fried egg, 2 pieces of toast, a piece of bread with butter, bread with lemon curd, many strepsils.

In between typing, I jump up and do crazy aerobic moves or long yoga stretches.

Outside my door, muffled noises of children. Occassionally a rogue hand creeps in, retrieves something from the office, retreats for fear of being consumed as a mistaken identity for a biscuit or being blamed for my audio connection dropping out.

The joys of freelancing.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Rites of passage revisited

There are a few things about being back in the working "western" world that are good to re-discover.

The pay cheque: The other day I got a pay cheque. Granted it was only for a week's pay but it felt good to have a BACS receipt in my hand. I felt proud, accomplished and hungry. I celebrated by purchasing cleaning detergents and a four pack of 44p creme caramel. I know how to live...

The chat up: On the train back from the airport, a guy chatted me up. At least I think he did. Remember, I have been in Finland for a year... A man just looking at me is chatting me up. A man who talks me to for forty five minutes on a train at midnight is clearly gagging for it!!! (I am kidding, in case said strange man ever stumbles across this page) It was really nice to a) have conversation with a native English speaker b) share a few mutual eye winking moments c) realise I might be tolerable to the opposite sex...

I guess now I just have to look forward to my first shave, my first suit, and losing my virginity...

Why i'm still a Maunula tyttö

Some time ago a friend pointed out that my profile was wrong, as it said my current location was Maunula and geographically I'm anywhere in the UK at any given random moment.

Physically that's correct, but short on an essay on existentialism, my heart is a little bit in Finland. At the time of being corrected by the observant friend, I was ready to staunchly defend my right to say I am Finnish. My friends, my heart and my language default are Finnish. At present, I can at least say some friends, some of my heart, and a lot of my luggage are in Finland.

So, in the same way that when I travelled through Japan or spent eight weeks in Australia, that my profile stayed in Maunula, then so it will till now. Plus, London is boring in that everyone's there... Helsinki is still cool for isolation...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

London Nights

Yesterday I had time off. That’s right. Two free hours in London at my will in between work and a treat at the theatre. I was beside myself.

It was quite a warm day though the morning was cold and dropped the infamous London fog over everything and now while it has risen above our heads, it still lurked above the skyscrapers preventing any blue from entering and prompting English people to use phrases like “it’s very close” and “it’s trying to rain” to describe the weather. Because of this, I decided to walk into the nightlife area, mostly along the river.

My walk starts from London Bridge, where I have to push past the Spanish exchange tourists queuing to get into the London Dungeon sporting fleshwounds and scars designed to make the queue more entertaining but leading the office workers into a moment’s panic when they wander into a mob of bleeding teenagers.

I cross the road past London’s first Gothic church. It’s bells are peelings for the 530 mass. I’m tempted, for the spirit rather than the religion but then get sidetracked by some very upright blood red tulips…

The road then takes me past the Golden Hinde, an old boat which circumnavigated the world in a certain direction in a certain day and is now available for party hire or English school kids (it’s not cool enough for the Spanish).

The roads get narrower and cobbled because the lanes I am using used to be the same narrow lanes winding between warehouses loading into boats on the Thames. All sorts of heavy metal hangs above me, with Starbucks signs now hanging delicately off the edge.

I pass The Clink prison, another tourist attraction, this one emitting Gregorian chants and some Roman ruins. There’s a new Wagamama and I drool over the thought of chicken katsu curry and dumplings. But at 12 pounds, I’m thinking WongKei at China Town might be a better budget option. There’s Vinopolis where I vowed to never again try Chinese or Indian wines.

There’s no sign of the robot bar where you were served by robots. Perhaps because human customer service in London is so robotic that there was no incentive for people to go.

Back on the Thames, the tide is out and there are people fossicking for old bombs on the rocky shore. There are queues outside the Bankside Pier and I make a note to take the boat to work one day before I move jobs and house. There’s something decadent about taking a fast cat boat on the water to work…

Along the Thames Path, I’m constantly dodging runners. Of course, it’s the day after the London Marathon, and having witnessed the finish one year, I can testify to how inspiring it us. I remember dragging Adrian along one year and he was so motivated that he went running out the door straight after work, and ran so fast that he threw up afterwards… No vomit this time, but I did have to dodge someone’s underwear as they came flying out of his back pack as he chugged along… More sensible, the man in new sneakers jogging in a pin stripe suit…

I pass the Globe, where knights and dragons apparently gathered as late as yesterday for St George Day, the national day of England that only skinheads and the BNP seem to celebrate…

I reach the Tate and recall falling asleep on a sofa there, nursing a hangover. I remember Dave, who was with me that time, wearing orange, the official colour of the Gallery and the same colour as the staff uniform, and he kept getting asked where the toilets where as he visited.

At Oxo Tower I go to see Fallout, a GreenPeace endorsed exhibition of people whose lives have been ruined by Chernobyl and other nuclear fallouts. There are Ukranians people from Kazakhstan with swollen heads and bellies, shrunken heads and bellies, soulful yet empty eyes.

About this time, the bank calls and tells me I am overdrawn and I tell the man on the line that I am grateful he told me this just before I reached the second new Wagamamas on South Bank…

Gabriel’s Wharf has rows of empty al fresco seats beckoning, the National Theatre promise a couple of interesting plays, the NFT is featuring western films. The booksellers under the bridge are packing up and there are live musicians everywhere. This is my favourite Sunday afternoon haunt. I remember seeing the Wizard of Oz (original) at the NFT and the little girl next to me saying “it’s okay, don’t be scared” when the witch first came on.

I fill mg bag up with leaflets from all the theatres and starting weaving in and out of the queues getting frisked for the London Eye. I realize I am walking beyond my destination and jump on a tube to Picadilly Circus, where I have to confess I actually used a map to remember which was Shaftsbury Avenue. Tickets in hand, I turn the corner into China Town. I love the colour, the light, the bustle and the bakery doing stuffed buns. I settle on partly raw on the inside and hot to burn on the outside dumplings drowned in soya sauce and a cheap and nasty glass of white wine. Then I go the littlest alley down Soho and eat some custard tarts outside a sex shop watching the pre-sunset prostitutes, and the businessmen “just having a look”.

The play itself was great. The times I have been to see the Royal Shakespeare Company they have always brought extra light to the dialogue. There was humour in The Crucible that I didn't get from just reading it. I had seen the same play performed about ten years ago by a Sydney theatre company and I thought that was a more dramatic interpretation. Even so, it was brilliant.

“More weight”.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Single Off-White Female

Me in the mansion
It’s that time again to start hitting the property market and look for somewhere to live for the next few months. And by saying this, yes I have decided to stay in London for the virtues of the pound.

So I will be leaving my little wall to wall number in mid May and either moving across the peninsula to Canada Water (where my money will buy me half a shoe box), or zone one (where my money will buy me a larger room with questionable safety and security, constant traffic and erratic heating… )

I’m viewing Bohemian Cottage No 1 this Thursday. Currently inhabited by a Finnish student, I am hoping my moika’s and kiitoksia’s will impressive her into handover. Inner City dwelling No 2 I’m waiting for an available slot for, seeing as I missed their weekend auditions and have to wait for the mid-week round of invites… I’m slightly suspicious of anyone that particular for a short term that they need to have several showings so I think I’ll prepare them a few questions in return.

Palace vs Prison: places I have livedPeartree Avenue, SW18Emanual Ave, W3 (it's the little windows in between the two houses... )

Crown St, OX hmm no one in Cowley Road knows their postcode...

Manor Court, OX15Plough Way, SE16

And not forgetting: Manor Park where apparently the
Where the ghost of Catherine Tylney still haunts!
and - Gateway of the East
and The Hyde, Stevenage, last known death on site July 2005.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I want your money

Exercise is clearly my thing...
Most of you know that I escape up to Oxford most weekends, to be spoilt by the elusive Shelly, and to cuddle one very cute 18 month old baby ... What most of you don't know is that said cute baby, Jacinta Tania, is the namesake of one of Shelly's friends who died of cancer a few years ago.

For all the things that Shelly has done for me over the years, and for all the friends and colleagues who are literally dropping like flies with various forms of cancer, I am running (yes really) the Race for Life in July.

It's only five kms, but for those of you who have seen me try and push my bike around the flatscape of Finland or struggle to make it to Level one of the Sheraton, then you know that five kms is more than enough! So, we don't need sympathy, I don't need training schedules - but I do want your money.

You can pledge a few pounds at my personal sponsorship webpage and I promise to never beg for your cash again. It'll take less than five minutes to sponsor me, and then you can go back to looking important as you stare at your inbox, but this time with a smug grin for actually having done something important... Thank you.

Rowena-I don't even run for buses-Harding.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

On the road again

I was hoping to go back to Hel to pick up some luggage, have a couple of days of love and smut and then work, before returning back to London with some much needed clothing.

But one of my doors closed, so another one has opened and even though my mantra was "I want to settle down" I will now get on the road again. It looks like I might be in Sardinia in the middle of May and in Greece in June.

Above, is a photo of Sardinia when I was there one Autumn - it was divine. And Greece in June, well I don't need to tell you how nice that is going to be... However until my luggage is rescued from Helsinki, I am going to be wearing an interesting assortment of summer clothes and beach wear...Think black winter jacket with a bra underneath for after 6 wear and my snow boots and a sarong for the day time.. ?!

Mutterings from the wall

Beautiful people...
Berliners are beautiful. They eat breakfast as a brunch that lasts from 5am to 5pm, they have delicious ice cream and an abundance of places to slurp beer and cocktails. But they are thin and slim, trim and taught. Perhaps it's the high number of beach volleyball pits plotted around the city. They have great teeth, clear skin, good hair and I never saw a spot on one of them. They wore great clothes and look fantastic in the simplest of outfits. Of course, I fit right in with my spots and limited clothing supply!

It could just be the crowd I was hanging out with but they were all upwardly mobile young achievers who had studied in locations as diverse as China, Korea, Australia, New York. They lived in funky high-ceiling appartments with furniture that wasn't from Ikea. They had healthy plants bigger than me. They didn't remember Belinda Carlisle. Sigh..

Little Turkey
I spent a bit of time in Little Turkey or Eastern Kreuzeberg because I am a sentimental sap. I scoffed gozleme and tripe soup and spoke Turkish far better than German. Everyone spoke back to me in German though, so we didn't get very far communicating.

All the photos are now online...

Ample Man

There's no denying that Berlin had it's fair share of lonely and melancholy moments. But there was one constant bringing a smile to my face, and despite my strong independence I will confess that my joy came from a man.

But no ordinary man, the East Berlin ampelmann.

Dotting the streets of the city in the former East, the portly yet stoic red man and the arguably phallic green never failed to bring a smile to my face. Designed in 1961 by an East German traffic psychologist (apparently a real profession under Communism) the ampelmann (ampelmen?) were designed to help humans react and cross at safer times.

Ironically the cuteness of little red and the enigmatic arm of not so little green were nearly responsible for many accidents as I attempted to capture them on film before they are relegated to history. This was nearly the case in 1994 when they began to be replaced in reunified Germany. But such an uproar followed their gradual disposal that they are now a cult icon.

Ampelmnan has gone capitalist in a big way and he's now available on everything from cookie cutters to ice cube trays, a far cry from the original lamps that were devised from the dismantled traffic lights. ) While I'm not keen on ampelmann putting himself about, I am happy that he should be here until the Eurocrats banish him (only West German or Euroman ampelman are allowed on main roads).

Even though it does mean that the roads are more dangerous while camera toting tourists enamored with the green man forget to walk when they see him...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Over the wall

Statue as seen through the posts of the Reconciliation Church.

I arrived back at 2am this morning. Crossing the Berlin Wall - getting through London at midnight... they're both challenging and bureaucratic.

More as soon as I find a big fat adsl connection.

Thanks to the lovely lovely people trying to cheer me up. I woke up all warm and fuzzy in my sleeping bag.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Boringly miserable

Wallow wallow glorious mud. I am going through the hardest muddiest loneliest stretch for a long time at the moment... So expect much depressed pondering before the Berlin snaps get posted.

I just checked my emails and received but one message from a friend for the five days I have been away, so I think that gives me the right to feel even more sorry for myself. Finland forgets me but I am like a desperate ditched lover, dreaming of her and all who sail in her, every day.

Recent fatalities at work (two that were not listed on this blog) have prompted the philosophy that we are all sophisticated fertiliser. We all die in the end, so what is the point of all that stuff in between?

Everything is grey, colourless, motionless. The only smile I've formed has come from ampelmann.

Walk? Don't walk?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ich bin ein berliininmunkki

The person you have called is not available. Please try again later.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Beautiful people

I'm lucky that my travels far and work wide have brought me in contact with some wonderful people, even if they are only transitory experiences. Last Thursday, one of those beautiful people, Tomoji Kawano, sadly died of stomach cancer. I met him at Rally Australia, which he wanted to contest to fulfil a dream. He was an incredibly happy, humble, peaceful and philosophical person. Someone that many people I know could learn from. I know I did. He is survived by three small children and a wife. He was 44 years old.

Part of the following poem was on his rally car, written by the Japanese poet,
Kenji Miyazawa.

Ame ni mo makezu

Be not defeated by the rain, Nor let the wind prove your better.
Succumb not to the snows of winter. Nor be bested by the heat of summer.

Be strong in body. Unfettered by desire. Not enticed to anger. Cultivate a quiet joy.
Count yourself last in everything. Put others before you.
Watch well and listen closely. Hold the learned lessons dear.

A thatch-roof house, in a meadow, nestled in a pine grove's shade.

A handful of rice, some miso, and a few vegetables to suffice for the day.

If, to the East, a child lies sick: Go forth and nurse him to health.
If, to the West, an old lady stands exhausted: Go forth, and relieve her of burden.
If, to the South, a man lies dying: Go forth with words of courage to dispel his fear.
If, to the North, an argument or fight ensues:
Go forth and beg them stop such a waste of effort and of spirit.

In times of drought, shed tears of sympathy.
In summers cold, walk in concern and empathy.

Stand aloof of the unknowing masses:
Better dismissed as useless than flattered as a "Great Man".

This is my goal, the person I strive to become.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Furry Friends in the City

I made friends I made friends I made friends!!! If anyone has seen me go from ultra bitch / event mode /professional city chick into cat lover extraordinaire aged 6 and a half in a millisecond they can imagine just how excited I am now!

I went for a jog (yes you have read that word correctly) because it was a glorious ten degrees with clear skies and I stuffed myself full of food at Chez Linstroms while working on the weekend.

I headed straight to the Mudchute Farm and after a quick backwards run and ten trips of the stairs (yeah I am working all those muscles groups!) I got distracted by the commuter sheep, the mallrat goats, and the very confused llamas in some parkland across from the Canary Wharf skyline.

And then I found Scrat. I heard Scrat before I met him. A strange almost childlike cry but far too rhythmic to be human. He was in amongst some ugly bushes along the fence line in a not so glam area of Mudchute (ie Millwall).

I called Scrat and to my surprise he came running. He sniffed. And I crouched. He sniffed more. I could see that his coat was matted down his body and his eyes looked like he could be healthier. I tried to scratch his head but he was a little edgy but after a lot more sniffing and rubbing of about an inch of fur all over my legs he allowed me a pat. Passerbys smiled at me and my new friend, who I was animatedly talking to.

After a while I realised I needed to get going. I stood up and waved at Scrat. Yes I waved at a cat. I honestly thought he was going to lift a paw and wave back because I realised I stood there looking at him expectantly.

I took a few steps to move away and Scrat ran after me. You can imagine how pathetic this scene got... He was plaintive in his mewing and my heart was broken. Fortunately this tender moment was broken when Scrat discovered something edible nestled amongst the garden gnomes, St George flags and carefully lettered signs athe Mudchute Memorial Allotment Society (I kid you not).

I jogged back into the park, giggling at a sign that read "Please approach the cows with caution. They can be unpredictable and aggressive". My giggling stopped when I saw them. My god it's been a long time since I have stood shoulder to shoulder with a cow. They are bloody big animals. And they have those big glassy eyes which look at you with no comprehension like an over medicated patient on an acute ward... I didn't jog (after all they are unpredictable) but I walked pretty briskly in anticipation of their aggression.

Back in south dock, I stopped to watch a gorgeous sunset. Gold and orange, a ball sinking into the docks and making the skyscrapers sparkle. I looked at it until my eyes hurt and all I could see was burning spots in front of me. Which is why I thought PowderPuff was a squirrel when he landed from a nearby blossoming tree onto the pavement in front of my sneakers. When I realised Powerpuff was in fact a fluffy tabby, I called her and she came running, fluffy tail upright like a flag. She sniffed, and rubbed, and we had a pat. She was much better loved than Scrat though she had a tiny abcess. She would run back to her tree, and I would call her, and she would run, with her ridiculously puffy tail bringing up the rear.

I jogged home, pretty happy at today's finds, thinking about Paws (that is another story) and thinking London was alright for now. Rain is forecast for the next few days. Rain, as described by the Channel Five weather girl as "pretty miserable relentless rain that is a horrible way to start the day." Rain being a bit of a dampner for jogging and definitely not good weather for cats, lets see if my London pride will continue for the next few days...

Above photo is neither Scrat nor 'Puff, but a Latvian exchange cat...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Back in Black

I'm back in black and for once it's not for a funeral...

Yesterday my rent deposit came in, and today my cheque from the tax department arrived.

The cheque has a box with amounts written above it, and you get as much of that amount as specified in the box eg tens, units, hundreds etc. My box has a space for 100,000, million and 10 million. Do people really get cheques for this amount of money?

Given that I feel so happy today because mine has some figures in four boxes on the lower right hand side, what must those people feel like whose boxes are filled in the far left of the million scale?? The mind boggles to think...

Anyway, enough celebrating. It's back to Corsica for me for fast and furious rally action. Apparently it's a nice day outside and it's been lovely weather in Corsica too. Sadly I can't vouch for either.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A pound for a pound

There have been requests and demands on my lunch for a pound in London search:

Day minus one: visit to London - make sandwiches at Shelly's and eat them in public in Mayfair. Get strange looks from men in pin stripe suits and pink shirts, but the ultimate result - success!

Day one: First day at work - we have to leave the office for a train mid afternoon so a lunch "break" is not really called for. Only Sainsburys on the internet (there are no other supermarkets around) in search of the pound salads referred to by a reader of this blog. The staff look as me incredulously. There's a small pasta salad marked down to 1.20 - it's pretty vile so I heat it up to make it warm and vile - failure! Investment purchase, marked down bread and butter for 99p the two - success.

There are nibbles at work at a leaving do and I openly demonstrate my appreciation of someone else's generousity. This serves as dinner - success!

PM: Finally get a chance to go to Asda "part of the Walmart family"; you can tell I've hit rock bottom. KebMaf calls to make sure nutritious cookable items are hitting the trolley (that I stole when someone wasn't looking as I didn't have a pound coin for one) and then feels guilty that he and half of Helsinki have my leftover kitchen while I'm deliberating if it's worth buying cans without labels for nine pence... This place, despite having the most frequent PA announcements while trying to receive a phone call, is great as it's dirt cheap. Enough packaged, canned and preserved food for two weeks is purchased for a mere twelve squid - success! They are only about 700 metres from my place but even better - they could deliver, in case my legs and arms disappeared one night. I am tempted to see if the red line drawn around the shop to magically stops trolleys actually works, but the jumble of trolleys only inches past the red line indicates that it does. I can't even move them back to claim a pound off them; not that I tried. Really...

Day three: Conference again. I will scoff anything that doesn't move and cram my pockets - success!

Day four: I'm going to Shelly's who will stuff me and sell me by the pound on Jonna's behalf - success!

Stay tuned for the next unenthralling episode: 101 things to do with chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, haricot beans, paratha and other "ethnic food items" that would have cost the earth in Finland.

Happy Birthday where?

Ryanair (yes the same airline I just cursed about ten days ago) are having a sale. Flights are either free, or under a pound - you have to pay the taxes, and the cost of getting to their out of the way airports.

This means I could go to Rome or Genoa for my birthday for under thirty pounds!

I could also go to Sardinia - which both A Bare All and The Bean would like to come to. But I would have to work... But I might get a free hotel.

Or go to Helsinki cos I am all loved up for 130 pounds.

Or Paris because I can go at the last minute for about 80 pounds.

Hang on - reality just kicked in, I have to work the day after my birthday which leaves me with two realistic options of : Sardinia - Helsinki. Yes yes I can feel your stares!

It sounded so exciting for a while...

Hobo high life

Last night, I got off the train from Derby with my laptop bag crammed with biscuits, tea and a small towel courtesy of the hotel, a plastic bag of artwork from the conference, and a handbag overflowing with electrical cables.

Met a friend in seedy Lewisham, who had taken my sleeping bag from the office so I could claim it for something to sleep in tonight. We went to a bar, vinyl covered booth seats bursting with foam, and a thick fug of smoke under the ceiling. The bar was spartan, furnished and decorated in the theme of "fire sales". My friend said the bar took him to memories of lost house keys and having nowhere else to go.

I slept in my bag on a squeaky spring bed. I am just an inch short of being able to touch wall to wall with my arm outstretched.

In the morning, I turned a soluble vitamin into an orange juice and my biscuits from the hotel were saved for a morning snack, thanks to a hearty conference lunch that doubled as dinner. I'm not sure what the other staff thought about the amount I ate. Next time I'm bringing a plastic container...!

I dry with my small stolen towel, and dress in clothing smelling of last night's smoke.

Four trains pass before one had room for any passengers at my stop. One lady was in outrage there was a seven minute gap between trains. She shouted at a police officer and left the platform in tears. One or two squashed on to a carriage, riding with their suit tails caught in the doors. I was just grateful for a morning newspaper to read; the only literature I have with me. I read every article, including the letters section and kept the paper to take "home" with me.

At work, I get clean clothes from my suitcase and change in the toilet.

KebMaf tells me it's my heart that makes it a home, and that I'm not alone...

I try to remind myself that.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Pretending to look effecient

Here I am in the office, overlooking the Thames and the HMAS Belfast moored on it, with a Very Serious Look on my face. It's the face that says "really I am doing something" when everyone knows it's my first day at work, and really, I am not.

I did however have the lunchtime challenge - can one eat lunch in London for only a pound?!

Stay tuned for that exciting story...

Working 9 to 5

So tomorrow, I rise and board a train with a lot of men with flecks of dandruff on their shoulders and grimaces on their faces, and head to London. Rather inconveniently I'll have three bags including a sleeping bag - because the next day (I'm overnight for a conference my first day at work!) I move into my new room, and apparently all the bedding has been stripped.

It'll be my first "office job" for some time that isn't related to motorsport and that doesn't allow me to come to work in any old clothes. I'll have to dress nice and act nice for at least seven hours a day. I'm a little nervous, though I'm not sure why as I've both done the job, met the people and worked their before!

I get to ask for my big fat tax cheque back tomorrow - and not a moment too soon. The cheque covers my overdrawn expenditure and a only mere ten pounds above it... Needless to say there will be lots of walks (free), museum vists (also free) and home lunches (substantially cheaper) in the next six weeks. Just don't look at my phone bill.

In addition to working nine to five, I am also securing a number of freelancing gigs for the rest of the year. I am looking forward to writing more and travelling for work less after all these years of acquiring random frequent flier programs for obscure airlines. It's a nice way to draw a close to my career in motorsport.

The final piece of good news... if you love something set it free... and hopefully it will come back and bite you in the butt. Or some sort of saying like that. Butt-bitten. Twice shy. Sleeping well. Waking up better. Welcome back...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Once upon a time in Oxford

Once upon a time in 1997, a girl arrived in Oxford from Australia, on a one way ticket bought with the takings from her home garage sale. She took her suitcase (really!) on the No 1 bus from Carfax to Cowley and got off at the Tescos, making her way to her uni buddy living in Hurst Avenue, off the Cowley Road. The weight of the suitcase (and the accompanying sports bag full of lingerie) kept her distracted from the colour and grit of her new surroundings: the Cowley Road, the student ghetto of Oxford, the middle of motorsport valley.

This is where the journey began... The Cowley Road and Oxford captioned.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

One day in London

On Friday, I spent my first day in London. Well actually an afternoon. It was surprisingly pleasant, mostly because it didn't rain and as a result I walked nearly everywhere. Starting from Marylebone Station and ending up at Bank where I took the Docklands Light Railway to my new home.

I found London overflowing with material riches - was it the contrast of social democracy Finland and minimalist Scandinavia? Was it that I am more familiar with London's seedy underbelly and cardboard citizens? Or was it that I walked through Mayfair, rather bemused.

The photos from my walk are captioned here : welcome to my new world...