House-hopping in the capital

A few days in London for various reasons. Primarily (at the time I organised the trip) was the visit of Noa, the lovely Israeli I met in Goa and caught up with again in Jerusalem. She was staying with friends and I managed to find myelf yet another couchsurfer (Lynne) and a friend of a friend (Kate) to camp with over my 4-night stay.

On the journey down I was sat next to a lovely girl who had just finished a recording session in Lincolnshire. She’s working on a new musical and – courtesy of her shift on We Will Rock You – this will be checked over by Brian May! I sat next to someone who knows Brian May. That is pretty cool.

I won’t bore you with too many details, but I did get to see the British Museum for the first time and really enjoyed it, though I still prefer the Natural History Museum. I caught up with Dewi in the London Stone near Cannon Street, a lovely bar decorated with coffins and so on. Cool place. KFC and cinnamon rolls from a great Danish bakery round the back of Soho were eaten that afternoon.

I’d hoped to visit the Houses of Parliament, but my invitation for Wednesday arrived at my folks’ in Perth. On Thursday.

Dewi helped me move my stuff from Lynne’s to Kate’s on the Wednesday night. Lynne had been yet another wonderful CS host. To repay her kindness, I set up her wireless network for her. While there I met another two couchsurfers and a friend of hers from New Zealand who’s off to the Tiger Temple to work in December! Good luck, Sarah. You’ll love it 🙂

Kate was incredibly kind to host me given that she only knows me through a mutual friend who I’ve never actually met! She and Guinness the cat took good care of me, and didn’t laugh at me in my monkey suit when I went for my job interview on Thursday.


Job interview.

For a job.

It’s OK. I’ve not gone soft. It’s not a “real” job. I applied for a rep’s position over winter so that I could snowboard for a few months, but landed a position as a driver instead. Essentially ferrying holidaymakers from airport to resort and vice versa for a small amount of cash each month, but with my accommodation, food, lift pass, kit hire, lessons, insurance and transfers included. Not a bad package in all. Only a shame it’s France rather than Canada, but it’s snow and that’s all that matters!

I caught up with Sami (some may know her as BB) after my interview. The journey to her place was tortuous. Anyone who knows London will get this – try plotting a route using train and tube only from Kingston to Woolwich… avoiding zone 1. Yeah, I did that. On the way back I thought “stuff it” and just cheated via London Bridge. I am an evil lawbreaker. But one who got back to Kate’s in a third of the time.

On the Friday, I caught up with Noa and Lynne for a quick brunch then jumped on my train back to Leeds. In the evening, I met up with another friend – Vee – for dinner and some serious drinking. Definitely a good evening, though I think I OD’d on Haribo.

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