If you read my recent post on my walking commute musings, you might have noticed a snap of one of my favourite parts of London: the Duck Island cottage. The thing is… ever since I moved to Westminster in 2013, I simply cannot get enough of St James’s Park. So since this love has manifested itself in a myriad pictures, I thought I should do a post just on that: an album of my best snaps of the Park all through the seasons to mark my second anniversary living in SW1.
I’m walking to the office on a non-descript working day, the only sounds in my ears are the beats of my Spotify account. It’s warm and sticky and grey, the city’s essence rejoices in its weather attributes.
Dear Sticky Notes reader,
I know it’s been a while since my last post and also a while since I last made this a regular thing. Forgive me for that as my FOMO has kept me running around enough to lose track of my writing. A few amongst you urged me to get back into it and I ashamedly agreed I should do without actually doing anything about it. It’s not that I just procrastinated (although I did finish Breaking Bad, OITNB and have almost managed to re-watch 9 seasons of the X-Files, any minute now!).
It’s just that so many things happened in a short space of time and I needed time to process and distil them into something I can take a sip of that doesn’t make me drunk and crazy like absinthe. Maybe one day I can tell you all about it.
If you’re wondering what’s been going on in my life, I can give you the gist of it: Continue reading Me make comeback one day
If you love South Bank as much as I do, have walked its path this summer and are even a tiny bit observant, you will surely have noticed a structure that appears to look like a boat perched on the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Hall rooftop.
The said boat can’t actually navigate down the Thames but it instead welcomes Londoners every night and for one night only in its one-bedroom comfort. Called A Room for London, the riverboat is an architectural installation open to the public through a competitive ballot and (one must add) by contributing a considerably hefty fee. The brainchild of Artangel and Living Architecture, it was originally developed as part of the London 2012 Festival but it proved so popular that it has remained open all through 2013. According to the collaborators, David Kohn Architects designed it in collaboration with artist Fiona Banner, taking inspiration from Joseph Conrad’s book Heart of Darkness and Roi de Belges (the boat he captained in the Congo in 1890).
In case you were wondering, not every Londoner has pitched a tent outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital. Or Buckingham Palace for that matter – where the press has been waiting for so long that journalists are turning into (LEGO) bricks. It would be easy to assume so since the Internet world seems to have been taken over by #royalbaby hysteria and perhaps in the eyes of non-Brits, London has become some sort of giant waiting room with people waiting to light up cigars and pop open the champers. (As for the real world, well, then that’s a whole different case.)
Even the most royal-friendly amongst us (and let’s face I don’t know many of those) are keen to turn on Guardian’s ‘Republican’ button by now as the baby talk progresses to take over the news. Commemorative royal baby packs of detergents ? Check! Bite&Reveal Donuts for baby’s gender? Check! Stunts with royal oversized babies, Will and Kate doubles or Queen lookalikes? Check! Royal Morning Sickness bags? Check! (That last one might be handy nevertheless when the #babynews nausea kicks in).
The Crossed Cow blog sees the conversations emerging from the baby mania and the focus on the future world that the child will grow up in as a positive outcome. Edie Greaves writes that it ‘encourages us to think more deeply about society, even if we are not parents’. That could be one way to look at how businesses, journalists, parents, grandparents and almost everyone is jumping on the royal baby bandwagon trying to fit their story in and just grab some of the attention that surrounds the birth of a single child.
I could just be bitter about all this because I drew Chardonnay in our office royal baby name sweepstake. Which is kind of fitting as Chardonnay will be my drink of choice once the pot is handed over to the lucky bugger that drew Alexandra. Yes, I’m betting it’s a girl.
Last weekend, I was lucky enough to watch the Rolling Stones in concert, performing live after 44 years in Hyde Park. Certain articles and blogs made me consider that maybe I should be feeling guilty that I allowed myself to enjoy this gig – because it was all too expensive, too middle class and too sponsored. Nevertheless, I not only loved the concert but also the overall mood and shared experience. Which at times could only be described as hilarious and/or weird. For example…
Last night 70-year old Sixto Rodriguez, playing a sold out gig in London, got Hammersmith Apollo on its feet, clapping and shouting I LOVE YOUs.
Between songs he delivered the following joke which he said never gets old:
Mickey and Minnie are at the office of a marriage councillor. The councillor turns to Mickey and says:
Mickey, being stupid is not reasonable grounds for divorce.
I didn’t say she’s stupid. I said she was fucking Goofy!
Today I spent some time updating this blog. I changed the theme, added to the “About me” section and made sure that all my posts now have featured images (because I decided that I can’t deal with the absence of a visual element to my scribblings). While I went back to my old posts, I recognised a pattern… This blog started almost at the same time that I started to experience and love London. It was called Sticky Notes as I aspired to keep coming back to it with different topics and different tones – which to an extent happened. But let’s be honest, most of my notes should have been called London Sticky Notes to begin with (and maybe I should have asked VisitLondon to incorporate them to their promotional material seeing that it seems that I only seem to be inspired by the good stuff). Continue reading A little bit of London loving
Say you were born during the mid-eighties in Athens (or most of Greece for that matter). Say that like most of the kids of the same age, growing up you probably had not only one but two television sets in the house – those bulky TVs that took up almost as much space as a small piece of furniture (I remember ours had gum stuck on the door of the compartment where the control buttons were). The chances are that anything you watched that wasn’t Greek was most probably American. The chances also are that almost all of it was either filmed or set in New York.
About a a year ago, during a rather dull layover back to London from Athens, a bored Dutch border control employee asked me what the purpose of my visit to London was.
I must have been taken aback by the unexpected exchange that constituted something more than ‘Hello!’, ‘hello’, ‘thanks’ and a nod to proceed. I replied the first thing that came to my head:
While she checked my passport, I quickly pulled my thoughts together. Concentrate, what the hell did you just say? I tried to think fast how I could remediate what I had just uttered. It’s not that it wasn’t true but it felt like an incomplete statement.
I live there.
I left the border control with a sense of disappointment, my own instinctive responses surprised me.
I remembered that day tonight while coming back from a work trip in Switzerland. A clear sky awaited our descent into City airport and as I watched the lights twinkle and the city so beautiful and vibrant, I thought to myself, I’m glad I’m coming home.