Thursday, September 9, 2010

When you're tired of London....

I'm not sure about Samuel Johnson's old quip, but to be honest there is so much more to do in London nowadays. Granted, most of that seems to be Costa Coffee and Cafe Nero, but Sammy-boy was hanging out in coffee houses anyway writing his Dictionary, so I think he'd be happy today.

We are "doing" London, but not necessarily the touristy London. There's a time and a place for that, but I'm not sure where or when that might be. Yesterday we had to skirt Piccadilly Circus (there was no other way) and it was just as tacky as the Royal Mile in Edinburgh; all things "British", or in other words any old tat with a Union Flag on it. Urrgh! Instead we've stayed a little off the beaten track.

A word about that track; my training might have taken a bit of a hit but that doesn't mean I've been staying off my feet! We ended up doing an 25km walk on Tuesday; not entirely voluntarily as there was a tube strike and getting to-and-from any open tube stations and/or lines took up a lot of that mileage. Add the 12K run we did in the morning, and that was nearly a 20 miler! It was only supposed to be a 8K run but we got a bit lost. Those have all got to count as MDI prep miles! Please?

We're staying a little out of downtown at my brother's place in N22; it's hilly here too; Muswell Hill (as name-checked in Madness's Driving In My Car) really is a hill! It's steep around here as everything climbs up to Alexandra Palace, one of the highest spots in London. You are rewarded for making the climb by a great view of London, from the East End all the way across Docklands, the City and the West.

At least I'm eating. Not quite the predicted diet of pork pies, jaffa cakes and M&S trifles washed down with Lucozade, but I'd be lying if I were to say none of that hasn't passed my lips. Gastronomically, it's been a good trip so far; a couple of low-points to be sure, but I wonder if maybe I don't get home-sick or time-sick as food-sick...

Oh, and a lot of bike shops; but both of those deserve their own posts!

It's also becoming apparent that while I'm over my jet-lag (finally) I suffer from chronic culture-lag. For example, my accent has remained unchanged but my vocab has changed dramatically. So currently I have some weird mid-Atlantic culture going on, and that's mid-Atlantic as in mid-Atlantic Ridge, not Maryland. You know how it takes one day per time zone to acclimate to jet-lag? Maybe it takes one decade per time-zone for culture? I'm currently somewhere over Iceland.

Pickled shark anyone? Eek!

Despite putting the miles in, I'm not exactly doing it in appropriate footwear

Yup, all that walking, but in these shoes? Cue Kirsty....


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