D4D

When the revolution comes, my friends...

Archive for the category “Travel”

Missing Things

Over the weekend, I was down in London again and walking around the same area I know already.

Usually I’m pretty observant of stuff around me, and generally aware of my surroundings, so it was a surprise this time to suddenly spot something I hadn’t seen before, and had to divert and check it out.

The mysterious object turned out to be “Bellerophon Taming Pegasus“, a sculpture by Jacques Lipchitz, which is part of the Broadgate Art project, which is pretty fab in many ways.

As it turns out, I’ve seen a number of the installations from the Broadgate project – except I hadn’t realised that they were part of that project – and having finally found the website, I now want to have a wander and see the other bits.

Following on from that, we spotted another art piece round in a weird little back yard, which turned out to be part of the National Gallery’s Grand Tour, a high-resolution print in full frame, just hanging on a wall in a public place.

It’s one of the things I love most about walking round London though, to be honest. There’s always something new (or at least not previously noticed) to explore, as well as the way you can be walking along and suddenly find (for example) the tower of a 17th century church, places like the Worshipful Company of Fan-Makers, and umpteen other strange and wonderful things you don’t expect to see.

Varied

It’s fair to say, the weekend just gone was pretty varied. Busy too, but definitely varied.

Friday evening was spent with friends seeing a small gig by Professor Elemental – very silly all round, but also very late, as he didn’t go on stage ’til 22:30 in the end. It meant I didn’t get home ’til nearly 2am…

Saturday morning was spent at the cinema, seeing the new Ghostbusters film. (Small review : Enjoyed it a lot, far more than I expected to, and it’s just entertaining silliness) Then in the evening I was over in Cambridge, going for a thoroughly enjoyable and fantastic meal at Midsummer House.

Then on Sunday I was awake by 6am, and generally too warm. So one “oh sod it” moment later, I was on the way down to Whitstable and Tankerton, and spent the day by the beach, roasting quietly.  Happily and fortuitously, it turned out that Whitstable Castle was having a food fair, so that was lunch sorted. And then mid-afternoon driving home, looking at all the queues on the other side of the road and thanking God I wasn’t involved in it all, considering how hot it still was.

Finishing off with a quiet evening catching up on recorded TV etc., it was a very pleasant weekend – but definitely surrounded by all the random…

Planning Stuff

As well as slowing down a bit for the second half of 2016, I’m also starting to plan stuff where possible for the first half of 2017. For me, that’s scarily organised.

Part of it is looking at stuff I want to do – and places I want to go – and starting to put things in place for those to happen. I’ve got a couple of breaks booked for the second half of 2016, a week in Cornwall at the end of September, and a weekend in Dorset at the end of October (in which I’m hoping to break the back of some writing ideas – that’s the current plan, anyway) but I’m also looking at what I want to do in 2017, and starting to book it up where/when I can.

So far, that’s looking like a long weekend down around Bath and Bristol (an area I like, don’t know enough about, and want to know more) and potentially a week each in Lake District and somewhere in the North-East. I may do something abroad as well, but we’ll see.

I’m also looking at things I don’t want to carry on – in particular the restaurant project I’ve been doing this year, with at least one Michelin-starred place per month for the year, part of my whole thing about eating alone. I’m still really enjoying it for this year, and I’ve no intention of giving it up completely – but it might go down to a quarterly thing, rather than monthly.

There’s a bundle of other stuff getting prepared for next year – but not stuff I’m going to write about just yet. Most of this is just in the contemplating and planning stages, rather than actually happening, but I’m going to spend time this year sorting out next.

Which, for me, is disgustingly organised…

 

Slowing Down

The first half of this year has been particularly barmy, and has felt close to non-stop. It’s safe to say, there’s been a lot of life going on!  I haven’t written here about a lot of it, because while it’s been fun, it hasn’t been massively newsworthy – but I think even here it’s been fairly clear that I’ve been doing a lot.

All told, there was only one event/thing that I wanted to do that I didn’t get to do – and that was more from an overdose of sanity and reality than any form of timing clash – and that was that climb up the Gherkin.

However, as a result of it all, I’m pretty wiped out – so the plan for the second half of the year is for me to slow down a bit.

I’ve still got loads planned, but I do intend to also have some more peaceable weekends, ones where I’m not all over the country and generally running round like a pillock. I know that September is insanely busy, so I’m definitely going to pad out the weeks either side of it.

There’s a lot of other stuff I want to do as well, which is part of why I’m trying to settle a bit and not be covering the country quite as much as I have been.

That’s the plan, anyway. Whether it’ll happen like that, only time will tell.

Speed Walking

With last week’s time in London, I did a lot of walking (as usual)

On the conference days, I was getting in to London early (before the main rush hour kicked in) and then had the option to grab a tube down to Charing Cross and walk from there to the venue, or say sod it, and walk the whole thing from Euston to  Westminster. (And then back in the evening, of course)

The first day, I opted for the Tube down, so I was there in plenty of time. That was easy, and once we were done for the day I walked back up, feeling the need for movement, having been sat for 95% of the day – I needed that walk! For the second day, I walked down in the morning, and back up once we were done.  And finally, on the Saturday I walked down, but grabbed the tube back up to Euston, as it was late and I didn’t fancy waiting for the final Train of the Damned.

But on each of those longer walks, I kept finding myself thinking about other people, and just how slow they are. And wondering just how people manage to live so slowly.

I walk fast, I know. Well, to me I walk at normal speed, and everyone else is just Slow – but I know that really means I walk fast! I consistently average at least 4mph – even when I think I’m dawdling along, knowing I’ve got plenty of time. Indeed, when I think I’m dawdling and going slow, I tend to be walking even faster than usual. But that’s just another weirdness of self-perception.

Regardless though, most people are just Slower. In pace, but also in reaction times – even when they look directly at me, they don’t seem to realise the speed I’m going, and still drift out in front of me, or just stop to do something else, or whatever. It’s amazing in many ways – not least that they’ve definitely got no concept of momentum and inertia, of what’ll happen if I do decide to keep going, and walk into them rather than permanently being the one to avoid, dodge, and get out of their way. By any stretch of the imagination, I’m a FMFB and could easily damage just about any of them, simply through colliding at speed.

Anyway, it always surprises me a bit, just how slow the people around me are. It gets tiring to keep on avoiding people, swerving and carving through crowds of slower people who don’t even realise I’m blasting through until I’m already past, staying aware of everything around me (including traffic when I have to go into the gutter to get past a whole pavement-width crowd of plodders) and all the possibilities.

It makes me wonder just what my speed would be in empty streets, to be honest. Although I do also speed up when I get annoyed by people, so it’s possible it would stay about the same.

Anyway, it meant I did a lot of walking over the last week, which is never a bad thing.

 

Time Flies

The Lead Developer conference this year was at the QEII Conference Centre – a spectacularly bad location (right next to Houses of Parliament, and round the corner from Downing Street) for the days of the Brexit Referendum and its aftermath.

It made me think of the last time I was there, though – which was for one of the @Media conferences, the first one I’d been to. Looking back, that was exactly ten years ago. Now that’s how to feel very old very quickly!

As well as the various talks and so on, it was also good to catch up with friends, including Topper and Pix, as well as meet some new people. It made me realise (yet again) that I really should be a bit more sociable, catch up more frequently and so on – although at the same time, it’s also always good to meet up with people and just drop into conversation as if you last saw them a couple of days ago, instead of a couple of years.

 

Unchecked

Last week, I was in London for three full days, travelling down each day. On both the Thursday and Friday (while attending the excellent Lead Developer conference) I was using the trains at peak times. Onn Saturday it was a busy time when I went down, and busy-but-late on the way back.

At no point in those six journeys did my tickets get checked. Not at platform gates, not on the train, nothing.  I could’ve gone through the entire thing without paying a penny to Virgin Trains.

Of course, Sod’s Law being what it is, if I had braved it and gone without a ticket, there’d have been about six checks per journey. I know that – and it’s why I always buy a ticket. But it does annoy me, how rarely these things are checked, and it makes me wonder how many people do take the chance, and go without paying for the ticket.

Post Navigation