When in Rome

Drink tea. 

I’m in a little cafe in a little town called Oxted. It’s 1hr from London by train. I’m here to meet my brother & his fiancé who are doing wedding planning. The sun is shining (it’s spring) and while the coffee is rubbish, the tea is good. I’m looking forward to having a break from London. 



An unexpected visit to a wig shop

One of the things I love about London is how multicultural it is. You name an ethnic minority (or majority) and there is bound to be a group of people living somewhere in a cluster in London. The consequence is that there are shops and restaurants tailored for ethnic groups that in New Zealand there really isn’t enough people.

Yesterday I was in Walthamstow with friends and we went into a wig shop. It was a whole shop dedicated to wigs & hair products. It was pretty impressive and not something I’d seen before.  I admit I was a little overwhelmed so didn’t try on any wigs. Next time! 


2016 in London

I’ve been living in London for almost a year and have a love-hate relationship with this city. I can see that I need to make an effort to step out of the rat race and tip the scales in the direction of ‘love my city’.  So for 2016 I’ve promised myself 2 touristy things a month, thats 24 touristy things a year. I’m already behind as January was a crazy months for me. I’ll be flexible about when I do things, but the goal is 24 touristy outings in London during 2016.

My wish list contains things like:

  • Tower of London
  • Buckingham Palace when the state rooms are open (Aug/Sept)
  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Greenwich and the Royal Observatory
  • See a West End show (a famous one)
  • Tate Modern
  • National Gallery
  • Museums (incl, British & Natural History)
  • Yoga class at the top of The Shard

There is plenty more and I’m hoping to do some random things too. You know, go to a new part of town and do what the locals are doing. A few weeks ago my brother and I ended up in Ilford and went to an Turkish restaurant, it was very traditional and the food was so good that it took me back to Istanbul.  London is a really good place to travel the world via visiting restaurants!



Its time to start blogging again!

I’ve not been blogging much due to a lack of time and the feeling of needing to backdate some posts to share some amazing travel experiences I’ve had since leaving New Zealand in October 2014.  But so much is happening as I’ve been settling into life in London and it seems like a miss opportunity not to be writing it down.  So I’m just going to start writing & will back fill some posts as time permits.  I hope this is OK with you!

Another horrible commute home from Canary Wharf

Holy crap… welcome back to London!  After 2.5 weeks away I’ve returned to find the weather is colder, the leaves are falling off the trees (its actually quite pretty) & work is still FULL on.  To make a pretty rough 2nd day back in London worse, getting out of Canary Wharf this evening was diabolical due to a DLR strike. Tonight was possibly the worst commute so far!  I left work quite late (around 7pm) and by then the Canary Wharf tube station was limited to one exit, there was an obvious presence of police (with their bomb sniffing dogs) and the queues for the tube started outside the station!  The mall & pubs seemed unusually busy. Being so tired from my trip I have been struggling with the crowds at Canary Wharf today, I did a U-Turn and went back to the office for a couple of hours.  I couldn’t even handle going to the pub as it was too crowded!

Take 2 of my commute home involved avoidance of the tube. I got a bus to Liverpool Street and then the train to Walthamstow.  It took me over 1.5hours to get home but I was quietly surprised at how lovely it is to be overground on a bus. I spent a lot of time in the area around Liverpool Street when I first arrived to London and it is VERY different to Canary Wharf in so many ways.  I think my impressions of London are skewed a lot by the place I work & the area I currently live.  It will be interesting to see how I feel a few months time when I will have settled into my NEW area.  This weekend I’m moving into my new flat.  Exciting.