Friday, 24 February 2017

Walking Literary London

You may recall back in October Himself and I headed to London to 'Walk Haunted London' well this weekend we were back but this time armed with a book that shares it's title with this post.

I've had the book a few years now and we have done a couple of the other walks out of it, but this time we decided to go for the one that went from Regent's Park to Camden via Primrose Hill because we had both only ever been to one of the 3 (Camden) and even there never together.

I should be honest here and say the trip to London was actually to check out the new Lego store at Piccadilly Circus which I was intrigued to see after watching the show all about it's opening that was on at Christmas. Himself was not so keen but as it was a gorgeous day I convinced him we could swing by there, build a quick figure or two and then go for a lovely walk. It was fun to see the store with it's huge Lego Big Ben and other London landmarks but I don't think I'll hurry back.

Our walk started at Holy Trinity Church Marylebone  - birthplace of the Penguin paperback.
They started out in the crypt and had to be silent when services were taking place, according to the guide book staff were given a penny a day to use the toilets at the tube station over the road!

From here we headed to the gorgeous Regent's Park. I just had to take an arty shot of this amazing Art Deco hotel.
  I can't believe I've never been to Regent's Park before it's gorgeous! Mind you there is so much of London I still need to discover.
In this day and age of computers and playstations it was lovely to see so many families out enjoying the sun.
Did you know Regent's Park has London Zoo in the middle of it? I didn't.

We didn't go in, but it was fun being able to see into some of the enclosures.
Look who followed us all through the park. Very apt!

We circled the zoo and crossed the canal and road to head up Primrose Hill.
It seemed every tourist in London was up the hill taking shots of the London skyline so we grabbed a few shots and carried on with our walk.
We got hopelessly lost, retraced our way back and started again. This time we got it right and followed the walk past various once homes of various literary greats like Kingsley & Martin  Amis. Yeats, Keats and Sylvia Plath.
Finishing with a little dogleg that took in Alan Bennett's house at the time of The Lady in the Van. The guide was very good at not telling you the exact house, at the time it was written he still lived there. So whilst Himself resorted to Google I wandered down the street and fell in love with this lovely house, so very different to all it's neighbours. I just had to take a picture.
Turns out it was the house we were looking for, It pleased me a lot to know I chose the same house as Alan Bennett. I love Alan Bennett.

Now it is no secret that I like to drink tea, a lot. By this time it was about 4 in the afternoon and I had had one cup all day. Even I will admit I was on the very cranky side of cranky so the need for the cup that restores was getting urgent.
First cafe we saw was an old pet shop converted into a terribly chi-chi cafe.
This being Camden it cost just shy of 3 quid, (3 quid people!?!) for a cup of tea, not even a mug, but a cup. By the time Himself had had 2 sips of coffee I had inhaled my tea and was desperate for another but not at that price. This also being London I got the most ridiculously dramatic over reaction when I politely asked a guy if he could move his chair in so I could get to my seat. I just laughed. I wasn't about to let some silly pretentious prat spoil a lovely day out.

So what else? Busy, busy busy, work has been crazy. Himself and I had our annual cinema trip for Valentine's Day. As ever I chose the film and tested his love for me by making him go to the 30th anniversary screening of Dirty Dancing, a film he has never seen and I have seen more times than I can remember. I wasn't about to miss the chance to see it on the big screen again.

It has to be said the 30 years have not been kind. I hadn't realised just how dreadful the dialogue is but, oh well, the soundtrack is still outstanding and lets face it is is really about the dancing isn't it?

This week I also went to see Hidden Figures.
I loved it. What a fantastic film, though it does make you kind of sit back and think what you've done with your life. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it.

I've been out to dinner with friends, nothing fancy, just mac and cheese with lots of wine and good conversation. Fun Times.

Also this week we went to see Nephew Number One's new band Rats Eat Rats play.
They were pretty good considering it's only their second gig, sadly the venue was pretty terrible and the line-up an eclectic mix to put in mildly. A young lad who clearly thought it was the 80's and he was auditioning for Kraftwerk, followed by a very earnest folk band and then the Nephew's Grunge Metal band!?!
Yup, still can't figure out what the promoter was aiming for there but the Nephew's band wisely decided to look on it as more practice.
Himself and I propped up the bar and shook our heads over the youth of today and the fact they couldn't even last in a mosh pit for more than one song, no stamina, not like in our day.

And for those of you with no interest in Metal and mosh pits here's the lovely latest addition to my collection......
I'm going through a bit of a red handbag phase.


  1. I saw The Lady With The Van at Xmas and loved it. How exciting to see Alan Bennett's house in real life and what a beauty it is.
    Your walk sounds fab, you had good weather for it by the look of things.
    Love the new bag and the nephew's band shot looks very rock and roll. We're off to see a folk trio tonight, god help me. xxx

  2. I saw Lady in The Van when it was released and thought how very kind Alan Bennett must be to put up with her for so long. Lovely to see where he lived and where the van was parked! London prices are mad aren't they? The handbag is stunning!

  3. I watched The Lady in the Van on a (pirate) DVD a while ago and I've read the book, too. Like you I love Alan Bennett - I got the latest part of his autobiography at Christmas and very enjoyable it was too. What a lovely house he lived in.

    Your literary walk looks fabulous. About a year ago we did a walk with the group which took in Golder's Green Park (it has a little zoo), Regents Park, Primrose Hill, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park and finally Green Park and the Mall. It was a great walk. I am constantly shocked at the prices in London - and I'm pleased I don't have to live there!

    My children; especially my daughter knew the dialogue of 'Dirty Dancing' off by heart...

    Love your handbag.

  4. It's really been far too long that I've been in London! We used to go every year, but it's become much too expensive, especially when you have to travel from Belgium and stay overnight. Have been to both Primrose Hill and Regent's Park, which indeed is gorgeous. Would love to do your literary walk. Oh, and I'm in awe of your red handbag. I may have quite a few handbags myself, but I don't have a decent red one ... xxx

  5. I liked those London photos, thanks for sharing! Virtual tourism is always welcome. Must admit I've never heard of Alan Bennett though, whoops, must google him!! Lovely new handbag xx

  6. Heh, it's fun that you picked the same house as Alan Bennett. It does look like a lovely house.

    £3 for a cuppa is ridiculous. Oh, London!

    I've still never seen Dirty Dancing. The Civic Centre in Trow even had a 'singalonga Dirty Dancing' event last year. Somehow it's never appealed to me. Hidden Figures sounds much better.

    *Handbag lust*

  7. How much for a cup of tea?! I'm breaking out in hives at the thought of it.

    That's wonderful you manged to attract a magpie-they're handsome birds (never seen one in life).

    Excellent handbag.

  8. The literary walk sounds interesting, despite the extortionately priced cup of tea! And that red bag is a real beauty. xx