Sunday, January 19, 2014

Thoughts and Things from London

I've been in the big smoke for Wild Rumpus #5 - It was as awesome as you'd imagine but this post isn't about that.

If I'm London I'm often there at slightly strange times, or with a lot of till to kill before a train. To get cheap tickets there and back this last weekend was no exception. I was also on my own, Pete being busy - although I did drag Olly along since he's now a native to London. Anyway, some observations from my 9 miles of walking around the place being distracted by blue plaques...

(in no particular order)

Isn't it slightly odd the the British Library has a bookshop? You'll be glad to know they do sell book shaped rubbers with the British library on them. I'd have been heart broken if they hadn't capitalised on that bit of merchandise.

I'm pretty sure Joseph Gramaldi's grave is the most depressing grave, in the most depressing park in London, although if he spent his last years alone and as an alcoholic, oddly fitting.

The house where a young Charles Dickens lived is now a button shop. This seems very Dickensian somehow. Charles Dickens also has a lot of plaques to his name.

I'm willing to bet a higher proportion of architects  have blue plaques then any other profession.

Finding cool Sherlock Holmes merchandise is harder then you might think, who chooses the street signs they make vinyl stickers of? Is there a survey somewhere? Why does more then one company print ones of Camden town, but none of Baker Street??

What I really wanted was a sticker of this faux-blue plaque on the outside of the Sherlock Holmes museum.

It seems odd that Madam Tussauds doesn't have a gift shop you can easily access. By then Madam Tussauds is an odd concept anyway. I'd really rather have a museum about Madame Tussauds / Tussauds family, but seeing wax works of famous people have never appealed. Does the Madame Tussauds gift shop sell candles?

I know Sunday trading laws are silly at the best of time, to have so many big department stores, or Oxford Street shops  general not opening until 11:30 / 12 just seems a bit lazy - even if they do stay open till 6. I've never noticed this anywhere else, or any other big cities, what makes London so different?

If nothing else, this confirms that I shouldn't be allowed to spend too much time on my own.