This is going to be one of my more all-over-the-place posts, giving you a glimpse at an average day in the life of a Londoner.
It’s a busy week ahead as I prepare to fly home for Chicago on Friday, and mixed in with my packing are a couple great visitors. Very excited about today in particular, as one of the top Anglophiles is in London this week – Jonathan Thomas of Anglotopia! I’ve given a shout-out to Anglotopia here before (“London Relocation Loves Anglotopia” post) and have the privilege of meeting with Jonathan this afternoon for lunch. In selecting a central meeting place, we’ve opted for Ye Olde Cheschire Cheese off of Fleet Street (yes, the Fleet Street of Demon Barber renown). Rebuilt in 1667 after the Great Fire, it is believed that its cellars date back to a monastery that once stood on the site, dating back to the 13th century. So, in about a half hour I’ll be catching the Central Line at Notting Hill Gate tube station.
I always enjoy an opportunity to venture into the City centre, especially on a gorgeous sunny day like today. It is unreal how warm this UK summer has been so far; unfortunately, the grass is the casualty—I’ve never seen the UK so brown. I’m still hoping to sneak a peek, though, at how the gardens of New Square off of Chancery Lane are holding up, as well as venture off to Sports Direct for a UK sports-related birthday present for my nephew—they usually have stellar sales and am hoping now that England is out of the World Cup that one good outcome is slashed prices on football paraphrenalia 🙂 And what a lovely thing ’tis that I can run such simple errands with St. Paul’s Cathedral as my backdrop, which is an aspect of London that makes the everyday extraordinary. The spouse works around there, too, so perhaps I’ll catch him for a smooch before having to return home for…
…the Virgin Media guy. When you move to London and set up your utilities, a few options you have for TV/phone/internet packages are Virgin, British Telecom (BT), Onetel, and Sky. Folks from our network have been asking me lately about this, and I’ve related to them that, while we might have opted for Sky for its movie channels, it required a landline, which we don’t have. Virgin Media, then, has been the provider of choice, and we’ve been so far satisfied with their broadband and cable (complete with On-Demand movies and television shows as well as DVR functionality to record and stop/rewind/fast-forward live TV); the only issue we’re encountering now is the not-so-“Smart Card” we recently received in the mail and had to swap into our box…alas. Not the best timing with the World Cup and Wimbledon underway, is it.
*sigh* After that, I’m sheh-juled to meet with another friend in town with his family. Today, they’re off on the Stonehenge/Bath bus day-tour, so their return should perfectly coordinate with my 4-7pm cable-guy window. As they’re staying in Earls Court, there are a myriad of restaurant options to choose from for dinner, be it a low-key pub like the Blackbird, a gastropub like the Pembroke, or my cafe fave, the Troubadour, not to mention a range of Italian, Thai, Indian, Greek and other cultural cuisine.
Oh, all the wonderful ways in London to procrastinate from packing…All right then, all this being said, I’ve gotsta’ go!