House of Dreams

Paddington Day Trip

Since I need to find a place to live in London, I decided that a day trip to Paddington was the ticket. Thus, you get photos.

While walking to the train station, I really wanted to pet this kitty, but it was too timid to approach a stranger. Given that this is in Hayes, I don't blame it.

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Walking further, I figured a picture of the "gardens" (what American's would call "yards" or "lawns") was in order. You'll note that they're stone. It's very common to have a tiny "garden" with no plant life to be seen.

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I stepped off the train in Paddington a little after 11:00 AM. That's when I spotted their massive cloning project -- for houses. Can you imagine trying to find your home when you're drunk?

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Later, I stumbled on the Kensington Gardens, a large and lovely park.

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The Royal Albert Hall (you listen to the Beatles, right?) is adjacent to it along with the garish Albert Memorial, but I suppose memorials are supposed to be eye-catching, yes?

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I also found myself on embassy row (not sure if that's the right term) with embassies from many different countries here. In the second of these photos you might note an Iranian flag. I found myself walking by and staring at a guy standing in the entrance to that embassy, staring back at me. I had a feeling that taking a photo of him might not be a great idea.

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For lunch, I found myself at Caffè Nero (the "Italian Coffee Company" which is actually British and pretty much the British version of Starbucks, though we have the latter as well).

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And later, I wandered to Oxford Circus and enjoyed some of the wonderful architecture there.

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Though I did find the John F. Kennedy memorial a bit odd.

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I was planning on living in Ealing, but I liked Paddington so much that I want to check out housing prices there. Ealing feels like a comfortable suburb but Paddington feels like London. I didn't take enough photos of the surrounding areas of it. It's quite lovely and vibrant. Now to check out housing prices and see if I can afford it.

In other news, I've discovered that a combination of diet and exercise has allowed me to drop a half stone down to a 13.5 stone weight. Then I realized that I didn't even know what that was in pounds.

  • Current Mood: happy happy
Those are some awesome pictures.

In unrelated news, I saw this today while catching up with xkcd (something you should be reading at least weekly if you're not already), and saw this strip and it seemed like something you'd enjoy. It was posted on perl so you may have already seen it, but I figured I should share anyways.

http://xkcd.com/c224.html
Drunk, I'd have a hard time finding my house sober on that street.
I think I'm 17 stone... What it is, 17 lbs/stone.

Why would PEOPLE be measured in 'stones'?!
...naturally.

You've got to love the British 'measurement' system. Let's just pull some random numbers out of our asses and assign them to common measurements. Sometimes, we'll use 12, sometimes 16, sometimes 2, sometimes 4, let's avoid the 10 altogether, since that one makes the most sense.

My favourite: 5280 ft/mi. That's just -- fucked.

For the record, that brings me up to 20.5 stone. I'm a big pile of fucking rocks.
It has logic ... honest! Its the measurement of things that were deemed important at the time rather than an overall system.

5820 ft (a mile) is commonly thought to be 1000 roman paces, a furlong (220 yards) is the length of a furrow, and the most crucial of all is 22 yards to a chain - which is of course the length of a cricket wicket!
...if I could do one thing it would be to make the Brits stop mumbling and making up bullshit terminology. ;-)

Again, it looks like a random smattering of numbers. 22 has nothing to do with 10 nor 12, unless you're adding them, which isn't a way to convert between measures. I have no idea what the length of a pace is and why it would have any bearing on anything, unless of course we actually measured something in 'paces' which doesn't happen. I'm going to guess here that a pace is 5.28 feet. Again, random, bullshit.

A chain is not a unit of measure. It is an object. You pull things with it or tie people up with them when they're bad, but it isn't a unit of measure. And you can whyme wiff cwicket all you want, but it isn't cute, so stop. :-D

Your sense of logic is not yet convincing. Sorry, mate. :-)

-the sarcastic american (yes, little A)
Is it just me, or does JFK look... constipated? It looks like he's trying to squeeze out two pounds of chalk, or something.
Ealing vs Paddington
I found Ealing to be quite nice, I never lived in central london, but sometimes it can seem a bit grim and I'm too used being in the country (particularly near the coast) so I tend to feel trapped if I can't escape to countryside and the sea quickly.

I *really* liked Berkhamsted in Herts (north of watford, about 40 mins from Euston), which managed to feel like a village, but be pretty well connected to london - the canal walks were nice, and you can walk or drive out to wooded countryside and really picturesque old villages, including Tring, as well as the ruins of the Motte and Bailey castle on the edge of the small town.

Berko was about as far from Euston as Reading was from paddington, and while the Thames valley is full of huge ugly industrial towns like Reading and Slough and Bracknell, Herts was much more rural.

I'm guessing the nice rural locations are too expensive and too far out - Berko has affordable rented accomodation but a nice house there would cost a fortune, and with train prices increasing as they have done, I'd guess the season ticket to central london would be extorniate.

One thing I'd suggest would be to cycle around the area you'll be working and find somewhere within a short bus or cycle - you don't want to end up taking 2 or 3 buses to work, and you definately don't want to have to use the underground at rush hour - if you can find somewhere with a nice cycle route to the office that would make your life a lot nicer.

I'd also try and make sure you are close enough to enough shops to buy food and household supplies - paying cornershop or central london prices for your food and essentials can make your grocery bill triple, not to mention giving your pretty awful choice of crap. There are farmers and other markets in london - the one in near where I lived in Ealing (next to 2 supermarkets) was small but made a big difference.

I told you Paddington wasn't just full of hookers! If you can't afford Paddington, do check out Ladbroke Grove/Westbourne Park as they are (slightly) less pricey. When I used to live there I had a flat for £7.00 at week but I have a suspicion prices may have gone up a bit since then ...
£7.00/week?? Dude, when was that, 1941? It really only costs you 50$/mo to live in London?? Surely you must mean £70.00... even then, that's affordable. Was it like 25 sqft?
1982-3 ... but it was probably only about 35 sqft ... and I had to lift up the kitchen counter to get to the bath underneath!
Quaint, cute, cool! People can live in 35 sq feet? Prison cells are bigger than that, aren't they??

I wish I could pare down my shit to fit in that little of a space, but hell, my bed is almost that size. Actually, my bed IS that size! 5'x7', yes... well, maybe it is 5'x6.5' but, close enough. I'm 6'5, how would I fit in a room that size?

Apparently, the loo was down the hall, right?? I'm stunned.
Strange you should put about the prison cell - it was called Little Wormwood Scrubs - it overlooks the Wormwood Scrubs Prison - and just so you can see I'm not hallucinating the damn place even has a website now. And the loo was down the hall ... ah, carefree student days ...
Hmmmmm....I'm getting more jealous by the pic! I hope you have good luck! So far you are amazingly lucky! I can't wait to come and see you. We'll see who can outwalk who! LOL
You found the JFK memorial odd? We have a rue President-Kennedy, a John F. Kennedy Memorial (similar set up with the bust), and a John F. Kennedy high school here.