Thursday, 22 December 2011

Skipping Around London Town

So I spent this weekend in London. Awesome right? I can't believe that I live close enough to one of the most famous cities in the world to just pop over at a whim.  We headed up at seven in the evening on the Friday, to London Waterloo, then we had an adventure on the tube to Suzies house, we where shattered after a major stressful week of essays and exams so we just had food, watched TV and crashed. Suzies little flat is super cute though.

In the morning we got up and headed out around ten, Suzie had to work so Laura and I went off to explore. We decided to spend the day seeing how many museums and galleries we could, as well as the sites. First we had another spin on the underground, after this I am finally confident using the tube, there is an amazing free app called Tubemaps that is the best thing ever. It plots your routes and updates you with delays and things. 

We scuttled about in the rain, looking at the christmas stalls and strolled to The Tate, it is so beautiful there, okay some of the stuff is utterly mental and a little bit crass but somethings are beautiful. We spent a lot longer than we originally intended as Laura isn't a big art buff like I am. The thing is though, once you start delving through you can't really stop. We giggled over the pretension, we admired the skill, we lusted after the picture frames and pondered over the blurbs.

We went onto the cafe in the Tate and there was a balcony facing onto the Tames so we stepped outside, it was no longer raining so the air had cleared and the light looked stunning. It was chilly and wintery but we stood outside shivering admiring London's skyline. We could see the wheel, St Pauls, The Gherkin and London in general.

Then we went across the no longer wobbly bridge and towards St Pauls, we took a stroll through the streets looking about at the beautiful buildings and just wondering in general. There was a definite chill in the air and the city was so alive. We headed to a different tube station and made our way across the city to go the the museums.

Firstly we went to the Natural History Museum. I make no bones about the fact I am a nerd. I love science, I adore anatomy and I crave knowledge. To go to the cathedral of science is a wondrous thing for me.  The dinosaur section was amazingly lit so the skeletons cast brilliant shadows. 

My favourite section in the museum was probably the taxidermy section, I have a love of all things biological and anatomical so the dead stuff makes me happy. I skipped about taking photographs while Laura just laughed at me.  

We then snooped about the biology exhibit that had the most WTF displays ever... I mean seriously odd things. 

We had a quick coffee and a sit down in the cafe so I could write my postcards and a rest. Then we then headed up the main stair case, past Darwin's statue and went to the mineral vault. The room is almost as amazing as the artefacts contained within it, simply stunning. 

There where some amazing things in the mineral rooms including some magical things. Such as natural minerals that glowed in UV light. Amazing natural deposit formations and all sorts of things that I wish I was smart enough to fully comprehend. 

My absolute favourite thing though where these diamonds formed in super novas which where older than our solar system. How insane is that? I can't even comprehend how scientifically mind blowingly awesome those tiny deposits are. Literally these tiny microscopic specks in a tiny vial, that had been scrapped of the outside of a meteorite where so significant to the universe that astounded me. The fact I could just look at something like that. For free. Wow. 

We then briefly slunk around the V&A but it was near closing time so we didn't see much. Then a quick tube ride and back to meet suzie at the Sainsburys by her flat. We bought some wine and food, then skipped back to her place. We spent the night laughing, eating, drinking and painting wine bottles.

Then my camera battery died, and I'd left my charger in Winchester. The next morning we got up early flitted across London on the tube and went to Lauras Aunt Rachies house in Hackney. We had a cup of tea a chat and a sit down in her amazing flat. Her flat is so typically London. Victorian splendour, tiny and lovely, her decor was very influenced by her travels and I loved it. We then went out to trawl the amazing markets, then we had coffee and almond croissants in Patisserie Valerie and wondered through London to get the tube to go into the centre of London. 

Then we had an explore of Selfridges and Harrods. Laura bought a load of Nesspresso coffees for her fathers  christmas presents so I ended up carrying the bag around. Then we went back to Rachies and had the most amazing roast dinner ever. I mean totally delicious. I slept on the couch and in the morning we headed back to Winchester to grab our suit cases, and my hamster then went our separate ways. I trooped back to London waterloo, ran the underground with my multiple backs, a hamster carrier and a fur coat, then up to Manchester and across to Liverpool. 

Home at last. Yay! In other news my dog Lily is heavily pregnant. Due on January 1st. I can not wait! The weird bean thing on the ultra sound is a puppy... You can feel it move, from the outside of her huge round belly. Its unbelievably gross

Belinda Stepford

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