Thursday, December 29, 2011

London Trip 2011

Since Ben and I adore London after briefly living / working there in both 2002 and 2006/07, our goal is to make it to London each year. This will have to do since there is no way for us to legally live there again. Well hey, we love the East Bay, too! California is where I was born and raised and an amazing place to live and we appreciate that. If only there was a way to spend half the year in one location and half the year in the other…that would be a dream come true!

Below are a few photos from our most recent trip at the beginning of November 2011. We stayed in the Primrose Hill area of North London (back in the NW3) near where our last flat was in Belsize Park. In 2002 we also lived in North London, but that time in a flat in Camden. Some definite highlights were the Arsenal v. West Brom match (3-nil to the Arsenal!), the Emirates Stadium tour (you even get to hit the locker room – hands off the pitch though), The Fullers Brewery tour in Chiswick, seeing The Smyths at the Half Moon in Putney again (amazing tribute band to The Smiths/Morrissey), seeing One Man, Two Guvnors at the Adelphi (Smiffy!), and the Southhampton Arms pub. This place had the most amazing selection of cask ale and cider. And for those of you familiar with the bus lines, the C2 can take you from Camden up through Kentish Town, right to the front door. They even had an adorable cat and were playing some great soul records. Speaking of soul records, we had some of the best times at the Elephant’s Head on High Street in Camden as usual on a Sunday night. We have been returning to hear the DJ there for quite a few years now. I always recommend this place to any of my friends planning a London trip and used to always drag anyone that visited us over there. Talk about an eclectic mix of people! You will see mods, rockabillies, traditional skinheads, tourists from the Camden Market, you name it! And for the most part, everyone gets along. We were very saddened though to discover that just a month prior to our visit the pub’s landlord had passed away. When we lived there, no matter how crowded it was, he would recognize us and come over to take our order. Apparently we tried to drink away our sorrows by the amount of bitter consumed that night and my state the following day. There’s that whole eating dinner thing we forgot about that night. Thank goodness we had ten nights there so sleeping in a bit did not spoil the whole trip. I should have taken the advice of a poster I had seen in a pub earlier that week…”Have something to eat to stay on your feet!”

Ben's 35th Birthday Present from 2010

Match Day

Arsenal v. West Brom
Walcott's Jersey in the Locker Room
Fuller's Brewery - Chiswick
London Pride anyone???

The Smyths show at the Half Moon

One Man Two Guvnors at the Adelphi on the Strand

The Southhampton Arms

Our Hotel - Brittania Hampstead

I would have to write a novel to mention everything that happened in London (no, no...nothing along the lines of Withnail & I). A lot can happen in ten days. Hopefully in 2012 we will be meeting up with some of our close friends (who now live in Canada) in Manchester, and then driving down to London. It would be good for us to get out of London for at least a little bit the next time we go back. Hopefully we can hit up Scotland as well. We have not been back to Scotland since 2007 and are due for a visit. Scotland is a beautiful country with amazing people and history. If you have not been…go!

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