I’m early today. Well earlier than normal. It’s the first day of my holidays when I could lie in. In stead, I woke early and was up and out. I’m in the Foyer at the Barbican centre. There’s a group of girls filming themselves whizzing up and down on a Skateboard. Right by the Coffee stall. No one’s batting an eye lid so I’m thinking they are part of some art installation. Theres the usual toddler race track and there screams seem to be for pleasure rather than pain from a Skateboard collision. There’s a huge screen in front of me the size of my kitchen and its showing coming events and the facilities here. I’ve decided to give the mother and baby screenings in the cinema a miss. The Martini Bar is more my style. There’s two of them tangoing in the skateboard now. Time to sup up and go.
It has been a month since my last visit. The combination of a week of very hot weather and being exhausted at the end of term put me off from visiting and I renewed my books online. The Library seems quiet today. I’m browsing the London Collection and have found an old book with curious things to find in different parts of London. I’m thinking I could visit the areas and see how many still survive. My holiday homework. I pick up other books about Curious London. I feel that I should be learning more to share with you readers. My Last book is about Acting Technique. I often get out a book to develop my skills for teaching Drama after the last performance of the year. It’s as I pick it ut that I remember that I have another show next Tuesday and that I haven’t quite broken up yet.
I’m out and walking a different way today. I’m heading for Liverpool Street following the signs for the Museum of London across the high walkways. It’s a good job there are signs. Theres a man walking close behind me so I stop to look at a basketball court that is tucked away below me. He walks past. The Museum of London is not too busy but there is a school group in the Lunch room, obviously filling the last days till the end of term. I follow the London wall and see remains down below me. It always amazes me how this part of London successfully takes pedestrians up and away from the London traffic. All around are reminds of the guild companies that had their headquarters around here. The Brewers hall has particular appeal. As I pass further down the road, a glass elevator rockets skywards packed with men in suits and I’m reminded of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
At Liverpool street station I see a sign pointing out the site of the first Bethlehem hospital. It is certainly “Bedlam” when I reach Mc Donalds. I enter the scrum and finally get a burger. There is no seating inside and outside is fairly full but I negotiate with a young couple and join them at their table. I don’t like to invade their space so I pull the chair back and eat the burger at arm’s length. I’ve hidden the chips in the bag away from the pigeons. A sudden gust of wind has lifted my lunch heaven wards and the chips are over the young couple. They laugh. That happened to us. They might have warned me.
From Liverpool Street, I’m heading over the road passed Petticoat Lane to Spitalfields. This has lost much of its charm since its rebuilding so I skirt through noticing an abundance of Vinyl Lp Stalls. I’m not sure if this a regular Friday thing. Fournier Street seems like a Film Set. I peer through a window and I’m surprised to see a modern kitchen. What did I expect? A Range? At the end of the road, The Mosque is in full swing and the doors are wide open. It is packed with loads of shoes at each entrance. I wonder how thy get the right pair back at the end. Perhaps they don’t.
Brick Lane is very different today. Quiet. There are tourists wondering why the markets aren’t open but they don’t on a weekday. Truman’s looks very sad. This huge London Brewery is now closed and used mainly for market stalls. Today, one part is being used as an indoor car park. I’ve read how the Truman’s name is being used by a smaller London Brewery now making quality ales. Nice as that is, It doesn’t make jobs for the people in the Spitalfields area. Someone pokes a large lens in my direction and I leave.
Doubling back to Spitalfields Market, I enter the Costa for a cup of tea and a tart. The couple next to me are arguing in a foreign language. I’m nosey but I don’t understand a word. Sitting here with my iPad to write this, I’m always amazed how easy it is to connect to the net now and upload things. I remember going to the Lake District and paying to use a computer in an Internet cafe to look for an important email. Now they pop in to my phone, signal permitting.
Commercial Street is always interesting. The large building that was the telephone exchange now houses a branch of Urban outfitter and another Costa Coffee, as well a very expensive flats. When I pass Garderners Paper bag shop, there are a couple of guys looking at a history book. I think he’s a minor celebrity since the Gentle Author visited and he’s probably showing his photo in the Spitalfields book. I’m heading for Shoreditch high street station. Recently opened on the London Overground, the line connects the East London Line Track to the line that used to run from Broad street up to Dalston junction. The stations are new, replacing ones that closed years ago. The trains are proudly proclaiming on the front that they are made of five carriages. A change at Canonbury gets me to Startford. The trains are packed. Loads of people get off at Homerton and I wonder what I’m missing. Two young boys are arguing about food allergies.
“I haven’t got any” the first boy says.
” You must have. You have to have one” says the other.