I should be on my way to Glastonbury festival right now.
Waking up at 3am, taking a final long shower, packing up the car, triple checking the dry shampoo supply, listening to early morning radio, watching the sunrise, catching a glimpse of Stonehenge, making our way through Frome, hitting local traffic, passing Castle Cary and remembering that one time we took the train and it took forever, crawling into the field to park, crossing our fingers that the queue isn’t too long, palming responsibility for carrying the tent onto whoever I’m with, queuing, singing, queuing, singing, getting the wristband, finding our pitch, greeting old friends, pitching the tent, a celebratory tin of cider.
Two days of quiet Glastonbury before the madness and mayhem begins on Friday. That first walk alone in front of the Pyramid stage before it’s fully constructed. That special feeling I’ve only ever experienced at Glastonbury. It’s a magical place.
Instead I broke my leg and had to give my ticket back – but thank goodness for excessive coverage on the BBC. You’ll find me camped out in front of the TV this weekend in a homemade den this weekend. Bring on Blondie.
The price of London property continues to astound me but it is easy enough to see that the strength of the market is based on a simple case of supply and demand.
Demand for London property is sky high for many reasons. Jobs are easier to come by in London, once ordinary Londoners see a buy-to-let property as the new pension, foreign investors park their money in prime central property to ensure its safety and thousands of people act on their dream of living in the big smoke every year.
I wouldn’t swap London life for anything, but it never fails to surprise just how much you can get for your money elsewhere in England. Especially in the North… And on that note, this Buzzfeed post, House Prices In The North Vs. House Prices In London, makes me cry a little inside.
I’m a naive Londoner in many respects and have seen surprisingly little of England. Although I can’t imagine living anywhere else, if family and work didn’t keep me here I would now consider living elsewhere in England. Each region has its own culture and places of wonder, and with property prices cheap in comparison to London it’s easy to envision a better life elsewhere.
Do you live outside of London? If you could sum up your town to someone who has never heard of it in one sentence, what would you say? I’ll include all suggestions in my next blog.
I took a trip just outside of London this weekend to visit a friend in Eton. If you’ve never been catch a train from Paddington to Slough (15 minutes) and then get a kind friend to pick you up bus into Windsor. In Windsor marvel at the castle, maybe take a look inside and if you are brave enough attempt the Long Walk up to the King George III statue.
Then get yourself to Eton for old bookshops, beautiful architecture and the image of a young Boris and call me Dave wandering the streets in their youth.
Back to reality and there is a lot happening in London over the next few weeks. Here are a few tips, statistics and links that you might like to read:
Open House London have announced the properties opening their doors this September. Most events are free and first come first served, but for access to the Shard and a few other sites you need to register your interest online.
The average price of a property in London is now £318,214 (Nationwide House Price Index, via the Guardian)
I love style guides and think they are important for the future of the newspaper industry. A newspaper should not make sweeping statements or use colloquial terminology; I look to newspapers for the facts and to blogs for interpretation.
That said, style guides are always an amusing read. Today I stumbled across the Telegraph’s style guide and couldn’t resist a peek at their list of banned words. Here are a few of my favourites:
bubbly (both for champagne and young women)
come out (for homosexual and lesbian people)
disgraced managers, innocent victims and all their tribe are out
perverted Scout leaders
Best of all, the words ‘toff’ and ‘Europhobe’ are also banned from the Telegraph. I wonder why…!
I’ve been reading The Best of Sherlock Holmes, a collection of short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that were first published in The Strand Magazine.
This short passage in The Copper Beeches that describes the Hampshire countryside caught my attention:
‘Do you know, Watson,’ said he, ‘that it is one of the curses of a mind with a turn like mine that I must look at everything with reference to my own special subject. You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of their isolation, and of the impunity with which crime may be committed there.’
‘Good heavens!’ I cried. ‘Who would associate crime with these dear old homesteads?’
‘They always fill me with a certain horror. It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.’
Nowhere is safer to me than a busy London street full of strangers whilst the thought of walking alone in a quiet village fills me with fear. Naturally a number of people I have discussed this with have said the opposite!
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the sun graces England with its presence for just a little longer, as I’m now off on my summer holidays in good old blighty!
We’re off exploring the South of England and I’ll try to take lots of pictures so I can take you on a little virtual tour when I’m back. I’m not sure if I will be blogging while I’m away – as ‘the Internet’ is my day job I want to take a break from it for a week, but at the same time I love blogging and it will be nice to put the spare time to good personal blogging use.
If you have suggestions for where we should visit please comment below. Thanks to everyone on Twitter has given me such excellent ideas too!
Last weekend was a bank holiday which meant that we had to follow that unwritten British rule and head out into the great outdoors, regardless of the weather. So we decided that it was about time that we took a longish trip to the deepest darkest depths of the Central Line and before I had a moment to do my best TOWIE impression we were in Epping Forest, in the countryside, surrounded by trees with the sun miraculously beating down on us.
It was, quite frankly, wonderful. We walked and walked and walked and drunk in England in all its fine green glory before finding a pub, ordering a shandy and tucking into some tasty gastro grub.
Have you ever been to Epping Forest? I’d love to go back with a plan – can you recommend a walking route?