London, December 2006

How can a week pass so quickly? Why do I never feel like I ever get enough time while in London?

Friday 22

Got up at four to take the bus, the only transport to the airport at that inhuman time, that left at 05.07. I arrived at the airport in time. Gardermoen was very busy, as it was right before the holidays. Even so, everything went very smoothly, and the only delay we had was 1 1/2 due to the fog at Heathrow.

First thing we did in London was to find something to eat. We were both very hungry, and ended up eating crappy food at Burger King, but left quickly to find a Starbucks.

Finding Starbucks was good. We had some coffee and relaxed. Chickxsy was happy to find some free Internet access for her MacTop, so that she could do a bit of research and such.

When the coffee was consumed and we felt ready to walk again, we headed for our hotel, in hope of an early check in. And we were lucky, and I even managed to have a shower, before leaving again.

I met up with Littleangel_103 and Tallarn at Elephant & Castle, and they took me to the Feminist Library. I was very surprised to see a card catalogue, and even more surprised that it was actually in use! No digital catalogue! I had no idea that anyone actually did that in 2006, at least not in Europe. But I can understand how hard it is, due to lack of funding. If I had been living in London, I would probably volunteer to help out with the feminist library, as it was most interesting.

I was also very impressed by the stock there. I hope by the Goddess that they will find a new, good location for the feminist library, a location suitable for a library. Because I think this is a very important resource, not only for the UK, but for the rest of Europe too. And how wonderful I found it, I can still see how wonderful it could have been with the proper locations, fundings, and with the proper amount of right staff. A couple of full time librarians, and others too… Now, that would have been an interesting job! I am most impressed by the work Littleangel_103 actually gets done, especially the situation being as it is. Why can’t more people see this?

After touring the feminist library, we went to have Chinese. I normally don’t like Chinese food very much, but this was really good. And cheap! Chickxsy joined us too, as she had been to the London Eye.

Saturday 23

Started the day with a breakfast date with Nniaa. It was wonderful to see her again. We met up at Glouster Road station, and then found Starbucks. After a little while we even got the same chairs as we had last year! We felt it was our corner! 😉 It was a very nice breakfast, and it lasted for about three hours or so.

After saying bye-bye to Nniaa we headed for Camden. Chickxsy seemed to be very tired, and left me shortly to find a Starbucks to relax, while I enjoyed the wonderful Camden Market on my own. I could probably have spent several hours there, and I wish I had a lot of money to buy stuff, because, OMG! So many nice things! I did buy a top hat and three pairs of over-knee stripy stockings, though.

Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2006

I met up with Chickxsy again at Angel, Islington. Mostly just because we were very inspired by Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, a book that I really need to reread. It’s my absolute favourite book!

Then we headed to a more central part of London, where we found Pizza Hut. Chickxsy found more free Internet access, so while we were waiting for the waiter, she surfed the net.

The service there was really crappy, so when our bill told us “no service included”, we said, “yes, we noticed” and left only some brown coins as tips.

After that we went to Piccadilly, where we found the large five floor Waterstone’s. So many wonderful books! I wish I could afford to buy more of them, but decided on one.

Piccadilly Circus
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2006

Sunday 24

I woke up fairly early, to meet up with Poggs at Euston. From there we took a bus to Angel, where we had proper English breakfast (mine was vegetarian). After being properly stuffed with food, we went to do a bit of shopping, before meeting up with . We all thought Starbucks was an excellent idea, so coffee was again being had.

After a bit of more shopping (I found the copy of Curve I was looking for! Why don’t they sell Curve in norway?), we decided enough was enough, and went to Euston, found an open pub, where we had a pint. And Poggs drew me a map of London!

Then I realised the time, and had to rush back to the Hotel to shower and get changed. Met up with Chickxsy, who had been on her own until then, at Starbucks, and we then headed for the Indian restaurant where we had booked a table (turned out to be a quiet night there, though). The food was absolutely fantastic, and the service excellent, so it made a perfect Yule Eve dinner.

I was horribly full after dinner, so we decided to stay in Kensington instead of going out. We went Internet access hunting, to get some free Internet.

For the first time in my life I attended a Christmas Midnight Mass. It was very different from what happens in a Norwegian church, and I found it to be very interesting. I enjoyed the music very much, as they had a small philharmonic orchestra as well as a choir. A lot of Hayden was played, and later we also lit candles.

Monday 25

We slept in, which was wonderful. We were pretty much stuck in Kensington, as all transport was closed down. Unlike us, the celebrate 25th, and not 24th, December in the UK. We had bought some food in a shop the day before, so at least we were secured some breakfast.

We then went to Kensington Gardens. A lovely place, but actually quite busy. There were lots of birds, and we visited the lovely Elven Oak.

One of the elves that lives in the elven oak.
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2006

A bit later we found an open café and had lunch/dinner, and then we spent some time on the Internet. Walking back to the hotel, we enjoyed all the nice lights we could see. A lot of places had beautiful decorations.

Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2006

I had a short by myself before going back to the hotel. We ended up spending the rest of the evening there, with our books and stuff. Nice and relaxing.

Tuesday 26

Since all the Starbucks had been closed the day before, we headed to Starbucks, where we had breakfast. After breakfast we went “book hunting”, and found an Official Book Crossing Zone, where I released a book, and picked up a book to read. Chickxsy is a book crosser too, so she also picked up a book.

We then walked for a bit, and had a look around. Mostly, shops were closed, so we didn’t do any shopping, but had dinner at a cozy pub, before heading for Ben Crouchs Tavern, where we drank our sins. I had two of “Lust”. It’s a really nice pub, and I love the decor. I also love how they have sound effects in the toilettes. It always makes me giggle.

After drinking, we had a small stroll to watch the decorations in Oxford and Regent street, before heading back to Kensington.

We then went to a gay pub, but as we were about to enter, Chickxsy chickened out, as there were mostly men there. It was OK for girls to enter, but she didn’t feel like it, so we walked back to Kensington. On our way back, we bought some ice cream, before going back to the hotel.

Then we packed, and went to bed.

Wednesday 27

Last day in London. We didn’t do much, but headed for King’s Cross station after breakfast, where we found Platform 9 3/4.

Platform 9 3/4
Photo: Mittens and Sunglasses © 2006

We then found a Starbucks close by, and I tried one of their hot chocolates. I’ll stick to coffee, it was way too sweet! I felt sick for a while after that.

After that we just headed to Heathrow, several hours too early. Security there was chaotic and hell like, so when we were boarded and allowed to take off earlier than scheduled, it was almost a relief.

Arrived safe and sound in Oslo last night.

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