london diaries – week four

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January 6, 2013 by leighnewlands

Yes, week four. That means I’ve been here for nearly a month now. Wow but time really does fly!

What I’m missing so far; my family, my friends, sunshine ands my dogs! I must be the only weirdo who chooses to get on the tube carriage where an owner and its dog is getting on.


I chose one on Friday where the owner and his two labradors got on, one relatively old and the other of two years. The younger one was petrified of the tube though and tried to lie down and shook furiously as she was so nervous so I just sat in front of her and patted her the whole journey trying to give her whatever comfort possible.

FRIDAY: VERY slow day at work, just because everyone has taken their breaks and time so the office was only filled with about 6 to 8 of us. one colleague bought mulled wine though (in South Africa, it’s known as Gluvine). I’m not a big fan but in this weather and in the christmas spirit, I’ve slowly grown accustomed to it and this day, it was lovely. The company and mulled wine in a quiet office, filled with lots of laughter and insight into my other colleagues, it made the day less painful. My one colleague originates from Greece so at least I’ve built that connection if I ever want to travel to Greece! haha Also, my boss is off with the norovirus that has just recently broken out here. It spreads faster here as well with people being in close proximity pof each other, especially with all the use of public transport. I think i need to get me a surgical mask and walk around like a paranoid freak.


and the evening, we spent in, just relaxing after a week long of festivities.

SATURDAY: Headed to Camden Town again in pursuit of presents to bring back for my lovely friends.
The Camden markets are a number of adjoining large retail markets in Camden Town near the Hampstead Road Lock of the Regent’s Canal (popularly referred to as Camden Lock), often collectively named “Camden Market” or “Camden Lock”.It is the fourth-most popular visitor attraction in London, attracting approximately 100,000 people each weekend.
The complex of Camden Market is composed of six general sections, each with its own particular focus on wares, while the Stables Market, and the Camden markets generally have their roots in alternative sub-cultures. Due to the popularity the markets, visitor numbers have increased to the extent that Camden Town tube station has restricted Sunday afternoon access to incoming passengers only in order to prevent dangerous overcrowding of the narrow platforms.


The market is so vibrant, with shop owners trying to sell you the same thing wherever you go but for different prices. You learn here how to negotiate. Actually, it’s pretty easy. You ask how much something is, they tell you, you show less interested and they immediately pick up your vibe and start negotiating with the price dropping lower and lower.
Camden Town is an experience and market you definitely need to pay a visit to when in London. They have shops, inside markets, outside markets, food stalls and more. You actually get lost – it’s pretty much an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ maze you navigate through.



However, you’re bound to find something new at every corner.
I don’t want to divulge as to what I found and bought because some people who may be reading this will then know what I got them.

Camden Town is known as the place where Amy Winehouse lived and was a regular visitor – because of this, many stores and pubs have many images of Winehouse up in memory of her.


Another EPIC shop to visit amongst the market is Cyberdog – literally one big rave party within a shop selling every product you can imagine suitable for trance parties like flashing mouth pieces, the craziest lumo attire, colour contact lenses, flashing sticks and light up laces. They even had dancers behind rails dancing amongst your shopping.

So I came home with quite a lot. Was rather succesful actually.

The evening I spent in, sorting out my new gifts, switching off all the lights and turning up the music to test out my new t-shirt and then went to sleep.

SUNDAY: Took a walk around with the day being (slightly) sunnier and clearers which deteriorated quickly by 2pm. With the day being so nice, I took my camera and headed to Camden and Knightsbridge. I wanted to go see Harrods that everyone always raves about. OH MY WORD, the amount of floors in one shop is really just unecessary. Of course it was overly expensive and busy so I made my waY to visit the Harrods shop, th toy floor and the sweets floor. It was like something out of Willy Wonka and a place one should just not bring their children too!

Fortunately, I walked out of there unscathed and headed home for some hot chocolate and this mother of a crepe with nutella and stawberries on it. WOW!


MONDAY: Another quiet day at work with everyone still being on holiday. Spent my morning finishing some documents, scouring the internet for the best viewing point to watch the infamous London firweorks over the Thames and just staring out the window and cloudy London.

At a last minute decision, I decided to go watch the fireworks even though people warned me of the long queues trying to get home. I thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity so I did it and it was spectacular. Check them out here ->


I managed a record breaking 45 minutes to get home in which I pushed, just like everyone else did. Got home and we were all up till about 3am, just chatting.

TUESDAY: New Years day was a slow start with a nice lie in. Eventually I arose and made my way down to the London New Years Day Parade. It begins at Picadilly Circus and ends off at Parliament Square where I found myself. You couldn’t have asked for a better day to start of 2013 with literally blue skies all round. Don’t be deceived however as it was still bitterly cold. The best ‘float’ that I noticed and many had photos with was the star wars, movie characters float where they all went out to dress up like famous characters from the movies. I got my photo with the Joker!



WEDNESDAY: Back at work, and most people back after being off since before christmas. So back to Tubes being jam packed. Also, rail fares have gone up by 4% so many commuters unhappy with that as well. Many of my colleagues who give me work to do are still not back from holiday though so I’ve just been browsing the net and catching up on everything else that’s going on in the world.


THURSDAY: Curry thursdays at work! Helped myself to some of the most scumptious meals this past week at our EY Canteen. Good food, relatively cheap = YES PLEASE. The evening myself and Candi popped by Westfields in the hope of finding some more clothes. The problem – sales are still on and the shops are just left with drips and drabs for a long time. So we left in protest, bought a tub of cadbury chocolate spread and went home and ate it. The only valid answer to most things.

FRIDAY: More people in at work today – sure they all experienced the ‘going back to work’ blues. Still, it was very nice to be surrounded by more hustle and bustle. EY are recently undergoing a new and exciting change known as Vision 2020 – the corporate identity is changing. New banners and material arrived Friday evening and they’re putting it all up around the office over the weekend for us to see on Monday!…watch this space.



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