london diaries – week five

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January 14, 2013 by leighnewlands

SATURDAY: With my younger sister no longer here, this was now my second solo weekend. I decided to head out and see Westminster Abbey.
Much to my dismay though, I got there too late as they closed at 1:30 on a Saturday. The board read however, that they would be open on Sunday for church
services at 07:30. Urm, a bit too early. No thanks.


So I trekked around the rest of the area. Walked towards Trafalgar Square, bustling with cars going round and round the square. On the side was a little scottish man playing the bagpipes for money and at the end of the square was a street performer which always manage to gather the crowds. And sadly that is how he makes most of his living and he expressed this too to the audience. He added that even if you don’t want to give him money or don’t have on you, to just shake his hand and let him know he did a good job.


SUNDAY: Decided to explore the Tate Modern, a really big art gallery where there are about 5 different floors with different artworks and exhibitions on show. What made this one nice was the fact that William Kentridge, a well-known South African artist had an exhibition on there. I won’t lie, I was quite overwhelmed by the amount of art surrounding me. What did annoy me though but I realised in the end, I was very much in the wrong, was the idea of art nowadays. It’s completely transformed from the traditional artworks to modern where stacking a pile of bricks ontop of one another is considered “art”. It’s all about concept now.


I then walked out to the London evening falling upon us, solo guitarists performing outside and the smell of roasted caramel almonds wandering along the Millenium Bridge. I therefore followed the inviting smell and took a walk along the Millenium Bridge, over the River Thames. In front of me, I was approaching St. Paul’s Cathedral. Got to the end of the bridge, found some hot chocolate at Pret and explored up that side. Unfortunately, it was very dead being a Sunday and being the more city centre, there were no tourist-like attractions therefore being very ghost-like. I subsequently turned around, walked back along the bridge and stopped to overlook the Thames and the colourful lights that are along the river banks. Purple, green, blue, yellow, red -they really know how to make London look appealing at night time (don’t worry, I’ll be putting up all these pictures soon!).


MONDAY: With the new brand identity having come in place, we were one of the first offices to undergo the transformation so as everyone came into work on Monday morning, we were welcomed by new signage, colourful mosaics and goodie bags on our desks! Theses consisted of a brochure about Vision 2020, a tube of colourful smarties and a coffee mug. I love free things!

TUESDAY: Planned on popping in to Westminster during my lunch break but thought there was no point in rushing it so I’ve set that aside for a weekend. I did however pop over to King’s Cross station where the infamous Platform 9 3/4 is from the Harry Potter films. They told me it was between platforms 9 and 10 (go figure) so I walk straight through, scan my Oyster Card and walked past platform 9A and B and then get to the end of the tracks. Platform 10 is on the other side so where the flip is the famous platform. I walk out, looking like a fool as I didn’t get on a train and then spotted the Harry Potter shop with the “platform” next to it which was like in the movies: a brick wall with the words written on top and half a trolley with luggage and Hedwig’s cage on the handle halfway through the wall. There’s a photographer there who takes photos of you “running into the wall with the trolley”. Quite cute actually. In the shop, whilst it’s not big, if you’re a major Harry Potter fan, you’d love it. They sell wands, toy Hedwigs, the movies and clothing such as the Gryffindor jerseys.


I then got home and had a skype with a friend of mine, Kates and was pleasantly suprised to have Matt, another friend join in on the skype session – I miss my friends back home. Wow. And I miss my car – while the public transport here in London is well done, I like my clean little car where germs are only mine most of the time and I can go where and when I want.

WEDNESDAY: A very productive and busy day at work which I enjoyed very much and went to my first weekly team meeting. EY is getting ready for Davos which is coming up in February so it’s all systems go in the communication department. I also learnt about my french colleague, her upcoming pregnancy and her husband and his obsession with cleaning. And I learnt that you get foxes around London at random – I didn’t know this! So i’m waiting for one to run across my pathway 🙂

The evening I went to Westfields to HMV, looking for Downton Abbey Season 3 for my Gran back home. Ever since its nominations and wins hoever, it’s become very difficult to find! So proving unsuccesful, I will conquer Oxford Street on Friday evening where a much bigger HMV is situated. I did stumble across the coolest, random shop on my way out last night which had this alarm clock on wheels and when it went off, it would roll around everywhere until you switched it off. So essentially, it rolls of your bedside table and forces you to get up out of bed and switch it off.



THURSDAY: Nothing too exciting to write about that happened today except that I overslept, got straight up and left for work without my daily dose of coffee and food and felt awful having to change in between tubes, squished up against strangers with me having very low blood pressure. Like I said, I miss my car.

FRIDAY: The second last friday for me at EY! No need for more explaining 😀



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