Peeking In London’s Knickers
I’ve always called London sexy. Yesterday, thanks to Open House I got to take a peek in her knickers.
It was the first time I’ve made it along to this annual event. I was forewarned that my day would spend a lot of walking and a lot of queuing. Undeterred I shrugged this off. I have legs so the walking is easy peasy, and I am British so queuing politely was bred into me before I was a fully formed embryo. Yesterday I headed to East London where my Dad was born and raised.
In Dalston I mildly offended an architect by not spending over an hour in his house, but he made me take my shoes off and I had a hole in my tights. Also, I like my homes cluttered and lived in. This particular home felt a bit to clinical for my personal tastes. I then spent a blissful hour in Dalston Eastern Curve Garden and found myself plotting how I could stay there forever, unnoticed and left to my own devices but with the occasional visitor. The team behind creating a garden on an abandoned railway are growing a Pizza garden and have built a clay oven to bake the ingredients in once harvested. As I walked to the end of the garden I saw that it backed on to a Matalan. It made me hope that for every awful shop popping up there will always be people on this planet connected with nature, creating little gardens for people to enjoy in peace.
From Dalston I walked down to Shoreditch and finally got close to a sight that’s fascinated me since moving to London. The painted tube carriages that look like they’re precariously balanced on top of a wall make up the Village Underground, an artists community. Sitting in an old Jubilee Line carriage looking across the city felt like I’d been let in on a secret location to cherish.
By now my feet were protesting but I shrugged off their pleas to sit down and eat cupcakes and/or drink cider. In honour of a recent blog post I visited Christchurch Spitalfields, immediately felt guilty about taking photos in a church but did get to witness a bell ringing demonstration which was geekily fascinating. They even let me tug a bell rope (insert your own Carry-On joke here). My final Open House visit was Spitalfields charnel house where I became transfixed on an archeologist called Jane. Listening to her paint a picture of the medieval bone house gave me that same fascinated feeling I got as a child visiting the National History Museum for the first time. That feeling of learning something brand new and at the same time feeling so, so tiny.
Annoyingly my Open House plans were cut short when I had to admit the cold I’d been pretending was in my imagination was actually in my immune system after all. But I still got so much from the day and can’t recommend it enough. It’s impossible to visit all the locations I wanted to nosey in, but it gave me some great inspiration for future days out in London.
I feel I’m due a career change and think maybe there’s a calling for a bell ringing archeologist that lives in an old tube carriage and grows their own vegetables. ♥
Photo’s of my Open House experience can be found on my Flickr