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goddesstogo and mr. goddess's big London adventure (an ongoing tale)

goddesstogo and mr. goddess's big London adventure (an ongoing tale)

Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 12:22 PM
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"we now are the proud possessors of library cards, just like the regular folk in the 'hood"

Does anyone here know any normal Londoner who has - and regularly uses - a card from a public lending library? I don't. Even in my Cotswold paradise, where 90% of the population live within a 5 min walk of a well-stocked library, almost all have a humanities degree from a Russell Group university, and half seem to be doing Masters' degrees in their spare time, I don't either. Mostly, the library's used by tourists trying to get free internet, or residents whose broadband's packed up.

Just 13% of British adults now use their local public lending library once a month or more often.

I'm not challenging GTG's wisdom in getting a card for the library: in her shoes it's a wise decision. But she's very unlikely to meet many of her new neighbours there. In London, regular folk buy, download or speedread at a reference library.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 12:47 PM
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"Just 13% of British adults now use their local public lending library once a month or more often." A-mazing. If I had to support my reading habit with purchases I couldn't afford to travel. (And I developed the habit growing up in England.)
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 12:51 PM
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Londoner here (normal, is debatable) who uses her library card semi regularly. i dont borrow all my reading material from the library, but do get about 40% of it from there.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 12:51 PM
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Oh, and GTG, welcome!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 01:17 PM
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"Just 13% of British adults now use their local public lending library once a month or more often." >>

I'm a regular at the libraries near my home on average once a week - I often borrow at one, and return at the other. I wouldn't have room for all the books i read if i bought them, let alone be able to afford them. I started going to the library when i was a child with my father, who was also a voracious reader. sadly, despite my best efforts, neither of my children has developed the habit.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 01:50 PM
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Looking forward to sharing with you in this adventure! Great job so far.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 03:14 PM
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We try to be library users at home but aren't as successful as we'd like to be. It's ridiculous. The bookstore we frequent most often is across the road from a huge library! And there's another one about five minutes drive away. I do often use the university libraries where I work, though.

It's a small library here but it seems well-used. We were there on a weekday afternoon and there were about 4 or 5 adults including a mom with two small kids. The little girl was sitting on the floor reading (quite beautifully) to her little brother. And there were people using the computers as well. That's not really where I'm planning to meet my neighbours. I haven't been seeing a lot of tourists here. It seems to be mostly young working people and/or students.

We went for a long walk tonight, up to Finchley Road, quite aways along it, and back here. We explored food stores -- Marks & Spencer (who puts Weight Watchers points values on some of their frozen dishes!), Waitrose, Sainsbury, and had Chinese food for dinner.

Do you know they don't refrigerate their eggs here?

landineen, the Railway Pub is just down the road from us. Our landlady's note says it's 'rather ropy'. I have no idea what that means.

hetismij, it's unlikely we're going to get to Holland on this trip. We will be having dinner with a Dutch friend in Paris, though. Does that count?

How about you coming to London? If someone would like to arrange a GTG, I'd love it! We'll be in Lisbon from Sept 8 to 12 and then in October we'll be in Hamburg. We're going to Paris sometime, but I'm not sure when and maybe to Barcelona as well. We'll be in and out of town but I'm sure we could figure out a date that would work.

And that's it for me. I'm off to read my library book. Goodnight, my friends.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 04:05 PM
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" . . 'rather ropy'. I have no idea what that means."

Not very good, unsatisfactory, average-ish.

Not as bad as 'pants'

"Do you know they don't refrigerate their eggs here?"

yep --- but that is true for a lot of other countries too?
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 04:24 PM
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Hey gtg - guess I missed all the fun with your planning such a big move. What a great experience you'll have.

I always find it a bit unsettling to see eggs as well as milk just sitting on the shelf in a box. Takes a bit getting used to that.

How fun it will be to follow your new adventure!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 06:20 PM
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I seem to recall an episode of 'Two Fat Ladies' eons ago where one of them (probably Clarissa Dickson Wright) proclaimed that eggs should never be refrigerated. I can only then imagine that their shelf life must also be somewhat limited. I agree that in most cases eggs should be at room temperature before use in cooking, but not otherwise.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 06:34 PM
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GTG, wow! It sounds you are on a great trip. I don't read every thread so this was a pleasant surprise..
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 07:33 PM
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Google turned up this old but no doubt still valid experiment on how long eggs last with different storage methods: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Susta...resh-Eggs.aspx

Looks like you can keep them for a few weeks at room temp with no problems. Note that the refrigerated eggs were in airtight containers.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 07:54 PM
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HI Goddess. I'm glad you are getting all settled in. I can only picture FInchley Road and Hampstead Heath in my mind and really enjoyed the area. I'm not sure I know West Hampstead, but it doesn't sound like it's far from Hampstead Heath, so I can picture where you are, and it is a great area. I'm so happy for you and very jealous.

I'm so glad I happened to come over to the Europe forum.
Enjoy your time,.. and enjoy some chocolate!
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 01:06 AM
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Hi Goddess, glad you have settled in so well to West Hampstead. I live here and run a local on/offline community. Google "West Hampstead Life" for info.

You seem to be finding your feet well. Local recommendations: The Wet Fish Cafe, Sirous, Walnut, Sarracino for authentic Italian (not Chicago!) pizza. The best bar around is probably The Gallery. The Railway is ok, but it's not the "traditional" pub experience you might want. Sitting at outside the back of The Lion is ok. There's also The Alice House, which gets mixed reviews.

Don't forget to explore the "delight" that is the Kilburn High Road. Doesn't have a great reputation but does have an amazingly good local cinema/theatre (The Tricycle) and some good live music venues if you're into that. Ping me any questions via the blog or twitter (@WHampstead). I arrange local events and GTGs for locals too, so if you want to meet some folks while you're here, do come along. Jonathan
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 07:34 AM
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OMGoddess! I envy Mr. GTG's sabbatical, especially after spending just four days in London in June. We saw three musicals and visited The Globe and Hampton Court in between just walking around and enjoying the city and the National Gallery. We'll miss having our GTG at the Toronto GTG!
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 08:37 AM
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GTG - Keep up this interesting report. Everybody seems to like it, and no wonder - you get to stay in London for three months?? WOW - Envy is coming through along with delight to be able to read your report.

MOOLYN: It's great to see you name, which I haven't seen in a while. I remember your "Moolyn's Excellent Adventures." - that was in the Dordogne, wasn't it?
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 10:48 AM
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Looks like you can keep them for a few weeks at room temp with no problems. >>

our eggs don't last that long!

glad you're getting settled in, goddess.
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 10:51 AM
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Hi everyone,

Have I told you how you can see our apartment? If not, here it is -- go to www.sabbaticalhomes.com, then to England, then London, and it's Listing ID #46133. If you scroll your cursor over the pictures they get bigger.

Today we bought our Oyster Cards and now can travel like the proverbial wind (more or less). We wanted to try them out so we took the tube down to the Tower of London station and had a bit of a stroll on the Thames Walk. The West Hampstead station was closed today but there was a 'replacement bus' which took us to Baker Street for no extra fare and then we hopped on the tube from there. We've had wonderful weather so far but we're not taking it for granted and expect rain any day now. I can't get over the feeling that we have to rush to get everything in and have to keep reminding myself that we can go back to places for longer visits. For example, we didn't spend any time at the Design Museum today but will go back sometime for a looksee. Saw some wonderful sculpture, though, in particular a big piece called The Navigator in the beautiful courtyard of the Hay's Galleria. It's a really funny piece which looks like it was designed by Terry Gilliam but it isn't, it's by David Kemp. Here's a picture but it doesn't do it justice:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/303247529/

Jonathan, last night we discovered Sarracino by accident -- we were strolling down a side street near home and it looked charming and was very busy, which I think is always a good sign. We'll definitely go there soon. We had dinner the other night at The Alice House and both our meals were quite good. It was packed with young people and very very noisy -- very loud music over the din of conversation. We'd go there again but maybe earlier in the evening when it's a little quieter. I'm interested in the other places you mention and will google them. Don't forget that you promised me the name of the best coffee shop in West Hampstead. I'll defintely check into your blog as well. Do you live anywhere near where we are?

We haven't explored 'the other way' yet. While I have a good sense of direction in terms of knowing where things are and finding my way about, I haven't figured out N,S,E & W yet, so 'the other way' is what we've been calling that direction which is not toward Finchley Road. What's down the other way?

Eggs. In Canadian and US supermarkets, eggs are refrigerated so that's how we keep them at home. I've never bothered to bring them to room temperature before cooking or even before baking and they've always worked ok. I don't know about other countries. I don't remember buying eggs in Italy or Ireland which were the only two places we had kitchens.

Tonight we're cooking dinner at home (and by that I mean my SO is cooking) and staying in. Ahhh. Tomorrow maybe Camden Market.

Hope all is well for you!
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 01:04 PM
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This is lovely, goddesstogo! I hope you'll update frequently.

Lee Ann
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 01:25 PM
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oops. I've just tried that sabbatical home number and the posting is down. I wonder why. I'll ask my landlady next time we email (she's out of the country till December).
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