Things I Have Learned

Posted: September 4, 2009 in UK - 2009
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As has been previously mentioned, I am very much enjoying the UK. We leave Surrey for Bristol tomorrow, having been in our current locale for exactly two weeks. In the spirit of commemoration, therefore, here is a list of things I have learned since being in England.

1. Alcohol and supermarket food, especially cheese, are cheaper than their equivalents in Australia, even accounting for the dollars/pounds conversion.

2. Train fares are more expensive, but better value for money, seeing as how British rail and the tube actually work. (Connex, take note!)

3. Fish finger sandwiches with mayonnaise are extremely tasty.

4. Sloe gin is, as the name suggests, regular gin with sloes in’t. Sloes are small, purple-brown berries. On their own, they do not taste wonderful. Neither does gin. But mix them together, and by God, you have a spiritous, mule-kickin’ beverage that drinks like port, warms like whiskey and hammers like dawn. Also, it is delicious.

5. Sloe gin is, as the name suggests, gin. Drinking it as if it were port is therefore not recommended.

6. Camden Markets is my new spiritual home. On an average Thursday at 3pm, the crowds were equivalent to that of any street festival you’d care to name, and bounteous with (but by no means limited to): tattoo parlours, striped stockings, blue hair, market stalls, African food, Lolita Goths, silversmiths, canals, rainbow knits, anime, punk, leather and lace. There is a pub called the World’s End, and beside it, a shop called Underworld. It is a magic place.

7. There are many excellent bookshops, first and secondhand, on Charing Cross Road, into which I could cheerfully (though inadvisably) take a shopping trolley and a credit card. Of these, Foyles is the most mindboggling. It is huge. If Camden Markets were not my spiritual home, then I suspect Foyles would be.

8. Luggage has a tendency to grow overnight, in the fashion of mushrooms.

9. Deadlines become hazy when they were set on a different island.

10. We will soon be living with a cat called Genghis. Which is awesome.

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