11th July – Stansted

by Tom Kerswill on July 11th, 2005
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On Monday, I set off from Totnes with rucksack and guitar, all packed up for 10 days in Slovakia and the Czech Rebublic. Problem was, I was going out on a Ryanair flight from London Standsted. My main luggage was the guitar, and all the clothes and everything else I had to live on went as hand luggage.. so it was a bit of a squeeze.

Anyway, the train journey to London went well and before long I was in Paddington. Guru, who I was planning to stay with that night, was still in work, so I got a day tube ticket and went to Canary Wharf. It was a little strange being on the tube so soon after the London bomb attacks on Thursday. Definitely a different atmosphere – with more people making eye-contact, and more people being aware of what was going on. Actually, it made an interesting change, because usually tube-travellers avoid eye-contact. Here there was more of a sense of mutual awareness – of membership of the group of people travelling together in one carriage. I’m sure a sociologist could do a good study on it!

It was my first time in Canary Wharf and I was impressed. 1 Canada Square, the orginal Canary Wharf high-rise, is where Guru works – and it’s quite an amazing building – together with all the other high-rise that make up the Docklands. Just next door you can see the millenium dome. And the whole area is nicely laid out, with trees, a river, and lots of bars. Complete with large scrolling banner that shows the values of all the markets 😉

So first I went to Waitrose’s to buy some small pressents for the girls I was to be staying with (the best I could find was tea and some marmalade!). We had a drink in one of the bars, then headed to an American-style restaurant, which served a ridiculously huge plate of steak fajitas, at a similarly huge price. Nice though. And very filling.

Stayed at Guru’s in Brixton that night, and woke up fairly early the next day to catch the flight from Stansted. I even arrived at the airport early, which is a bit of a first for me!

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