Summer’s here, the weather’s lovely and bright and hot, and so there’s no reason not to go out every weekend to see what the city has to offer. Especially when there are festivals and events on all the time too, there’s always something happening every week. A case in point is a weekend I spent at Alexandra Palace last month, where they had a couple of things going on. I’ll write more about it below, and link to all the videos I created, but here’s the Palace’s own video of highlights:
Today, June 17th, marks my 6-month anniversary as a Londoner already. Half a year living in this great city has flown by, and it only continues to get more interesting and exciting as time goes on, so I haven’t regretted it one little bit. Things here have been keeping me happily occupied for a variety of reasons, which is why I haven’t been writing here frequently. But I wanted to catch-up on some of the things I’ve been doing, and that’s going to need a few posts to get through.
So here I want to talk about a couple of the gaming nights I’ve been on most recently, essentially as a follow-up to the Name Of The Game post I wrote back in April.
When I was looking ahead to my move to London, I was naturally looking online for various things to do with the city. And on Youtube I quickly fell in love with the videos made by Geoff Marshall and Vicki Pipe, which are a joy to watch (it’s important to stress at I’m not affiliated with them, this is all personal opinion only).
You can see their clips on Londonist and Geoff’s own channel, Geofftech. They’ve made videos about secrets of the Underground, the least used stations in the country, facts about London, vlogs and more. So it’s not just about the railways. But it is a big passion of theirs, so a lot of their videos are related to it in some form.
That may sound boring at first, but Geoff and Vicki aren’t trainspotters, and the videos aren’t specifically aimed at trainspotters. You don’t need to be into trains and railways in a big way to enjoy them. These are accessible, fun and informative videos that aren’t nerdy or patronising. They’re looking more closely at a rail network that millions of us take for granted on a daily basis, and considering the history and features that are unique and unusual to each location. They clearly love what they do, and it shows.
And right now, they’re embarking on their most ambitious project yet, called All The Stations, and it’s the reason behind my latest outing this weekend.
One of the things I’ve particularly enjoyed getting into since moving to London are a variety of social gaming and quizzing events. They’ve proven to be a great way to meet new people, have a good laugh and get your brain working. They’ve all been easy and relatively simple games – I haven’t got into any complicated strategy games or things like that. Just events where you can relax and have a good laugh.
So I’ve been enjoying games with a few different groups, and have had quite a selection during this past week alone. So I thought I’d highlight some of the things I’ve been playing lately.
Being visually impaired, one of the things I’m naturally keen to do is get to know other people with sight loss in London now that I’ve moved here. And I’ve already met a few such people individually, and have plans to meet others, so I’ve made a good start. But in this past week I took another important step by meeting up with a local social group for people with sight loss for the first time.
After my Southwark Walk on Good Friday, my Hyde Park walk on Saturday, and a wonderfully lazy Easter Sunday, I finished off the long weekend on Easter Monday (17th April) with a stroll around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, which is very local to me. I actually went there with a friend last year, but we only covered a very tiny area as we didn’t spend a lot of time there. So I wanted to have a more extensive walk around, and that’s what I did on this occasion. And even then I know there are bits I missed, it’s so huge.
Following on from the Southwark Walk I posted about yesterday, the second walk I took over the weekend, on Saturday 15th April, was around Hyde Park. As before, photos from all the walks are on my Instagram, some of which are shared below as well, and there are video clips on my Youtube channel, which are also linked to during this post.
I knew London had lots of parks and garden spaces, but it’s only when looking into them online, to figure out where I might want to go on my wanderings, that I was reminded just how many royal parks, green spaces and lesser known outdoor areas there are (and those links still don’t cover all the possibilities). To have such a variety of beautiful, peaceful, natural areas in and around this big city, where you can relax, stroll and admire the scenery to your heart’s content, is one of the great things about living here.
So I knew I wanted to take in at least one or two of them over the weekend, with the nicer weather coming along. And Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens seemed a natural first choice.
As mentioned in my Springing Into Action post, I didn’t go out and about much during March, due to illness and important things going on at home. But now I’m feeling better, I wanted to make the most of my free time over the Easter weekend, and make good use of my new Freedom Pass (which grants me free travel on the Tube, buses, etc, in London, and on local bus services elsewhere in the UK).
Consequently, of the 4 days from Good Friday to Easter Monday, I spent 3 of them going out for nice long walks (with a lazy Sunday at home in the middle). Photos from all the walks are on my Instagram, and there are video clips are on my Youtube channel.
So in the next few posts, I’m going to summarise the walks I took. And this first one is from Good Friday (14 April), which includes a review of a touring app I tried out.
It’s been a couple of months since I last made a post here. So now that Spring is upon us and the weather is improving, I thought I’d do a bit of a catch-up to let you know how things are going, as I have been busy lately. So this is going to be a long mixture of all sorts of things.
As I noted in my previous post, social isolation is very possible in a busy, vibrant city like London, strange as that may sound to some. When you’re new here and you don’t know anybody, all you see is people going about their everyday business, and it’s easy to just get lost in the crowd and do your own thing. And it is indeed wonderful to do things by yourself sometimes, especially when there are so many places to visit and explore in this wonderful city. But I certainly don’t want to be on my own all the time. And on top of that, being a homeworker, I don’t get to experience the social interaction that I used to in the office. Plus I’m visually impaired, which doesn’t necessarily help matters either.
So I knew I needed to avoid that trap, and not become isolated with just myself for company. This is a fresh start for me in many ways, and making new friends and having new experiences is the most important part of that, as far as I’m concerned. I’m escaping the old routines and starting afresh, so I want to make the most of it as best I can.