California & Chicago: 2021 Reunion Edition

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We made it! Fair warning: this is going to be an exceptionally joyful blog post, because Randi and I finally made it to the US and back after three whole years of being away. In fact, our United flights were mostly covered by credit from our aborted holiday of April 2020, so we had a lot to pack in.

Alex and Randi
Alex and Randi

Our first stop was LA to stay overnight with Randi’s brother, Alex, and his partner Lia. They kindly shepherded us from the airport to an outdoor restaurant for dinner (because you can do outdoor dining in November in southern California) where we had a lovely time pretending that our sleep wasn’t 8 hours behind where it should be.

The next day, suitably reset, we spent some time together at the Huntington Botanical Gardens before moving on to Randi’s parents in Yorba Linda. This was a perfect place to relax into holiday mode – beautiful gardens, including some fearsome cacti, and all in sunshine.

Japanese garden at The Huntington
Japanese gardens at The Huntington
Relaxed!
Relaxed!
La Brea Tar Pits, near where we stayed in LA
La Brea Tar Pits, near where we stayed in LA

Time for a quick side-quest, though! Before leaving the city, we also worked in a brief window to sneak off to Farmers Market and introduce Randi to my LA cousins Jackie and Jeff. This has been a long-overdue introduction, and they generously treated us to brunch while we made the most of our short time together. A really lovely Glamily bonus.

The first of many burritos during this trip
The first of many burritos during this trip
Back to the pool!
Back to the pool!

The number of books I’ve managed to get through during the pandemic has been shockingly poor, and I’ve now decided to blame being cut off from Randi’s family home in Yorba Linda. It really has become my happy place to sit by the pool and read, occasionally refuelled by trips to In-N-Out Burger (still delicious).

Obviously, it was also great to spend more time with Randi’s parents, and in the evenings we gathered together to keep pace with British essentials such as the Bake Off finale and a creepy Weeping Angels-centric episode of Doctor Who, during which I was pretty sure I could sense an army of malicious statues approaching from their backyard.

The perfect place to spend an evening
The perfect place to spend an evening
The entire nursing team for Beth's post-knee surgery recovery
The entire nursing team for Beth’s post-knee surgery recovery

Just in case this makes it sound like we never left the house… we weren’t that immobile. Our furthest adventure was to Newport Beach for a fishy (in a good way) lunch with Randi’s friend Sonali, followed by a good walk along the beachfront itself. In news which will surprise no-one, we opted to join the small fraction of the population who ride the local 71 bus to Newport Beach rather than driving – and while it’s neither very frequent or particularly fast, I have nothing bad to say about my $2 Orange County bus experience, which was actually reasonably well-used for the middle of the day. And free masks, too, for anyone ‘forgetting’ to wear one – including for the woman who boarded, took her free mask and then got right back off again.

We also went for a wonderful (and quite philosophical) stroll around the local neighbourhood with another of Randi’s childhood friends, Sienna. Meanwhile, Randi cooked an amazing dinner for the Leikens when they came over for the evening, along with Alex’s friends Brian and Gabo, and I can confirm that it was me who finished the chocolate cake the next morning. For Thanksgiving itself, I found myself in the disorientating position of making the salad dressing (despite, y’know, not eating salad) which miraculously ended up being edible. Not quite as edible, however, as Andrew Shelanksy’s ginger cookies which have to go down as one of my Thanksgiving 2021 highlights.

Yup, there are buses in Orange County
Yup, there are buses in Orange County
Lunch with Sonali
Lunch with Sonali
When we reached the beach, we basically ran into the ocean deliriously
When we reached the beach, we basically ran into the ocean deliriously
Randi and Sienna, sitting on top of the world
Randi and Sienna, sitting on top of the world
Coats? We must be back in Chicago.
Coats? We must be back in Chicago.

And finally: Chicago! No matter where we live, this will always be the city where we met and we never plan to be away for such an outrageously long period of time again. Our home base was Cantherine Catherine and Blaine’s AJ’s fancy new apartment, and in addition to all of the running about we did it was just really magical to spend some time again just hanging out, drinking Spotted Cow, streaming Channel 4, revisiting their wedding, stealing pizza slices from the fridge, recreating the entire Geja’s fondue experience with a DIY takeaway kit and arguing about whether ‘takeaway’ is a word. We also enjoyed a Hanukkah latke feast with Catherine’s cousins – and fortunately, we had come prepared with offerings from the land of Peppa Pig to satisfy the youngest guest.

Oh, but we did so much more. We ordered Mexican food with Toggolyn – still, by some distance, the couple with the coolest bookshelves – and then hopped over together to Robert and Julie’s for pizza and wine and incredibly tangented stories. Their two sons are also so, so much fun. We went back to Windy City Café with one of my most favourite ex-Grouponers, Ellen, who is slowly morphing into a European before our very eyes, and hit up our other go-to brunch place, Janik’s, with the one and only Cat “I’m going to move to Madison just as you leave Chicago” Hurley.

Evening engagements included a night out in the ‘burbs with Randi’s former boss and her family, cocktails with Jason and Carrie and Thai food at Michaela and Andy’s flat where an awful lot of opinions were expressed about Omaha. I also took a solo trip on Metra out to Downers Grove for burgers with another ex-Groupon colleague, Mike, although it almost turned into a much longer diversion because I almost boarded an Amtrak train by mistake… which could have been a lengthy error.

We also spent time with our beloved flatmate Amanda, of course – not once, but twice – starting with dinner at the one-and-only La Scarola. They’ve always been suspiciously nice to me there, starting from my very first visit, to the extent that Randi assumes they’ve confused me with someone else. Still, I’ll take it, especially since this visit ended with the owner ripping off a piece of tablecloth for me to write my phone number down so he can “take me out to dinner in London” when he visits.

Anyway – having gorged on Italian food – we reunited with Amanda a few nights later at Joe and Julie’s house which, not surprisingly, is a quirky masterpiece of design. We had an uproariously great night together with Amanda’s partner John and long-time Chicago friend Karol. (Julie’s chocolate and marmalade cake is highly recommended.)

Too excited to wait for Todd for the selfie
Too excited to wait for Todd for the selfie…
...and then decided to lay in ambush together
…and then decided to lay in ambush together
Discovering Chicago's Forest Preserves with Catherine and AJ
Discovering Chicago’s Forest Preserves with Catherine and AJ
"We should be able to cross this"
“We should be able to cross this”
Successful crossing in progress
Successful crossing in progress
Catherine and Randi
Catherine and Randi
Windy City with Ellen (now more pedestrian-friendly outside, too!)
Windy City with Ellen (now more pedestrian-friendly outside, too!)
Randi's former boss, Alison, and her family
Randi’s former boss, Alison, and her family
Heading back on the Blue Line
Heading back on the Blue Line
Flatmates reunited!
Flatmates reunited!
I turned up to decorate Hanukkah cookies with Robert's kids
I turned up to decorate Hanukkah cookies with Robert’s kids
Fondue from the comfort of home
Fondue from the comfort of home
Cat joined us on a Pulaski Park revisit
Cat joined us on a Pulaski Park revisit
I insisted on a photo with Joe and Julie's terrifying Halloween figure
I insisted on a photo with Joe and Julie’s terrifying Halloween figure
A less frightening group shot
A less frightening group shot
Thankfully the correct train to Downers Grove
Thankfully the correct train to Downers Grove
Drinks with the reassuringly unchanged Jason and Carrie
Drinks with the reassuringly unchanged Jason and Carrie

Before flying home on Saturday, we just had time for some excellent Swedish breakfasts before accompanying Catherine and AJ to buy a Christmas tree. (In truth, I think we were mostly there so that Catherine had a secure majority of people whose instincts are to bring home the biggest tree possible.) And then, far too quickly, we were in a cab to the airport. If you’re thinking that “cab to the airport” doesn’t sound like us, you should know that, when I left Chicago in November 2018, Robert very kindly offered up some closet space to store a bunch of books, board games and other possessions until we had somewhere permanent to send them to.

I certainly wasn’t intending to colonise his closet for three years, and – beyond feeling guilty – there was something incredibly gratifying about finally coming back for my stuff, even if it took an unwieldy number of extra bags to do it. Yes, stuff’s just stuff, but it was my stuff… and on the flight back, the sadness of leaving people behind in Chicago again was balanced with a satisfaction that our home in London would now become – in a sense – whole.

Carrying the tree home
Carrying the tree home
Our cab driver despairs at our bags
Our cab driver despairs at our bags

Appropriately, on our first flight out I reached the very last episode of Wicked Game, a podcast series recommended to me by my uncle Andrew which works through each American Presidential election from the beginning. I also picked Finding Dory for my traditional aeroplane animation fix… although, sadly, this time I found the story pretty underwhelming and one dimensional. On the way back, therefore, I went in a different direction and watched the Christopher Nolan thriller Tenet. Probably not the ideal viewing experience for that film, but enjoyable enough. The real shining moment of my first post-Covid international journey, however, was being reunited with a pack of Ruffles (Cheddar & Sour Cream) at O’Hare. Ruffles! I had forgotten about you, but you were always an excellent option from the Groupon vending machine.

It’s clearly time for this rambling narrative to end, because tomorrow we go back to the real world. At least, the real world as bounded by the walls of our flat for a few days, pending the (hopefully negative) outcome of a PCR test. We came home today to a Christmas tree of our own (it’s beautiful), a big Indian takeaway (see, definitely a real word) and the Doctor Who finale: all good reminders of our home here. But nothing makes you appreciate home more than leaving it, and I can’t wait for whatever travel comes next.

Walking the virtual plank
Walking the virtual plank

My first experience of VR was in 2014, when I donned a bulky Oculus Rift headset and rode a virtual rollercoaster in the middle of Katie Schuering’s apartment. It was pretty fun, in a “this is a novelty now but I’m sure this will be huge in a few years” kinda way, so I’m actually surprised that it’s taken until 2021 for my second VR experience at a team offsite event this week.

The technology’s gotten better in all of the obvious ways, and I thoroughly enjoyed blasting zombies to death with my team. It’s still a long way from photorealism, but I felt suitably nervous when walking around virtual ‘corners’ and jumped when a member of the undead snuck up behind me. As demonstrated by the virtual ‘walking the plank’ experience (pictured) it really doesn’t take much for the human brain to feel itself to be in mortal danger despite obviously ‘knowing’ that you’re a mere 1cm off the ground rather than walking off the top of a very tall building.

Virtual reality gaming: the view from outside...
Virtual reality gaming: the view from outside…
...and inside
…and inside

There’s an irony in meeting your colleagues again after nearly two years and then jumping straight into virtual reality, but it was incredibly lovely to see everyone in person. Special thanks to Tomas for staying up late in the hotel bar for an impromptu session on system architecture and/or Russian geopolitics.

And now, as I write this, there’s only one more sleep to go before Randi and I finally make it back to the States! This is a trip which we’ve planned, cancelled, re-planned and re-cancelled so many times that I won’t believe it’s happening until my feet are planted firmly on Californian ground. Yesterday morning, however, we cleared the pre-flight negative Covid test hurdle so we are almost there.

Forgive me, then, if the rest of this post has a bit of a helter-skelter vibe as I race through the last few weeks. Way back on Halloween we welcomed Andy and Bonnie for their long-delayed introduction to our flat, and just as they were leaving the first in a pleasing flurry of trick-or-treaters started to arrive. One group was so large I think we’ve now met an entire cohort from the local primary school, and there were some impressive costumes to boot. Of course, I withdrew all trick-or-treating services later that evening to focus on the start of the new, serialised season of Doctor Who, which in general is working really well with this more old-school format.

I’ve also enjoyed a night at the Captain Kidd pub with Eric, a Zoom pub with Simon, Ellie, Oliver, Robert and Steve at which we argued about who was responsible for us not being at a real pub (I tried!) and an impromptu evening of takeaway Nando’s and long-overdue catching up in Chelmsford with my honorary big sister Abbi. Meanwhile, Randi and I practised our patented two-step North West London hop from my mum’s to Josh and Anna’s to celebrate Cora’s first birthday. Key discoveries: (a) Cora has entered a talkative phase, albeit not yet in a language which any of us are able to understand, and (b) Cora seems to have picked up a disturbing NIMBY attitude towards tower blocks and will smash them all down at the earliest opportunity. A worrying personality trait.

Celebrating Anna's birthday
Celebrating Anna’s birthday

A week later, just when she thought she’d gotten rid of us, we turned up at the North London Tavern in Kilburn for Anna’s surprise birthday party. Randi led the charge to buy helium balloons for the occasion with infectious enthusiasm for a giant floating caterpillar – money well spent – and I accidentally ordered way too much food. So, obviously, we had a great time. Happy birthday Anna!

Finally – in a quick break between packing and panicking about something going wrong – we popped over to Tash and Cormac’s tonight for a delicious (and finessed!) Friday night family dinner. We’ll see you all on the other side!

Last Saturday we held a memorial party for my dad on his birthday. I say ‘we’, but it was my aunt Carolyn who generously threw open her house and garden for the afternoon. This was a fitting venue because we spent so much time here as a family growing up – from Easter egg hunts to Guy Fawkes night fireworks – and dad would have been as thrilled as I was to be able to catch up with so many people there. Special thanks to those who spoke and shared memories of dad from different periods in his life, including Daryl who sent a wonderful video from Santa Barbara which was much appreciated.

Appropriately, given how often drinking in pubs came up in everyone’s speeches, we all decamped to The Island afterwards for the rest of the evening. This was actually one of the last pubs I went to with dad, so I’m very fond of it. Still drank lager, though, so not quite at his level yet… 😉

An excellent photo, sneakily taken by Randi from upstairs
An excellent photo, sneakily taken by Randi from upstairs

In other news, we have (another) new favourite local restaurant and were very excited to have an excuse to go back – about a week after our first visit – to celebrate Randi’s successful visa renewal. (We did it! All by ourselves!) As if I needed any more reasons to love London, it’s also heartwarming that the phrase “we’re out to celebrate a visa renewal” will immediately win you knowing smiles and a round of free drinks to celebrate.

The organisers put in a lot of effort to guide the crowds
The organisers put in a lot of effort to guide the crowds

We also hosted Tash, Cormac and mum for dinner at our place, plus enjoyed a very happy walkabout and long-awaited catch-up with Amy, Adam and baby Benji in Dulwich Park. But perhaps our most exciting recent outing was the result of Randi’s impulsive decision to buy tickets to one of the NFL’s annual games in London. So two weeks ago we travelled to Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium – the percentage of Victoria line passengers wearing NFL jerseys rising every stop – to watch the New York Jets get comprehensively demolished by the Atlanta Falcons. (I’m no expert on American football, but even I can tell that passing the ball works better if there’s somebody at the other end to catch it.)

Apart from the fact that every successful first down was accompanied by a piercing falcon ‘screech’ noise – and there were quite a lot of them – the atmosphere was really fun and, just like the pre-season Bears game I saw in Chicago, I found the sport a lot more fast-flowing and enjoyable to watch when it’s not being cut up by commercials on television. Our seats were also fantastic, although we were not aware that the singing of the American national anthem would conclude with a military flypast and for a brief moment we both thought the planes were heading right at us.

If you squint, you can just see Marisha Wallace sing the anthem from a disconcertingly thin platform
If you squint, you can just see Marisha Wallace sing the anthem from a disconcertingly thin platform
Our excellent view
Our excellent view
Wearing green for the Jets, which turned out to be a massive error of judgement
Wearing green for the Jets, which turned out to be a massive error of judgement
Hello from Chester
Hello from Chester

Over the weekend, Randi and I had a really lovely time in… spins the UK minibreak wheel of fortune… Chester! This was actually our second eviivo-sponsored stay following Box Hill in August, and here we were hosted by Dave and Kirsty at the faultless Stone Villa guest house. As anyone working in software will attest – especially in the era of working from home – talking to actual customers is incredibly rewarding and I’m very grateful for all of the time they volunteered to show me how they use the product. Plus, the breakfasts were delicious!

We also really, really liked Chester itself – starting with the picturesque walk into town along the canal. (This walk was also memorable for us being stopped while crossing a bridge by an elderly driver, who wound down her window and asked plaintively if we knew of any petrol stations with fuel. But this doesn’t feel like a Chester-specific anecdote.) Once we reached the centre, we were delighted to find that Wikipedia wasn’t exaggerating when it describes Chester’s “extensive Roman walls”. You really can just go up and take a 2 mile circular self-guided tour around the whole city, which is a really awesome way to get to know somewhere and a terrific bonus from past generations attempting to keep out the Welsh / Danes / Normans (delete as applicable).

Randi's new house
Randi’s new house

In fact, we were so enthused about the walls that when Randi’s friend Becca arrived on Saturday afternoon we made her walk around too just so we could do it all over again. Becca was in town to run the Chester marathon on Sunday – sadly without Randi as originally planned due to injuries, but I have a feeling we’ll be back. In the meantime, Becca ran an amazing race and after cheering her on at the finish line we spent the rest of the day relaxing in the pub. (I am so, so glad that pubs are back – and back properly – with bar service and that laid-back, unhurried feel which can’t be matched elsewhere.)

Other highlights of Chester included fancy cocktails, Northern friendliness (I think Randi might be looking to move already) and some very tasty pierogies. Honestly, if you haven’t been yet you should consider visiting for the pierogies alone.

It wouldn't be the North without a converted mill by a canal
It wouldn’t be the North without a converted mill by a canal
It is a very lovely canal
It is a very lovely canal
Up on the wall!
Up on the wall!
The city below
The city below
After completing a circuit of the Chester Loop
After completing a circuit of the Chester Loop
Becca with her marathon medal
Becca with her marathon medal
Down by the river
Down by the river
Randi's arty river shot
Randi’s arty river shot
This is Beverley Brook, Peter Grant's girlfriend, from Capital Ring Section 6 and/or Rivers of London
This is Beverley Brook, Peter Grant’s girlfriend, from Capital Ring Section 6 and/or Rivers of London

Back in the cold, unfeeling South it’s been a busy but productive couple of weeks. I ventured back into the office for a single afternoon and confirmed to myself that I am quite astoundingly less useful to the company when the alternative to working from home is “wandering around people’s desks to catch-up and and popping out to Pret every so often for tea because there’s no milk here anymore”. (To be honest, this was mostly just a set-up to go to the pub afterwards with Steve, Lee, James and new-starter Kris.)

Randi and I also walked Capital Ring Section 6 – from Wimbledon Park to Richmond Bridge – which I’m pretty sure is universally regarded as ‘the prettiest one’. I was particularly pleased to encounter Beverley Brook at the very point explicitly referenced in the Rivers of London installment I’m currently reading. Hi, Beverley! After the walk we stumbled across German food at Stein’s by the river and celebrated the completion of the southern half of the Capital Ring with sausages and schnitzel and the first gluhwein of the season. Prost!

The telescope on King Henry's Mound in Richmond Park with the astonishing view of St Paul's through a protected line of sight
The telescope on King Henry’s Mound in Richmond Park with the astonishing view of St Paul’s through a protected line of sight

(Talking of German, a quick side-note into my current YouTube obsession: Prof. Dr. Frank Erik Pointner and his Historical Linguistics. Come for the history of how the English language became so messy and weird, stay for the calm German tones and occasional shade thrown in the direction of rival linguistic professors who don’t study enough German. I genuinely love it.)

Also in the last few weeks: we’re now less than a year away from the re-wedding (!) so naturally we celebrated our -1 year anniversary at an excellent local Italian. We’ve also made progress on planning for the wedding itself, although sadly I was forced to conclude that hiring a 90s disco tribute band would not be the correct decision to maximise the happiness of the majority. Still, please enjoy this cover of Doctor Jones and think about the alternative universe where you’d get to experience this live in 2022. Katie approved when I showed it to her, at least, before our regular Doctor Who Night session took us to 1988’s unsubtly political The Happiness Patrol. I wonder if a young Chris Chibnall was taking notes.

Oh, and Bake Off’s back!

Richmond Park
Richmond Park
Just another cow in your average London meadow
Just another cow in your average London meadow
Mulled wine!
Mulled wine!

After moving house, I felt some pressure to pick a ‘favourite local pub’ despite lockdown making it difficult to compare them in the traditional way. I ended up nominating The Honor Oak based mostly on the nice wall of plants which Randi and I saw through the window when walking past. But now, with everything open again and a brief spate of sunny late-summer evenings to enjoy, I can confirm that I do really like this pub. It’s even introduced Randi to the delights of mango-flavoured beer, which really takes me back. But, to share the pub-love around, we’ve also enjoyed after-work drinks on the terrace of The Chandos too. Come visit us – we have real favourites now!

Cosy outdoor alcove
Cosy outdoor alcove
After-work drinks
After-work drinks

Actually, we have been relatively successful at luring people to come see us recently. Two weekends ago we spent a wonderful afternoon with Laura, Matt and Cré at ours during which we got to witness Cré’s first successful crawl up some stairs in the middle of our hallway. Apologies if this unlocks a terrifying new vertical world for all concerned. That evening we hot-footed it over to my mum’s for dinner with Tash and Cormac, but didn’t drink so much wine to deter us from walking Capital Ring section 5 the next morning from Streatham Common to Wimbledon Park. It’s been a little while since we last walked the Capital Ring and I think we’ve both concluded that it lacks some of the far-flung adventurism of the London Loop. But it’s still very cool to see how different parts of the capital fit together as we slowly make our way around the rough border of Inner Loncon.

"We got to Wimbledon Park!" attempt 1/2
“We got to Wimbledon Park!” attempt 1/2
"We got to Wimbledon Park!" attempt 2/2
“We got to Wimbledon Park!” attempt 2/2

On the way home, we took advantage of 2021’s Open House Festival to drop in on two houses on nearby Walter’s Way. The street is named after the the architect Walter Segal, who in the late 1970s persuaded Lewisham council to run an experiment in self-built, timber-framed houses which were constructed entirely by the residents themselves. This was only possible because the council had slightly run away with itself in its enthusiasm to buy up land for housing, and ended up with a few parcels of very hilly land which weren’t suitable for traditional council flats. The result is a charming, self-contained rural village of a street with wooden houses jutting out at peculiar angles. Is this ‘anarchist architecture’ the solution to a housing crisis? No. Is it annoying when journalists headline their stories with the line “this isn’t at all like London” as a badge of pride? Yes. But the street is beautiful and it’s a cool experiment to have on our doorstep.

Another twentieth century housing experiment – Thamesmead – has a more chequered reputation and was famously used as the filming location for A Clockwork Orange, but it makes a much more loving backdrop in the 1996 film Beautiful Thing which Randi and I saw as part of an outdoor film festival in Beckenham Place Park. It’s a coming-of-age love story between two gay teenagers with an outrageously good soundtrack of Cass Elliot songs, and I really loved watching a film on a big screen again!

That thin circular tube is the slide
That thin circular tube is the slide

In the past few weeks we’ve also brunched with Erin, got angry at the Bush administration all over again after watching a 9/11 anniversary documentary, done some proper adulting by inviting our wonderful downstairs neighbour Angela over for dinner and celebrated after watching Emma Raducanu’s sensational victory in the US Open. (I was also impressed at myself for remembering how tennis scoring worked!) We also had a fancy dinner with Oliver and Abi at Mildred’s in Camden – a different vibe to the mango beer days, but still a weird thrill to walk around Camden on a Saturday night. And – as you might have guessed from the photo – we also redeemed my mum’s birthday present and visited the Olympic Park to ride the slide down the Orbit.

I have a sense that the Orbit has never been particularly successful as a tourist attraction, and I had completely forgotten that the slide was only added in 2016 in an attempt to boost visitor numbers. The original architect was not pleased, wanting to be “more highbrow” than “a fairground ride”. (Turns out there’s a lot of architecture in this post, which wasn’t intentional.) He is, obviously, quite wrong. Very few buildings in the world would not be improved by the addition of a giant curvy slide and the Orbit is no exception. Plus the views from the top while you wait are excellent. I would recommend it, if you’re not offended by slides, and while the lack of giant crowds might be bad news for the owners it also makes the queuing experience at the top much more relaxed than most London tourist attractions.

Finally – and I promise I didn’t plan this – I already had a random day scheduled off-work when I learned that today was also the first day of the new Northern line extension to Battersea. So it would have been rude not to go and see it, right? I wasn’t one of the cool kids on the inaugural 5.30am train, and I did contrive to have lunch with Leonard while I was in the area, but I can’t hide the fact that I was one of the 99% of people visiting in the morning as enthusiasts and/or TfL employees.

Battersea Power Station station! Yes, everyone's made the joke. Yes, I'm doing it anyway.
Battersea Power Station station! Yes, everyone’s made the joke. Yes, I’m doing it anyway.
Shiny new South London tube stations don't come along very often, even if they are just barely south
Shiny new South London tube stations don’t come along very often, even if they are just barely south
It must be nice to wake up and have a tube on your doorstep
It must be nice to wake up and have a tube on your doorstep
Battersea Park
Battersea Park
Going home from Nine Elms. Perhaps I should mention that the escalator stopped working while I was on it...
Going home from Nine Elms. Perhaps I should mention that the escalator stopped working while I was on it…