Now things are all zooming along in an end-of-year type way, I think it's time I wrote about a couple of other things, so I guess the first thing I'd like write of is London, this crazy place that I've somehow ended up in.
People ask me whether I like London and I say to them that I like things about it, things that it has to offer. I guess the one that comes to mind first is the public transport, which is amazing. There's loads of it, it goes everywhere, and if you ever want to get somewhere, there's usually at least two or three ways of getting there. Because the street 'system' is so crazy, plus stuff like the congestion charge (it costs £8 just to drive into the city during business hours), public transport is more of a part of people's lives, as having a car isn't necessarily the best or cheapest or quickest way to get around.
Having said that of course, just recently I've decided that when I have to take my keyboard to gigs, I'm only cabbing it from now on. I was taking the tube and buses, and it ended up being a full military-style operation whenever a gig was on! This one time I got called on the day to do a function, which meant that I had to change tube lines three times....on one train I hit some old lady in the head with my keyboard stand, and getting off another train I got my trolley wheel stuck between the train and the platform! And then when I got to the gig, two and a half hours later, they wouldn't let me in the front door...hotel policy they said....rubbish! Most of my gigs lately have been on pianos in town, which is, needless to say, well good (especially for my back and shoulders).
The other obvious advantage to living here is that it's a great base from which to travel across Europe. Aussies get a great deal here...a two year visa where you can do anything you like, earning the strongest currency in the world, and flying FREE flights to destinations across Europe, where in most countries a lot of people speak English! How could you knock it back, really!?
The circumstances under which I arrived here were, let's just say, a little confused, and I guess that anyone's first six months in any town (particularly this place) are always going to be tough in one way or another, but out of all of this have come some great things, not only with the work I've got now and where I live, but also in meeting up with some amazing people and having some great times, which I expect is only going to get better...
So, anyway, "You Know You're In London When...."
1. The pigeons fly at any height they want
2. It costs more to go on the tube into central London than it does to fly to another country (go Ryanair!)
3. Your local neighbourhood has a name that originates from a year with three digits (DJ and I were looking at this book that said that the first version of the name Willesden dates from 939..."Is that a night bus?!")
4. You ask an English person if they're from London and they say, "No, I'm from England"...people from the country have a funny attitude about this place i.e, they regard it as it's own entity of sorts...
5. You can't find decent coffee to save your life!