A Walk to Remember

Stratford, Oxford Circus, London, American in London, S.C. Rhyne, the reporter and the girl, photo collage, Black girl in London

I have been settling into my eastern London neighborhood for about 3 weeks, with a new routine and determination. Since leaving my job in the financial sector, I now have more time devoted to my policy research and staying on track with my project. That being said, seeing how much reading and writing that I’ve accomplished in the last two weeks has given me a new determination to work on my studies–time flies very quickly after all — and there’s no time to procrastinate.

Thus while changing jobs, starting up a new apartment, and even receiving my summer wardrobe via post from my mom in New York (which was washed and dried in 3 separate loads, plus a separate load of drying only, and a record 9 hours of ironing) I can say that I am officially settled in London.

Oh, but my poor house plant is dying.

calla lily, tesco plant, S.C Rhyne, the reporter and the girl, green thumb, houseplant, dying plant

Anyway–can’t cry over spilled flowers– I have been experimenting with “living chic” by exploring wine and appetizer plates. Each night, I created various small plates of cheeses, stuffed olives, pâté, or meats, with a glass of wine but after lousily playing a game of softball on Thursday, I miserably realized that I need to stop drinking. This is very alarming considering that I only had been drinking consistently for about two weeks! Thus, at my trip to Tesco’s last night, I grudgingly bought two giant bottles of the store brand’s finest sugary lemonade.

I must say that life is much quieter for me now. No roommates up at all hours of the night watching TV or random people gossiping on the couch. I will miss some of that white background noise, but I did gain a lot of privacy. Whether its not having to remember pants when I go into the kitchen or being able to invite someone over without making sure its OK first.

In fact last Saturday evening, I invited a male acquaintance over for tea after we attended a BBQ together. He politely refused. Well heck, inviting is the first step to reintegrating a social life. Or I could just get a puppy and say “fuck you, society” — more on that to come in future posts.

However, in an effort to know London better, I walked from Oxford Circus (central London) to Stratford International station (east London) last week. The featured collage are pictures of an old home at Bloomsbury Square garden, hipster bars in Shoreditch, ducks walking along the Hertford Union canal of Victoria park, over and through the Olympic stadium, finally reaching civilization again at Westfield mall, and the view from my balcony as I look at the growing city ahead. The 7.5 mile walk took about 3 hours to complete, and I’m totally hooked on this concept. As long as the weather stays reasonable, I’m willing to repeat the walking trend north-south, central-west, and any other direction. Seeing the changes in neighborhoods along with friendly drunk Brits hanging outside various pubs was a nice vibrant atmosphere in London.

Just thinking about it makes me excited! I’m not sure why it took me this long to want to explore the city. I guess since I’m no longer consumed with looking for work, looking for housing, etc…my mind can wander a bit elsewhere. Also, another reason to be happy is softball season! Although I played lousy on Thursday and we lost 11-12, the winning team voted me as one of the MVPs. Hhhmmm…its likely that MVP stands for something different in the UK than it does in the States.

So my first summer in London promises to be an interesting one. Especially now that I can shed the bulky cashmere sweaters and dress in lighter layers and have a bit of a social calendar. Or, who says I should even stay in London at all?

My fellow Brits, with June around the corner what are your favorite places to hit in London? Or what weekend getaway would you recommend to areas outside of London? Send me your suggestions @ReporterandGirl or post them on Facebook.

16 thoughts on “A Walk to Remember

  1. Dear the reporterandthegirl:

    I so enjoy your post! They are so amusing and light hearted. Your approach to enlighten us as to life as an endeavoring reporter finding delight and sharing wisdom as the Lord directs your steps I truly appreciate. Forgive my grammatical overflow , however I do find your writings very liberating and motivational. I feel like we kindred spirits. Candidly speaking, I in a sense live through your scope and lense. Thank you for sharing generously from your wonderful whimsical heart. I pray God’s mercy continues to bless you as you write along your merry way. In Jesus holy Name, Amen.

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    1. Hello Jessica,

      Thank you for reaching out and sharing your kind-hearted thoughts and comments. I hope you keep in touch with me and send me your thoughts or questions!

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  2. Fleet Street. I did a story of this walk for All Nippon Airways inflight mag. Not a long street but utterly dense with interest. I posted it on my blog but that was a while ago. You might find it with luck. But walk Fleet street! Look left, look right, look up, and down. A quick detour down an alley will not disapoint but return to the Fleet.

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  3. Try Camden sometime, especially on the weekend. You won’t find a crazier, livelier atmosphere, and there’s so many little nooks and cute shops to explore. And do remember to look up, many of the storefronts have these wonderful sculptures depicting what they sell. Have fun!

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  4. We always liked Dorking/Surrey for the Saturday flee market and the wine estate and nearby Box-Hill for walking (about 30 miles south of London). Clapham Common and the nearby Northcote road are also nice on a Saturday. It is very cosmopolitan, with a farmers market and international restaurants.
    If you have a whole day available than Brighton is always worth a ride.
    Hope you do it on a day with more sunshine than on your pictures above.
    Michael

    The Denbies wine estate: http://www.denbies.co.uk/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Michael, Thanks for the tips! It seems that sunshines are quite rare here, but I must admit I spent the last few Saturdays holed up in my living room reading and taking notes. But I swear to leave the couch tomorrow.

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