30 unblogged things I did in November
(includes half a dozen additional clickable photos)
Mon 1: The japonica on my balcony is in full flower. I thought it was unusual there were bees on it, even though it's mild for November, but it turned out they were wasps. Tue 2: The riverside path beside the Tower of London has finally reopened. I walked through at 10am just as the Beefeaters marched up to the front gate to let the day's visitors in, and the queue must already have been 100 strong because it seems the tourists are back.
Wed 3: In Stepney I spotted a Lost Budgie notice sellotaped securely to a lamppost (Please Help Find Bluebell ... She is a budgie with a blue belly and underside... she gets scared easily... she responds to "Hi, come here Bluebell" ...we miss her so much) but given she flew out of the window in June I fear we have to assume the worst. Thu 4: For my Programmes I enjoyed on BBC Sounds slot this month I offer you What's Funny About, in which two BBC comedy producers discuss the histories of 12 utterly iconic sitcoms (e,g. Blackadder, W1A and The Office). Hurrah for in-depth intelligent radio. Fri 5: I walked over to BestMate's at 7pm, and seriously East London, I was expecting a better firework display than that. Even the youths in the local park setting off illicit bangers couldn't stretch beyond a minute. Sat 6: Aagh, my phone failed to recharge overnight so it was only on 1% when I woke up... and that delayed me long enough to miss discovering the dead body by Bow Locks. Sun 7: Today I walked the B300 through Southwark, which I was excited to see had a B300 sign embedded in the wall of a chapel, although at current rate of blogging it'll be 2023 before I get to tell you about it. Mon 8: The subway under the station at Hackney Wick has just opened, 3½ years after the station itself, which'll save a few locals a few minutes (and looks quite pretty from the right angle).
Tue 9: I accidentally left the building at the same time as my most annoying neighbour, and she asked if the noise I could hear in my flat was quieter now, and I said "yes thanks, apart from..." and it was all very civil, and I was quite pleased I'd managed to deliver a coherent rational response I'd been entirely unprepared for, and it has actually been quieter since. Wed 10: This week's unexpected out-of-stock item at Tesco - toothbrushes (there are normally four shelfsworth). Thu 11: Today's extra Two Minute Silence, the one some people prefer to the actual Two Minute Silence because it takes place on a working day and forces everyone to stop and remember, was being summarily ignored by everyone in Stoke Newington High Street this morning. Fri 12: We're into that pretty fortnight when leaves look amazing but haven't fallen off yet. Hope you made the most of it. Sat 13: Dammit I appear to have a cold. It's been a while. I can't work out if I caught it off the friend with a cold I met yesterday, or the short train journey I took the day before, or the long train journey I took the day before that. Sun 14: A Benjys has opened on Cornhill in the City. It's seemingly linked to the fabled low-cost sandwich chain that went bust in 2007 because the sign out front says "The Original Benjys Company", although the breakfast special is now a wrap because takeaway snacks have shifted since, although it is an egg, bacon, Cumberland sausage and cheese wrap and it does also say Builders Welcome in the window and toast is on the menu for £1.25 so it could genuinely be the real thing. Mon 15: The footbridge across the Lea between Here East and Gainsborough Primary has opened to the public. I'm sure it was previously only for schoolkids. It's not especially useful, or direct, but every connection helps.
Tue 16: OK that cold didn't last long, indeed it was barely a sniffle. Wed 17: I got a message from a friend saying "Is that how you spell disect?", so I responded by taking a photo out of the train window and adding "...ect" on the end. Thu 18: I like how I can extend the loan on my library books simply by pressing a button in an app, even though I suspect I have no intention of reading them during the next three weeks, after which I might do the same thing again. Fri 19: I've only seen a kingfisher twice in the last six months, neither time inside the Olympic Park. Today's flew out of a tree just to the north, on a quiet Leaside footpath, flashing its blue undercarriage at close quarters as it sped off upriver. [map of sightings] Sat 20: On my walk round the Isle of Dogs I was overtaken by a golden retriever being taken for a ride by its owner on the front of a cargo bike. You'd have gone aaah. 15 minutes later I overtook them because cargo bikes are too wide to get through a bikes-only gate, and 15 minutes later I caught up with the owner bagging the dog's poo. All thoughts of 'aaah' dissipated at that point. Sun 21: The Elephant & Castle shopping centre has now completely disappeared, which is sad, and the elephant relocated to the top of a temporary stack of shops with minimal footfall within an adjacent mega-development, which looks sadder.
Mon 22: Only in Canning Town would you find a notice stuck to a lamppost saying "Lost a bag with girls pajamas and cloths inside. If found, please call <number> and leave a massage. Thank you" Tue 23: This week I've been trying to track down a 2022 diary, but the Ryman in Canary Wharf didn't have the right size and the Ryman at London Bridge didn't have the right colour so hurrah for the Ryman in Muswell Hill. Wed 24: If you know where to look, the very first daffodils are already poking above the ground in the Olympic Park. Thu 25: I have never had to change the batteries in a thermostat before. Fri 26: Thanks for all your lovely reminiscences about special places you only got to visit because of someone you knew or who you worked for. Some of us have been damned fortunate. But when I published today's post at 7am I wasn't expecting to be able to add an extra experience to my list before the end of the day. Sat 27: The Landscape Photographer of the Year exhibition is back at London Bridge station (formerly at Waterloo, formerly at the National Theatre). The winning shots are as jawdroppingly spectacular as ever and make me feel ever so undertalented. Nobody else was looking at the boards, however, just rushing through or shielding inside to make phone calls. Sun 28: One of my neighbours has left a trail of pine needles all the way up the communal stairs from the front door, and I know technically it's Advent Sunday but I don't rate that tree's chances of surviving until the middle of December, let along Christmas Day. Mon 29: Today's Tesco price shock - a ½kg bag of own-brand pasta which used to be 55p a couple of months ago is now 70p, and that's a 27% price hike (which admittedly is better than the 50% they were predicting).
Tue 30: The service road leading to the relocated City Hall in the Royal Docks has been now been renamed Kamal Chunchie Way. For reasons previously discussed it's an excellent choice, although I can't help thinking of a chocolate bar every time I see it. Sadiq & Co are due to arrive in January.