Monday, August 8, 2011

Having a revolting time in London

Just my luck. I haven't been to London since 2007 and my first visit coincides with what's likely to be Day 4 of the riots.

Admittedly these riots appear to be in the areas that no self respecting visitor would visit. The sort of places I was forced to inhabit when I lived here.

So maybe a repeat of the long night of pub crawls when I got on a tube train, fell asleep and ended up in the backside of Dagenham, which in itself is a large backside, shouldn't be repeated.

The last train had vanished and every time I picked up the receiver to call a taxi, I found myself to be incapable of speech.

What followed was a long and half remembered trek winding between the tower blocks of Barking and Dagenham, that it seemed I survived against all odds.

So it's time to do quaint and touristy London; in fact the very aspect of London that Americans tick off their checklists, although I will draw the line at taking photos of a ceremony in which one man with an over sized woolly hat replaces another man with an over sized woolly hat that's known as the changing of the guards.

As for the riots, maybe the Olympic people have a lot to answer for when they chose The Clash's London Calling as a theme tune. Did anybody actually bother to read the lyrics?

London calling to the faraway towns
Now that war is declared-and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, all you boys and girls
London calling, now don't look at us
All that phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain't got no swing
'Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing




18 comments:

  1. My husband was from Croydon; sad to see what's happening there (as well as all over). It breaks my heart to see small biz/shop owners losing everything to fires, looting and vandalism. Apparently, many have little or no insurance. Their employees will lose their jobs. And since the hoods have been pretty much getting away with it so far, I dread to see what the next few days will bring. Poor London :-((

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  2. I've always wondered what the attraction was of watching those woolly hatted fellows. haha! :D

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  3. That sucks that you got there in the middle of it.

    And that song cracks me up every time I hear it.

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  4. As long as you get your curry all will be right with the world. Just don't mind the flying bricks as you bite into your poppadom.

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  5. I love the story of the pub crawl, but you're right, maybe not a good idea on this visit. I hope cooler heads prevail soon, and you're able to have a good time.

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  6. Sorry to hear about the riot these last few days. It seems like a terrible situation with no winners. I used to travel to the UK frequently for work. At the news of the riot, I felt the conflicting emotions of wanting to be there right away and wanting to stay clear.

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  7. do take care...maybe this trip will be memorable for the wrong reasons.

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  8. Sorry for the unlucky timing, David. We're getting news of the riots here and it sounds pretty scary. Stay safe!
    xoRobyn

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  9. Real shame about the timing, but I hope you enjoy your visit back anyway. I can't get Kaiser Chiefs out of my head at the moment, never mind The Clash. I've a lot of family and friends in the areas affected (not just London now of course). We shall do what we normally do though, keep calm and carry on.

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  10. Oh dear... do take care!

    Forget taking a picture, in your place I might grab one of those woolly hats for myself and duck for cover....at least if they threw me in jail for stealing the hat I'd be out of the way of the riots :-(

    Keep safe!

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  11. What lousy timing -- and so sad about what's going on...

    Pearl

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  12. Be careful. I've been hearing the news and cringing for the past few days. It sounds awful.

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  13. Yeah - have a cuppa tea now. I blogged about it some. We are trying to look at the brighter, positive sie of what London has to offer. Tali Roland did a nice blog about the romantic side with some good photoes. I linked that too on my blog.

    Stay safe David!

    Wow!

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  14. Seriously, they chose "London Calling" as some sort of theme tune for the Olympics? Are they using performance-enhancing drugs or something?

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  15. We were on the Continent when the riots hit...the videos from BBC and Sky News were scary. We have friends not far from Liverpool so called them...thanks goodness for cell phones - they'd gone to be with friends/family in Wales.

    Sorry about your timing, David. It's sad when one's hopes are raised only to be dashed. Stay safe!

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  16. I regret to hear that you were in England during such terrible events. But I am glad that things ended well for you and your family.

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  17. I know Li - Croydon seems to have gone downhill these days. Can't see it myself Daisy. 4sure Oilfield - it's a good song tho. in Brick Lane probably, Lidia. Thanks Tim. I didn't see any problems. I know Shopgirl. Seems to be over now thank goodness. thx Rek. appreciate it Robyn. Cheers Frog - I'm not too familiar with Kaiser Chiefs. thx e.a.s - nobody will mess with those hats, so intimidating.

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  18. thanx Pearl. Riots seem to be in vogue these days. Thanks Jennifer, although the news reports seemed to make it sound like a revolution rather than sporadic rioting. Cool Jaqueline, my internet access has been limited but I'll check it out. Sure they will be soon Emm. Thanx Kittie - think they had a few riots in Liverpool. appreciate it Olga

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