With Love from Europe: UK

painted wooden houses by iris o’connor

I have spent quite some time in the UK, namely in London. So far I have been there four times, and that is why I  know: that is the place where everything is possible.

Most of the time I spent in the UK was in London – though I made some excursions to famous places like Cambridge – that is why most of my memories are from “London-country” as my mother used to refer to London. In this post I will recall a few of my favourite memories from this exceptional place.

resin ring by quercus silver

No doubt, I like to go out to clubs that are different from the usual “dancing-drinking” scenes. The most amazing club I have ever been to is in London: it was called Shunt and it was situated in a tube station. It is quite a unique idea to put a club in the tube station itself, but the club had more to give. Every week they had a new exhibition, so they could support a lot of emerging artists, as well as experimental theatre shows and of course dance halls. We dived into this cultural club, and spent like 7 hours there. And what is the best that can happen after a party-night? Chilling out in the parks of Greenwich, watching squirrels and clouds.

Shunt: club in the tube station photo by vadjutka

I visited the UK in 1994 for the first time: I attended a language school there. One day I found something very interesting in the tourist guide book of a Japanese friend: I found the route to THE forest. THE forest is the 100 Acre Wood (also known as Ashdown Forest), and until then I did not know that it existed in reality. Quickly we decided to go there in the weekend, and I was very delighted when I spotted the tree in which Piglet – my favourite character – is living. (But he was not at home.) I became even more excited when we arrived to the Poohsticks Bridge: imagine grown-up Sweedish tourists playing the game: throwing sticks into the water and yelling loudly: “Go stick, go!”.

Pooh on Pooh Bridge, photo by ankehuber

My best cinema experience was also in London. I saw my first black and white silent film there, near to the Hammersmith metro station: actually two in a row, because they sold student tickets for the movies only 4 pounds. I did not know what to expect, so I was extremely surprised when a piano player came in and started to play. He played all along the two movies, and I felt myself in the 30s. After the last pictures the piano stopped the audience stood up and celebrated the piano player for minutes: it was really touching. I never experienced such respect and enthusiasm before. Probably it was just a kind of usual Friday for a lot of people there, but for me it was a magic moment that I still remember, though it was 14 years ago.

9 thoughts on “With Love from Europe: UK

  1. what wonderful memories!! i studied in London for about six months in college, so it is a place that is very dear to my heart. i wish i had known about that club – how amazing is that! i also missed out on the 100 Acre Wood. oh well, all the more reason to go back!!

  2. I love playing pooh sticks and I have stood on that very bridge!
    Thanks for sharing such happy memories of London, and for featuring my ring, too.

  3. How lovely to see our country through someone elses eye, we take these things so much for granted we stop seeing the beauty in them

    I love the painted wooden houses at the beginning of your post :0)

  4. Oh my, what a wonderful surprise after a hard days work to find my houses on top of your gorgeous and very informative blog!

    And isn’t Pooh bear just the bestest :)))))))

    Thank you!!!!!

  5. I love silent films! Lon Chaney, Sr. was one of my heroes when I was in elementary school, for a few years I wanted to do monster make-up for a living because of him. 😉

    There was an old one-screen movie theater near where I went to college that would show silent films with live accompaniment on the “Mighty Wurlitzer” and it was amazing. When they showed “Phantom of the Opera” the organist would wear a cape and mask and play the whole score from memory. :-)

  6. I lived in London for three years, and wrote about it on my first blog, Letters from London, and Elsewhere. I wrote constantly while I was there. I couldn’t stand the weather, but I loved the city. It had a real beauty to it. I could never get enough of the Tate Modern.

    Let me know if you go again…

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