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.