British Holiday Chapter 8: A bad flat in Bloomsbury

Paddington is kind of like home
It's good that paddington is like home, because we sat there for two hours waiting for our airbnb host to be ready. Unlike home, it's not that fun for two hours.

Anyway, we finally got to the flat. I had the least confidence about this place of all the places we had planned to stay. Trash on the stoop, a front door that wouldn't open all the way, flaking paint in the hall and an assent not unlike the approach to the Bucket's country flat all went to show that my instincts are pretty good. Still, I wasn't prepared for what we found.

Start at about 2:00 for the stairs

The place we were staying had been basically student housing for some unknown number of centuries. You know what students are. The place made me itch as soon as I walked in. The feeling persisted for several days.

Laundry was hanging up all over the place. Illumination in the kitchen was provided by a lamp clipped to a cabinet door; just duck behind the table to cut it off. Try not to electrocute yourself as the cord is draped over the laundry. The floor of our room was at such an angle that we couldn't leave round things on the floor. The shower was full of black stuff and it was too small to avoid touching the sides.

I went out to get some nourishment. Rakka stayed behind. I found myself in Waitrose in Brunswick Centre. I believe I've been past Brunswick Centre before, on a different trip. It stands out because it is so ugly.

Bloomsbury looks spooky at night when you haven't seen it in the day
I like Waitrose. They have G&Ts in cans.

In the morning things didn't look quite so bleak. Nice weather helped. I went up on the roof (tripping over boots on the stairs and fearing for my life on the rickety stairs) for a quick recky round.  
Quite a collection of chimney's. A view of the Shard, BT Tower, and the top of St. Pauls (I think). The Parsons Library was across the way. It looked like much too fancy a neighbor for the likes of our flat.
Our room was across from the Parsons Library
But then again, the Parsons Library is part of Goodenough College, so maybe it was appropriate after all.
Is your College the best? Eh, it's Goodenough.
Next time, we'll talk about actually doing things.

British Holiday Chapter 7: We stop in at Bath

Sally Lunn Buns
The time always comes when we leave Cardiff. This should be pretty obvious as we're not there now. I really like Cardiff and I don't like leaving. Shed came down from Ponty to see us off. We didn't have a lot of time so we hung out at the train station and got some coffee. Shed was heading on too, so we hung out on the platform for a bit. Then the train pulled out of the station.

And so on to Bath.

We were stopping for lunch with Pip. You saw the picture already. It's right up there.

Of course, we had luggage. The backpacking place is a few blocks from the train station, and they let you leave luggage there for a few pounds. So that happened. Then we met with Pip and went to Sally Lunns.

He thought that was a little silly, because it's the most touristy food in town. But you've got to do it once, right? Rakka, Groc and I had tea in a shop about 100 yards away back in 2010 when we were visiting the baths and the abbey (and Pip). And seeing as how we'd missed it by that much then, I thought it was time.

Sally Lunn's famous buns (I can't speak to the fame of the man on the phones' buns)
I always get lemon things. Don't know why. Just a thing. It was a pretty good lemon thing, though the clotted cream was a bit chilly. I want to learn how to make a Bath bun. I think it'd be good for hamburger sandwiches.

Clotted Cream
Anyway, after the tea we took a walk around town. I took a picture of some shops that turned out to be slightly more interesting on later inspection. Not for the amusingly named Scoffs or Roman Candles. I assume they sell fireworks? But because of Bog Island News. So named because the traffic island it faces is called the bog island. It was the home of some public toilets, thus the name I imagine and hope, until the 80s when I hear they turned the toilets into a night club. Which, yeah. The only problem I could see is, where did the clubbers go to the toilet?

I scoff at this row of shops. That bit in the foreground is the Bog Island.
All this talk of toilets actually makes a pretty good segue into our next topic of conversation. The London pub piss dungeon.

What kind of dungeon‽ 
Rakka and I stood upon the banks of the River Avon, in the shadow of Bath Abbey, and recounted for Pip a the whole sordid tale. The tale was related to us by Shed in the City Arms the day before, which he read from a blog [warning: that link is about a piss dungeon] out loud.  I was glad the pub was empty.

Bath wasn't. The fact that we were overheard went unnoticed until we got home. That picture has been making us laugh ever since.

That Bridge with the Shops
We walked over that bridge with the shops, but we didn't go in to any of the shops. Pip was taking us to a museum over that way, but then we all realized that what we really wanted to see were those fancy addresses up the hill. So we went back again.

Passed the abbey, up the hill, we came at last to the circus. Here, Pip had to leave us. He was just on lunch break at work after all. As always it was a pleasurable visit, if short.

Finally got to the circus, but there were no clowns
The stone is very rich and buttery. You could spread it on some toast.

Well, there were these guys.
Not really. It's stone.

The Royal Crescent, and it's famous haha. Turns out it has pretty old plumbing and all. The trucks you see in the distance were great big plumbing trucks as far as I could tell. It was a bit wiffy that day.

Plumbing aside, I don't think I'd ever take loggings in that particular semi-circle. It's very nice, and all, but there was a constant stream of tourists (like me) around there. Who'd want to see that?

Royal Crecent
Oh, yeah, all the houses are made from this buttery stone. Butterstone they calls it [they don't].

All the houses are like this
While walking down the hill we stopped at an offie but we just got sandwiches and soft drinks. We sat in a little square in the sun and had a quick nosh.

a little square
All of Bath really looks like this. It's crazy. It makes me want to read Jane Austin, so I can be all like 'Persuasion', I was there.

A street
We had some time to kill before our next train, so we stopped in at the abbey. At this point you should be used to us doing this sort of thing. I think this is the last church for the trip, so you can relax.

Fan vaulting causes cooling
Wait, not so fast. Tense up again. You need to hear some school children being indoctrinated. (Why do they insist on doing religion in these places? Can't we get any peace?)

My favorite angle
After we left Bath it was back to London for a, thankfully, brief stay in Bloomsbury. Nothing on Bloomsbury in general but... No, nevermind. I'll save the horror stories for next time.