I’m still so far behind on my blog! I have a lot to share about my travels in Scotland, but I didn’t want too much time to pass before posting about some more topical happenings.
For months, I’ve been having conversations with cab drivers, train neighbors, coffee servers, etc… about the Brexit vote. It’s been interesting getting different perspectives, and it’s hard to believe that the referendum has actually happened — even harder to fathom what’s next now that voters have chosen to exit the EU.
The official “Leave” result was announced on June 24. That morning I was in Edinburgh, and it was clear that the local mood was very dour. Later that same day, I took a train to London, where people’s reactions seemed much more varied. The BBC has a great map that breaks the Remain/Leave splits by area. While there’s clearly a divide in the way voters felt about Brexiting, I think it’s safe to say that everyone is concerned about will happen in the wake of the decision.
But back to my journey from Edinburgh to London …
The train ride between the two cities usually takes about four and a half hours, but mine took more than six. That’s because we had to pick up some passengers who were stranded after the brakes on their train caught on fire.
It was SRO when our very full train arrived at London’s King’s Cross station and, by that point, I was happy to spring for a cab to finish the journey to my Airbnb. During the ride, the driver told me that the annual Pride Parade/Festival was taking place the next day. What a great tip … and what a great parade!!! The streets were packed with attendees, and the mood was festive, positive and supportive. I’m embarrassed to say that it was the first Pride parade I’ve ever attended but, moving forward, I’ll be thrilled to attend more. It was great to see so many people supporting the rights of others to live and love however they choose.
This was pretty great too 🙂
In addition to London Pride, there were loads of other cool happenings taking place throughout the city — including the London Gelato Festival in Spitalfields, my favorite London market. Tickets to sample all eight featured flavors were pretty expensive at £18 (yikes!), so I bought a ticket to sample two for £8 (still yikes!). The festival continues through July 3, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy some delicious (and expensive!) gelato if you’re in town.
Another cool thing this past weekend … Taschen’s annual sale. If you like art, architecture and design, you’ll love Taschen books. Compared to other art and coffee table books, they’re pretty reasonably priced but, during the four-day sale, certain stock is marked down 50% to 70%. London has a Taschen store at 12 Duke of York Square, just off of The King’s Road. The pickings were a little slim by the time I arrived, but I was still sooooo excited to comb through the leftovers. As I was literally hugging and caressing various books, a store clerk let me know that there were additional discounts on all sale merchandise.
The problem was … and is … that most of their books are quite big and heavy. Shipping from London is expensive, and I don’t have a lot of suitcase room to spare.
I told the clerk that I was hampered by my lack of luggage space, and I loved his reply:
You’ll figure it out.
Despite the temptation, I managed to leave the store empty-handed … but these heavy luggage hogs are still haunting me. The sale continues though Monday, and you can see what’s up for grabs on their website. The online prices are deeply discounted but still much higher than what you’d pay in the store.
Which means I’ll probably be returning to Taschen before the sale ends. I can’t resist!