Continuing my series of posts about life in London here is what I have been up to this week...
So let me start by saying that I AM NOT A SCIENTOLOGIST. I also don't have a massive problem with them either. I ended up at an annual Scientology gig in Gatwick by a circuitous means. It was fascinating to see the religion/cult/club/call-it-what-you-will at play. I couldn't for the life of me fathom whether it was a party, recruitment gig or conference. I was equally bemused by the faux-medieval headquarters, the clarion-call aesthetic and their choice of bands. It was, however, An Experience.
I joined my amazingly talented fashion-designer friend Ada Zanditon for her birthday dinner in the Tokyo Diner (confusingly on the border of London's China Town). Amongst my companions were the super-stylish singer Bishi and the ace hairdresser Christian Landon.
Now I know these blurry photos scream "no, really, it IS Bigfoot", but you have to believe me when I say I did go and see best-selling fantasy author Terry Pratchett talk about his new book Snuff. Though he is suffering from Parkinson's disease, he is mentally very agile and still a great wit. He regaled us with numerous anecdotes, including stories about his trip to the set of Hobbiton in New Zealand. "When you go to Australia you sort of have to go to New Zealand too, otherwise they sulk" he explained.
Baker Street Tube station. One of the oldest underground stations in the world.
The City Basin lock in Islington one sunny morning.
I found this amazing structure in Kilburn. It's a Sea Cadet Corps HQ, but bizarrely resembles a church made entirely out of corrugated iron. I would love to learn more about the history of the building.
I took a trip out East past the massive developments underway as part of the Olympic regeneration of the region. The UK is hosting the 2012 games and there has been much grumbling in our press about the cost and alleged benefits (we love to grumble).
A slightly wonky picture of the nice Giraffe cafe where I had breakfast.
A view from Hoxton Street towards the City - the financial centre of London. The City is called such as it is the epicentre from which the capital grew. Weirdly this nexus of wealth borders on the East End which is traditionally the poorest part of London. Over the past decade the wealth has crept out though and the East End is enjoying a new status as the fashionable hub of the capital.
The Big Red rock bar. Many beards and skull t-shirts.