Posted in London on Wednesday 12th July 2006 at 9:16pm
It's been a long hot day, in uncertain territory. My customary summer foray into academia has arrived again. It sort of crept up on me this year. Without the strange structure which the appeal season used to give to my summer, I found myself starting this week at work with only a couple of days in which to do quite a bit of rather unpleasant stuff. Nevertheless, I found myself packing this morning to head to the station in already blazing sunshine.
Having scored a couple of First Great Western's new 'Firstminute' fares, I was enjoying weekday First Class for a budget price. A change at Bristol and into the quiet, cool carriage for a couple of hours of living the high life - or at least being fed complimentary coffee and peanuts in a seat which actually fits me! On arrival at Paddington, a sweaty and crowded tube trip to Cannon Street which seemed to take ages. Cannon Street was, as always when I visit outside the peak, eerily quiet. Onto the waiting 465, which like all of its class has a strangely toilet-like aroma, and over the gleaming river towards London Bridge. Then moments later we're skimming the rooftops of South East London en route to Greenwich.
Arrived at a dusty and baking Maze Hill station and shouldered my bag for the walk to the University. I'd visited Greenwich once before, not straying far beyond St Alfege's Church before heading back onto the train. This time, coming from the East I was amazed by the size and symmetry of the Royal Naval College and the Queen's House. It took me a fair while to figure that I was actually heading for one of the wings of the College to regsiter. Awed and confused by the buildings and their royalist nomenclature, I resorted to asking an employee who seemed himself rather confused as to which block was William and which was Mary.
After a frustrating afternoon mostly spent arranging a replacement key for my room in the Halls of Residence, set out to explore in the hopefully cooler evening. A short walk from my door was the Cutty Sark, beached and tired. Beyond the ship, in the plaza surrounding it was the cylindrical drum of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel entrance, and beyond in the haze was One Canada Square towering in the cluster of blocks forming Canary Wharf. After a fairly unsatisfying pint in a Youngs' pub, found a really good Indian restaurant. Wandered some more, before retiring feeling slightly apprehensive as always about the conference and whether I'd somehow be exposed as an utter fraud.
I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.
I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.