F 1 D 0 -- 02 06 17 at 08 30 Flying to Canada. I found time last night to travel the Underground one last time. It seemed like the right way to say bye to London. I went from Queen's Gate by bus to Notting Hill Gate. Bus travel in London is good and bad. I like it for how fast you get there. I love it for how it resembles subway travel: when you see a map or a guide, the trip is expressed as a series of named stops, just like the subway. So it's bad because the route can be so twisted. Maybe it is all of the one way streets, but I've found that the trip out doesn't resemble the trip back. I notice stuff like that because I'm trying hard to remember everything I see, especially how to get back home. You know, the hotel. I re-entered the tube at Notting Hill, and continued westbound. Now I was thinking that I should take the underground to Heathrow Airport, and have a gander at what I might have to endure the following day. Just as well I didn't, but I was curious about seeing the biggest airport in the world without actually having to board a plane. So instead I went out to Ealing Broadway. This is a town at the West edge of London, a bit north of the airport. It has a few pubs. I saw a lot of Irish people, as well as a lot of black folk. But they could have all been just chilling at the bar for the world cup which has been what so many think about here. Not everyone thinks about this but most do. You can tell them when you see them. Their eyes are red, and they cannot walk straight. Without a lot of warning, they will start clapping "one two, one two three, one two, one Eng Land!" When I ignore them, as will the remainder of those on the subway car, he will repeat the whole "song", in case it was just that we missed it the first time. Then a few of us will rise to our feet, and move to the opposite end of the car. Ann and I did the walk to Notting Hill earlier that afternoon, and I did the trip again trying to get a good memory of it. When we were there, we found an interesting Indian buffet without a striking name. "Indian Cuisine" was written on the sign. The deal was ok, I think. Spend £7.95 and you can have as much lamb curry, chicken curry, veg curry, naan and fried rice as you like. Poppadums are 50p each. And 10% is added to your bill, just because. I have only nice things to say about the food. It was Not in a steam table, but was prepared to order for us. I think it was halfway prepared, looking back. It was ready so very fast! But none of the meat things were overdone. And surprise! They provided enough food for the two of us without us having to request a refill. Ann took me to the market near Notting Hill. It is a few streets, where people sell antiques outside and in. The insides have been converted to zillions of individual stalls, and the selling happens on Sunday. Er, Sunday Morning. We missed it because we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Statues! Lots of them. Big tall ceilings with air and brightness. And it had an obligatory book room. I like museum stores; the catalogs and printed things are so amazing. I know that printed copies are not the same as the art itself. But this became clear to me when I saw the statue of David. It is HUGE. Very tall. Just so I remember how very tall, I took a picture of a couple of guys nearby, also looking at it. I'm writing you from the airplane. We've seen "the Shipping News" and "Run Lola Run". I liked Lola better as a German movie with English subtitles. In English the sound was all wrong. People who should have deep voices had soprano sound. I must see Fight Club once again. They make reference to Single Serving Friends, and Single Serving Food, and now that I've been enjoying some of that Single Serving stuff, well, I'm ready to see it again. I found that people walk, even late at night, in England. More so in the city parts, but everywhere, people go out for a walk after dinner but before bed. Is it my imagination? I found it getting light out early, and staying light very late. You can still see plenty of daylight after 10pm, and when we woke up around 4am this morning, it was light. I seem to remember more night time, even in the summer. Each time I saw buildings, I saw Massachusetts. Really I did. I can say with some confidence that Boston and the area Truly is New England. When I see the subway system, it looks so similar. When I see the streets, all arranged in non-grids it looks so similar. When I see town squares, and traffic circles ("roundabouts") it looks so similar. And then, there are the differences. The city is organizes as main streets. This is where the wealthy used to be. In the back, "the mews", is where carriages and horses would be kept. As land became valuable, and mansions converted into hotels and student apartments, the mews became small fashionable homes. And in the mews close to where we were staying, you could purchase an old Bently, or an old Rolls-Royce. I'm into food. If cream is the question, England may be the answer. Oh, maybe France is too, but I didn't go there. In any convenience store or supermarket, they sell single cream, double cream, whipping cream, and whipped cream. Single cream is 18%, double is 36%. I'm not sure what makes whipping cream special, when double is about the same strength. They sell Clotted Cream, which is used in Cream Tea, a way to have lots of dietary cream inside of you. Whipped cream is also called Squirt Cream here: in a can, pressurized, and maybe sweetened. They have so many non-dairy fat alternatives. Flora is popular, and is available in 5 flavours I've seen already. Flora is a margarine made from a healthy base, which is dairy, actually. They sell dairy reduced fat cream, which seems to work very well. I used it to whip clotted cream into the nice spoonable stuff you need. Maybe it worked better, because it had these emulsifiers to combine buttermilk solids with the veg oil, but I'm guessing. Cheese happens here, and can be found anywhere. Many kinds of smoked pork. Bacon isn't like North American, not at all. They have a name for it, but nobody sells it: Streaky Bacon. What you see for sale are packs with 6-8 slices of very solid looking but thin chops. These are available in many varieties: smoked, not; wet, dry; domestic, Irish, Scottish. Villages and communities happen, the same way they form in New England: almost every corner things change. Walk a block, approach a new neighbourhood. Walk to the next, and see the homes and apartments that are part of it. Go to the next, and there will be a park or something. One more, and you turn a corner, and everything is different, but starting again. London isn't just bigger than any other place in England. It is very multinational. We had many with Russian and Polish and French and Italian and ... you get it. Most jobs that people don't want to do are NOT done by the English. I'll continue this some other time. I'll post now. So that's not all I know.