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.