Friday, January 23, 2009

What a miserable day.

I'd show you, but why would you want to see a picture of rain? Just shut your eyes, hold a melting icecube over your head, and imagine you're in England. I suggest we go for a walk. Just a minute while I get my gloves...
Probably my fastest knit ever, started Jan 19, finished Jan 22 and that includes unpicking a join at the wrist of one glove, picking up the stitches on the palm and knitting back to the wrist taking care this time to make the cables twist the right way. Pattern is Fetching with an additional cable on the wrist and on the hand (the pattern as written was a little short), 6 rows in the thumbs, and careful use of a standard slipped-stitch cast-off to ensure the top is less likely to stretch wide and catch the breeze. In my own handspun :-) Red Maple, an alpaca/wool/angora blend bought years ago from the Woolen Rabbit. 3-ply that I thought was over-twisted until I put these on: it's soft and getting softer as the angora halo develops, yet I think it's firm enough to wear well.
Let's go to London last Saturday, when the sun was shining. We'll drive into North London and catch the Tube.

Not that one, it's heading further out...

There. Imagine thumps, rocking back and forth, rattles, the roar of steel wheels on steel rails. You can sit and do that for 45 minutes if you like, but I suggest a fast-forward to London Bridge station.
Follow the signs to Borough Market. Where everyone else is going.

A Wall o' Stilton at Borough Market. As the nice French person at Brindisa said, anyone who thinks the British don't do good food should come here.

that's not an insult – although it would be a good one – I was just very impressed by the monolithic halibut head rearing out of a sea of ice and fish fillets. I could imagine tiny fur-clad people worshipping it.

This could be an exceedingly long post. What else was there?

How about a Tower o' Ultra Brownies?
They're not bad. A little cake-like, but not bad.

How about an early lunch? He'd recommend a cooked-to-order dry-cure backbacon and egg bap (aka onnabun) without onions; I can't choose between hot cumberlandsausageonnabun and hot saltbeefonnabun, so end up eating the cumberland and stashing the salt beef in my bag for later. It will be a long day. Bearing in mind that whatever we buy here we'll have to bear on our backs for the rest of the day, I've also got only 500g of Parmesan (from Swiss Brown Cows, sweet, flavorful, gorgeous in slivers with wine) and 250g of lomo in my backpack handbag. Don't laugh, I once carried a 5l tin of olive oil in there for a day.

Head north past Southwark Cathedral and The Clink (a prison from early Tudor times until 1780, the prison for which all clinks are named), to pick up the Silver Jubilee Walk along the Thames.

Oh, look, the tide's going out. Water draining from nearly 5,000 sq. miles is
pouring down to the North Sea. Boats heading upriver are struggling against the current, bows low in the water, while those heading downstream are running high and fast. Peer downriver under Cannon Street bridge and you can see London Bridge, then Tower Bridge in the distance. It's the one with that narrow bar running high between two... towers.

I'm going to try to get the Globe Theatre and Bankside in one photo to save space... Bother. You can only see the chimney tower of what was Bankside Power Station and is now the Tate Modern. I love that building dearly. Just look at the Turbine Hall!

That's the view, er, west from the walkway across the middle. There's an exhibition installed in the western half. It is slightly peculiar – I'm not certain it works – but it is thought-provoking. And the giant cat skeleton is cool.

Right. Exit the turbine hall, past the giant orange hoarding stencilled 'temporary eyesore' in giant letters, and back to the Thames. Past the National Theatre complex known as Southbank, with a fabulous skate/bike park at ground level.

This photo doesn't do it justice. The action is fast and the graffiti is colorful, and damn, but it makes me feel old. Not that I could have done that at that age, anyway. Or if I had, I wouldn't be who I am now. So I can live with that minor regret.

Time's up, I'm afraid. A quick lunch and I have to do some work. Join me soon to continue our day out.


Anonymous said...

Damn. You have succeeded in makning me want to go to London. Last year, even ALly Pally didn't manage that!

HPNY KNITS said...

oh! you make me so "home sick" for London!
lovely day trip. by the way, I adore rain when one is cosy inside with a lovely cup of tea and knitting!
and I also adore Stilton! thank goodness we get some good ones here in NYC.

the scarlet piglet said...

Thanks for the tour - I enjoyed it very much, having only experienced London during a 10-hour layover to Africa 20 years ago. I do so hope to return for a real visit. And I also loved your post on 3-ply - I think I'm going to give up on chain-plying, I can't get the hang and would rather just use three singles when I make my first stab at it. I feel better having found someone of like mind! (I'm nufflebutt on Ravelry.)

Joanne said...

Ohh, the cheese. Mmmmh. And the 3 ply, and the beautiful architecture shots and and ...gosh I missed your blog. I'm actually not that into 3 ply (gasp!) because I like spinning thicker to begin with, but for you, darlin', I'll consider trying 3 ply again. :) And...I've done some serious amounts of Navajo chain plying lately too. It doesn't seem to be undoing itself. Maybe you should refer me to that discussion on Ravelry so I can understand its logic?!