On the 1st of March 2013 I landed in United Kingdom. It is true, I have been here now for 4 years. This is the final year of my visa and literally “crunch year”. I posted the following on Facebook at the time
“Alrighty. I am back. I am in luverly London. Flights were long, trip was not too awful. I am now in Kennington in London. This will be my base for about a week. And, Imperial War Museum was closed when I went there!!! aaarrrghhh!!”
On the 2nd of March 2013 I posted
“a busy day, Walked from Kennington to past Tower bridge. Took 790 pics. The morning was overcast and cold but it turned into a wonderful day later on. So much to see.. watch my pics!”
That long walk was exhausting, and I really overdid it that day. So much so that I ended up with extremely sore and swollen shins that took a long time to heal. I did a photo essay on my visit to Tower Bridge especially for this occasion.
Kennington Station was not the one closest to my destination, I emerged at Oval Station, and I would use that station frequently, but that first exit with my luggage will always stay with me. I dragged my luggage nearly a kilometre to where I was staying, fortunately it was not too awful a day. Initially I used the tube quite often but found the buses were handier and cheaper in the long run.
Not too far away was Peckam, Lewisham, Brixton, Camberwell, Newington (Elephant and Castle) and Deptford. Yes, it is true, I ventured forth into Brixton on a number of times and survived to tell the tale! Lewisham was interesting because it was at the local hospital that my grandfather was treated for the wound that he suffered in Delville Wood.
The weather was grey on many of the days, and once again I gave thanks for my NATO Parka, it is still the most effective cold weather jacket that I have and is still in regular use.
I was fortunate that I was able to remain in my temporary “digs” in Kenington for an additional month, and during that month I covered a lot of ground while simultaneously job hunting. It was evident though that I would not find the technical work I was looking for and accommodation prices were steep. I really need to get out of London and go elsewhere. That was when I decided that the time had come to venture forth to Southampton which was where I really wanted to be, but which proved to be somewhat of a bad decision job-wise. I pretty much covered 2013 in this blog though, so you can follow a lot of my meanderings from March 2013 in the list below.
- London Highgate (West) Cemetery 29/03/2013
- Anglo Belgian War Memorial: London 26/03/2013
- Brompton Cemetery (first visit) 25/03/2013
- Nunhead Cemetery 24/03/2013
- Postman’s Park, London 23/03/2013
- A visit to the Cutty Sark 22/03/2013
- St Mary’s Churchyard, Lewisham 22/03/2013
- The “Heroes with Grimy Faces” Memorial 21/03/2013
- The Bronze Soldiers 19/03/2013 ]
- Photo Essay: Dick Whittington’s Cat 15/03/2013
- Highgate East Gallery 15/03/2013
- London Highgate East Cemetery 15/03/2013
- St Paul’s Cathedral London 15/03/2013
- The Monument to the Great Fire of London 14/03/2013
- Southwark Cathedral 14/03/2013
- Photo Essay: Eye Spy the London Eye 12/03/2013
- Finding Crossbones Graveyard 11/03/2013
- Animals in War Memorial 08/03/2013
- War Memorials in Kennington 07/03/2013
- My first cemetery in London 06/03/2013
- London Transport Museum 05/03/2013
- A quick stroll up the road 04/03/2013
- Photo Essay: Tower Bridge 03/03/2013
- Hullo London 02/03/2013
I have just recently added in a photo essay about the London Eye as I had not covered it before. I almost forgot I had those pics.
I have lived in London, Southampton, Salisbury, Basingstoke, Burntwood and Tewkesbury (which is where I am now). I have worked as a baggage handler, a test technician, a recycler, and a workshop bench technician. I have seen churches and cathedrals and graves and towns and all manner in between. I have traveled in numerous trains, seen a number of preserved ships, taken over 70000 photographs, visited the “Magnificent Seven” cemeteries in London, I have seen many museums (including IWM), countless statues, and drowned myself in the weight of ages. I have been places and seen things and my bucket list has had a number of items crossed off it
I have learnt new habits and skills and forgotten old ones. I even had to relearn how to ride a bicycle. I have met people from all over the world, and from various parts of the UK, I was here when the Brexit Referendum occurred, and may still see the triggering of the negotiations to leave the EU.
Apart from the cities that I lived in I have also visited Romsey, Havant, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Lichfield, Bath, Bristol, Poole, Weymouth, Birmingham, Walsall, Portsmouth, Dudley, Chippenham, Reading, Winchcombe, Worcester, Evesham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford and Winchester.
My health has not improved though, and I have started to feel my own age, having to rely on 3 pairs of glasses. I have also had to curtail my walking as it has become difficult at time. As at 2021 I also have a hearing aid.
The strange thing is that I am more aware of my environment, I look at flowers and trees with a new interest, I gasp at the beauty of an autumn day, and revel in those rare sun filled long days of summer, the chilly bite of winter is exhilarating and the feel of frost under your feet at midday still amazes me.
At the time of writing this I had last been in South Africa for a short visit in May 2014, and frankly I do not miss it. I read in horror some of the events that occur daily in South Africa, and see how the economy is declining and political unrest becomes more of an issue. I may still end up back there if I cannot get my visa renewed, but that’s another story altogether. The strange thing is I struggle to remember a lot from South Africa, although that could be my brain that is full. I have made 3 more visits (once in 2017 and twice in 2019) and do not intend going back for a long time if it is up to me.
The next 10 months will be filled with more of the same, and I look forward to returning to Bristol and Worcester as well as Gloucester. If I have to go back to SA this blog will be my way of reminding myself of the time I spent here.
These are my memories, I have to make more.
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