A cheap megabus to the strict customs of the British border in Calais, where hot Ozzies are being interrogated in the paranoia for immigration; we drive into a gigantic metal train in a massive car station. The Eurotunnel takes us to sunset over England, until on the speeding bus I finally see the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. From the new Victoria Coach Station I find my way to Bow Road, where I can finally see my delicious cousins, vegan Parmiggiana and their mates!
George takes me around her hip hood, the first day by foot, the second on bikes and the third by tube. The itinerary follows roughly the preliminary explorations of WALKING DAY: through Victoria Park, along the canal with a Dutch vibe, past London Fields’ old-times-vibes cafes. We stop for a lovely cup of tea and scrumptious pecan pie at Hackney City Farm
. Visiting the pigs, chicken and sheep, I forget for a few minutes that we are in the heart of East London, not in Devon.
We end up in Shoreditch, aware the ultra-hip vibe that George has started to feel nauseated about. Today in Shoreditch, hipsters can get a bowl of cereals for £4 and overpriced vintage junk. She takes me to her old school, the National Centre for Circus Arts, where she still trains on her cloud. I wonder around shyly following her, meeting acrobats, watching them do their homework upside down and inside out. Done with her education, Georgina Cassels is starting two careers, as a cloud artist by night and a make-up artist by day; working in a healthfood shop in the meanwhile and arranging holidays in Turkey with Aaron, her hand standing and outstanding boyfriend. For the evening we empty our wallets drinking award winning rose cocktails at Blues Kitchen; drama on the tube then causes us to run all the booze off, up and down the stairs, along endless corridors to catch the last train home.
On BIKING day, the of us set off to reach London Fields Saturday morning market where you can get pretty much anything if you have the blingbling. We buy olives, hummus, dolmades, tapenade and artichokes at the Olive Borough stall, then sit in the middle of the flower garden in the park for a serious pic-nic, followed by juggling, drawing and drinking pimm’s.
I randomly spot Ilja, a friend from Uni, before Alfred Cassels
and Simeon turn up and get us making creature cards. I am then dragged across London fields for Market Cafe cider, Japanese dinner, Espresso Martini and a really crazy random rave where we meet best friends for one night wearing pink wigs and dancing to Simeon’s strip tease.
TUBING to Shoreditch is, of course, the least scenic option. But we have an appointment at the Town Hall Hotel
. We are taken to the basement through hotel rooms of various prices, ages, shapes, sizes and styles in dreamthinkspeak
‘s reconstruction of a Duchess’ desperate life drinking whisky inside the same hotel for 50 years: Absent. Around 3 PM we leave the installation feeling a little puzzled, so we head to Columbia Road Flower Market to smell fresh scents and look at pretty plants.