gnommi: (grargh)
[personal profile] gnommi
It's been just over three weeks since we moved from Southampton to Kingston and I started my new job in a crazy university lab in Bloomsbury. To say that I am enjoying it is an understatement - I can't remember the last time I felt so consistently un-stressed! Teething troubles and packing/unpacking/bill-wrangling woes notwithstanding... Getting to work takes about an hour by overground and underground, but I've so far managed to get a seat on both almost every time, and my fellow commuters seem reasonably chilled and genteel.

Working in Bloomsbury is just amazing - I've been walking the 10 mins to the British Museum most lunchtimes, eating my packed lunch on the wall outside, and then taking half an hour or more to walk round the exhibits before a swift trot back to the lab. So far I've re-visited Dr John Dee's scrying equipment in the Age of Enlightenment (near the naughy Priapus paraphernalia), discovered the Islamic World galleries at the Montague Place entrance (which boasts a beautiful metal harpy and some stunning lustreware) and done a flit round Asia (Tibetan skull cups and many-armed deities).

My lab is also right next door to the small but perfectly formed (and free!) Grant Museum of Zoology, which I've been to twice. I fully intend to adopt a specimen there - I have my eye on a particularly gnarly one. The infamous jar of moles is already taken, obviously! I honestly can't believe I work so close to so much amazing stuff (The Wellcome Collection is also less than 10min away) - even better than when I worked next door to the Hunterian!

parrakeet parrakeet

We also live less than 10mins walk from Richmond Park - a haven for grazing herds of deer, flocks of loud green parrakeets and cheeky, Hula Hoop and milk-snaffling jackdaws. It's a strange place and reminds me more than a little of the New Forest in places. We've already walked round it for hours and still only seen a tiny fraction. Pembroke Lodge, about an hour in, does amazing cream teas. The riverside in Kingston is also really lovely in the sun, and we've made friends with our neighbours who are threatening to take us pike fishing in their boat... we watched the new Godzilla with them and their kids last week, which was brainless fun. GO GO GOJIRA! I also seem to have become resident neighbourhood biologist, and spend almost every evening identifying and explaining some fungus or insect or other for the local yoof, which is pretty satisfying.

switches store cylinders

Yesterday we went to the awesome Pimlico District Heat Undertaking as part of London Open House (thanks [livejournal.com profile] squirmelia and [livejournal.com profile] swh for the heads up). Also free, and involving an enormous amount of clambering up scary industrial ladders and squeezing through crazy engine rooms and forests of curly ducting - the view from the top of the immense (2,500,000 litre) thermal store was astounding. We followed up by a great lunch and wonderful beer (Mad Hatter Sorachi Saison for me - om nom nom) at Cask. The best of my photos are HERE.

Music-wise, whilst I really miss the Fo'c'sle folk club, we tried out the altogether larger Ram Club in Hinchley Wood, which involved quite an exciting bus ride into the unknown, but which ended up in a stirring performance of sea shanties by Jenkins' Ear and the other half talking concertinas with one of the members until late. We've been practicing duetting mandolin (him) and mountain dulcimer (me) recently but are nowhere near performance standard!

All in all, I am almost wishing I'd taken the plunge earlier - can't wait to get the spare room up and running so we can have visitors!
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