Tag Archives: W8

Early Start

I woke at, by any reasonable measure, a ridiculously early hour this Sunday; I’m not sure whether it was work still playing on my mind, or just the heavy dinner from the night before, whichever it may have been it was accompanied by the all too familiar ache in my side crying out for pain killers.

Leaving Dave slumbering I fumbled around the bedroom, eventually pulling on my favourite rugby top, a pair of moth-eaten old jeans and the softest socks I could find, before making my way to the bathroom, downing a few pain killers then padding through the house opening the blinds taking in the rainy morning before making my way to the kitchen going through the familiar motions of making a strong morning cup from tea that we seem to buy in excess from Whittards on Kensington High Street every couple of weekends.

Supping my tea at the open French windows there’s that wonderful soul cleansing freshness in the air, the sort that only a rainy morning can bring, and as the rain is coming down in slow and steady sheets the one thing that’s evident more than anything else is just how cold it is – it’s unusually cold for May, all the more so considering the heat we’d enjoyed throughout April.

I can hear the distant rumble of the westway above the pitter-patter of the rain, but other than that it’s quiet, the wood pigeons are cooing in the direction of Holland Park, and it’s still that glorious time of day that’s just before London’s gets going, and being a Sunday there’s no chance of the peace being shattered by Porsche Cayenne’s thundering up and down Campden Hill Road filled with Notting Hill über-mummies delivering their numerous offspring to any number of the hideously expensive private schools that scatter the whole area.

I’m wondering what to do, this is the earliest I’ve been up on a Sunday for as far back as I care to remember, so having finished my tea I decide it’s too cold and wet to warrant braving the weather for a Sunday paper, so instead I bunk down for an hour with a book and leaving Radio 4 on, ignoring the less than soothing tones of Sunday Worship. Quite why they still have that programme on is beyond me, in our secular society you’d think we’d be above wasting tax payers pennies on religious programming, but Radio 4, like the seasons carries on regardless.

It’ll be interesting to see where we end up in the coming months, I’ll miss this view across the roof tops of Kensington and Notting Hill, but with the building having been granted planning permission for ‘re-conversion’ into two massive quad-plex apartments the death knell is tolling on this particular building, hopefully the next house we get will be nicer thanks to a larger budget, and won’t have the usual rush of one lease to another, which almost always influences what you actually end up buying – more so than I suspect most people would like to admit.

Oxford Street vs Notting Hill Gate

Compare and Contrast:

Eco HaloOxford Street 'eco halo'

It looks like someone’s basically ripped an idea for street art right from one London Street and moved it to another (the same street practically) but 2 miles further east. Smacks of a wee bit of laziness to me, even if it’s only in the due diligence – but that doesn’t desperately surprise me considering how long it’s taken all the parties involved in ‘rejuvenating’ the west end to actually get moving…

Snow in Campden Hill

The view from my balcony’s french doors..

The view from my Bedroom.

Mizzling.

I woke with a start this morning, partly due to the realisation that I was in fact already dreadfully late and partly due to our new found alarm clock that is St.George’s Church, just behind my house on the corner of Campden Hill Gardens which dutifully rings it’s bells in what seems to be no particular order at eight in the morning, midday and sometime around six.

From the moment I opened the blinds it was clear that the weather was going to be against  me all day, and as I walked out onto the balcony clutching my early morning dose of caffine it was became rapidly clear that it wasn’t just sheets of cloud flying across the sky above Trelick Tower on the horizon, but a fine drizzle was also starting to fall, the sort that can only be described as miserable drizzle; that stuff that soaks everything it comes into contact within mere seconds, which effectively  leaves you looking like a drowned rat for the whole day no matter what you try to do to dry off.

The only good thing weather wise was the cool stiff breeze, which was blowing the leaves around Campden Hill road in great swirling vortices, showing the first real sign of autumn taking hold that we’ve seen this year, as I strode out the flat I was a man on a mission, 30 odd photos needed sourcing, setting up, taking and finally processing – not the easiest of tasks when some of the things you’re taking photos of are entirely shrouded in cloud, and by the time I’d walked the familiar 400 yards from house to tube station I was utterly soaked; they say that the man with the weather has a sense of humour, if he does – it’s an evil one.

Campden Hill-Billy’s

And we’re in…. yay! – I’ve actually been blogging while the net connection has been down at home, so I’ll get them online shortly. It’s been quite nice not having the net at home, I’ve covered more papers and books than I’d ever normally do!

Movin’

It might appear all calm on the western front, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, the new house is less than 24 hours away, and a weekend of white vans, lumping, dumping, swearing and being generally knackered is on the cards, and oh boy am I looking forward to it. It’ll be so nice to have my own space back, all my stuff, and most importantly our own little castle, high up on Campden Hill… Indeed it’s a move of only 92 steps from our old flat, it’s just a pity of those two moves we’ve had to take such a detour! But who cares, the weekend beckons as does our warm new flat and I can’t wait.

Round Up

You’ll have to excuse me, as I know I’ve not blogged for decades: I have, as the the generic excuse of every lazy blogger goes, been busy.

I’ve been running all over the place doing all sorts of things, including, directing and shooting a fashion shoot for a well known tailor, attending endless meetings discussing everything from the details and minutia of an innovative start-up to bowels and bloating with another (and there really is a reason for this…), doing another shoot taking photos of bus lanes, buildings and traffic islands for later digital play and many other things. I’ve also been feverishly picking up new camera parts, searching for a new HD-DV cam (thinking of the Canon XH1) and preparing several pitches for several new and interesting potentials.

Alongside all of this the house hunt is once again picking up pace, with everything above and more it’s been a slow process, we’ve also done some (shock horror) socialising, coffee, films and galleries.

I really must whinge about the new Tate Modern exhibition, having made the effort to cross the river eariler this week, meeting dave mid-way across the Millennium Bridge (very Spooks), to go and see the much talked about “Slides”, we were very disappointed to find only two were open, and both of these were filled with devil spawn and their pushy-mummies while the others, gated and guarded by a surly looking Tate modern attendant were apparently ‘fully booked’ – and fuck me they looked it, not. So miffed at not getting to have a go on the slides, we were ultra critical of the installation which seemed even more pointless when you can’t get the endorphin hit they’re supposed to provide on the way down… to us they seemed badly lit, poorly constructed (horrid welding… if you’re into that sort of thing), and just a little uninviting: they certainly weren’t embracing like the Weather Project was, so disappointed at Tate.

However I really must enthuse about The Devil Wears Prada, which is wickedly funny; well shot, beautifully styled and strangely true to life in many of it’s nuances, anyone that’s worked in or around the fashion industry will be able to see someone they know in any one of the main characters. Meryl Streep as Anna Wintour ahem, Miranda Priestly is stunning whilst Anne Hathaway puts in a sterling performance as ugly duckling turned swan. Whilst on the subject of movies I must also say that since Odeon took over the UCI at Whiteleys the seats are now so much more comfy, avoiding that horrid mid-movie-numb-bum, that used to be a danger whenever visiting that particular cinema.

I must also positively drool over Notting Hell, Rachel Johnson’s new book all about the trials and tribulations of life on the communal garden in my favourite part of London, again if you live, or have ever lived in W11 this book will give you deep deep joy, and it’s hilariously accurate, although I’ve yet to come across any reference to Dutch neighbours who fake orgasms every saturday morning – so I’m guessing that that’s just one of our personal experiences.

So it’s Monday morning, admittedly a long time before work is to start, but Monday none the less – I’m promising myself that I’ll do more blogging this week, I’ve got a phone full of more tube fashion disasters and I’ve got tales of a conversation overheard in Starbucks Notting Hill Gate which I’m just too tired to explain the utter ridiculousness of right now, but I promise I’ll do that some time this week!

The perfect place?

Could we have found the perfect place? Two bed, three storey “cottage”, right where we want to be, perfect size for the two of us plus the dog we want… it’s all fingers crossed at this end as an offer goes in.

What a day!

What a day, with a 6am start we had a breakfast meeting with a client kick started by two double shots of espresso in StarBucks, quite why anyone buys coffee from StarBucks unless they absolutely have to is beyond me, all of their coffee is so bitter, it lacks any of the depth of say Illy; anyhoo, meeting over with we headed into Notting Hill to trawl the estate agents, found half of them including Faron Sutaria hadn’t bothered to follow up on simple instructions, and those who we hadn’t already looked with were all short/under-staffed; needing to make a decision we took another look at a place we’d seen earlier in the week and decided to take it then and their, so paperwork done we signed off on the new flat: just need to pay up the deposit before the moving date and then we’ll be the proud new inhabitants of a rather nice 2nd floor flat (2nd if you’re using the ground/first/second floor model) right on Notting Hill Gate, couldn’t be happier to be honest.

With it being 30°C we decided against using the tube or the buses as both are as bad as each other in high-summer; so we walked from Notting Hill to Soho, forgetting entirely that EuroPride was on we stumbled in Old Compton Street to find it awash with poofs of all shapes and sizes, although we quickly figured that most of the twinky types had buggered off to hyde park leaving the rather more eye-candy-licious bears to play in Soho: other than a bitch fight between two trannies (it had to be seen to be believed), it all passed off rather well, we sat in our usual bolt-hole watching the world go by, amusing ourselves at the thought of someone seriously believing that the world could be changed simply by donning blue hotpants. I was amazed quite frankly at the drama some of the stewards made each time an ambulance was required; for some reason there didn’t seem to be a straight ambulance route to Soho Square so they brought three up Frith Street (which was a. packed, and b. filled with Bar Italia’s tables), so every time they needed to bring an ambulance down, two of the campest tits you can imagine ran up and down the street with a siren. Not what you might call restrained crowd control.

After the best part of thirty quid’s worth of food and coffee we decided that we’d had enough and started to wander back to Notting Hill, taking the 94 home; it was once again reinforced why the Routemaster should never have been scrapped when a militant lesbian decided she was going to spend ten minutes shouting at the driver who wouldn’t (or more to the point couldn’t) take her money when she should have bought a ticket before boarding the bus, by the third yelp of “take my fucking money” i was ready to go downstairs and kick her off the bus myself, finally the driver gave in let her ride for free and let the rest of us get on with our journey.

Getting off the bus we were just about to cross the road when I stepped off the pavement, fell into a 6 inch pot hole and ended up flat on my face sprawled between two parked cars f’ing and blinding in agony, I’ve ended up twisting my ankle badly (it’s swelled up to twice it’s normal size) I’ve walloped my other knee leaving a huge bruise and a graze, I’ve hurt both wrists trying to stop myself from falling and I clunked my elbow on a cars bumper, all in all I’m not a happy chappy, quite why the pothole wasn’t fixed I don’t know, as it’s directly outside the tube station and it’s obscured by the high kerb not to mention being in a place people regularly use to cross the road. An ignominious end to what wasn’t actually all too bad a day; I’m pissed off though as with only a month to go before moving house I’m going to spend the best part of next week hobbling around like an invalid… bugger.

Notting Hill

Well we’re settled, just about – didn’t take long to move all the bits and pieces, still got some bits to come tomorrow, but nothing that we can’t handle. I love the new house, it’s gorgeous, warm and cozy, and what’s more it’s only 12 minutes on the tube to work, which means I can come home for dinner, and avoid all the long journeys stuck on the tube for hours trying to get home.

Notting Hill suits me down to the ground, busy, cosmopoliton, and very funky, I’m looking forward to living here for a very long time: Me and Dave could not be happier…