Sunday, June 21, 2009

Grand - Pony + Score + Fiver = Grand

From the MTV Guide to England:
"If you want something to go with your new mockney cockney lingo, how's about a bit of money slang? Londoners seem to love giving nicknames to piles of cash. You're probably already using the words TENNER and FIVER, and may well know a QUID means £1, a GRAND means £1,000 and a SCORE is £20, but what about a TON, meaning £100? And a PONY being £25? Or a MONKEY being £500? Then there's also the new NIFTY, meaning £50. And the old SMACKER for £1, from the smack the £1 notes used to make as they were slapped down on the bar."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The fixture list is revealed!

Yesterday's release of the ENGLISH FOOTBALL FIXTURE LIST caught my attention -- there are matches scheduled for MONDAY, DEC. 28, when we will be in LONDON! I would love to see a match. Association football is easily my favorite sport!
The Monday matches are as follows (as always with English sport, the home team is listed first):
Premier League --
* Chelsea v. Fulham
* Tottenham v. West Ham
Championship --
(All three London clubs are away that day)
League One --
* Brentford v. Charlton
Leyton Orient v. Southend
Millwall v. Bristol Rovers
League Two --
Barnet v. Northhampton
Dagenham & Redbridge v. Cheltenham
(* = London derby)
Any of these matches would be really fun to see, particularly the London derbies, although any of these matches would be a special opportunity.
A non-Premier League match could actually provide more enjoyment than a top-flight encounter.
At a lesser cost the lower league match would offer a glimpse of a more "old-fashioned" football game, before money from Russian oil barons and United Arab Emirates' sheiks began pouring into the upper echelon of the sport.

As an example, BRENTFORD v. CHARLTON would be really fun to witness.
Brentford's ground, GRIFFIN PARK (pictured), is situated in a predominantly residential area in western London and is famous for having a pub at all four corners.
Football and a pub? It doesn't get much more English than that!
(Note: For irony's sake, take a look at the "Qatar Airways" sponsorship signs on the roof of Griffin Park. Now, what was I saying about United Arab Emirates' money pouring into English sport?)

Monday, June 15, 2009

58 Chepstow Villas, London, W11 2QX

My sister INGER has paid a deposit on a flat for us when we visit LONDON at the end of this year.
The flat, at 58 CHEPSTOW VILLAS, LONDON, W11 2QX, is a pink Victorian building that wouldn't look out of place in my sister's city of residence, SAN FRANCISCO.
I have been studying the location on my London maps.
The flat is located in BAYSWATER, not far at all from PORTOBELLO ROAD.
I have also discovered:
1. The nearest tube station is NOTTING HILL GATE.
2. The nearest pub (according to the excellent Web site, FANCYAPINT) appears to be WALMER CASTLE, WESTBOURNE GROVE (home to Thai food, too).
3. The nearest football ground is LOFTUS ROAD (home of QUEENS PARK RANGERS) -- 2.3 miles. The nearest Premier League football ground is STAMFORD BRIDGE (home of CHELSEA) -- 3 miles.
I've got some more research to do, obviously, but at least I have the basics of pub and football covered!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Brick Lane. I want to go there.

"What do you want to see in London?"
My sister INGER asked me this question not long ago.
It's a trick question, of course.
What DON'T I want to see?
Off the top of my head:
1. I want to see a FOOTBALL match (but our December-January visit occurs during the traditional time of the THIRD ROUND OF THE FA CUP, complicating that aim).
2. I want to gaze at the THAMES while strolling across the MILLENNIUM BRIDGE. 3. I want to browse the BRICK LANE MARKET as early as possible on a Sunday morning.
Located at the northern end of Brick Lane and along Cheshire Street in East London, the Brick Lane Market operates every Sunday from around 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Almost anything you can imagine can be found at the market.
I don't really want to buy anything there (unless I find some RETRO FOOTBALL or VINTAGE REGGAE items), I just want to see it.
Well, that's three things I want to see.
I think there's only about 3,000,000 more.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I've waited 30 years. What's another 202 days?

I have been waiting to go to LONDON for at least 30 years.
I know it's been at least that long, because I hold in my hands the AA BOOK OF BRITISH TOWNS, a first-edition guidebook I purchase new in 1979 -- when I was 13 years old.
I have spent countless hours enraptured by the book's contents. So much so, that three strips of duct tape hold it together -- the original binding long ago consigned to history.
I have been to THE NETHERLANDS, CANADA, MEXICO and about HALF THE UNITED STATES since I purchased this book, but never London.
Thanks to my sister INGER, the long wait to visit England's capital ends this December. She is true world traveler, and she wants to celebrate her 40th birthday in London.
I am fortunate enough to tag along.
On this blog, I intend to chronicle my trip. Before we leave, I will also occasionally detail my preparations.
I think I will start my preparations where they really began -- with a 30-year-old book of mine.