Everyday life in London—living the "dream" of the Dream Season—was a wonderful experience that was exotic in many ways. But, then, there are some types of business that a person has to tend to, no matter how exotic, or dreamy, the locale. You have to live someplace, you have to work, you have to eat, and so on. I've put photos dealing with my lovely Chelsea flat on this page, along with photos of some other miscellaneous everyday "business."
I've divided the rest of my photos of mundane, but fascinating, and memory-inducing, sites and functions, into these categories, that have their own separate pages:
Food & Drink • Sports & Entertainment • Getting Around • Signs
And there are many more everyday photos in this Flickr set. Amusing and interesting signs from all over during the semester are in this set.
First of all, my residence. Here's a look down my street, and then two shots from across the street looking at my flat entrance (the blue door):
It was cozy, but adequate, space-wise, for me and my various guests. Plus it really looks like home to me when I peruse these photos.
The lovely red roses on my "desk" on the right were a gift from a sweet student late in the semester. And just inside the door to the kitchen (lower left) you can see part of the generous basket of fruit FIE had waiting for me upon my arrival—very thoughtful, considering that it took me a while to find out where to procure provisions. (You can see photos of some that I found on the Food & Drink page.)
When I sent the photo on the left to my family to show them what I could see out my back window, Joan said it reminded her of Mary Poppins. On the right is a look out the front windows at sunset.
Here are a few shots of the neighborhood right around the flat, a section of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea whose insignia you see on the left right below. During our walking tour of the area on our first weekend, we learned that it's the only "royal" borough in the city. The C with the circle on the bumber sticker on the right refers to the congestion charge that you have to pay to drive into central London. I'm not sure if the point of the sticker is to celebrate the fact that Kensington and Chelsea is out of the congestion zone, or to protest a proposal to have it included.
Work for me while in London was teaching, in Foundation House, an interesting old building that was just a brisk walk from the flat. I could have sworn I'd taken a photo of the office building, but I can't find it. Luckily, there's this nice one, on the left here, on the FIE website. On the right is a photo I was able to find, of the building where the students lived, just a couple of blocks from the classroom.
Having a university-provided cell phone, I didn't ever have to use one of the picturesque red phone booths. But of course we had to take pictures of some.
I did have to mail postcards (as well as my absentee ballot!), which meant looking for the equally picturesque red postboxes. From information in a guidebook, I can tell you that the one on the left here was erected when George was monarch (don't know how to tell if it was V or VI, though). Getting cash was a necessary activity that was required much too frequently. Henry took the picture of me in the middle here, somewhere near Westminster Abbey, replenishing our money supply. This time, I remembered my PIN! Recycling most stuff was very easy at the flat: there were a couple of days during the week that we could just leave it in front to be picked up. But batteries were a different matter, and at the end of my stay I had used up a lot of batteries, taking all these photos (since my rechargeables just weren't reliable). A few inquiries led me to the Borough offices of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where I found this handy battery collection receptacle. I wonder if the guys that eventually emptied the container were puzzled by the HEB batteries I put in there. (Henry had brought over a giant pack of them on his second visit.)
Finally, a few photos related to the most mundane of everyday activities. I was so very impressed with London's loos, and took a surprising number of photos of these well-maintained facitilities and related signage. (More amusing signs are on this page.)
On the left just below are probably the loveliest public loos in the world, in Hyde Park. On the right is a very different type of facility, the self-cleaning loo I utilized while we took a stroll along Paul's Walk downstream of Blackfriar's Bridge. After I exited it, we heard the cleaning going on. Amazing!
In the middle below is the inside of a loo stall in the Green Park subway, a busy location where the facilities are still clean and well-maintained. I was particularly pleased with the cleverly-designed hook mechanism on the back of the door (note the place for the vital map). Upon which hangs my later lost and much lamented waist pack that was left on the train home from Edinburgh. The signs are from the entrance to the ladies' loo in Bishop's Park, on the left, and from the interior of the Westminster Cathedral café loo. Lots of loos! Probably a new one every day.