The Eaton Diary of London    2001  

Ashlar Court

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Monday, 12 March 2001.

Everywhere we go, (which so far, has basically been in and out and up and down on the Underground 'Tube' and Double Decker buses) we hear many diverse languages and accents. It is very striking to see the diversity of cultures, and the crowds, the very narrow main roads, the rows and rows of tiny apartments, and everybody using public transport. I've been on more trains and buses in the last 4 days than I'd been on previously in my entire life! And I'm sure I've climbed more stairs as well. We have temporary accommodation for the first month in a old Nurses' Hostel (that is, an old Hostel for young Nurses!) and it's rooms are very small - just enough room for a bed, wardrobe, small desk and no more. Margie's room is on the 2nd floor and mine in on the 3rd, so we're getting plenty of exercise.


Margie started work today and thinks she will enjoy the place and her colleagues. We had been given some church contacts, and attended yesterday. We are warmly welcomed, and one couple approached us afterwards to say that they are going to California for 4 months from April 17, and were looking for someone to stay in their council apartment for a small rent, to keep an eye on their 17 yr son and their old greyhound dog, (I'm not about to take it for a run every day, might you! Greyhounds are a little out of my league), and two lodgers, one from China. So we feel this could be a real provision financially, because it would be at least a quarter of what we would pay for very basic accommodation elsewhere, and we wouldn't need to find the bond and a months rent in advance, as is the normal requirement. This will give us 4 months to save up for a bond.


Been here 4 days and just starting to find our feet in London.  Actually, I found mine well and truly on Day One - all that walking and climbing stairs etc., should get quite fit, provided I don't get too used to all the eating out. Everything is so different. Like Safeway supermarkets with no car park or trolleys! Since everyone walks to do their shopping, a trolley full is quite unmanageable. One just buys what one can carry home on the Tube.

It will be exciting to be able to get out and about and really experience the place and its opportunities. But so far, it's all been finding our way to the basics like bed, kitchen, bathroom, (and that's not as simple as it seems), Underground train stations ('Tube'), bank, corner Deli, (they still have them here), church, more Tube and bus stations and then back to bed - exhausted from all the walking, climbing stairs and running for trains and buses. 


We are settling into our Penthouse suites. I had to lay off the butler though; there wasn't room for him once I'd unpacked my 2 suitcases in my 8' x 6' room. We are in this temporary accommodation in an old Nurses' Home. (i.e. is an old Home for young nurses!) - No phone or Internet connection yet, so I'm still borrowing time in other facilities wherever I can.



We haven't seen the Queen or Hugh Grant - I don't think they catch the Tube. We've seen 2 million other slightly less famous faces in the Tube in the last 4 days, in which time I've been on more trains and buses than I've been on in my entire life.





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Copyright 2001 H Grant Eaton  Contact: