The thing about London geography is that unless you travel the joint on foot or by bike, the combined forces of circuitous bus routes, endless little back streets and the hopelessly bendy and mostly underground tube network will stop you from getting any sense of where things are vis a vis other things. So, since we get to Hammersmith by tube (4 stops from our place), I had always considered it to be unequivocally west of our position. By contrast, we walk generally eastwards to get to Kensington. But here's the thing, as made amply clear by our weekend circuit of Da Grove, She Bu, Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith and Kensington: HAMMERSMITH AND KENSINGTON ARE NEXT TO EACH OTHER. In fact, the main street of the one turns into one of the main streets of the other. Trippy, but at least now the endless Kensington road signs pointing to Hammersmith make sense as something other than directions for those taking a long view.
Anyway, the point of the exercise was to see if we could find a way under the A40 overpass to get Grant to White City, a closer train station to his work (answer: no, but again, we got to see the ponies which are kept in the industrial wasteland under the motorway, of all places) and to see if we could cope with living in She Bu, where the housing prices are roughly a hundred quid a week lower than our current locale, as we are looking to move up to at least a separate bedroom place, or a larger joint if friends come over to flatshare. Answer: not entirely sure. She Bu has a thriving Arabic community and therefore awesome cafes, restaurants, grocers and textile shops, as well as a decentish street market. It isn't infested with the nasty Tescos that have taken over basically every largish corner shop in our neck of the woods. But it's further out of the city, the roads are busier, the transport is marginally less convenient, it's a giant Australian stereotype, and it's slightly lacking in an Indefinable Something. Current plan is to keep seeing what we can find around here, and if not, bite the She Bu bullet - or maybe do something REALLY CRAZY, like go north or south (NB: NOT east).
For the record: Ravenscourt Park is very pretty.
On Sunday we indulged in what is fast becoming a favourite lazy day activity at least of mine: a brief trip to the Vic and Albert Museum, lunch at a cheap and nice Chinese diner, and a leisurely stroll through Kensington Palace Gardens and home. Lovely, esp. since on Sunday we got to witness the sight of two whippets chasing each other at full speed. They do not just look like itty greyhounds, apparently; they can back it up.
So anyway, all in all it was a low-key but nicely western experience of a weekend.
From the Accidental Housewife files for the benefit of my own personal recollection of Really Damned Good Tacos:
Tasty Kidney Beans
Fry onion until brown, add 1 teaspoon cumin, toast.
Add 2 ladles of cooked kidney beans (cook with one onion and dash cumin), juice half lime, half teaspoon marigold stock powder, quite a lot of fresh coriander.
Fry one capsicum, 2 spring onions; add 4 slices jalapeno, half teaspoon oregano, 1/3 tin tomatoes, cook down.
How is everyone out there, anyway?