Amerie may have had just one thing, but following my last post on London, I have upped the stakes by adding four. In an aim to become more familiar with my local metropolis I have put together a list of five things I want to do in London in 2022. Na na na na na, oh.
The SIS Building
Standing on the banks of the Thames (don’t let the Bond films fool you) at Vauxhall Cross is the SIS building. Blown up at least twice on film, it is the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service. So is it really a secret? My internet searches to try and find the location, while successful, also threw me into various Reddit threads of people wondering whether it is possible to take pictures of the building. I assume those who say it isn’t allowed are scaremongering. There are pictures of the place available online for one, and for two it is in a lot of feature films. What we need to be sure is someone willing to go and point a camera at the place and report back. I know just the man. Tucker, Ben Tucker. Double oh dear.
This one is a bit of an outlier on the list. It’s a banker, standard London fare. Some may say it is THE London landmark. I’ve even been there. A long time ago though, as a child. I feel the need to go back as a man. As I do with all the big London landmarks. I happen to know that the owner is a wealthy widow too. I’m single, Queen Lizzy 2.0 is single. I’m going to crack open a plethora of dating apps, rack the age limit to the maximum and lurk by the gates in the hope of becoming Prince Ben. I’m sure I’d find more time to work on my writing while I’m not walking the Corgis too. Maybe I’ll even end up with a piercing named after me one day.
I love the theatre. Yet I don’t go at all often. I’m also a huge fan of crime fiction. The Mousetrap, London’s longest running theatre production, marries the two and invites the audience to try and solve the crime. That is right up my street. The Mousetrap is one of two stage shows I am desperate to see in the city, the other being
Magic Mike the Only Fools and Horses musical. If I don’t get to one or the other by the end of the year feel free to call me out for being a 24 carat plonker.
I make no secret of the fact that I’d love to live an Anthony Bourdain-esque existence. Travelling and eating great food, what’s not to love? It was Bourdain who introduced me to the concept of Jollibee. A Philippines based fast food chain, frequented in the US by Bourdain and with branches in London. I can follow in the great man’s footsteps without having to hop on a plane. The fare is not perhaps traditional Filipino cuisine but it is a window into another culture that I would like to peer through myself. In particular I have my beady eye on “Jolly Spaghetti,” spaghetti (surprise!), topped with hot dog pieces and melted cheese. Don’t pretend your interest isn’t piqued too. London is a hive of different cuisines, I’d like to think that I will eat my way through some of them during 2022. Recommendations of places to go on this front are always more than welcome!
The Postal Museum
Going Underground, by The Jam is about the London Underground. Nothing to do with the postal museum I know, but I am fascinated by a subterranean feature of London’s Postal Museum. Mail Rail was the Post Office’s underground railway that transported mail beneath the streets of the capital from 1927 until as recently as 2003. What do you mean 2003 isn’t recent? It is now possible to ride the Mail Rail and ever since I’ve heard about this feature I’ve wanted to visit the Postal Museum. If you’re lucky I may even send you a postcard telling you all about it.
Getting to grips with London is high on my list of priorities for the year. Samuel Johnson famously said, “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” It’s high time I found out if his words hold true or he was full of hot air and simply trying to make a prophetic statement.