Friday, March 29, 2013

Friends, Food, and Fires

Nye stayed with us again last weekend. We took him over to Borough Market on Saturday afternoon. 

Saturday morning cartoons!
He was like a kid, following his own single-minded curiosity from stall to stall, tasting, smelling, and munching his way through the market. I'd be walking, following my regular track, and turn around to see that he wasn't behind me. Mild panic; Nye didn't have a phone, so if we lost him, we lost him. I'd retrace my steps and eventually find him with his nose deep in a marmalade jar or nomming on some tasty cheese or cured meat.

The market has been undergoing refurbishment since we moved here. About half of the stalls had been in an 'outdoor' section, but now they're all back under the same 'roof'. That doesn't mean much to those of you who have never been there, but, for me, it meant that I had to re-learn my way around. Kenz and I have very specific items that we get from very specific stalls. It was like a treasure hunt finding them again.
Kenz's cheese people

Kenz's mushroom people

Kenz's mustard people (Nye enjoying the taste-testing process)

Kenz's other cheese people

The mustard people also sell special salts and pates 

Kenz's olive people

We've yet to get 'into' flavored salts. God help us if we do...
My meat people (on the left is Rosemary & Garlic Chorizo, on the right is 'Blood' Chorizo, made entirely of blood and a touch of pork fat

The blood chorizo - it's much better than you'd expect.
After our market stop, we visited Southwark Cathedral which is situated next door. It being a week before Easter, we happened upon choir practice. We were serenaded as we toured around the building. It was a welcome respite from the (literally) freezing cold and wintry mixture of precipitation.

Obvi, I can't fit the entire cathedral in one picture

Rehearsal from the back of the cathedral

The ceiling

Rehearsal from the side

The placard explaining the following picture...

Rehearsal from the front of the cathedral

Kenz had mentioned that a cat lives in the cathedral; she found him again. Pets ensued. 

From the outside - a blend of old and new.
Upon returning home on Monday morning, I happened upon 100 firemen and 15 fire engines. At first, I thought it was just an exercise, but when I rounded the corner, I realized this was a major operation. The road was closed to everything but pedestrians. 

Why are they blocking my Walworth Road?

That seems like a lot of fire trucks...

Still more fire trucks? What's going on?

Oh, shit!
I soon found out that the Cuming Museum was on fire. The building is one of south London's few 'listed' historical buildings - it was the Walworth Town Hall before boroughs were implemented (it now being in the Southwark Borough). It's an old Victorian building, which has housed lots of irreplaceable collections since being repurposed as a museum.

The 'boss' wears a funny vest, no?

This is usually one of the busiest streets in south London. It was a headtrip to stand in the middle of the road. Usually I'm sprinting across it.

You can see the hint of flame behind the yellow and green boxes

The news was already there

Obviously I was going to need to find another route home

Tracking east, just north of the fire, I found another deserted road that's usually busy

My view from this road
You may not be able to see this video if you're in the States, but you should try. It's a helicopter's eye view of the damage. Here's a cell phone video of the roof collapsing. Here's an article on what may have been saved from the museum's stores. Hopefully you can watch this video as well. I pulled some images off the Internet:

From the Shard

I walked by this museum at least four times a week. It's on my way home from everything I do in the city. Each time I passed it, I said, "I should really go inside some time."

Thankfully, no one was injured. The bad news is that about 250 of the 700 items in the museum are gone, and many of the remaining ones have been damaged. That'll teach me to take for granted a museum that's only five blocks from my house.

The next day:

On my diverted pathway home, I walked past the Heygate Estate. This is the abandoned (now sold) estate that Kenz and I walked through on our second day in London. The sale of the estate and its property has riled up lots of locals - apparently the way it was sold (and to whom) wasn't...transparent. Lots of people were kicked out of their homes and the 10-year plan for the area is going to cost the council [read: taxpayers] millions of pounds. I don't claim to know much about it other than the fact that everyone thinks this part of town (Elephant & Castle) is an eyesore, but they're also not happy with the plans to make it prettier, either. I'm sure I'd catch a lot of ire from the locals if anyone from here were to actually read this blog. Thankfully, no one really does. Ha!

When Kenz and I first walked through here, we had no idea where we were going, just strolling around. We got pretty nervous when we found ourselves smack in the middle of what looked like an empty set of a zombie apocalypse movie. In fact, sections of this estate were used for the upcoming 'World War Z' zombie apocalypse movie!

We used to ride by the estate each day when we lived in our old place, but our new bus route just briefly passes it. I haven't looked at it in some time. There's lots of new graffiti decorating the sides of some of the buildings.

Owen came by for some of Kenz's delish chilli this week. It's always fun to get a weeknight hangout session with Owen. He brings lots of laughs with him whenever he comes around. We watched the modern classic, Pumping Iron.
This shows just how cold it is outside...
 I had them try on my new watermelon hat. None of us are sold on it yet - I got it off the Internet.

I've eaten chilli four of my past six meals. Kenz isn't happy about that life choice as she's suffering the consequences.

I snagged a quick facetime call with MOMA & Tom.

Facetime disagreement, MOMA & Tom style...
On Wednesday, I found Kenz coming home as I was leaving. I got to snag a picture of her before she realized I was standing on the other side of the street.



I got another meatbox in the mail! 

We've finally begun to hang various things up on the wall. Well, Kenz has finally begun to hang things on the wall. It only took us 13 months...

This is happening as I type. She'll be adding 4-9 more. These are from her first year show. It took a lot of convincing for her to believe I actually wanted her work up on the walls. She still doesn't believe me. 

And, finally, an update on the construction.

Good news: No more Saturday morning construction sounds right outside our window.
Bad news: We're getting neighbors.

We're weary of people moving in. Better the devil you know...
That's it for this week. Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend. 

P.S. If you want to read about the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, here's a good article/summary.