[Shoreditch House, via their
"Whence the title?" I hear you ask. Well....
London has this spectacular way of making you feel like you can try your hardest, but it will never be enough. You will still never be able to afford the nicest house. You will never have the top job. And you will certainly not be permitted to join certain clubs.
I never had that feeling in Glasgow. There, you felt like if you worked hard and were nice to people, you would get by and end up in a pretty good place. I still think that's the case, by and large.
In London, however, you feel like you're doing well. You're quite happy with your job, and can afford to go out to nice places. Then you discover the existence of
. It's got a rooftop pool, which is heated year-round, and a lovely open rooftop bar/garden area. Better than that, you can join it for £600 a year if you're under 27. You could go for a wee swim outside after work. It would be lovely. Sounds amazing, right? Like a gym membership, but more like being on holiday all year round.
Well. Sounds amazing, until you discover that you need to state your occupation on the membership application, and that they prefer people from the "creative" and "media" industries. Oh, and you need a proposer and a seconder who are already members to vote you in. So they SAY it's all about "networking" with other "creatives", but I can't really see how. It's just a bunch of the same cliquey people excluding everyone else from their own self-satisfied world. What a bag of wank.
I don't know any members clubs in Glasgow with criteria like that. I'm pretty sure that criteria keeps anyone I'd actually like from joining. Hmmm... maybe I will start my own member's club. The only criteria will be that you can never have been a member of Shoreditch House.
Anyway, the title comes from a forum where people were discussing the aforementioed rooftop pool. One wrote, "
Best to avoid in summer though, so busy it's like gay soup
The whole thing sounded so jolly that it nearly redeemed the place in my eyes. But not quite.
Anyway, the weekend:
Visited Hampstead Heath. Holy inadequacy (again). It's so
perfect. And yet still so near central London. It's the quietest, most countrified part of London I've ever seen. So few people, so little noise... It made me think I am still a country girl at heart - it's hard to go back to all of the noise and the people after being somewhere so still and peaceful. It would be a great place to live, if you had a spare four million pounds. All the houses in the estate agents round there have cinema rooms and swimming pools (God, what is my newfound obsession with swimming pools?)
[image from Pinterest]
There's a little hamlet on the Heath called the Vale of Health. It looks like something from a chocolate box. Actually, the whole of Hampstead does. There were a couple of nice little cafes (I particularly liked
, who sell the fabled St John's doughnuts and some gorgeous homeware) and the second-hand books at the market were all books I'd have bought full-price.
[a bag from Melrose and Morgan]
[A view of the Heath from Kenwood House. This was the busiest part of the Heath we saw all day.]
After that we went to Aubaine for dinner, then wandered down to Camden Town. Thankfully we were drunk enough to tolerate all the other drunk people you see in Camden on a Saturday night. We went for a sail on Regent's Canal on a punt called the Music Boat. It was quite a surreal experience, especially sailing past the zoo at 11pm in the dark, being serenaded by a Turkish girl called Djanan and a guy called Josh Osho (who seems to be reasonable well-known).
[the view from the punt]
On Monday, I got Dan to participate in my favourite day-off activity, which is to get the train to London Bridge and go for a browse around Borough Market. I very rarely buy anything apart from lunch, coffee or chocolate when I go. I just love walking around smelling the food and looking at things.
Sadly, it was closed because it was Monday, so we had to go to Le Pain Quotidien for lunch instead. If you're ever in London, and very skint but hungry, go here and get one of their baskets of bread (walnut is especially nice). Ask to have it toasted, and have a cup of tea or coffee. It will only cost you about a fiver, and their jam is lovely, even the orange one (like much more delicious marmalade).
Not a bad bank holiday weekend, all in all. For the rest of the summer, I will mostly be drinking this:
and getting on with moving house - Anthropologie cushion covers bought, now we just need to get the sofas...