I will never, ever, EVER get tired of looking at buildings like this and it is something that you just don't see in America. As great as this country is, really, really old buildings are just something it does not possess. I cannot help but to immediately wonder what life was like when it was built and who, over the centuries, has been there and seen it. I am simply fascinated by the history of it all and I am constantly elbowing Dan asking questions like, "When do you think this was built?" and, "How old is that? What about that? And this???" (sorry baby). Luckily for me, shortly before I snapped this photo I found a sign that gave some information about these buildings.
This actually happens to be part of 3 Mills Studios which is London's largest film and television studio and, as of a week ago, where my darling Dan was working on a film. I had come by to meet Dan for lunch by the canal and could not take my eyes off these beauties. The picture directly above is actually the largest tidal mill in England and the structures date back to the 11th century. I think they are looking pretty darn good for their age, don't you? Over the centuries these buildings have housed flour grinding operations, gunpowder manufacturing, distilling alcohol and even survived the bombing of London in WWII. I could go on, but I will stop as not too bore you all too much with the historical stuff as I know I find it more interesting than most, however, I will say again that I literally cannot get enough of this stuff and I feel so fortunate to get to experience it all.
The next day I had the pleasure of being shown around some new parts of London by the lovely Holly Klein who I met while working on Coraline. She too is an American who is dating an Englishman and she is one of the most creative and interesting people I have met in a long time. She took me to Regent's Park which was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. The park is located in Northern London and is surrounded by some of the most amazing homes I have ever seen. Again I was obsessing over buildings. I am telling you - I can't stop.
Located next to where we were walking in the park was part of the enclosure of the London Zoo. Dan had told me before that the London Zoo was definitely not one of the best and as we strolled by, seeing as much as we could from the pathway, I too found this to be true. I think this picture sums it up perfectly. Yes - those are sheep. And yes, they are laying on concrete. And yes, that is about all. It was actually really sad and never in my life have I seen sheep in such a weird, concrete-jungle (wait a second...oh god - flashbacks of living in L.A...go to your happy place...) We also saw camels, an ostrich and a weird mountain thing that was supposed to be something, but we weren't quite sure.
After walking through Regent's Park, Holly and I walked along the canal en route to Camden Town. London has canals running throughout the city and they seem to be quite a nice way to get around. The little boats you see are actually little boat houses and while they seemed run-down and actually quite inhabitable, there was something I loved about the fact that people live in them. I am becoming increasingly aware that the less I understand a person's life, the more interested I become (i.e. Amish, polygamists, people who study bugs for a living...okay, maybe not the last one - but you get the gist.)
Once we made it to Camden Town we were drawn to this little Moroccan place by the really kickin' outdoor seating and decided to have a cappuccino (which was really tasty.) I took this picture from our seat. See the hookah pipes on the tables? We didn't partake in the hookah love, but I think the pipes are actually really beautiful. For those who don't know, Camden Town is like this bohemian little part of London full of outdoor markets, street vendors and young kids who either a) had just smoked pot or, b) were about to go smoke pot. For some reason, the picture above is the only one I took in Camden Town which is a shame because the little markets provided all sorts of color and culture and I surely could have gotten some interesting pictures. Stupid, stupid, stupid!!! Oh well - next time.
The rest of the day was spent walking back to Holly's place followed by a really nice meal with Holly, her man and Dan at a great place called The Angelic. It was yummy and so great to spend time with good company. Thanks again Holly for showing me around - I really loved it and I am still dreaming of that wool shop. Perfection.
Next up from my trip - wedding time! Yay for weddings. Yay for weddings in really old buildings. Yay for weddings in really old buildings with horses and sheep and goats running around. Yay for...no - stop - I'm too tired and I am beginning to annoy myself.
Over and out.