Sunday September 10, 2000
14.06 BST


At last, yesterday i walked to the centre of London. About to go by tube, but a sudden change of mind and i just started walking. I didn't look at the map, its hard to get lost here. Going by tube only gives a fragmented idea of London, and i wanted to stitch it all together. Only covered the area from Liverpool Street to Piccadilly, and that took me about 4 hours. Through Barbican, Islington, Clerkenwell, Holborn, Covent Garden, Soho and Bloomsbury in a big circle. I like the normal streets, the not spectacular moments, very ordinary views of this city. Halfway i felt disoriented, i knew i had to head west and south, but i ended up more north than i expected. I like that feeling, walking on impulse, simply because something looks nice, meanwhile trying to figure out where i am. And all that time looking around, seeing all the different houses, shops, little parks along the way, peeking through little alleyways and seeing a playground stucked away. And then suddenly i was on Covent Garden, and i started to recognize where i was. Exactly the same spot i was this thursday, at a Design Council meeting on Bow Street, opposite the Opera House in Covent Garden.

I did want to go shopping for clothes, but when i finally got in the centre, i was too tired to get into that. I did find the third book from the Hamilton triology though, The Naked God. Reading is replacing tv watching right now. I also bought one of those creditcard holder form Muji, a slick aluminium box. And i did find Oddbins, where they did have Belgian beer. Sadly no Duvel, but i bought some Leffe beer, which is good enough for now.


Right now i'm sitting at home (yeah, it feels like that), on the topfloor, listening to the sounds of the market outside. There is a chance i might stay here, Oven is gonna change the arrangement, which means this appartement will become available. That would be perfect for me, i like this place, close to work and Liverpool Street Station. And i wouldn't need to move, and get used to a new place again. In a moment, i should get something to eat for tonight, and see if there is anyone in the office. Just to check my email and upload this page.


I wanted to write more, about being here, about how i miss dutch, the little jokes, the way you play around with words. I knew it was going to be difficult, but knowing that doesn't make it easier. Still, this is the best thing i've ever done in my life (apart from switching from Chemistry Technology to Industrial Design after 2 weeks when i was 18 - boy, did i feel miserable there). I've never been much of a traveler, but this is different, its nice to live somewhere else, get to know a place thoroughly. I'm even beginning to imagine how it would be to live here for several years, or maybe the rest of my life. I don't know, but its all open. And i like that. Its nice to have more places in the world where you feel at home.

Right, i'm getting hungry, and i want to go outside and walk in the sunshine.

lfs,
Ellen


16.22 BST

Aah, just sepnd an hour reading the internet, follwing all the links from alt0169.com. I miss that in the weekends. I went to the organic foodstore as well, just to check out what they've got. Bought a fruit and nut bar. nice. Also bought a bottle of Ame, a sort of fruit drink, not too sweet. Gonna ask for a key to the office this week, will be great to be sure i can get in during the weekdn whenever i want to. The door was closed when i came (almost an hour ago), but i called to see if there was anybody there. I'm getting used to my mobile phone, i've held it of for a long time, didn't have one in Rotterdam. But here its ofcourse the only logical thing to do, especially with looking for a house. But its also nice to call up friends and family. Yesterday i called my eldest sister, Marja, and had a long talk (pfff, 23 minutes is almost 10 pounds). Today i called my other sister, Jenneke, cuz its her birthday. Think i'll be going back for a weekend soon, maybe in two weeks time. Will be so strange to be back, but at the same time very normal. The fun part is that i'll get to stay with friends, looking forward to that!

Well, nothing else from here. I do try to work on some presents, but i need some more time to get stabilized. I do have ideas, but i'm so used to working from my own place, and its not the same doing it here at work. But its a good feeling writing, making pictures, and enjoy exploring London.

wishing you well,
Ellen


Barbican






Old Street






Islington







Piccadilly



Kings Way



Holborn



A book, the paper, a bagel (hoummous with paprika), New York Cheddar cheese crisps, a creditcard holder from Muji, granola bar from Starbucks and in the fridge downstairs Leffe blond.