24 Hours in London:
One electrifying day with Jay…
Written Mirror Reporting For Duty…
Yes that’s right, double dipping for the week! This month you’re getting more of me whether you like it (You will) or not (Boooooo). Greetings and salutations Mirror Heads, meanwhile it’s a warm welcome to the newcomers. I promise to be gentle…
This Post Has Been In My Schedule…
For well over a year! Paola who is a very lovely and skilled Italian travel writer did 24 Hours in Roma (Rome) and she said to me, “Jay you’re a super cool Writer and you live in London; you ought to do 24 Hours in London.” Maybe not quite as complimentary as that, but it’s my memory okay! I will alter words as and when I see fit! If you want to check out Paola’s blog click here. You may need to translate the page if you’re not fluent in Italian, I’m sure it’s more than worth it nonetheless. Or check her out on Instagram its @_smartraveller
I Mentioned This Month’s Theme…
In the last post I told you that it’s all about 24! Full days and full insight. You wanted to know what it’s like being me and dammit you’re about to find out! This is 24 hours in London on the rare occasions I get time to myself. Let’s get to it!
The following takes place on a down time Saturday… *Bauer voice*
Saturday Morning 09:00 – 10:00
I’m up, fed and semi hydrated. Time to try and break some strings. I take my trusted Prince Rackets (Hey Prince if you’re reading this hook a brother up!) and my Sigg Bottles are filled to the brim with either water or my secret hydration recipe (Top secret) depending on how heavy Friday was. That’s a story for another time perhaps…
Out the door and in the whip! We outchea! I do a live video showing my glorious mug off to my online friends and family. We discuss the happenings of the week or weekend and I remark on the weather. I give very accurate readings on how hot or cold it is. Depending on what I’m wearing, you can dress according to my weather warning. One layer up if you like being warm and the same amount as me if you like being cool. I prefer being cool to hot.
In the spirit of full disclosure it’s the official Written Mirror Oxford Grey shorts and Rosé Pink Tee combination for the win! Can I just add they’re rather comfortable garments designed with love! Okay maybe that was a little corny; forgive me and check out the shop maybe? There’s a sale!
10:00 – 11:00, 11:00- 12:00 & 12:00 – 13:00
The air is fresh and the sun is teasing. Merton (the borough that Wimbledon is located in) has some really nice green areas but often accompanied by tragically inadequate tennis courts, ironic I know… However, the usual courts we play on at Joseph Hood Rec are being resurfaced (thank the heavens) so we’ve taken up residence at the lovely Cranleigh Lawn Tennis & Social Club.
13:00 – 14:00
Water finished and appetite to crush a ball sated. I get in and use my hard foam roller for 15 minutes. Now I need food, a shower and possibly a nap, but we all know I won’t sleep so forget that. Instead it’s time to hit the park. Not just any park…
14:00 – 15:00
The majestic Richmond Park, home of the Queen’s Deer. There is a lot of park to take in, as this mass of land is seemingly endless. Depending on which exit you take at you can be in an entirely different postcode from the one you entered in. It’s huge and for the most part scarcely populated. Also the deer are friendly, they’ll allow you to get as close as you need to.
15:00 – 16:00
I’ll take the scenic route home. I look at the architecture behind some very clever houses and a couple of the gated communities in the area. Then I’ll slide through the incomparable Wimbledon Village or I’ll sometimes take a quick pass through the All England Club. It always amazes me how little fuss is made about Wimbledon outside of tennis season. Not complaining as there’s more for me to enjoy.
I may even go past the Thai Buddhist temple for good measure. I’m not sure if that’s the same one Gordon Ramsay made struggle Pad Thai for but for the sake of entertainment I say it definitely is! Video here…
16:00 – 17:00
I’m home and parked. However, this hasn’t even begun to become exciting yet. So it’s into the tube and off into central London. Don’t forget your water and headphones. This is necessary for your sanity. Where in central? Tower Hill to be exact. My favourite of all the bridges in London, Tower Bridge is mainly what attracts me to the area and not so much the historic Tower of London. If you’re lucky you get to see the bridge make way for a boat to pass.
This is usually when I head into St Katherine’s docks and the nearby market to fill my eyes with rare and beautiful things. This is a delightful area to stretch your legs in. I walk around and then head through my detour that takes from under the bridge to neighbouring London Bridge. The architecture on display from the various vantage points is incredibly picturesque. The Monument is within a stones throw away as are various museums and bars to keep one occupied.
17:00 – 18:00 & 18:00 – 19:00
The day is still young but it’s time to refuel. The tallest building in England aka The Shard is in plain view and it might be a great idea to catch the sunset from it’s summit. To call it breath-taking certainly is not even close to hyperbole.
19:00 – 20:00
It’s getting darker by the minute but still there’s so much of London we haven’t explored. The embankment is lovely at this time and most of all it’s free to see. Bars in the area get packed so be sure you don’t have crowd anxiety or other proximity issues before entering.
20:00 – 21:00
I know what you’re thinking, what about Camden and Shoreditch etc. Well, here’s my response to Shoreditch. Whenever I have gone to this area, if it isn’t a majority Black inhabited event, I’ve been treated like s*@t. Just the other day I was at Old Street Records and had the honour of being accused of sipping my short poured drink because that’s apparently, “What all you people do”…
Needless to say a lot of reparations need to be made for me to ever willingly spend money in a place that treats me like something beneath a shoe. As an aside, I tried leaving an honest review on TripAdvisor and it got ‘flagged’ I guess calling ‘racism’ you know, racism is not in the T’s and C’s…
I have no issue with Camden other than it closes pretty damn early. Why am I traipsing all the way up to North West London just to be home by 00:30. Jokers! Slight exaggeration but it does close early.
21:00 – 22:00
I’m all centralled out; it’s time to introduce you to the ultimate right of passage. Morley’s in Brixton! Yes I said it! Don’t come to London and think you can try and go around Brixton. Pay the proper respect and eat some Morley’s! You have lovely food in the area so all fun and jokes aside come down and catch a proper drink or eat some decent food, heck even combine the two. Brixton is tame as anything these days, so provided you’re on your P’s and Q’s you shouldn’t get eaten…
22:00 – 23:00
I have to show love to my neck of the woods so perhaps it’s a quick dip into Clapham. More bars, more food and some pretty wild ravers. Revs! You have to time your exit just right before the ambulances get called to pump stomachs and other commotion takes place. Oh and the mad rush for sustenance.
23:00 – 00:00
Balham aka the genesis! This is where I spent the early years of my life, every now and then I slide through this area. Exhibit is the multi-faceted venue of choice. Bar/Restaurant/Cinema/Private Hire Club and Terrace. Sometimes there’s a party going on upstairs I pretend to be a part of ha-ha! Terrace settings as Balham begins to wind down. Quality!
00:00 – 01:00
210! Yes that’s right Tooting is the next stop. Play Pool; enjoy desserts or any of a vast array of foods. Tooting is often jokingly referred to as, ‘The fruit & veg capital of South London’. However, it is also building a nice reputation for very good food and rustic bars. Dare I say it’s becoming the Camden of South London, or is that too far?
I don’t know, between Brixton and Tooting things have changed a lot over the years and none of it resembles what I knew growing up and depending on how you look at things that’s either good or bad…
I will most likely run into a friend with a group of friends and my plans to go for a long walk home get scuppered. So it’s wherever the wind blows now. Tooting is peaking at this point and bars will be closing soon. McDonalds’ bright lights are like a beacon for those who can’t be bothered to cross the road and check what the Colonel is cooking. I want neither although I do have a craving for hot wings and chips for some odd reason. Must resist…
02:00 – 03:00
Oh wow! How did these hot wings get here? Also where did Mickey D’s fries come from? What sort of witchcraft is this? So now are prime casino hours! Edgware road is where my luck is magnified to peak levels. Just like Charles when he uses Cerebro. Besides it’s someone else driving for once! We pass through Battersea and intersect the majestic trinity of Bridges namely: Albert, Chelsea and Battersea. Cutting through the famous Kings Road and ‘backdooring’ through most of the nonsense to get to Edgware Road sharpish.
I am a little annoyed not at the speed of the journey, but at bypassing Chelsea Barracks and Embankment, Sloan Square and the absolutely stunning super cars with obligatory foreign number plates you normally see passing the high value retail stores around Knightsbridge. We miss the ultimate test of patience and car control aka roundabout of death at Hype Park Corner. Mayfair and all the monopoly landmarks completely avoided. This is a most inelegant route! Thumbs down from me!
03:00 – 04:00
I’m up a quid or two and my friends are a bit jealous. Either that or they’re actively trying to egg me on to betting it all on red. I resist and they stop chiming in as the next roll comes in as 24 Black. As the Black man with the ‘24 theme’, I collect my winnings and take that as a polite sign to get on out of here.
04:00 – 05:00
Food is a big part of sustaining a long haul day like this. So it’s off to the home of 24 hour dining aka VQ! You want dinner at breakfast time? No problem! You want dessert at lunchtime? No problem! How about breakfast at dinnertime? Did you hear me? No problem! Anything you want any time you want!
I must be honest I haven’t really been to a VQ ever since I heard about surprise beef (no pun intended) between public figures. Aint nobody got time for that!
Yum! That was neat! Now it’s off to find a decent spot to catch the sunrise. I’m thinking Twickenham by the Thames for the win! Besides we’re not far from there and there’s no point going to sleep now!
Sunrise complete! It’s time to retire home. This time I voice my concerns about the route. The A3 home would just be lifeless, quick but lifeless. So we take the scenic route. Sheen, Roehampton, Putney not Wandsworth nothing to see there! Southfields, Wimbledon Village and then home!
06:00 – 07:00 & 07:00 – 08:00
A lovely Matcha Latte, which I froth myself and it’s on the old desk to storm through some pages. I may be here a while. I play some binaural beats or movie OST’s in the background. Cars are starting to pass by and the sun is magnificent. I probably need to power down but not before I finish this article…
I close Final Draft and get the Apple News Channel going. This Writers life isn’t easy and it’s very easy to get addicted to the fun seeking part of the experience. I might not go outside for a week just from the guilt alone! Ha-ha I commit 100% to whatever I do. If it’s going out let’s go out! Writing the same and yet I can never get 100% into sleeping. So I’m going to leave this post an hour early and get some sleep. I’ll order brunch in from my winnings later!
08:00 – 09:00
You have reached J A Y unfortunately he must not be disturbed during this phase of his recharge cycle. Kindly leave a mention on the Written Mirror Twitter/Instagram (@writtenmirror), or on the contact form right here on the Written Mirror website.