“Just a few meanderings and musings about London…”
Face Value and Flight Path have a lot of London locations. Today I went and had a proper close-up look at some of them for the first time in quite a while. I also took in a whole bunch of other London sights. Nothing to do with books, but it prompted a small list of things that have struck me since being back in town:
- Lots of people still smoke.
- Lots and lots of people use those vapour stick things.
- There are a lot of foreign workers. Now… this is not an anti-immigration statement. It is just an observation that in cafes, restaurants, hotels and pubs there are a lot of Eastern Europeans, Italians and other nationalities working. In case you still think this is a negative comment, it really isn’t. There are some notable positives from the situation:
- Tourists in cafes and hotels can now be fairly confident someone on the staff will speak their language. (That alone is a HUGE boon for UK tourism). No longer will visitors get shouted at to speak English. In the “Great British Fish & Chip Shop” in Leicester Square I heard Italian, Spanish, Russian and one unidentified language. The customers being addressed were relaxed and happy.
- Most hospitality jobs are filled with people keen to have them and keen to do a good job. Standards of service are way better than they used to be.
- Give them a generation and the UK will have a whole new middle class 🙂
- London Underground Transport staff are plentiful, happy, polite and really, really helpful. Fantastic.
- Technology on display in the streets is quite innovative. Hologram greeters and video adverts are beginning to make the place look like a sci-fi movie.
- Standard of TV has crashed. Seriously, with the exception of a couple of good dramas, what on earth are you doing to it? Maybe it was always like that and I just never got to see daytime TV?
- There are lots of ladies with accordions and little dogs on street corners. Is there a factory production line churning them out?
- There are a lot less McDonald’s restaurants than there used to be.
- There are a lot more Union flags on buildings and generally on show.
- Oyster cards are cool.
Ian Andrew is the author of the alternative history novel A Time To Every Purpose, the detective thrillers Face Value and Flight Path and the Little Book of Silly Rhymes & Odd Verses. All are available in e-book and paperback. Follow him on social media: