Life Here's a cautionary tale about planning ahead and checking destination details. Yesterday was my monthly visit to London. The day in summary: Abbey Road (see below), 221b Baker Street, Notting Hill for Portobello Road and the book shop from the film Notting Hill, what remains of BBC Television Centre, Westfield shopping centre and Brick Lane. Find above my evening meal, the most expensive burger they have on the menu at Ed's Easy Diner back at Euston Station. The NUS extra alumni card allows you to get 50% off food. I shall not be eating properly again for a week.
To Abbey Road and the chance to visit a Beatles landmark that isn't in Liverpool and experience what it must be like for tourists to take the bus out to Penny Lane and discover with some disappointment that it's just a suburban street (and that the lyrics of the song are really describing the bottom end of Church Road and the junction with Smithdown Road). As expected Abbey Road is just a suburban street. Nevertheless it's still exciting to see an iconic cultural landmark. I'll get to the Tower of London eventually.
After a glance at the tube map, it seemed logical that Abbey Road, home of the zebra crossing on The Beatles album cover and the recording studio would be next to the DLR station called Abbey Road. I was even quite proud that I managed to work out a route from Euston which meant I didn't need to repeat my DLR journey from last month and mostly utilise the Northern Line instead. On the way there I began listen to album itself and was full of excitement as I skipped up the steps from the platform the station only to be confronted with this:
Stop giggling Londoners. No actually don't. It was my own fault. On the upside TfL are kind enough to provide this punning sign knowing full well that there are enough stupid people in the world who (a) have looked at the actual album cover thought this suburban area would be anywhere near dockland and indeed that all of the musicians would actually travel out to the Dockland to work and so (b) made this journey.
After adding an extra hour's travel time there and back again, I did eventually make it to Abbey Road turning the corner just as the final track of the album, The End reached its conclusion a coincidence you could just plan. This was my first listen right the way through and although it's enjoyable for the most part, it mirrors most pop records in that its obvious to see why those songs were chosen for singles.
The Studios own website have a CCTV camera set up so its possible to see yourself cross the road and so here's the back of me dodging traffic:
There's a lot of traffic dodging, a constant stream of tourists to the spot and most of them, at some point, walk into the middle of the zebra crossing to create the pose made famous in the publicity campaign for the last series of Doctor Who. After watching the mess of honking horns and near death photography for a while, a tourist couple asked me to take their photograph, which I obliged, standing in the middle of the road just long enough for them to get into the position. Then they offered to do the same:
No, I have no idea either. Or who she is. But that's rather the problem. Everyone wants to have their picture taken alone but there are too many people so you end up with shots like these. But enjoy my normcore and scruffy hair nonetheless.
The crossing works in reverse to how its supposed to. The traffic doesn't stop until someone is actually walking across it. Presumably if the cards actually stopped and waited for people to cross or get their picture taken as per every other zebra crossing, they'd be there a very long time.