London with Maureen


I might as well live in London.  I was down yet again yesterday (Sunday) with my great cousin, Maureen.  I adore spending time with her.  But it had worked out with my final year of university that meeting up was put on hold.  A final push, and my degree was complete.  Summer came, and summer went – well, I am hanging on for a bit, but even so for some reason I did not get round to contacting her to meet.  Why ever not?!

On Friday I went down to London with Mum and Ray (blog soon) and had a superb day.  That night, just as I was about to go asleep I noticed a tweet about Open House London.  I remember reading about this about six months ago and thinking how wonderful it was.  Amidst my dissertation deadline looming, I placed ‘Open House London’ in my calendar.  About four weeks ago, I read I had to enter a ballot in order to go to events on Open House, such as one which I entered for 10 Downing Street.  I did not get tickets and had then managed to mingle the general Open House events (of which there are lots) and these sort-after venues in which a ballot took place.

As soon as I was up and about on Saturday, I telephoned Maureen to ask her if she wanted to join me in London on that very day.  It was very spontaneous, perhaps even too spontaneous.  Open House London is open annually on the third weekend of each year so ‘Or Sunday’, I suggested.  Maureen said she would call me back within an hour and let me know.  Half an hour later the phone rang and she said exclaimed, ‘What was I thinking, of course I want to come!’.

Possessions laid out on bed

Maureen came to meet me at St. Pancras.  What a pianist behind us!

Click for full size image.

Underground to Bank and then a little walk to the Bank of England.  As we approached the bank, we saw it snaked around one side of the building, then another, and then another!  Maureen and I were chatting away and time passed.  After a while, Maureen went to get herself a coffee and me a hot chocolate.  I saved our place and got talking to a girl behind called Amy, I think.  We were chatting and then her friend came back from the coffee shop too.  Then Maureen came back.  We were all having a lovely chat!  Then Amy said she had been wanting to talk to us for ages as she heard me and Maureen chitchatting away.  I was chuffed at hearing that!  We were in the queue for two and a half hours!  Ahh, but I can now say I had a tour of the Bank of England hidden from the public eye for the rest of the year.  I saw where Mark Carney, the governor sits and makes all of his important decisions.

An Italian guy who had been on three Open Houses before, Amy’s friend, Amy, me, and Maureen

A selfie inside the Bank of England before the start of the tour.

Me lifting a gold bullion

After spending so long in the queue for the Bank of England, I thought it was a good idea to go somewhere a bit off the beat and track and maybe not as popular.  I wanted to go to see a private lived in residence called Hidden House.  Near Shepherd’s Bush, this mews is splendid.  Look!

Hidden House

To see the full album, with a photo of every room look here.  Hidden House is an architectural delight, especially for an eco-warrior, like me.  The car outside was electric, the house was heated in an eco-friendly manner by hot air (somehow), it and the house was powered by the railway line, which ran behind it as trains went by, and had solar panels as well as a recycling system for the rain and bath/shower water.  I loved it.  I massively thank the residents of the house for putting not just their house but their home on show to thousands and thousands of people!

Me and Maureen on the dance floor in the house

Me making myself at home in the lowered seating area

An electric car.  Love, love, love.

After queueing for hours, but getting to look at some gems, Maureen and I have a Bryon Burger near the BBC Broadcasting House.

Having a lovely Byron Burger

As always, I loved London and had a superb day.  Thank you Maureen.


Here’s the information sheet for the Hidden House if you are interested.

Hidden house information sheet

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