Monday, 14 April 2008

East London Sightseeing

Last night I was fortunate to visit one of London’s iconic music venues – Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. Since 1965 the Frith Street club has seen some of the top names in international music grace its stage. Last night was the turn of a homegrown talent from a British reality TV show in the form of Mr Will Young. This is not a name one usually associates with jazz but as special guest of the Vanguard Big Band, Will certainly held his own. If he hasn’t already done so, Will Young showed once and for all that the British public do know what they are doing when it comes to talent show voting!

Living outside of London can make travelling home late at night a little difficult. My good friend who gave me the ticket as a birthday gift lives in London so I decided I would drive rather than incur the late night trains alone. Ordinarily I wouldn’t consider doing this as parking is expensive and, during the week, the congestion charge is effective in persuading me to leave my car in the driveway! So, despite my warning to you all not to drive in London on Sunday, I set off in my little car with my little Sally-Sat-Nav for company.

I don’t entirely understand how this satellite navigation system works but I am assuming it knows the best route to take, the places to avoid and the roads that are closed for maintenance or any other reason. If this is the case then I fully understand why my 45 minute journey took 2 hours and 5 minutes! But if it is not that clever then why on earth did I drive through parts of London I never knew existed? Why did it tell me to turn left three times and, each time, need to recalculate the route when I had done as it told me? When I waited at traffic lights with the brightly lit boards of Piccadilly Circus on my left and Eros straight ahead, why did Sally-Sat-Nav suddenly decide she didn’t know where we were, leaving me to guess my next move?

I know it is several years since I have driven to or through London and I know that some roads may have changed. I also know it was not the best day of the year to drive in the capital on account of thousands of stray runners still attempting to complete the London Marathon. BUT… 2 hours 5 minutes for a 45 minute journey?! In future I will do it the old fashioned way and plan my route using a map before I leave home!

On the bright side, if anyone wants a rundown on the sights of East London - including every type of takeaway food outlet you can imagine - then drop me a line!

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