Empty coffee shops

Coffee shops are giving me a shipwreck vibe right now. That strange eeriness of a thing that was once full of life and now silent. Nothing more than an empty shell, everything inside abandoned in a hurry.

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I have bought coffee in here twice since moving to Old Street, it is smack bang in the middle of what is only a five minute walk to work. But it always looked busy and the staff in there were genuine and really friendly. It is a shame to see it currently closed. The leaves sprouting from the tree outside are the only signs of hope, with the concrete seats designed to look like pillows as empty as the streets around it.

One thing I did notice is the unique shape of the building, I am usually walking underneath it so it hasn’t caught my eye before. Crossing the road to get a full shot I could see the zig-zag/ crooked pattern of the whole building. The apartments look nice. If you can’t have a garden right now a balcony will certainly do.

I have neither, but a walk to and from work makes up for that a little.

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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Thank you for your help!

Just a quick thank you to everyone that has been reading my blog posts recently. I love engaging with you all everyday and seeing how you have been doing, especially during this lockdown.

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Also thank you to those that have followed me on Instagram, I can’t be taking too many photos whilst this pandemic spreads but I will do once we are able to explore again. It will be worth the click, I swear. I have also changed my profile photo over there to the one above, as I really like it and it seems many of you do too. It is a little brighter than the previous one as I am no longer in Edinburgh I felt I needed a change!

Regarding this post, I am still responding to some comments and will get in touch with some of you to see if a joint post will be possible. I have a couple of posts in progress and I am very excited to share them with you from fellow bloggers around the world. And as I said I hope to do more of this moving forward.

Please accept my apologies that some of my responses are a couple days late, but on work days it is very difficult unless I do this at work. I am literally out all day. Tomorrow is my last day of four though so I have four days off to catch up, get some new and exciting blog posts our there and maybe some more photos if I can find another scenic walk.

But thank you again for all your support on my blog, I really appreciate the love and spend so much of my free time here because of this. You have really helped me keep going all these years.

Stay safe, and I will speak to you all soon 🙂

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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Are you a key worker?

How many of you in the WordPress community are currently key workers? This isn’t strictly limited to health and emergency workers, I’m talking anyone that cannot work from home. Nurses and doctors, police officers, bus drivers, delivery drivers, bin collectors, security guards, taxi drivers… there is a big list of jobs that qualify.

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I ask because I am thinking of doing some posts inspired by those that have to travel to work right now. Learning about life in lockdown for someone that still has to roam the quieter streets and occupy buildings other than their home. On my travels in recent years I have been able to meet people in so many different industries, and I loved sitting down and sharing experiences. There is something fascinating about having a conversation with someone that has a completely different daily routine to yourself. Two worlds colliding and a quick glimpse of another way of life. In fact, I have been speaking to a couple of people that have agreed to share their stories and I am looking forward to posting them, hopefully this week.

It is something different for my blog, I can only ramble on about my life for so long before the same daily walks become all I talk about! I am going to try and find ways to share stories from readers of my blog (both key workers and those of you working/blogging from home) as so many of you have fascinating stories from around the world. And I will of course continue to share my experiences in London throughout this lockdown.

I wonder what the percentage is, I assume the majority of you are working from home? It is also interesting to consider whether the number of blog posts from key workers is higher with the opportunity to blog outside the home, or if working from home (or simply staying home if unemployed/retired/not able to work) is forcing bloggers to keep being creative and putting out blog posts regularly?

Let me know, and I will see you in the comments!

Sam

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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I took an even bigger walk today (lots more photos)

Today is my last day off work, and with that I wanted to make the most of it. I am only working four days and off for another four, but still. The 13 hour shifts take up the whole day and give me little to do other than have breakfast and grab a bite before bed.

So I headed to Victoria Park, a huge park east up the canal from my location. I started in the same area as I did in my previous canal post and began walking… It took me little over half an hour to get there. I took my winter coat in case of any rain, thankfully there wasn’t any.

Spotify playlist: Kerrang Rock Songs of the 00’s. I was feeling nostalgic.

And Ruled by Secrecy Matt, I thought you would like to know.

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The walk is just as entertaining as the park itself, with plenty to see along the canal. And although I didn’t show you this last time, LOTS of graffiti. I like it though, it adds plenty of colour. You will see this throughout the post.

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So this is where the taxi’s hibernate when they aren’t needed…

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And this pub looks like it’s been closed since the last pandemic… just kidding, it could be lovely inside for all I know. I don’t want to be banned in case I ever try it out.

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I made it to Victoria Park. Admittedly I didn’t know exactly how to get to it, but because of how big it is on the map I just knew I would end up close. I found this entrance with a dog statue, according to Look Up London these are replicas of 2nd Century Roman dog statues that can be found in the British Museum.

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All benches were covered in tape with signs telling people not to use. These were accompanied by spray painted instructions on the ground to ‘Keep Left’ at a distance of 2 meters. I imagine Banksy was given the task of inspiring London to stick to the rules in this instance.

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Now this park is huge. Not on the same scale as Hyde Park but more than enough to do one lap and get a good bit of exercise in. Here are some of my favourite shots from the walk, showing some of the parks highlights and due to the restrictions, closed off areas.

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Shouldn’t you be inside, human?!

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You see the hooped object just under the crane in the above shot? I didn’t know I walked that far, but this is the ArcelorMittal Orbit, a 114.5m tall sculpture in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. As I am sure many Premier League fans are aware, London Stadium is now being used by West Ham United.

The group in the picture spent their time shouting at potential groups gathering and being too close to one another. I assume this, as I heard one use the megaphone below whilst walking in the direction of the Shard.

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To give you a reference point, this is the map of London showing Victoria Park as well as London Stadium, The Shard and Canary Wharf.

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One Canada Square in Canary Wharf is the second tallest building in the United Kingdom, with a distinctive pyramid roof. It can be seen (faintly) in the distance behind all the buildings in the below shot.

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Police officers were present, some walking, some on bikes and some on horseback. I spotted an ambulance at one entrance too.

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aaand the walk back home.

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I hope you liked the shots!! Oh, and reading this post counts as your one session of daily exercise.

Just so you know 😉

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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Normality is temporary

You never know how quickly ‘normality’ can change. Literally overnight. And before long that normality is looked back on with fascination.

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The pub you can see above is The Hung Drawn and Quartered, not too far from the Tower of London. This was a punishment given to Guy Fawkes for his crimes, at the time not too wild. Then one day the death penalty was abolished and now we look back in horror at how immoral this punishment was. The only thing between normality and insanity is time.

But on a much smaller and less brutal scale, I wanted to share the last of my winter pictures in one post. A time when crowds were the normality I speak of, and after just a few weeks of isolation how strange it looks now.

How strange it will be to get back to this normality.

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Police stopping traffic and pedestrians as someone leaves Buckingham Palace, before biking off and the rush continues.

Football fans flying into London for an away game, meeting in their masses at Piccadilly Circus. How outrageous would this meeting be right now?!

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A beautiful sight nevertheless. Seeing groups of tourists learning about the area and finally being allowed to travel again. In a way this lockdown helps me to appreciate what can easily be taken for granted. Basic freedoms of movement for example. However it also reminds me that just because these are taken away doesn’t mean we aren’t free, although I have seen some people suggest this is the case. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices to help us move forward. Taking a step back is sometimes the quickest way forward. And I am taking this time to see what I am missing about ‘normality’. Not with anger, but with appreciation for what we have waiting for us again.

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Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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Exploring my little corner of London

I don’t walk daily, although I should. I do some basic exercises in the flat and pop to the shops every few days, but rarely do I take a stroll around my neighbourhood. I guess this is why I felt less guilty about doing so today and seeing a few people along the way.

From a distance of course.

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I am lucky enough to live near a canal (big city problems), it is pretty relaxing to walk along the water with the occasional houseboat sailing by. Despite being right in the heart of London this little area is an oasis of calm away from the traffic, the tranquility even more apparent right now. With hardly any cars crossing the bridges overhead and just a few people on the paths below, I headed down.

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But just before I did I had a little walk around the streets. As soon as I crossed the bridge I walked up to some new build apartments, and walking along these streets I wondered how much the houses cost here. Some older than others and all terraced however I know they mustn’t be cheap. The kind you would see in a movie based in London, with railings lining the pavement and steps leading up to the front door.

The classic red postboxes on the corner, too. However these are dotted all around London and the whole country.

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It is sad to see pubs like this closed down. They have been a place to meet and for hundreds of years and all of a sudden it has came to a sudden stop. Tables are put up, doors are locked and owners cross their fingers hoping that they can open the doors again someday.

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When the pubs are closed on a weekday evening it definitely has an apocalyptic feel.

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But where humans are absent nature still thrives. I don’t want to be the person giving it the ‘humans are the virus!’ and all that, instead I prefer to celebrate both humanity and the nature around us. Yes we can sometimes make it difficult to love our own species but we have lots to celebrate. And hopefully we will be celebrating together again soon.

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But back to the canal. I would be lying if I didn’t say it had quite a few people along the walkways, but not enough to put me off. Everyone was good at giving space and cyclists ringing their bells to warn me of them approaching. It was quiet enough for me to stop a few times on route and take some shots to share with you, and the weather was great too.

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I took a seat for a moment and gazed down the water, I noticed that on my armrest someone placed a sticker there. It was in the shape of an iPhone with a fake screen. Curiosity got the better of me and I read it…

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Clearly a shopkeeper wasn’t happy with two girls being noisy in a store and refused to sell them alcohol, so the girls decided to take action and tell the world. No one should be refused a sale of course under such circumstances, but I do find it funny how the age and genders of all three were important in this story and were mentioned.

Justice for Erica!

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This is Shoreditch Park, right around the corner from where I live in Hackney. I didn’t realise how beautiful the views were from here. London’s skyline looks great and I can even see the Shard, despite it being over 2 miles away and over the river Thames!

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No wonder it seems like a popular place for exercise. And despite its popularity people were good at keeping a distance. It can easily look overcrowded from a distance, but it is a big park. If anything the canal was a bigger threat.

I wanted to share this beautiful skyline with you on a perfect day in London. I am pleased I went out for it and got back just in time for the weekly ‘clap for the NHS’, which is an organised applause at 8pm on Thursdays for those treating people during the pandemic. If anything it seems to be getting louder each week, and I am delighted about that.

So some good views and good news from today’s post!

Speak to you all soon.

 

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Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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When you hit that wall

Today has been one of my least productive to date in this lockdown, apart from getting my daily practice on duolingo in before lunch. I had one of those days in which I didn’t know where to start, and instead of focusing on something and remaining focused on that thing I just acted like a rabbit in the headlights and froze. Frustrating to say the least.

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I did however look at every one of your wonderful comments on yesterday’s post and responded today. I want to thank you all for taking your time to comment on it, even if I am a little envious of most of you! It is fascinating to learn about all the different languages spoken, and how many bloggers speak one, two, even three or more languages. It is damn impressive. I feel I am still learning my mother tongue.

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Today I slept in embarrassingly late too. So late I don’t even want to say until what time exactly! Not in this room though, my flatmate and I are currently celebrating having a spare room each to stretch our legs in which is really helping right now. We need space. Both spare rooms in the apartment have their own couch and table/chairs which is perfect for working in.

I must have needed the sleep though, but from what… all the sitting I’ve been doing?! I can hardly boast about tiring myself out with exercise. I did take a celebratory selfie once I got my camera charged and set up my new little office in the corner of the room though.

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But I will say I have been staring at a screen waaaay too much in the past month, so the more sleep I can get the better. It can’t be good for our eyes to be stuck in isolation… the TV, the computer, the phone all constantly flashing in front of our faces. I have been listening to podcasts with my eyes closed which is a little break I guess, and the odd walk to the shops for exercise is the best I can do to evade the technological temptation. Maybe madness has kicked in and is the reason I braved a couple of selfies recently, I’m not sure. But I aim to take more shots of me because I feel it makes the blog a little more personal. So I will try. I have evaded it for too long.

That is all for now, I hope you have all had a productive day. Speak soon!

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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How many languages do you speak?

I have been all over this app called duolingo the past week or so, I have decided to finally step up my language game and try to learn a new one. What better time learn than when stuck in quarantine? The free time shouldn’t be wasted.

I have decided on Portuguese (I will explain my choice in a moment) and although just getting through the basics it is very fun so far.

I can confidently tell Portuguese speakers that I am not a shark but I do eat bread.

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I always felt that learning a new language would be amazing, I just have never got round to actually starting. And I never knew what language to choose. But when I travelled around Brazil in 2016 with friends from SĂŁo Paulo, I learned the very basics and thought it would be nice to keep the ball rolling. I didn’t keep the ball rolling. But I still wanted to learn and when I heard of this app I gave it a try.

It is a very convenient way to learn. I have been doing it daily in short bursts, and the thing with this is I don’t have to focus at certain times of the day in classes. I choose when and where I learn and this is a game changer for me, even if it takes me a little longer. I can imagine so many people are enjoying learning a new language in this way, the app states that more people are learning Irish around the world than there are native speakers.

I am not learning due to a career or for better career/financial prospects, more so because it sounds like an exciting challenge and it is great brain training. So thank you Brazil for helping me decide on a language to learn about. And similar to the US and UK variation of English, I would be interested to learn the differences between Brazilian-Portuguese and Portuguese-Portuguese.

I hope to keep it up. It’s like learning an instrument, real progress won’t happen overnight but with gradual steps. And I know a few of you do speak more than one language, I would love to know how many and what made you choose. If you only speak one, what one would you pick if you could?

Speak to you all soon! (in English for now).

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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I filmed a walk through London during lockdown (video in post)

Today I spent the afternoon chopping/editing some footage I collected on my GoPro on Saturday. It was a video of my walk to the shops that I posted about here. Usually this isn’t the most exciting thing to capture on film, but during a pandemic this might be footage I show to my grandkids in decades to come. I was going for groceries and made a couple of stops, so it was allowed.

I have marked Old Street on the map below, so you can get an idea of where I am in London. Very central on the border of the boroughs of Hackney and Islington. From my starting point I face south and head down beneath the roundabout, then turning west and coming back up onto Old Street Road. The whole walk pretty much takes place in the little highlighted circle below.

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At the start of the video I walk through Old Street Underground station, it is almost empty. Over 20 million people head through the ticket barriers annually, however in the video it looks more like an abandoned station. An announcement can be heard advising those that aren’t key workers to stay at home, and all the businesses that trade down there are closed. A simple message of Stay Home, Don’t Travel, Save Lives. A huge contrast to how it looked when I took this shot earlier in the year.

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I head a little further, you will notice I say a few words to those I engage with on the walk. Yes, I do speak sometimes!! For anyone curious as to what I sound like, here it is. I speak to two homeless people, a couple of shoppers and the shop assistants. One day I may do a video where I speak to viewers directly, however I am still way too shy for that. And also this video was made purely to document what London is currently like during this lockdown.

I hope you like the footage, it was filmed on a GoPro Hero 7 Silver in 4K. I am so new to uploading videos (this is only my second upload on my YouTube channel) I have no idea how to upload with the best quality. The same during editing. So this is practice more than anything… it isn’t as crisp right now, but maybe it is still processing. We shall see.

I thought this would be my blog post for today, a little insight as to where I live and what London life is currently like.

I hope you enjoy!

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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An escape from the flat

Thank you all for the love you have shown me in my last post, I appreciate it. I have just responded to the comments there and I feel so lucky to have this amazing WP community to engage with every single day. It is a blessing right now for all of us to be able to engage in isolation. We are lucky to have technology allowing us to communicate to each other across the world, what a fortunate time to be alive.

Yesterday I went to the shops. That really is an exciting story in 2020. I had to go to four in total as each one I went to didn’t have everything I needed. I needed mouthwash (currently sold out in supermarkets, so I had to visit the pharmacy), that was store one. Store two had no chopped tomatoes, but it did have turkey mince. Store three didn’t have chopped tomatoes either, but it did have straws that my flatmate asked me to get.

Also whilst I was buying flavoured teas I wanted to share this. Did you know that the company Twinings has this message on their packaging…

‘By appointment to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’

This is because Twinings supply goods to the Royal Family, and have done since the 1800’s. They have a shop over 300 years old in London that I will blog about when I can visit. A cool little fact I wanted to share with you all.

Store four was my little local shop that had everything. So far these smaller groceries have been the best for stock, most people emptying the supermarkets it seems. I got chopped tomatoes, passata and today made a banging chili. That will last me a few days until I have my next crazy adventure.

Just a little travel update, until the next…

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

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