26 December, 2010

E1 memories

I wanted to write a post about some of the things I don't want to forget. This post is going to be a 'dear diary' post.
I was just talking to KK the other day (who by the way is expecting a baby in March - yay!) and could not recall the area in which most of my friends in London stay. 3 years since I moved out of London and I was never good with names in the first place. I was in London in September 2010 and I did get lost inside tube stations and had to resign myself to reading the noticeboards (such a tourist-y thing to do).
Back to the topic, this post is about my stay in London. My closest friends stayed next to Tower Hill station - zone 1 - but right on the other end of the circle line from my high street Kensington flat. There was a communal garden on the first floor which was the scene of a few summer parties and some a lot of random wine drinking.
My birthday was celebrated there - number 26 - I wanted to go home and sleep and was wondering why all my banker friends who had to be in office (much) earlier than me kept hanging around for no apparent reason. I realised soon after that  there was a cake to be cut which happened only at midnight.
There was a flat in the Pump house mews which was vacated only recently by its distinguished occupants now   happily multiplying in Wimbledon. This flat was just under two minutes away from this garden. I remember one completely mad party at this house - once when the hosts were respectably drunk even before the first guest arrived. I made a fool of myself at this party (quite happily if I might add), insulted one or two people and then fell asleep only to wake up a few hours later still wanting to rejoin the party, which had moved out into another flat in the same complex.
Most of my weekends were spent here in E1 in 2005. I  honed my cooking skills here - scrambled eggs and omelettes and chicken were cooked and devoured with great tenacity here. I am just an average cook, but my friends made me feel like a chef (in substantial measure because of the fact that I was happy to cook). Because of my hostel upbringing, I used to see things between friends in a very tit-for-tat manner. Every exchange had to be equal or it would be resented. However, I saw that people were extra nice in London - not only to me, but to each other as well. I was taken care off and it felt nice. Taking care of young men  boys meant having patience for untidy and unruly behaviour, an ability to cook a lot of food and watch it being gulped down and constant leg-pulling and so on... doing all this every weekend and sometimes even during the week showed a depth of character much beyond what is encountered in some of the 24 year olds I meet today. I had lucked out. .
Summer in London meant long walks longer sit-ins at parks. The park in front of my flat in Camden, Hyde park, Green park, Greenwich, Battersea park - none were spared. There were long meandering walks - a few of which ended in the Beer garden (not so) near Sloane Sq. station which served huge pitchers of LI Tea (made in about 15 seconds flat).
I remember having dinner at the Masala Zones and experimenting with places like Andrew Edmunds. I remember listening to unending cribs about the rain and the cold and equally nonstop stories about the fun during the summer. 
I remember watching a movie called Polar Express when 3 out of 4 of us were asleep and a musical called Les Miserables (2 out of 4 here too). Movies which fared better included Sarkar (with 'angel' written on Katrina Kaif's T-shirt who appeared wearing this for a milisecond but was long enough for two of us to spot it and agree on the words) and Swades (We loved Gayatri Joshi and the songs were touching).

*I need to report a few strange dreams (with one particularly abstract dream just after watching black swan) but am going to park that for now