Jul 2, 2013

Creative London: Making the Move. Part 2

The cost of subsistence in London, (especially in relation to the low-paid jobs many right-brainers do for game chips) is a decidedly pricier affair than in other cities. Add to this the fact that London is intensely overcrowded and resources are as outstretched as size 8 skinny jeans on an Oliphaunt

The Telegraph
In this mecca of the great indoors “hanging around” or “wandering” are redundant verbs with very low entertainment yield. The splendour of the private interior wears a considerable price tag, needless to say. 

Happily, as well as outrageous expenses there are bargains galore to be found in London! 

Keeping House:

Make your home an oasis of calm; Primark, Argos, and Ikea it for those fundamental household items and furniture. Have a rummage in charity shops and check out Gumtree and Freecycle for unclaimed treasure. 

Banksy/The Sun
Midnight Feasts: 

London supermarkets are remarkably affordable and open late. Morrisons were tip-top, but Tesco outstripped their contenders. Ignoring the dismal packaging (an improvement on the customary nuclear waste style branding I suppose), the Everyday Value Range is jaw-droppingly good value and yummy. Reliable staples include: peanut butter 62p, apple crumble 80p, 6 crumpets 37p, ketchup 18p, 10 scones 50p, 100g plain chocolate 30p, 200g smoked salmon £3.50, 24 pack wheat bics 94p, chips 82p, Country Store Broccoli, carrots & cauliflower £1.08p, 2ltr vanilla ice-cream 89p, sponge cake mix 22p, 12 pack variety crips 66p and various other goodies (perhaps stay away from the “beef” burgers…). A treasury of herbs and spices can be found in local convenience stores. Fruit shops and veggie stalls offer much in exchange for little. Superdrug and Tescos stock vitamins at a fraction of a cost -reportedly neither test their supplements on animals for bonus brownie points. 

Cuckoo Review/Enid Blyton Exhibition
Dress Up:

Primark, Deichman, Newlook, Topshop, Bershka , Pilot, Matalan, George, TK Maxx, Peackock’s, Asda, River Island, H&M, Miss Selfridges, Mango, Zara are viable budget clothing and footwear options in retailers’ Eden. Peruse the clothing stalls (found in most boroughs) for appetising shoes, boots and snugly winter jackets in particular. Most or all are in-season high street brands at less than half price –how it’s done or if it’s legal I don’t know! 

Making connections:  Internet and phone plan prices are awesome. Check out unlimited phone plans as usually (but not always) it is possible to use a phone to tether a computer.

Indian Travellers/Things to do in London

The English are great collectors and their cavernous Museums and Galleries are crammed with world-class art and unique collections. (Although claims to ownership of quite a few items are extremely dubious!) Pour over artifacts and be captivated at the resplendent British Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, The National Gallery, The Museum of London, The Tate Modern, The V&A and The Wallace Collection. General entry is free. 

Early Birds: 

In regards to tickets for shows it is best to book well in advance for a sniff of a decently priced ticket. In fact a good general rule in London is to book everything well in advance!

Play time: 

Leafy pockets of London lend themselves to lounging and picnicking: The rugged wilderness of Hampstead Heath is a balm for the soul. Wimbledon common, Chiswick House Gardens, Holland and Richmond park offer verdant enclaves to unwind. London Fields and Broadway Market is a popular hangout for lingering over beers and barbecues on lazy, hazy summer evenings. There are swimming ponds in Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath for the warm-blooded. 

Community Games: 

Produce an Ideas Store card or the equivalent and receive residents’ discounts at local venues. Library members also reap the benefits of an exceptionally well-stocked catalogue including a cache of guide books on London. Like many libraries world-wide free Internet is also available. 

In Tower Hamlets it was Films for a Fiver at Rich Mix including new releases. Further discounts were available at the local leisure centre, swimming pool and Spa London.

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