Log in

No account? Create an account


Skyberries and Voidmelons or Voidberries and Skymelons

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

I.(c) From Westminster Cathedral to Wanstead Flats

I decided to attempt bus challenge I.(c) again - get on the first bus that comes along, then get off after n stops, and then get on the next bus that comes along and get off after n stops, and so on.

I have done this challenge before, and decided to use the same conditions I have three times before: My start point is opposite Westminster Cathedral in London, and n is set to be 9.

24 to Hampstead Heath

Westminster Cathedral - Westminster City Hall - New Scotland Yard - Westminster Abbey - Westminster Station / Parliament Square - Horse Guards Parade - Trafalgar Square / Charing Cross Station - Leicester Square Station - Cambridge Circus - Denmark Street

The first bus I get on is the 24 to Hampstead Heath.

I see a Jamie's Italian, yet to open and a Curzon showing Mad Max, and a woman carrying a tray with two cups of coffee on it. (Or is it soup?) She is carrying the tray really slowly as the cups are full to the top and she's trying not to spill them.

The man who sits in front of me on the bus reads a magazine that has adverts for pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

"Super power your day," an advert on a bus stop says.

"WiFi here," yellow text on a black phone box proclaims.

I see the duck tour bus just around the corner from my bus. An amphibious vehicle! I would like to go on it sometime.

I can see people having their photos taken with policemen. I can also see people inside red phoneboxes having their photos taken, and not actually using the phones.

A group of children all wearing red caps walks by.

The bus goes past Downing Street and there are 4 policemen there guarding the street.

I see people wearing lurid green rain jackets, and I see children wearing blue and white neckerchiefs, and I presume they are scouts or similar.

I see a woman photographing a pigeon.

There are police helmets for sale for £2.00 on a stall, and "I heart London" t-shirts.

Horse drawn carts go past and hold up the traffic.

I see the reflection of the bus I am on and on the side it says, "Malaysia endless celebrations". I watch my reflection write and that looks weird.

"There's a massive traffic jam in Whitehall," the woman who was sat next to me but has now moved seats says into her phone.

I look at a creature on the side of a building that could be a seahorse, with the head of a horse and the tail of a fish. Or maybe it's a merhorse.

The bus passes the Lord Moon of the Mall pub and then we're at Trafalgar Square.

The Mall is blocked off and there are the Queen's Guards marching, so it must be the Changing of the Guard. I remember watching the Changing of the Guard when I was a Brownie and stood inside the gates at Buckingham Palace in the light rain. I was more excited to visit the Girlguiding shop afterwards and purchase erasers really.

The fourth plinth has the horse skeleton on it. I count at least 6 shiny floating statues at Trafalgar Square.

"End austerity now," a sticker on a phonebox says.

I see a man on a ladder chipping off coloured tiles in Just Falafel.

I see a t-shirt with a bulldog and the word, "selfie".

When I reached stop number 9, which was Denmark Street, I found myself standing outside Foyles. It was then that I realised the 24 was the first bus I got on when I attempted this challenge last year also!

19 to Finsbury Park Station

Denmark Street - Tottenham Court Road Station - Museum Street for British Museum - Bloomsbury Square for Holborn Station - Red Lion Square - Gray's Inn Road - Rosebery Avenue - Mount Pleasant - Tysoe Street - Hardwick Street

By Tottenham Court Road Station:

I catch a glimpse of the BT Tower.

"Sandals for superwomen," it says on one bus. Another is pink with pieces of popcorn on it.

As we go past Red Lion Square, I think about how I was here a few weeks ago for the Boring Conference.

I see chairs floating inside a shop.

Stop number 9 is Hardwick Street and then I wander to Exmouth Market to find some lunch.

There is a war memorial statue of an angel nearby in a little park, and she has many pigeons standing on her arms.

38 to Clapton Pond

Hardwick Street - Sadlers Wells Theatre - St John Street/Goswell Road - Angel Station - Islington Green - Packington Street - Cross Street - Essex Road Station - Northchurch Road - Ockendon Road

The bus goes past Islington Green which is where I went for the Silverpoint finale. I remember a woman asking me where to catch a bus and not realising that was part of the game.

I see a shop called "Past caring".

A yellow 38 goes past with popcorn on it.

I see Russ and Lyndsey walking past, and that's weird, to see people that I recognise.

56 to Whipps Cross

Ockendon Road - Mildmay Park / Southgate Road - Culford Road - Kingsland High Street - Dalston Lane / Dalston Junction Station - Graham Road - Cecilia Road / Greenacre Court - Hackney Downs Station - Pembury Road / Downs Park Road - Clapton Pond

I see signs on shops - "God first beauty salon" and "Lady Glitter", and I see a sign that says "Welcome to the borough of Hackney".

I watch a woman touch a billboard advertising a new development. Maybe she's pointing at it to the man she is with and saying, "that could be us!" or maybe she has noticed something weird about the sign and is pointing it out.

A person wearing a t-shirt that says, "Void" surrounded by a heart walks past (this design: Void Heart Tee), and then a person wearing a t-shirt that says "Bigfoot Hide & Seek Champion" (this design: Bigfoot tee) also walks past.

The 56 was the only bus serving that stop, so I had no option but to get on the next one.

56 to Whipps Cross

Clapton Pond - Lea Bridge Roundabout - Lea Bright Road / Upper Clapton Road - Wattisfield Road - Chatsworth Road - Lee Valley Ice Centre - Lee Valley Riding Centre - Argall Way - Perth Road - Emmanuel Parish Church

I see the Clapton Pond and the Clapton Internet Cafe.

"Girls, you can't trust them," a man says into his phone.

I see someone go past on some sort of self-balancing electric unicycle.

The bus stops outside a B&Q.

55 to Leyton, Bakers Arms

Emmanuel Parish Church - Markhouse Road - Rochdale Road - Shortlands Road - High Road Leyton, Bakers Arms - Leyton Green - Leyton, Bakers Arms

I see a shop called "The only way is flowers".

The bus terminates, so I have to get off before 9 stops are up.

69 to Canning Town

Leyton, Bakers Arms - Colchester Road - Leyton Midland Road Station - Leyton Sports Ground - Vicarage Road - Grange Park Road - Buckingham Road - Leyton High Road - Leyton Station - Millais Road

I see a poster in a newsagents for a "Traditional Unfair".

"Are we there yet?" a little girl asks repeatedly. "Are we there yet?"

I see a funfair.

I see the Carnival shop which looks so colourful and a tapas restaurant that has a big bunch of plastic black grapes hanging above it, blowing in the breeze.

"What's your name?" the little girl's mum asks. "Yes," the little girl says, and her mum laughs.

58 to East Ham, Central Park

Millais Road - Drapers Field - Edith Road - Burgess Road - Steele Road - Selby Road - Buxton School - Cobbold Road - Wanstead Flats - Sidney Road

"FOREST", it says on a bridge.

When I get off at Sidney Road, I am surprised to find there are lots of birds and some ponds. I go for a walk then, around Wanstead Flats. It is a sunny day and I see bright yellow gorse, grass, trees, and Canadian geese, and I am glad that the buses brought me here.

A sign says, "Wanstead Flats is the most southerly part of the Epping Forest. This once waterlogged and boggy area has been almost treeless since the 12th century when the Abbots of Stratford grazed large flocks of sheep here. In the late 1800s the land was drained, levelled and sown with grass by the Corporation of London who acquired the Forest in 1878."

Wanstead Flats



58 to East Ham, Central Park

Sidney Road - Talbot Street - Bignold Road - Wanstead Park Station - Forest Gate Station - Romford Road - St Dunstan's Road - Oakdale Road - Plashet Road

When I get off the bus at Plashet Road, it feels so busy compared to my walk around Wanstead Flats. I look in shop windows at colourful sarees.

330 to Canning Town

Plashet Road - Upton Park Station - Queens Market - Upton Park / Boleyn - New City Road - Plaistow / Prince Regent Lane - Plaistow Police Station - Balaam Street for Balaam Leisure Centre - Chargeable Lane - Croydon Road

"Don't kill your wife, let us do it," a sign oddly says:

Don't kill your wife

It was an advert for a launderette.

The bus goes past West Ham United football ground.

I wonder if Balaam Street is really Balsam Street. Chargeable Lane is also an interesting name.

300 to Canning Town

Croydon Road - Stokeby Road - Hermit Road - Rathbone Market - Canning Town Station

The bus terminates at Canning Town Station and it is then that I decide to end my bus trips and instead get on some trains.

"Alright baby girl," a man says to me as I enter the station.

Google Map of the route I took. (The last two buses are in a combined route as I ran out of layers on the Google Map.)

Maps from previous years: June 2014, June 2013, March 2014.

  • 1
That launderette sign is amazing. I wonder if there used to be a second tier on top that said "Laundry" or something.

Balaam is a biblical name. There's a Scottish band called Balaam and the Angel, and people used to make jokes about Balham and the Angel, Islington.

I was thinking about balsam, as in Russell Hoban's Amaryllis Night and Day as the book starts with the main character waiting at a bus stop that has a sign that says "balsamic" and then searches in his A to Z for anything balsamic, but there was nothing. Hmm.. the bus in the book was made from sheets of yellow, orange and pink pasted together, so the buses I saw that were pink and yellow were certainly getting closer to this!

(Deleted comment)
Thank you. :) Mostly, I swing between hating London (too expensive, everyone lives far away as London is so large, etc) and loving London (so much to see and do!)

Wow amazing! *is tempted to try the challenge*

You should try it- it's quite fun!

  • 1