London Diaries 2 – Sunday 6th January 2019 (Pt. 2 – The West End)

For Part 1, click here. I’ll wait.

Have you ever seen something that’s just totally blown your mind and made you question everything you thought you knew?

In between Christmas and New Year, I was looking at Google Maps (because that’s how I spend my free time. Dontcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?), and I noticed Charing Cross Road. I’ve been to Charing Cross Road in the past, to go to Foyles, and Tin Pan Alley (Denmark Street), but for some unknown reason, I’ve spent the past year being completely oblivious about it connecting Tottenham Court Road underground station and China Town. Instead, every time we’ve finished taking photographs for the day, but really wanted to go to Primark at Tottenham Court Road, we have walked this clockwise route as seen on my excellent illustration below:

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PJ and I have walked literally thousands of unnecessary steps over the past twelve months because WE WERE TOO DAFT TO LOOK AT A MAP. Well, no more. It’s 2019, and things are changing. So, we got on the tube at Liverpool Street and took the Central Line to Tottenham Court Road.

Charing Cross Road

After about five minutes’ walk, amidst much exasperated swearing upon realising that Google Map wasn’t lying, we arrived at China Town. Charing Cross Road itself also provided some decent photo opportunities too.

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Above and below: Two very different ways of wearing headphones…

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We could almost be back in Shoreditch with this street art. Although I pushed the shutter button because of her decision to dress entirely head to toe in red. She means it. I admire that.

 

China Town

You can tell when I’m completely “in the zone” because I keep my camera in one orientation.

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I was a little concerned that we had made a mistake leaving the East End, considering how awesome the morning had been, but I needn’t have worried. Brick Lane had been relatively quiet compared to previous trips, but China Town was heaving with people.

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Google Maps had also told me of the existence of a French Roman Catholic Church in China Town, which was too bizarre for me to compute, but we found that too, nestled between a cinema and a casino. We wandered in, and sure enough, everything was in French. It’s so strange that I can visit somewhere so frequently, and still know very little about the place.

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Leicester Square

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As the wonderful @mahnyi would say: She was there. As always.

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It was the last day of the Christmas Market in Leicester Square. We’re definitely. “Christmas-marketed” out after our many trips in November and December, so we didn’t wander in, although we were tempted to go and see Santa and ask if he could assist us to become rich and famous photographers by next Christmas.

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We always wander into Leicester Square, mainly to use the relatively clean toilets in the McDonalds there. You can have that bit of information for free. Decent toilets can also be found in Liberty if you’re in the Carnaby Street area. But NEVER go to the ones in Primark at Tottenham Court Road. You have been forewarned.

Back into China Town

Because we were slightly ahead of schedule, as we’d eaten at Liverpool Street station earlier than planned, we went back for more.

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Above: I don’t know why he started miming when he saw my camera. Maybe he was supposed to be working, and was trying to blag it, in case his boss saw my photograph.

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Another thing I’m pretty ignorant about is the Moon Festival. There seems to always be banners up in China Town wishing everybody a Happy Moon Festival. I’m not sure if this is a permanent event, or they just can’t be bothered to take the signs down.

 

The walk to Oxford Circus tube station, via Carnaby Street

I photographed quite a few dogs around London today, but none were as ridiculously cute as this one. They say that owners and dogs start to look alike. I hope that’s not true, because my dog is a living, breathing tumbleweed.

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He seemed super surprised that I took his photograph, despite the fact that he was wearing that hat.

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I went all cliche for this photograph. I think Central Cinema is photographed almost as frequently as that steamy window at Beijing Dumpling in China Town.

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I don’t know where they were heading, but it’s important to note that these people had taken the time to glue Haribo shapes to their shiny crowns, so it must’ve been somewhere important.

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This is probably my favourite photograph I took all day. I love capturing genuine, spontaneous emotion in people. I wonder if there’s a man somewhere in the world who could make me smile like that? Knowing my luck, he’d probably be gay.

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I also really love this photograph. I often wonder whether or not the people that I capture know how beautiful they are.

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And finally…

This:

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I really intend to do awesome things this year. I don’t think I’ve started a new year so full of optimism for quite a while. Even this lingering flu isn’t getting me down as much as it’s trying to. PJ and I aren’t heading into London together until Sunday 20th January, which is also the day of @ashsmithone and my street photography workshop. There’s still places available, so check out all the information here, and drop me a message if you have any questions or would like to book.

I’m heading into London next Wednesday, but I’m considering focussing on film photography only that day. My roll of Dubblefilm Sunstroke still has 21 exposures left, and there’s not a lot of local “things” I fancy photographing and paying to develop. I’m sure there’ll be more Coffee Thoughts blogs in the meantime though, and plenty of Instagram posts. Until next time,

Love from London x

8 thoughts on “London Diaries 2 – Sunday 6th January 2019 (Pt. 2 – The West End)

  1. “In between Christmas and New Year, I was looking at Google Maps (because that’s how I spend my free time. Dontcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?)”

    You got me at very beginning 😂😂😂 such an enjoyable reading and a lot of very good shots.

  2. As always Kate I love your light hearted yet slightly serious narrative….and your photo’s aren’t bad either 😘. Smashed it yet again. You’re quickly becoming one of my favourite photographers…..and writers!
    Looking forward to the next instalment 😀

    Insta: jamesrayres

  3. That was a really enjoyable read and I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for the next one!, Thanks ms for the tip about the dumpling to, been wanting a clichéd steamy window shot for awhile now. Hope you get everything you’re hoping for this year 🙂

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