Sunday, 25 August 2013

When in Rome...

Where do city-dwellers - accidental or otherwise - holiday? Since I left the dim lights of the rural Midlands for the allure of London I have found myself drawn to other cities for my vacations, unable to bear the thought of life (albeit life taken at a relaxed holiday pace) without a plethora of dining options, culture on tap and no need to hire a car and drive anywhere.  London has spoilt me.  Not for me are the package deals for two weeks spent in towering hotels that could house entire Eastern European national populations.  The thought of a pool surrounded by lumps of ever-reddening skin swigging free neon-coloured cocktails from the open bar brings me out in hives.  I once tried - and failed miserably - at doing a beach holiday. Sure, I could read a book on the sand for a couple of hours but then what?  More of that? Well ok then, I guess I could take it until lunchtime.  But when I discovered the plan was to repeat for a further six days, I had to give up.  I found myself a bus, and got the hell off the beach and into the nearest big town - where I found streets to wander, cafes to sit in, spaces to write and read that were blissfully free of sand. I was much happier. This was my kind of holiday.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

In defence of bloggers

Sometimes we get a bad press, us bloggers. Just this week the queen of shock-pop, Lady Gaga, slammed the apparently homogenous group of 'bloggers' after her latest unreleased single found its way into the hands of the public via the internet. Sure, she wasn't blaming our little group of keyboard-tappers for the leak itself. And what I think she was targetting one particular blogger who has been totally loathsome to many people over the years, rather than every person with a Wordpress account. But she joined a long list of journalists, writers, artists, reviewers and many others who have spoken out to renounce and diminish the value and skill of those who produce written and visual material on the web, self-publishing thoughts, new concepts, and a multitude of viewpoints and personal experiences.  

"What do bloggers know? They're just amateurs. Pah! They're just wannabe commentators and writers."  
"Bloggers are self-absorbed narcissists who think everything they say is of great importance. They're deluded." 
"Any idiot with a laptop can publicly comment on things they know nothing about these days." 
"Blogging is for socially inept losers and computer geeks with no friends."  

These criticisms have been around as long as the practice of blogging, and are probably familiar to most of us.  But, et tu, Gaga?

The Accidental Londoner on Instagram

I gave up on Facebook sometime ago.  I found myself wasting time flicking through the timelines of 'friends' I barely knew, and finding myself asking whether I truly needed to know whether an ex-colleague had a long day at work (frankly, who hadn't?!), and wondering why I still read the accounts of shopping trips relayed by someone with whom I went to school a hundred years ago which made me want to scream with boredom.  So I bailed and deactivated my account.  And guess what, I don't miss it at all.

But I do love a pretty picture.  And I don't really mind if people want to share a simple - SINGLE - photo of the cool thing that just arrived in the post or what they had for lunch...I just don't want a detailed description of each ingredient in your "OMG most amazing sandwich EVA!".

So the Accidental Londoner is now on Instagram, sharing photos of favourite London-y things and fun finds around the city.  And there may well be a few random shots from around the world too.  Come follow, and let's swap artfully sepia-ed but slightly blurry pictures of burgers and sunsets and cats!  Yes, there may be the odd snap of a feline lodger or two.  You have been warned...


Find me here: http://instagram.com/accidentallondoner

Instagram

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Accidental Visits: London's lesser-known museums

South Kensington is on the destination checklist of almost every tourist who wants to visit a museum in London. Even many of those of us who live in the city have a fondness for the area and its cluster of museums. The Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and, my personal favourite, the Victoria & Albert Museum line Cromwell and Exhibition Roads in Knightsbridge, providing education and cultural enlightenment mere yards from that equally-famed shrine to extortionate spending, Harrods. And whilst these museums may be some of the biggest and most popular, London has a whole host of smaller, lesser-known museums, which offer an equally fascinating way to pass an afternoon. 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

So what brings you here?

I struggle to define my blog at the best of times. Does my content lean more towards 'lifestyle' or 'culture'?  Is it a travel blog? What is the Accidental Londoner actually about? Who is it written for? What can people learn from it? From time to time I check my site analytics, and discover just what search terms people were using when they stumbled upon the Accidental Londoner. And then I feel even more confused about which particular corner of the internet my blog occupies...

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