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Monday, March 21, 2005 

At Last!

Friday was that first spring day, where when you leave in the morning everything is still dead, but it's so warm and sunny all day that when you depart from work, a new season is suddenly upon the city and life actually managed to bloom in the space of eight hours. One of my favorite days of the year!

Spring Blooms

Sleeping Around

Southwark in the Sun

Drinking in SE1

And that last picture brings me to Strange Thing #29: You are allowed to drink outside. There appears to be no public drinking laws whatsoever.

This is legal is parts of the US, New Orleans and Savannah to name a few, but not to the excess that it's sanctioned here. Here you can walk into a pub, get your glass pint, and then leave and stroll off. There doesn't seem to be a set area that you have to stay within. Nope, just wander off where ever you please. The banks of the Thames was covered in empty beer mugs as I walked home Friday. Just set your glass down when you're finished I guess.

Not just this either, I remember one of my first nights out a bunch of kids queued up for tube tickets, chugging directly out of a bottle of wine. In broad daylight. I think they'd put you in cuffs in the states for something like that. I took part in it myself when a girl and I shared a Beck's on the way to the Pharmacy Ball. I felt like a SWAT team was going to come rappelling down the side of the train at any moment to arrest me. Such freedom.

The strangest thing of all is that is does not lead to total anarchy. People with glass in the streets? In the states we'd all have bloody fingers, get run over by cars, take to beating each other over the head with broken bottles, and lawsuits would abound. Here it's all taken in stride, and quite lovely, I must say.

Hey there - I stumbled on your blog via some since-forgotten path. Great to hear another Yank's version of life "over there". My Scotland-born and bred hubby and I plan to establish roots there eventually. A friend of ours went over 18 months ago and does nothing but whine and complain. So annoying. :)

Strange Thing #410....It doesn't look like there is much studying at the schools in London.


It is illegal to drink on the streets in some places, although this is the exception , not the rule. Actually, it's also illegal to take drinks out of a pub or bar unless they have a licence to sell drink for consumption off the premises or have an area of licensed seating outside. Reality is that the police ignore it all most of the time with the exception of the City of Westminster, who tire of pavements being full of drinkers, empty bottles and glasses in places like Soho in the summer months. Then, they, the police and bar owners will often ban drinkers from going outside or shuffle them behind some line either real or imagined. Often they will insist on plastic glasses too. Oh, occasionally it does turn into complete anarchy too. I've seen it happen. Another reason for the use of plastic glasses ion some locales.

In your last picture can just be seen (on the right hand side) a famous building. Have you seen Lock Stock by the way? At lot of the movie locations will seem familiar to you now...

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