3 Things I’m Doing With My Life over the Strikes

Now that the snow has kindly left London behind and the floods of the Big Thaw have calmed, I’ve been able to start doing some of the things I’d planned to do over the strike period. You can only sit in and read so much before the walls start to close in and you feel more like a prisoner of your room than a resident of it. Thankfully, I’ve been able to escape such domestic confines often recently, in ways I’ll list for you now.

 

1) Going book shopping (actual book shopping)

I appreciate online browsing and shopping like most other people, and it definitely serves a particular function – I’ve been trying to track down a certain patterned jumper I spotted as a gift and thanks to online clothes stores and lookbooks, I’ve learnt that it’s only available in Peru. Suppose I know where my next holiday abroad will be at least.

Merely being in a real bookstore, however, has a different feel to it. Not only does it have that added sense of security in that you can handle the product before you buy, the location brings a pleasant atmosphere also – it’s a place where you’re allowed to search for what you like, a literary sandbox. There’s the bonus of being around people as well. As much as I like my own space, even I need to just exist around others every now and then, and I’m sure you’ll agree that Amazon’s reviews section is not the sort of company anybody wants to keep.

I’m talking about books specifically, but after writing this I’m certain this could apply to any other hobby-related shopping, like clothes or jewellery. This was just my personal angle.

 

2) Getting lost in a park

London brings a pretty harsh shift for those from rural areas. I’m not suggesting people in the countryside haven’t seen a city before, it’s more having to live in one. It’s a very radical change, which is why tracking down London’s green areas is a sound idea.

I’d passed through a couple of London’s parks before – Regent’s Park is a shortish Tube ride from KCL, if you’re up for a wander – however I’d yet to really explore one, that is until the strikes started. It was a nice change, and a good reminder that you don’t always have to be working or moving or buying stuff in London. You can be watching squirrels (or other people’s dogs, which there are plenty of) instead.

I didn’t actually get lost, by the way. There are plenty of maps around the locations, and everybody has maps on their phones anyway.

 

3) Becoming cultured (well, making a start anyway)

I know, I’m an Arts student living in London who didn’t immediately rush to the dozens of great art destinations in the city. I’m disappointed in me too.

Joking aside, it really did take me too long to visit the libraries, museums and galleries of the capital. There are plenty of free exhibitions and events, and they aren’t as full of stereotypical art snobs as you might believe they are (there are a couple now and then, but these places are large enough to avoid them if that sort of thing irritates you). I blamed the snow for keeping me inside at the start of this piece, however I did visit the British Library during the worst of the snowfall, so I suppose I shouldn’t have complained.

 

Of course, you should be working over the strike period as well, yet you can’t produce your best thinking if you’re stuck inside all the time. Make sure you get outside, there’s some good stuff to do.