I spent a pleasant Boxing Day at one of my favourite walking spots in London: Wimbledon Common which is like a little forest haven hidden away in the corner of South London. Weather was on the mild side, made even more agreeable by the sun peeking out on numerous occasions.
Wimbledon Village is ‘quaint’: not only does it boast the Common, but there are boutique shops including Comptoir des Cotonniers, Cath Kidston, Jigsaw and Hobbs; restaurants and cafes; and smart pubs. I wasn’t alone in heading for this green space as there were quite a few families enjoying the Monday-that-felt-like-a-Sunday Boxing Day walkabout. But I didn’t mind. Here I could still disappear in private solitude and reflect on wherever my thoughts flew, including plans for the coming year. To quote William Wordsworth:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills…
Travel highlights of 2016 were Beirut, Lebanon; Amman, Jordan; and Zadar, Croatia. On my wish list for 2017 are Asia and Asia Pacific.
Music I’ve enjoyed this year (not necessarily produced in 2016):
Love+War (album) by Kwabs – I’m a bit late to the party on this one, but who cares?
Making Time and Mirrorwriting (albums) by Jamie Woon.
The Best of Earl Klugh – laid back lounge jazz and I love it.
Feel So Close (single) by Calvin Harris
Breaking the Rules (single) by Jack Savoretti – appeals to my adventurous side.
Rodrigo: Concerto de Aranjuez by Xuefei Yang
In Christ Alone (album) by Keith and Kristyn Getty
2016 Anthem – Fighter by Christina Aguilera
I’ve been reading a few books on writing this year and these included On Writing Well by William Zinsser; and Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clarke.
I often pass by this steel band orchestra in Croydon High Street, usually at the weekends. I think they’re great, and I defy you not to shake your shoulders in time to their sunny music. I like that it’s a mixed group – agewise and ethnically. You can find their website here.
If you’re looking for a work hub with 24/7 access, check out WeWork. These co-working/office spaces are building a reputation for themselves. They are located in a growing list of cities that include London, New York City, Buenos Aires, Sydney and Hong Kong.
I took these photos at their cheese and wine happy hour at the London Paddington branch on Thursday 8th December.
Last week I visited three locations, two in the suburbs just outside the City/Central London. The first was another happy stumble-upon – actually, I usually glance aside at it while jogging past. Start Up Croydon is a co-working and business centre near Wandle Park and next to the tram station.
Aesthetically it’s airy, pleasantly modern and a good working space for the freelancer/business owner. It offers services a freelancer would expect such as broadband, meeting rooms and kitchen facilities. It also hosts business seminars and breakfast mornings. The hub compares favourably with others I’ve seen, and I hope it does well, as it’s a welcome service to the area. Start Up Croydon opens right through to Saturday.
Start Up Croydon is in the Weatherill House Business Centre, New South Quarter, 23 Whitestone Way, Croydon CR0 4WF
For more information visit their website here
I’ve written about the British Library in previous posts, but down the road is the lesser known St Pancras library, for those looking for a place to work around Kings Cross. Near the Google building in St Pancras Square, its colourful seats and wide tables make it a good spot, and there’s also a café on the ground floor. For a break and change of scene, or after work relaxation, there are bars and restaurants to hand, including Notes which serves craft coffees and beers.
Finally – there are the Interchange Atrium and Interchange Triangle co-working spaces in Camden Town, part of the Nomad workspace group. Please don’t be deceived by the photos: Interchange Atrium is a lot bigger than you think and, in my opinion, more impressive, while you can work with a view over London at Interchange Triangle, its sister building down the road. This is an en-pointe work hub in the middle of seriously cool, bustling trendy modern markets (the Atrium is in the Stable Yard market, the Triangle in Camden Lock market).
Step outside and lunch is immediately served: wafts of garlic and seasonal mixed cinnamon spices in wine; brightly coloured curries and tacos swirled about in huge woks and cauldrons; crafted jewellery and clothes – these are just some of the scents and sights, made complete by the waterway running through Camden Lock. And that’s not to mention the myriad of eateries and things to do in Camden Town itself.
Check out these and other work spaces offered through Nomad here