People of Britain, I am on a mission. A mission to explore London on a very tight budget. Any idiot can enjoy London with a generous wage, and with enough time to enjoy it. But most of us who live here have neither.
My marvellous friend Zim and I got to discussing this one day, as we went to Greenwich on the boat from Westminster, taking in the sunshine and the blurb from the boatmen. “If you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life,” quoted the boatman.
“You should write about that!” said Zim. “You could explore London. Everyone always says they know London, but you can’t. Its too big. It’s unknowable. But you could try. read Time Out, explore all the mad things that no-one knows about. And write it down. Call it ‘Tired of London, tired of life’. It’s brilliant!”
I gave this a lot of thought. At first, I thought of all the reasons I couldn’t do it. Not enough time, not enough money, and I’m far too busy. It turned out that somebody already has a blog called ‘Tired of London.’ When I found this out, I was quite crushed. But there was something about the idea that wouldn’t quite leave me. I have been wanting something to distract me from the lack of time, money and so on, and make writing fun again. A blog could do that. The idea bounced quietly around my head, and yet nothing happened.
Then one day, completely by accident, I came across a Time Out book called ‘A thousand things to do in London for under a tenner.’ Inspiration landed. Why couldn’t I do the thousand things, and blog about it? Find out the funny little bits of history around the things, and write them down, ideally in an interesting and funny manner. Suddenly I had a mission. I promptly lost the book. I found out that there was a new edition (1000 things to do in London – more recent, but more expensive things to do). I bought both, realising that there was enough duplication of things to do in each book to enable me to pick and choose between them a bit. I’m willing to go to one city farm, or one non league football match but not seven of each. So I came up with the following rules to guide me on my way:
- The thing should be in one of the 1000 things to do in London books, or at a stretch the Time Out book of London Walks.
- Nothing should cost more than £10, and most things should be much less or free;
- I actually do have to do or see the things to be able to write about them (backed by suitable research if necessary following the visit).
So that’s the mission. 1000 things to do in London for a tenner or less, blogged. Want to come?