Friday, 13 June 2003

Ally Pally

One of the pleasures of living in North London is being able to visit Alexandra Palace after work. I can see the palace from my office window and longingly look out during sunny days. Yesterday evening was lovely so Bails and I decided to go up to Ally Pally for a drink (it has a pub which has a huge beer garden with an amazing view over the hill and across London).

The only thing that I always forget when I'm looking at Ally Pally from afar is what it is actually like when you get there. I always forget there are lots of couples there. I always forget that carboys hang out there. I always forget that huge extended family groups go there. However, the view is lovely and you get to be outside.

We slunk past the guys sitting in their car with the doors open watching the entrance of the pub (they weren't looking at the same view as us...viewing totty instead). Its like being at the seaside - there are always those people who drive their car up to the seafront, have their sandwiches looking at the beach from the car and then go home again, even if it isn't raining. I don't understand the never-get-out-of-the-car thing. Theres grass there, benches, a beer, sunshine and you drive all the way up there only to sit in the car listening to the radio without even buying a drink. Still I think their minds are on something else. Ally Pally is also the only place I know (I'm sure there are others though) where large numbers of people 'park' in the American sense of the word. Ever spent the evening out and on the way home don't want to get there too soon so drive the car up to the viewing point to look at the stars? Well the carpark at Ally Pally by the ice rink is ideal for this activity. Needless to say, you won't be the first ones there, you probably won't want to get too close to the car you are parking next to (incase they feel overlooked - the windows may be steamed up but you never know what their reaction may be), and you will probably be the only couple looking at the stars. And the code of conduct is like the one governing men peeing at urinals - DON'T LOOK AT YOUR NEIGHBOURS.

Bails has a thing about joggers - hates them, can't understand why they are doing this, ususally crawling along, often damaging their knees and other joints, why aren't they running on the grass rather than through the beer garden? We saw plenty, including some powerwalkers (see picture above - sadly I was being incompetent and didn't release the shutter until they had almost walked out of the frame -- how simple can a point and click be?).

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