London and the Brits – Observations

I had a quick trip to London this week and I have decided that London is almost unrecognizable to me these days. So much development work and a real shift in eating habits over the last 20-years means that I really am lost there.

I started my career as a Geologist with BP and after moving down from Aberdeen and a spell at the BP Research Center, I was moved to Britannic House – the tower block on the edge of the City of London. Being in the City, I retraced my steps from the Bank tube station as I would have walked to work some 20+ years ago and not only did I recognize very little but I couldn’t find Britannic House at all! I came home thinking it must have been demolished. A little bit of research this morning shows it was redeveloped and is now called CityPoint. No wonder I couldn’t find it as it looks nothing like the building I worked in. In fact, that whole area around the Barbican is a mess of new office blocks and is completely changed.

The Britannic House I recall.

The Britannic House I recall.

Back when I was working in and around the City (London Bridge, Shaftesbury Avenue included) lunch was a sandwich usually made as you waited in a small newsagents or similar. These days it seems to be all sushi and bento box, Pret a Manger and noodle and soup places. If you want a sandwich its Tesco’s or M&S. Coffee shops abound too. It’s rather nice actually to have a great choice of good food at reasonable prices.



In fact, London is a nice city. It has been dramatically improved over the years and while I know folk think Prague a nice place, its got nothing on London! Prague is smaller, less busy and easier to get around but if you want the big city – London has everything including history, architecture, excellent entertainment and dining…..

I’d almost move back except that, I’m sorry to say it but its true, the Brits have to be the whiniest people on the planet. Constantly moaning and complaining about everything from the weather to the Government. I think it comes from watching British TV as it seems to me that British news and documentaries are a constant stream of things you should be moaning about. It has become a real British cultural thing to moan about everything – very noticeable to an outsider or visitor. Maybe it was always that way and its me that’s changed having lived overseas these last 23-years…..

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