I see the connection; the obvious teachers of Australian construction workers: the English. The houses are of the same poorly insulated quality. In Australia it almost makes sense, the southern parts of the country are only cold for a couple of months every year and the northern don’t even get cold at all. But England is a cold country, so to have single glass windows is a big mistake. Not that the walls are much better insulated. The heaters don’t work and even when they do there’s so much heat that’s wasted because it can’t be contained in the house.
Other than that I shouldn’t complain, the architecture of the old school English houses is really cool. One of the best things about travel is when you walk around in a new city and you realise that architecture is different all over the world, at least the older buildings. It gives each place it’s own atmosphere, it’s own soul and it speaks to you, the lonely traveller on the road. It tells a story of a city that once stood as the capital of the world. The center of a huge empire that spanned the globe. In fact, Sweden is one of only 22 countries that has never been invaded by England. A statistic that bears witness to the true global scale of this crumbling empire.
I suppose it’s easy for me, being Scandinavian and all, we build houses to stand through an ice cold wolf-winter, the last winter before the end of days, before Ragnarök. We don’t need to house millions upon millions from all over the world (although our population has passed the 9 million mark and is approaching 10 in the next 5 years or so if I remember correctly). Also, we get virtually free heating as we burn all our rubbish and convert it into heating. Some things just make me proud to be Swedish, other things not so much. Like our most recent hollowing out of the freedom of speech. Our politicians can reach an agreement on that, but when it comes to the most basic things for how to run the country they stand divided, or apparently so. It’s a sandbox, a farce, it’s a big fat joke and most people have invested too much of themselves in the joke, thinking it’s real, to start laughing. It’s embarrassing really.
But I digress, it’s too strong a tendency when you’re sitting cold by the window, wearing a beanie and scarf inside the house, looking out at the grey sky of London with a runny nose and a sore throat. I’ll be fine, it’s just the common cold. After walking 20-30 kilometres in the past couple of days I think I will take this day as a day of rest, go to Camden Market, have a cup of coffee and study my course. Maybe even pick up a souvenir for that special someone. London has been great so far, although quite cold, inside and outside.
I will definitely come back to this city in the warmer time of the year. But for now this is all you will hear, just a quick update from the road.
Beppe Karlsson, London