Westfield shopping centre

westfield1Shepherd’s Bush, London (transport details here).
Not even in my younger, more shopping friendly days would I have expected to be blown away by a shopping centre. But when I visited Westfield London last Tuesday, I have to confess to being pretty gobsmacked. Not by the shops, mind you. I didn’t even enter one (I was simply making my way home from a meeting at the BBC* and had to walk through it to get to Shepherd’s Bush Overground station). But the place itself. It’s huge. And I don’t mean a lot of stores, I mean everything about it is huge. The walkways are really wide. The shop fronts are really high. The whole thing is about one and a half times as big as you’d expect it to be. Huge. And there’s touchscreen maps to tell you not only where things are, but how to get there. And digital advertising poster sites. And sofas to sit on when you’re knackered. Not seats, or benches, but sofas. And huge chandaliers and glass roofs and everything. It’s like ‘Shopping Centre meets Star Trek’. And in my book anything ‘…meets Star Trek’ has got to be good.
(4/5 But might lose its shine when it’s full of actual shoppers)
* darling


Brompton Cemetery

Tuesday 8th January, 8.46 (Open during daylight hours)
There’s always something a little strange about cemeteries, particularly old ones. My morning walk to work gives me the option of heading through Brompton cemetery and it still surprises me, even after 9 or so months, how relaxing a place I find it. Perhaps it’s simply the fact that it’s one of the few quiet places in London at that fairly unpleasant hour of the morning, but perhaps it’s something more fundamental. Perhaps it’s about being reminded that you’re not the first person to have to deal with the vagueries of life and its inevitable end.
(4/5 Walk In Peace)