Monday evening. I’m staying in a part of London where I am surrounded by the haunts of my ancestors.

Arrived in London about 1pm and took the tube to the digs in Islington. On my way I passed the street where the family of my paternal grandmother lived – though not much remains from 1911. It was nice though, thinking about walking down the same streets they used to.

This is where I’m staying. It reminds me of the Tate Modern. I think the chimney is a remnant of the site’s industrial past. At the street front you walk through a gatehouse and Victorian building that used to be the public baths. The baths were also probably used by my family!

It’s fabulous inside.

I want one! The apartment has two bedrooms, a bathroom and an en-suite, so I’m spoiled for choice.

Nice view from the balcony.

Then I headed for Oxford Street in search of a nice lightweight trans-seasonal jacket. Success!

My trip to Hampstead Heath was not as straightforward as I hoped. I took the tube to Highbury-Islington only to discover that the overground railway to Hampstead Heath is closed during May for upgrading works! Luckily they had a shuttle bus to make up for it. The bus actually took me past another London ancestral haunt – Camden Town. We actually took the bus up Bayham Street where my Nan Shillington was probably born – they certainly lived there in 1911 when she was two years old.

This is just outside Hampstead Heath Station.

Look – I’m in the middle of a city of 14 million people!

Hampstead Heath is massive and very poorly signposted, so I got lost in search of the Parliament Hill. I was determined to find it though.

I thought I must be close when I glimpsed the city, but no.

A few more wrong turns and I eventually spotted this.

Surely I must be close!

Yes! Very hard to point out all the landmarks here – though right in the centre you might be able to make out the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral. Spent a good deal of time taking everything in. Back in Hampstead there was half an hour until the next shuttle bus back, so I just hopped on a bus going into town figuring I’d reach a connecting train somewhere. As it happened the bus took me through St Pancras, where more ancestors lived, right past the ancient St Pancras Old Church (a place of worship since 315 AD) where grandparents were married. Made it back home safely.

The Greek restaurant where I was hoping to eat this evening was closed unfortunately, and my extensive walks along Seven Sisters and Holloway Roads prove to me that there are not a lot of great places to eat around here. Plenty of betting shops and kebab takeaways though.

That’s all for now. Goodnight all!

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