06 February, 2014

Raining: Cats and Dogs

By now, you have probably realised that living far from home is one of the most liberating and exciting experiences ever. However, it can also be overwhelming and strangely lonely. Especially on rainy days.

Having lived abroad, I understand how alienating and frustrating rainy days away from home are. What do you do when the wind has destroyed your umbrella, the tubes are striking and the weather is tempestuous?

Youtube videos of cats and dogs. Naturally.

Some of you may be missing your furry/feathered/hooved/scaled companions. It’s ok guys, I have compiled a list of places in the city to get your creature comforts.

  1.  City farms 

London is home to a myriad of sweet, free, easily accessible farms. There are even some riding schools too. I recommend Hackney City Farm; it has crazy eyed goats and chickens that wear flares. It even has a kiosk that sells Ribena (Kanye West’s non-alcoholic beverage of choice).

Soho is home to many odd places and people. One of my favourite crannies of this neighbourhood is the Society Club. An overpriced bookshop that sells espressos, caramel biscuits and G&Ts. Here, you will meet four very special canines: a chinny English bulldog, two lopsided chihuahuas and a one-eyed spaniel. The owner is more than happy for customers to play with them.

     3. Cats http://ladydinahs.com/

I feel like a bit of a fraud posting this- London’s first cat café is yet to open but watch this space! Rumour has it that it will open soon…

Pelicans! Have you seen one? They may not sound impressive but in the flesh they are huge and swagger around like royalty. There is a pelican community living in St James’ Park. I would highly recommend visiting them.

Peregrine Falcons! These avian gangsters can dive at a speed of 200 mph. They are one of the world’s fastest birds and guess where they nest? On the roof of Tate Modern. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, they also kill a lot of pigeons. Look to sky near the Tate and you may well spy them!

5.  London zoo - for cheapskates!

London zoo is expensive. Luckily, there are plenty of viewing spots around Regents Park where you get an excellent FREE view of the giraffes, reindeer and emus (rubbish ostriches). Regents Park is an excellent choice for a day out, whether to lurk about looking for wildlife, go jogging, or simply stroll through on the way to Camden Lock. The squirrels here are also very amusing and will run straight up your leg if you offer them chocolate or lipbalm (this actually happened to my dad).

London is an urban safari. Loiter around Tufnell Park after 8:00 and you will encounter a fox mafia. Piccadilly Circus Tube station is a prime location for rodent spotting. Go to Shoreditch if you want to see a gentleman wandering around with a Brazilian blue parrot on his shoulder.

But if it’s raining, stick to YouTube. Discover the joyful British comedy that is ‘Creature Comforts’. This sweet, bizarre series features voices taken from interviews with the British public. It is animated by the geniuses behind Wallace & Gromit. Enjoy.

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