Saturday, 16 February 2013

A Knowledge of London space


Our dining room is no longer for dining. It is now a 'Knowledge of London room'. Our table is now a massive laminated map, scattered with other maps, books, note pads, pens, post it notes and study guides. There's also a couple of pin boards and magnetic board on the wall for extra important bits.

It is the least used space in our home (other than the spare room, which is currently storage). It has a nice big table, and a large comfortable red leather corner bench. Its away from the TV and other general distractions, except the cats, who like to get involved and lay over anything you're using. 

No excuses now eh??

Maps!

Clemmy, working away

Roxie x

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Today The Knowledge is off.

We're not cheesy romantic types, so a night off from brain work and a Chinese take away will do just fine.

I did however post a quick question onto a forum at lunchtime asking if blue plaques were still considered points which could be asked, as I always thought they were, but the points guide we have doesnt have a blue plaque section. Anyway, turns out TFL got rid of them, which is good. To be honest, I cant imagine many people get into a Taxi and ask to be taken to a particular blue plaque do they??? I suppose it was about the general knowledge of London rather then being a pick up/drop off.

www.wikipedia.org


We're going to go back out on the road tomorrow evening after work or Saturday, we're still trying to work out the best time of day, especially as we're in a car and not a bike so we cant easily scoot through traffic, we're just wasting time and fuel. We had to cut last Sunday afternoons trip short because there was just too much traffic everywhere, trying to drive around the quarter mile radius was a nightmare. So weekend daytimes might not be the best option. Evenings, I was a bit worried about not seeing things properly in the dark, but we will have to give that a go. There's also early mornings before work, but I think thats a bit too much! We already leave for work at 6:15am, but if we have to then we have to.

Everything is still such a learning curve. If anyone is learning in a car and has any advice on times of day, that would be helpful.

I started this post by saying today is a day off, but I've just spent ages thinking about it. Thats a good sign I suppose, it should always be somewhere in your mind.. even on your day off :)

Roxie x

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Road and Street

ROAD STREET ROAD STREET ROAD STREET STREET CLOSE ROAD STREET ROAD PLACE ROAD ROAD STREET ROAD STREET CLOSE ROAD PLACE ROAD STREET ROAD CLOSE CLOSE ROAD STREET ROAD STREET STREET STREET ROAD CLOSE ROAD STREET ROAD STREET ROAD STREET STREET CLOSE ROAD STREET ROAD PLACE ROAD ROAD STREET ROAD STREET CLOSE ROAD PLACE ROAD STREET ROAD CLOSE CLOSE ROAD STREET ROAD STREET STREET STREET ROAD CLOSE ROAD PLACE ROAD STREET ROAD CLOSE CLOSE ROAD STREET ROAD STREET STREET STREET ROAD CLOSE ROAD STREET ROAD STREET ROAD STREET STREET CLOSE ROAD STREET ROAD ROAD STREET ROAD STREET ROAD STREET STREET CLOSE ROAD STREET ROAD ROAD STREET ROAD PLACE ROAD STREET ROAD STREET ROAD STREET STREET ROAD STREET ROAD STREET ROAD STREET STREET

Help.
Love Roxie x

Sunday, 13 January 2013

All Systems Go

Hi everyone, Clem here.

It's been a while again since our last post - as we have mentioned previously the application process for the knowledge is quite long winded but I'm pleased to say that we've now been accepted into the process and can begin!

Our blue book arrived in the post a few days ago, packed with all 320 runs as well as a suprising amount of information to help us learn the routes properly and be able to recount them in the correct manner during an appearance. Routes must be relayed in quite a basic fasion, (eg "Left Kingsway, Right High Holborn, Set down on Left.") which brings me my first enquiry - how do you describe a roundabout? "Second exit" etc doesn't  seem to sit right.

We've also purchased a kind of Knowledge starter kit from Knowledge Point (a knowledge school), which includes a gigantic map of the 6 mile radius centered around Charing Cross, a detailed overview of the first 80 runs and points, and an audio guide to ensure you can pronounce road names correctly and to help you prepare for appearances.

We're approaching our initial learning with a sense of both excitement and trepidation. The sheer amount of things to learn is daunting at best but I'm hoping that once we settle into a learning technique the path ahead will be clearer. Our first run begins in the next few dsys, so fingers crossed!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Knowledge Point

Clemmys application came back successful, and he recieved the welcome pack etc. So we can now begin The Knowledge!

I havent actually applied yet, and my medical examination I did have, expires this month. But I'm not as confident about the whole thing, so I want to start learning before applying, I cant see the harm in this? I have no criminal record, poor health or driving convictions. So if it goes really well I could apply in a few months and we should remain at the same stage as there is a maximum of 2 years before the first test. The more I read about how difficult it is, the more scary and impossible it feels. Although Clemmy is feeling quite confident so hopefully his enthusiasm is catching because I am anything but confident and I haven't even touched a map yet!

So we have an introduction guide and a list of runs. What now?
After reading other blogs and forums we realised we need to have some sort of organisation to the learning and most people opt to follow a Knowledge Schools way of learning. Having looked at the 2 main learning styles for The Knowledge both WizAnn and Knowledge Point we decided that they both seemed equally successful and simple to follow, but we both felt more comfortable with Knowledge Point. Learning the points as you go along, with the runs feels better.

We have ordered a large laminated map of london, a smaller map, the first 80 runs and a couple of other bits (we need all the help we can get). They should arrive in a few days.
It still all looks very daunting, but I think we just need to start, its supposed to all make a lot more sense as you go along.. I hope this is true. As soon as our equipement arrives we will make a start on

RUN 1: Manor House Station N4 to Gibson Square N1

We will let you know how we get on...

Roxie

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Application SENT!

I just had a look, and our first entry was in May, and now its November we've sent off an application at last! WOOHOO!

It was a bit more fiddly then we expected, and so ended up slowly going through the application process (plus we were a bit lazy about it), from the full medical (£55), and then paying and waiting for the CRB check and then changing the address on Clemmys driving licence and then paying to actually apply.

We sent it off last week. So that is at least out of our hands now. Now we wait. It could take months to come back. Im at the CRB part of my application, I need to get round to collecting my birth certificate from my sister, and then its a case of having the money to pay for all the parts of the application especially just before Christmas. Actually that reminds me, apparently the cheque I used to pay for my medical bounced, and so they have sent me a couple of letters telling me to come in and pay in cash. Problem is, I dont have a spare £55 at the moment so I better hope I dont get ill and need to see a doctor in the near future..

But atleast we can start - I cant imagine there will be any problems with my application form, so I will just start learning with Clem as soon he gets a reply. Its quite exciting. Although I will definetely get on with my forms, then its much more real.

If anyone knows of any couples who have done this, I would be really interested to hear about how they got on.. or didnt, perhaps.

Although I do doubt anyone actually reads this.. let alone know somebody in a similar situation.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Our meal at The Cube by Electrolux

Clemmy here, Hello!

On Friday we were lucky enough to enjoy a fantastic meal at The Cube by Electrolux, a temporary restaurant placed on top of the Royal Festival Hall by Waterloo Bridge. Roxie had won the opportunity through a competition in Woman and Home magazine. We looked it up and discovered that the lunch price was £175 per person, this really was a once in a life time opportunity.

We arrived and were shown upstairs, and handed a free glass of champagne so sip as we admired the fine view from the roof terrace. Obviously this is not something we are used to so we made sure we took in as much of this experience as possible. We were also offered canap├ęs of Horseradish Ice-cream sandwiches, which were surprisingly delicious given the unusual combo of ice-cream and horseradish.

Hungerford Bridge

A brilliant mosaic of the world, made of millions of Lego bricks

Secret Garden on the South Bank

Waterloo Bridge


Soon our jackets were taken and we were ushered inside. We found a long table, to seat 20, laid out in the most immaculate fashion. Pots of herbs provided decoration, napkins were very neatly folded, and cutlery was laid out in blocks instead of the traditional "start from the outside and work your way in fashion".


We were sat down quickly on crazy 'pod' chairs, and introduced to our chef for the day, Sat Bains.  Bread and butter was offered by the very attentive staff, and we eagerly awaited the first course.

This was a fantastic course. It was Loch Duart Salmon, served with miso, passionfruit and oyster. Compliments emanated from the other diners as this one was eaten, and rightly so as it was lovely, even the little pickled mushrooms. Served with a white wine that clearly cost more than a tenner, my introduction to high dining had begun.


The second course was a salt baked celeriac, served in truffle juice. This was certainly the simplest course, but I liked it nonetheless. The truffle juice was my favourite taste in the entire meal.


The third course was the most traditional. It was slow-cooked mutton served with shallot 'textures' and lamb ragu. I've never eaten mutton before, though I do like lamb so this was quite familiar and highly tasty. I also found this one very filling.

The cheese course followed. It was a cheese known as 'Beauvale blue', which is only made into 6 wheels per year according to Sat Bains. It was served on top of a warm banbury cake with a port syrup glaze. The cheese was very sharp, and was almost too much but I persevered. This course was served with a glass of port, which I'm sorry to say I just found too strong.


Finally, the start of three dessert courses. A little pudding of three layers - Chocolate, yoghurt and coffee. My favourite dessert course by far, since I'm so into chocolate. It was served with a glass of red wine, which was very very sweet.



A lovely fruit course followed, consisting of pickled berries and a cheeky side of cornflakes, served over a breakfast bowl compote. I really enjoyed the fruit here.


To finish, we were served something very interesting. Lollipops made of mango, white chocolate, and curry. Somehow the curry (not something I normally think of as a dessert) really added to the taste, and I loved the presentation inside a wooden block.


Unfortunately, the meal was now over, and it was time to leave. I don't think I will ever have a lunch of this calibre again, I certainly can't afford one! I tried to make sure I appreciated every moment because of this, and we were very lucky to have the opportunity.