I’m not your typical lass. I’m getting married (OMG IN A MATTER OF DAYS NOW!!!) and the usual trappings of weddings are just not my thing. When it came to planning the first question was, besides the brides, of course, who were the very most importantest people who needed to be there? Next was, how soon can we have it? And finally, where?
Outfits, food, rings, vows etc. were all secondary, with many things being ranked as not necessary for the sake of saving money (Gotta say, even when you go cheap, weddings are still bloody expensive). So a hen do (bachelorette/stagette for my North American readers) was not in the cards.
Absolutely nothing about such an event appeals to me: I don’t drink, I like to be in bed by 10:00 and I’m slightly baffled by the ‘meaning’ or purpose of having one.
But the idea was suggested and once it was suggested I shrugged and though ‘Why not?’
But I’d do it my own way, of course.
So I set about researching ‘Fun Things To Do in London that Don’t Cost Very Much.’
There was a lot to choose from, which probably comes of little surprise to most everyone who lives here. London is a place where there is such an abundance of choice one is in danger of doing nothing simply out of a feeling of overwhelm.
But I had a very specific idea in mind and so, in fact, it was very quickly narrowed down to an Alternative London Street tour.
Biggest key bonus? No pre-payment required (you pay what you want after the tour’s over based on what you think it’s worth). Just book online for the total number of people you will be bringing and you’re done!
Next thing is to simply show up at the appointed place at the appointed time on the appointed day. Which I did with a lovely collection of friends including (because I’m not typical, remember) a fourteen year old boy. First boy ever to attend a hen do, I’m sure. We were pushing the boundaries of gender stereotypes in the best setting: Shoreditch.
I'm a huge fan of Shoreditch and have been since my first few months in London. It's the best place for a good wander - especially if, like me, you're a connoisseur of street art.
Our tour was led by Kia, like the car but spelled differently. He didn’t tell us how it was spelled differently so for the purposes of this review I’ve spelled it like the car.
Kia was brilliant. His tour was full of delightful surprises, thought provoking history and heart-warming and entertaining antidotes. He didn’t just talk about the art on the walls, he talked about the walls themselves, and shared his passion for everything Tower Hamlets in the most engaging way.
I learned new things about artists I’ve admired for years and discovered new artists whose subtle application of work had gone unnoticed even by my curious eyes. This place which I'd become so familiar with suddenly had whole new layers of discovery for me as I learned the names of the artists, the history of the migrants that built the industries that fuel the economy of the suburb, and the culture of constant change as the area has become gentrified over the past decade.
It wasn’t at all typical and it was well worth every pound I chose to give our eloquent and delightful tour guide.
When not writing, making art or recording podcasts,
Kaitlyn can be found in trees, listening to Dharma talks on her iPod, Boon.
Thusly named because
Brian Froud = Awesome.