We started this Blog back in 2016 with the purpose of sharing our discoveries of London’s secrets with you, our audience. We have been working on the blog after coming back home from out 10hr-a-day full-time jobs, so forgive us if at times we didn’t deliver up to your expectations.
It’s been an amazing, tiring and rewarding journey!
But a journey must end for a new one to begin. So we will say “farewell, friends” as our lives are moving in a different direction, away from London.
So in this last post we are going to look back at some of the stories we lived through and delivered to you, and give you some “behind the scenes” insight.
Do you have a favourite post? Write it in the comments below.
Exiting times! We had just received our brand new semi-professional camera with a sturdy tripod and our hands were itching to try them! We chose the Olympic Park as our first topic because the East of London was (and still is) on the up and there were lots of things going on in and around Stratford.
So here we are, in Stratford with our new equipment ready to go but… hungry! So we started looking for a nice, interesting, non-chain restaurant in Westfield centre to have a nice lunch and to warm up (it was freezing that day!). We stumbled upon Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse. The food was delicious and we also got the chance to meet the star himself! He was walking around the restaurant, conversing with customers and making sure they were enjoying themselves. There was a nice and friendly atmosphere.
Having warmed up ourselves there, we braved the cold and started taking pictures of the Olympic Centre. Our fingers were freezing and we could barely feel them, but the pictures were coming out alright, so we were encouraged to continue. We walked around it and went to areas we had never been before (in the true spirit of London Undiscovered).
This post followed after a really bad experience with the renting market in London. After renting a room in a house with 10 other rooms for six months we were forced to leave as the room (and consequently the house) was infested with mice (this also inspired How to get rid of a mouse post)! The landlord was informed but failed to react quickly and effectively. So one night, as Sandra was alone in her room, she felt the mouse noise (scratching, digging and squeaking) was unusually loud and much closer. She put the light on to discover a mouse running for its life from one end of the room to the other, near her bed. That was it! That tipped the boat. She decided she’s going to spend the night with the light on, doing night guard (as she couldn’t possibly fall asleep with the knowledge that mice were having a party in her room/bed). She survived the night (alive!) and the next day she moved. Luckily (or not – read later on), the same landlord had a similar room free in a house (with the same house number!) on the neighbouring street. So she moved that same day.
However, a new – more disgusting story developed there… Yes, there is worse than a house infested with mice and that is a house with a crazy racist person! (you can really write a soap opera from a Londoner’s life). One of the tenants in the new house made it clear from day 1 that she didn’t like couples. She said it plainly. Not only that, but she also screamed racist and degrading words at us when we went downstairs to use the kitchen. She was louder than a police siren sound! After several attempts to sort the problem out with the help of the landlord (the same one who didn’t resolve the mice issue), we called the police. The racist was arrested and went to court where we gave statements and she was found guilty and ordered to pay up. So there is fairness in our lives sometimes!
This was our first Easter post and first video. We looked at how different nationalities celebrate Easter in London and also filmed our own Easter-making: the egg dying. The 8min video took us all day to film! We had to deal with the constantly hiding and reappearing sun (you can see that from our shots), the dye going cold, the actress forgetting her lines, the cameraman filming his thumb, etc… At the end of the day we were so tired, but we had such fun filming and then cracking those eggs!
Those two posts were something we both needed to read when we first came to the UK. But they did not exist back then. So we decided to write our experiences and help newcomers to not have to face the same problems as we did.
The latter one also acts as a stamp in time. It will be interesting to go back to it in a few years to compare how prices have changed.
This was our first book. Again, it was inspired by the lack of condensed information on the job market in London when we first came. So we synthesised all the basic information one needs to apply and secure a job. We also found out how to get a job without an interview!
The book got a fair attention by the Turkish community on social media, so we decided to publish one for them as well – How to find a job in London for Turkish nationals.
It took us several weeks to adjust the content to the Amazon Kindle requirements, as we wanted to have it on Amazon too.
That post stirred a lot of comments from people from the East seeking to improve their working/living circumstances in their countries. It was sad to see several pleas for work and visa when we couldn’t help them. We were merely book writers, not world leaders….
Since we lived close to the Harrow School, we thought it would be a great miss not to go on the tour. After all, this was a true living prop from the Harry Potter – the Philosopher’s stone movie, and a few others.
The guide was interesting and we learnt a lot. During our visit from room to room Sandra had a deja-vu. She remembered that she had been in this room/hall before. It was when she took part in the filming of The Invisible Woman.
The most unique experience was when we entered the room where they filmed the Wingardium Leviosa scene, where Ron struggles to get his feather up. The room was dark and everything was made of hard wood. We could barely imagine how those rich kids who attended the school back in the day would sit on those uncomfortable seats for hours and try to read from dusty, yellow paged books in this darkness!
There were many graffiti in the room (old craft!). They were carefully written in Times New Roman like fonts. It was usually the students’ names. There was also Winston Churchill’s name etched into the wood (we wonder if he got a detention for this frivolous action!).
The Discover series
The Discover series aimed to show and celebrate different cultures that coexist in London – their food, traditions, clothing, community centres in London and a few words.
Naturally, we started with Bulgaria. Having a Bulgarian in our team, who knew most of the little shops, restaurants, cafes… traditions etc. This gave us an easy start.
Ethiopia was our second country in the series because of a Uber driver we met. The driver was Ethiopian and we talked about the culture and restaurants in London where one can experience it. He suggested we try Lalibela near Tufnell Park station. Our experience was absolutely amazing – from the warm welcome to the tasty food. You get a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling when you try a cuisine from so far away… brought to your doorstep. This is one of the reasons why we believe London is amazing! Where else can you have a French breakfast, Turkish snack, Chinese lunch and Ethiopian dinner – all in one day!
We wanted to put the spotlight on other cultures in London, but time was pressing us more and more. Working full time, commuting for hours and having to move several times in a few years made it difficult for us to enjoy more such experiences.
Not only guides and books, but we also had our own T-shirt range! How fantastic! And you can choose amongst several colour options and a few designs! We had some printed for ourselves too. So you can spot us walking the streets with our London Undiscovered tees.
The Blog has been a great experience for us. We not only got to travel across London, try new things and share them with you, but we also learnt a few things about SEO, automating emails, social media advertising, etc.
However, we are not closing the book, but only a chapter. The next chapter of our lives awaits and depending on that we will decide what new blog to start. For now, we will keep our social media accounts open. We will also start an Instagram account where we share our travels of the UK and beyond. We have travelled a lot in the country and abroad while having the London blog. It’s time to share our discoveries of the world! 🙂