LONDON – It was a late night the day before talking with the former planning commission member, but I pushed on and conquered the day.
I made a small change at breakfast and got the fried eggs instead of the poached eggs, which were pretty much the same thing. Apparently, they do not fry theirs in butter.
University of Central Oklahoma Alumnus Leroy Coffman and I left at 8 a.m. and headed to Saint Pancras station to hop on the high-speed train. The gang of business students arrived a short time later.
It was cool to see us flying by the countryside at around a 100 mph towards Ebbsfleet, a town located east of London. However, the train could have gone upwards of a 120 mph if they pushed it.
We arrived in just under 20 minutes and were having a tour and presentation of a new city that was being developed.
We spoke with Kate Holland, an associate planner with the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and Mark Pullin, the chief planner for Ebbsfleet. Both of whom were extremely knowledgeable about a city being developed in an old chalk quarry.
We sat through a nearly hour and a half presentation about the area, even though half of us were asleep midway through. We were able to walk around the area afterward though with Holland.
One student asked her about the area and if she lived there, but her only answer was she could never afford the housing as the cheapest flat cost nearly $337,000.
It was almost 75 degrees out, but we walked nearly three miles up and down hills looking at the pristine homes with their Audis and Land Rovers.
No normal person could ever live in this town or let alone get a loan for a home, but that has been shaping up to be the case all-around London.
The town was just being developed, so they only had 901 homes, a pub and school, but besides that, not much else existed in terms of business.
I asked why they were not setting up the town in a grid structure but were instead making curved streets and catawampus intersections, but was quickly given a simple answer.
“We don’t do that here,” Holland said.
It was nearly three hours after we arrived before our tour was done and we began our journey back to the hotel.
Some of the business students went off to do more interviews, while Coffman and I went back to the hotel. I was swamped with work and needed to get things done.
We arrived back at around 2 p.m. and I got multiple things done, including shining my shoes. I have learned that shoe shiners are a thing of the past here in London.
Before long it was dinner time when Coffman and I went to the North Sea seafood restaurant down the street. They had some of the best salmon cakes I had ever had.
We were running short on time because Rebecca Dahl and I were going to see an opera at the Royal Opera House at 8 that evening.
Few people enjoy the opera, but she said she did. I learned at the event that this was her first one ever. We saw a British production titled Lessons in Love and Violence, which was a modern opera.
The performers were amazing, and it touched on a lot of the British royalty power struggles, but some of the storyline was hard to follow along with, but overall it was great. I have for a long time wanted to go to a performance there.
It was only an hour and a half production. More detailed notes can be found in my personal records.
Afterward, we went over to Gordon’s Wine Bar/Pub and soon left back to the hotel. I was exhausted and was ready for bed.
Understanding the research, day ten
Today I was back to my normal poached eggs and besides that nothing major occurred in the morning time.
We all headed off for Coventry University’s London campus near the Liverpool area to work with Dan Range, senior researcher at the university, on wrapping up our research.
It was important, but nothing really exciting happened while we were there, besides the fire alarm going off for testing and the occasional joke.
We left there around noon to head back to and had lunch at Hamilton Hall inside of the Liverpool Underground Station. I had to have my American hamburger with cheese along with a glass of water with a lot of ice.
After lunch, I got back to the hotel and picked up Coffman who had been resting all morning and we headed off to find a scanner to scan several books I had been loaned from Michael Parkes a few nights ago.
Finding a cheap scanner in London is nearly impossible. The first place we went charged 2p or about 3.5 cents, which would not be bad, but I had nearly 800 pages I needed done. They also charged roughly $2.50 for their services on each of the five books.
So, Coffman and I went all around the area looking for one and tried to see if the University of London had a scanner, but after going from building to building and not finding one we gave up.
I was getting tired and aggravated, so we took the books to a local shop and had them a local place, but the cost was around $121.
Good thing Coventry University is paying for it and hopefully they are not too mad once they receive the bill, but they will get several scanned books out of it.
I was just glad to get the books scanned and will be back tomorrow to pick them up. Afterward, Coffman and I headed back to the hotel before dinner.
There were several of us going out to dinner, including UCO student Kayla Leinneweber, Coffman and UCO real estate professor David Chapman.
We went to Prezzo Euston, an Italian restaurant down the road and had a great time having fellowship together. However, the service was some of the worst I have ever had.
While the food was delivered quickly, we had to ask for everything and sometimes multiple times, but Leinneweber and I both had the penne alla rusticana, which was good.
Afterward, we all headed back to the hotel and I began working before bed. Now hopefully I can get a good nights rest.
Featured Image: Business students from the University of Central Oklahoma stand for a picture at Coventry University in London.