Negotiating the lifts at Kings Cross

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Pushing a pram, as is my new daily habit, has made me much more aware of the relative accessibility or inaccessibility of London. Today I decided the best option for step-free interchange was to be at Kings Cross, where upon arriving I was presented with the lift schematic shown in this photo. Step-free, no doubt – and that is an achievement in itself – but by no means simple. I had to help two other sets of travellers interpret the map as we processed around the station.

While I may criticise, the Underground is significantly more accessible to buggies than the Paris Metro, where there are simply no prams to be seen.

I am of course fortunate that my access requirements are such that, should it be necessary, I can carry the buggy down the stairs. But pursuing step-free access around London does cause me to try out new routes, and to discover bits of stations that I’d never noticed before (at London Bridge, in particular). Perhaps not very profound, but another example of how parental leave is giving me a new perspective on things!

Archive photos/early attempts at developing/les arcs

Ski lift, high contrast, les arcs
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Probably the best module I studied during my year at ENPC was not engineering-themed – but photography. The module was run as an English language course: the subject of the lessons was photography, and the lessons were in English. Being a native English speaker I was not able to get any credits for the module, but I gained much more. I still vividly remember the magic of seeing images emerge on pieces of paper submerged in solution. In just a few short hours of teaching I learned somethings that have been much more valuable to me than the hours of lectures I sat through on other subjects.

These photos were taken on a weekend trip skiing at Les Arcs. Getting from Paris to the Alps by overnight train is easy by the way. The night train leaves from Gare d’Austerlitz, and arrives Bourg St Maurice, where there is a lift straight up to Les Arcs.

Going full circle on the Overground

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I feel like a bit of a wally standing here in the rain at Clapham High Street Overground station. There are many shorter ways to get me home, which is diametrically across London from here. I could for example slice straight through the middle on the Northern Line. But I want to take the slow circumferential route simply because for the first time, I can. Continue reading