Big BenIn the summer of 2001 I packed a suitcase and flew to London. I did not have a place to stay nor a job - I just needed to do something different. I moved in to a bed and breakfast place near Victoria Station and then started wearing out the pavements of London looking for a job. 

My first couple of jobs were temping - then a headhunter found my CV at www.monster.co.uk. The guy needed to find an Operation Manager for a Canon company called Fotango. Fotango was one of the first online-photo sites established as a venture capital company by a group of very ambitious people, and then acquired by Canon in 2001. I ended up having 2½ good years at Fotango - we were developing web-solutions for Canon. And also participating in various development activities both technical and business oriented for Canon and Canon partners

Fotango was a micro cosmos of London, in the office where I worked we were 28 people in the same open office environment - at a point we were representing 11 different nationalities. Diversity is enriching - a strength in a company - and the very foundation for innovation!

Back in Denmark (and in most of Europe) I experience things quite different - things and people are preferred to be alike... It is a disgrace to see how people from other parts of the world are met with prejudism, skepticism and even suspicion by many people and certain political parties.

I move from the bed and breakfast place and initially stayed in a couple of flat-shares, one in Hackney where I shared the flat with a guy from Leicester and a woman from Kenya. I enjoyed my stay with Bob og Jane again meeting and enjoying diversity. After 4 months I moved to a flat in Wood Green where I lived until 2004 where I moved back to Denmark. 

London is the biggest city in Europe and has the most diverse population. People from all over the world is drawn to London not least from all the former colonies but in generally from all over the world. Many looking for happiness and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - as we know, few find it. Due to the high tolerance many people who thinks and lives alternatively are drawn to London - just imagine what could be achieved if we everywhere was as open-minded - instead it appears that we are closing in and becoming more and more narrow minded.

Great Britain and London in particular represents to me a great blend of many of the best things from North America and Europe. The personal freedom is higher than in the rest of Europe, less bureaucracy and less "big brother" society. And still a relatively high level of social security for the weakest and most unfortunate in the society.

To me London is the capital of Europe - Brussels may be the political capital of EU - but the cultural, the commercial and the people's capital is London.

Alexandra ParkMy flat in Wood Green were only 10 minutes work from Alexandra Palace, which is situated rather high - you therefore have a great view of parts of London.
London has many parks and green areas - oases within the city. In London you usually have one hours lunch break enabling you to get out of the office - during the summer people fills up the parks during lunch time, enjoying the break in busy working day. St. James Park is a lovely place which I enjoyed a lot while staying in the Victoria area. But Regents Park is my favorite in particular Queen Mary's Garden which is a park within the park, in June Queen Mary's garden is just fantastic during the main blooming season of the roses.

London karneval London karneval
London karneval
On the last bank holiday of the summer (last Monday in August) the London Carnival is held. It is the biggest carnival in Europe and has been held since 1966. The carnival is starts with a carnival for kids in the Sunday and then the 'big' carnival in the Monday. Many participants have been working all year with their fantastic costumes, preparing the music, dance moves, etc. In 2001 one of my colleagues where I was temping was DJ on one of the trucks following each group with music. Clive was of work for three days - he had lost his voice.

Pernille og Paul McCartneyMy daughter also lived in London for some years. She was studying photography at London College of Fashion. Beside her studies she was working as assistant for various photographers. Once on a photo shoot at a radio station she met Paul McCartney as he was receiving an award at the radio station.  The encounter was perpetuated. I'm therefore very fortunate that I have a photo of my lovely daughter together with my favorite beatle.