Listen to a Londoner: Janine Clements

Listen to a Londoner is a weekly interview with a Londoner – someone who lives in this city, born here or elsewhere. If you want to be interviewed, email Always looking for new volunteers.

Janine Clements, 37

Janine Clements is a freelance journalist, travel expert and mummy blogger who has been living in London for 12 years. She has lived in Holloway, Maida Vale, Westminster and now Fulham, where she has lived for four years with her husband and 2-year-old daughter.    

LLO: Living in London for 12 years, what are the best and worst changes you’ve seen in the city?
 The increase in gun and knife crime and scary dogs, but better transport facilities and better shopping with the arrival of Westfield. All the attractions have definitely become much better at catering for young children.    

LLO: Top three favourite things about living in Fulham?
Lots to do for children (e.g. Fulham Palace, Coffee and Crayons, Gambados, various parks). It’s got great pubs such as The White Horse and The Sands End. There are lots of families around so there is a real community feel.    

LLO: Tell us a bit about your blog
My inspiration from my blog came from the fact I love writing. I decided to set up a blog that was an account of my take on life as a modern-day mum, as my daughter, who is two, grows up (and I grow older!). I also wanted to help other mums by providing useful information, advice and opinions, reviews and an insight into parenthood for other people to read. My blog covers everything from news and reviews of the latest products to family travel.  

LLO: Do you think London is a child-friendly city and why (or if not, what would make it more so)?
London is an exciting and vibrant city, and yes, I think most parts are very child-friendly, there’s so much to do for all age groups.  

LLO: If I had one day in London and wanted to explore the bits that don’t show up in the guidebooks, where would you recommend?
The parks are all fabulous. I love Holland Park, St. James Park and Kensington Palace Gardens. Battersea Park Zoo is fun for younger kids.

LLO: As a travel enthusiast, have you found a place in London you can go to feel like you’ve travelled without actually having left the city?
I’ve always been a big fan of Little Venice and its waterways and canal boats. It is so peaceful and very different from inner London. Or further out is Richmond Park, acres upon acres of parkland and loads of deer. 

LLO: What’s your favourite kid-friendly restaurant in London and another one you love when you’ve got a child-free night out?
Konnigans in Wandsworth is great for brunch. It’s got a relaxed atmosphere, good food and great kid’s menu. For the two of us it would be Tsunami, a fabulous Japanese restaurant. There’s one near Tottenham Court Road and another in Clapham.

LLO: Do you have any advice for travelling mums about to pop over to London for a week with the kids?
There are so many things for kids. Popular things to do include Buckingham Palace, the London Aquarium, and the Science Museum. Depending on the age of your kids, a West End show is a great idea. Hamleys or the toy shop at Harrods is also fun. When it’s sunny, the parks are fabulous too.

LLO: Favourite London discovery or a place you’ve heard is really cool but haven’t had a chance to check it out yet?
I’ve heard the Victoria and Albert Museum is great for kids, but I haven’t been yet.

LLO: Describe your perfect Spring Saturday in London.
Head outdoors if it’s sunny, so my 2-year-old can run around and burn off some energy. Somewhere like Fulham Palace or Cannzaro House (in Wimbledon) or Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park. Each has a nice cafe to grab lunch at too.

Thanks Janine!

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London Art Spot: Przemek Wajerowicz

Photo of Przemek by Sandra Stainberg 

Equipped with his camera, Przemek climbs the stairs to the upper deck on one of London’s iconic double decker busses, takes a seat by the window and waits for a moment of inspiration. With hundreds of bus routes in this bustling city, he has plenty of options. Looking down, he has only a second for a scene to speak to him. If he catches it in time, which he often does, he captures the idiosyncrasies of ordinary people, normalcy and oddity of daily life in a large city, our diversity, work habits, all those things we do when we think no one is watching… 

63 to King's Cross

Przemek has turned his photography of daily London life into a project called From the Upper Deck and continues to post images to his blog daily. When he has enough, he plans to publish a book. He’s agreed to share some of his images here for this week’s London Art Spot and answer a few questions about the goals and challenges of his ongoing infatuation with the view from London’s upper decks.

237 to Shepherd's Bush

LLO: I hear you’re aiming to ride every bus route in London to take photos from the upper deck. That’s a lot of buses. How many have you done so far? 

PW: I am not really sure how many. I think I have done more than a hundred, but I don’t have exact number. I know that there are more than 200 bus routes in total, so it will take some time. I take some notes and the route is recorded with each photo anyway but I don’t have the exact number. It’s a bit messy, I know, but it works for me. 

28 to Wandsworth

 LLO: What sort of camera do you have?

 PW: Digital SLR camera with 50mm fixed lens.

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41 to Tottenham Hale

LLO: What is the goal of From the Upper Deck?

The goal? The goal is simple and that is just to capture ordinary everyday life in London in the early 21st century.  

188 to North Greenwich

LLO: Most of your images are well composed despite the obvious limitations. Colours match up, people are in motion and contradictions that make an interesting photograph are in place. What do you look for in a scene before you snap a photo? 

PW: There are lot of factors – colours, sunlight, people, interactions between people that draw my attention. To be honest, the impulses that make me press the button are very random and often unpredictable.    

9 to Aldwych

LLO: Taking photos of strangers through bus windows with limited time to capture a scene must pose a few challenges. What issues have you dealt with and how do you overcome them?

PW: Well, the main difficulty is that you don’t have control of your position. In other words, you can’t stop and wait for the situation to unfold. The situation is either there and ready to be snapped, or it’s not. So it can be frustrating sometimes.

69 to Canning Town

LLO: How long have you been working on this project so far?  

PW: I have been taking photos from buses for about four years. I started on my daily routes to and form work just for fun and without any project idea in mind. It evolved into a project about two years ago when I started taking some remote routes and going to, for me, some really esoteric and obscure parts of London.   

19 to Battersea Bridge

 Thanks Przemek!

For more London Art Spot interviews, click here.