Archive for May, 2014

May 30, 2014

Exploring Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

Today I had a guided tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre! I’d only taken photos from the outside before so it was great to go inside 🙂 Our Tour Guide told us many interesting facts about Shakespeare and the theatre. I loved being beside the stage and seeing the design of it all. There was a trapdoor for demons and monsters to come from hell to the stage and a trapdoor on the roof of the stage with a wire for angels and other heavenly creatures to come down onto the stage. Apparently the middle is Earth. We walked where the “great unwashed” peasants would go to stand and watch shows under the open roof. Then we sat where the upper classes would sit in seats looking down on the stage. Apparently the peasants interacted more with the actors by yelling at them, trying to go on stage and chucking stuff at them lol; whereas the upper classes would just sit there without interaction and look down on what was unfolding beneath them. The cool thing is the theatre still has performances in the Shakespeare style so if you get the cheapest ticket you stand under the open roof, or the most expensive, sit and watch the play. The Tour Guide recommended standing for the interaction. However the plays can go for three hours but they do have intermission. Sounds exciting though. Then I went to platform 9 and 3 quarters at King’s Cross station from Harry Potter 🙂 I saw the platform number on the wall and the luggage trolley with Hedwig and a suitcase going into the wall. Then I walked through Regent’s Park and Queen Mary’s Gardens. Lots of beautiful flowers and a squirrel eating a nut with its paws, standing on its hind legs: cute. Then I wandered into Camden Town and found the Camden Canal with boats and a floating Asian restaurant. After that, off I went to Primrose Hill to get a panoramic view of the whole of London. I walked the tree lined path, past grassy fields to the top of a hill and looked down at London. I could see Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, The London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and many more attractions. The primrose trees were flowering with pink blossoms as I ran down the hill 🙂Friday London 010 Friday London 015 Friday London 020 Friday London 027 Friday London 029 Friday London 032 Friday London 035 Friday London 048 Friday London 054 Friday London 057 Friday London 062 Friday London 065 Friday London 072 Friday London 086 Friday London 088 Friday London 091 Friday London 097 Friday London 101 Friday London 105 Friday London 106 Friday London 119 Friday London 126 Friday London 128 Friday London 137 Friday London 139 Friday London 140 Friday London 145 Friday London 148 Friday London 150

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May 29, 2014

A visit to Saint Paul’s Cathedral

Today I watched the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace. I peeked between the metal railings on the surrounding palace wall, in at the guards in red with their black bearskin hats, marching around. A brass band was also playing. I think the ceremony took about an hour but it was fantastic, with something always happening somewhere. There were guards at different parts of the front of the palace and eventually they all marched together through the crowd. This part was very spectacular! Then I caught the tube to St Paul’s Cathedral and ventured into the green, serene church courtyard. There were statues and great ornate arches. I looked up at the huge, magnificent building that is St Paul’s Cathedral through the trees. Its domed top peaked out the top over the branches. I didn’t go inside today but had My 23rd Birthday England 009 My 23rd Birthday England 024 - Copy My 23rd Birthday England 035 My 23rd Birthday England 048 My 23rd Birthday England 050 - Copy My 23rd Birthday England 053 My 23rd Birthday England 056 - Copy My 23rd Birthday England 062 - Copy My 23rd Birthday England 064 My 23rd Birthday England 079my lunch outside the cathedral with everyone else. Very peaceful place 🙂

May 28, 2014

A Day in Hyde Park

Today I went to Hyde Park and found Peter Pan (the statue.) I enjoyed the green leafiness and absolute tranquillity Hyde Park afforded. There were flowers, bumblebees and baby animals everywhere. I saw a swan family with fluffy, grey cygnets and a very protective father, a goose family with fluffy goslings and a water bird family with baby water birds. I saw lots of grey, little squirrels who were so tame and came so close wanting some nuts. Unfortunately I hadn’t any with me but they still came so close to me. They were within patting distance and then scampered across the grass and up trees in seconds. I had lemon drizzle cake and a cappuccino at a cafe’ in the park and then went to visit the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. It goes in a circular shape and was made using Cornish granite. Then I walked along the Serpentine and past the lake to Kensington Palace and Gardens and the Orangery. Queen Victoria was in her usual spot guarding Kensington Palace in her water fountain. I walked through Kensington Gardens and through the green leafy tunnel, out to the orangery at the other side after having seen the water garden. Then I walked back through the leafy tunnel and a robin red breast fluttered to a twig and stared at me. This reminded me of Mary Lennox in “The Secret Garden” of course when the robin showed her the way to the secret garden. I managed to catch the robin in mid flight with my camera as it was a bit camera shy and may have heard more people coming. Next I searched for the bookshop from the “Notting Hill” movie in Notting Hill but don’t think I found it. However I did find the Portobello Road Markets and bought a nice black dress. Then I sat on the top deck of a red London double decker bus back to the tube station, watching the world unfold before me 🙂Wednesday London 164 Wednesday London 169 Wednesday London 172 Wednesday London 173 Wednesday London 181 Wednesday London 189 Wednesday London 199 Wednesday London 209 Wednesday London 220 Wednesday London 225 Wednesday London 228 Wednesday London 236 Wednesday London 237 Wednesday London 242 Wednesday London 262 Wednesday London 269 Wednesday London 270 Wednesday London 280 Wednesday London 292 Wednesday London 297 Wednesday London 306 Wednesday London 327 Wednesday London 335 Wednesday London 336 Wednesday London 339 Wednesday London 343 Wednesday London 344 Wednesday London 355 Wednesday London 373 Wednesday London 379 Wednesday London 383

May 28, 2014

A Night at the Theatre

I had the most amazing day! I went to Tower Bridge Tube station where I saw the terrifying fortress that is the Tower of London. I saw Tower Bridge and walked across it to the South Bank. Then it was quirky, unique and much abstract art including works by Pablo Picasso at the Tate Modern. So many levels and so much to see 🙂 Went to Starbucks for the first time ever and had a hot chocolate and ham and cheese crossiant. It was raining with a cold wind outside so it was nice to be inside looking out with a hot drink and something to nibble on. I walked more along the River Thames and saw the famous navy ship museum HMS Belfast. A tube ride later I was at Leicester Square where I bought discount theatre tickets to Billy Elliot West End Musical tonight! More tube rides later and I was at Picadilly Circus with its big electronic screens and Covent Garden. Then I just had enough time to eat something before the show! The theatre production was the best I have ever seen: absolutely phenomenal. I was in the top box but with an excellent view of the stage. The actors were amazing. I laughed cried and cheered as the musical ensued. Then a black taxi later I was back at my accommodation 🙂

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May 26, 2014

Luxury Shopping

I caught the tube to Oxford Circus and walked along Oxford Street. I went inside Topshop and took the escalators to both upper and lower floors. For women there was Topshop with levels of shoes, accessories, makeup and clothes. For men there was Topshop Topman which had various levels of shoes, accessories and clothes too. I read that Topshop has a cafe’ inside it where you can bring items you have not yet bought, grab a coffee and mull over if you still want to buy them. I think this is fantastic! I smiled when I found the cafe’  I meandered on down the road to high street fashion now. I mean luxury, designer- every fashion item you’ve ever heard or dreamt about stores. I walked inside Selfridges and was amazed! It was so elegant and I felt like I was inside a designer’s wardrobe or on the set of a catwalk. Various areas were assigned to various designers so say you walked into Chanel, there would only be clothes from Chanel on racks around a square area. In the middle there would be a sofa and there would be an assistant, smiling and ready to help you.  So many beautiful clothes! I took escalators and lifts to various levels: there was just so much to see! Shoes were laid out on tables or on stands beside curtains. Then I caught the tube to Knightsbridge where I’ve heard the Queen goes shopping! It did look fit for a queen with its decorative ceilings, grand doors and so much more! Again every designer was here and there were multiple floors and escalators. Harrods had Egyptian Escalators that took you to every floor (there were a lot of floors.) Downstairs there was food which looked absolutely delicious. Every kind of chocolate, sweet, confectionery item and even meat and seafood was there! Then I caught the tube to Paddington Station and after some searching and asking, found Paddington Bear with his suitcase!London Monday 025 London Monday 038 London Monday 035 London Monday 033 London Monday 032
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May 25, 2014

I love London!

Today I walked down Buckingham Palace Road to Buckingham Palace. I saw the royal guards and saw the flag was up at the palace, meaning the Queen was home! I walked through Green Park and St James’s Park in all their green glory. I found a lake with a bridge across it and a white swan gliding beneath it. Little fluffy goslings were sitting in the grass with their parents before going for a waddle as a family. I ventured to Trafalgar Square and beheld the gigantic, stern stone lions staring down at me. I admired the enormous golden water fountains and blue pools of water beneath them. It reminds me of a swimming pool because of the colour, but it isn’t one! London 266 London 278 London 289 London 293 London 296 London 304 London 312 London 317 London 320 London 331 London 338 London 340 London 343 London 355 London 375 London 376 London 382 London 385 London 396 London 400 London 409 London 431 London 450 London 489 London 523 London 533The National Gallery is right near Trafalgar Square and I couldn’t resist looking at some paintings. I beheld many beautiful pictures but the landscapes were my favourite. Big Ben was calling my name next and I saw it in the distance. The golden tower with the white clock face is instantly recognisable wherever you are in London. At last I came across Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster and the Houses of Parliament. The bell in the clock tower chimed as Big Ben told everyone in London the time. I thought if I lived in London maybe Big Ben could tell me the time every day, I’d just have to be able to see it from somewhere-very handy and beautiful. Westminster Abbey was next where Kate Middleton and Prince William were married. It is a grand building and has amazing stained glass windows. Then I caught the tube back to my accommodation. I love London! 🙂 ❤

May 24, 2014

Royal Chelsea Flower Show!

Today I went to the Royal Chelsea
Flower Show! I had my ticket at the ready and walked in through the great iron gates which were flanked with security. There were lots of mini gardens or perhaps they were the size of city people’s front and back gardens. These gardens had water features like fountains or a glass room with water cascading down overhead.
One building had two storeys so you could climb some stairs and be on an open roof. Flowers of every imaginable colour and variety dominated the area. There were flowers I had heard of read and dreamt of, all real! There were indoor floral displays also including sunny daffodils, blankets of sunflowers, orchids, narcissus, Australian flowers and Australian green tree ferns, cacti and, my favourite: the roses! We all drank in their sweet scents and admired how well their names matched them. They were of every colour and included climbing roses. Floral displays also included Thailand and an Alice in Wonderland one: a gardener’s
paradise 🙂

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May 5, 2014

Jack in the Green Festival, Hastings

I went to the “Jack in the Green” Festival today. People had wreaths of green leaves or colourful flowers in their hair to celebrate spring and some had their faces painted too.Jack in the Green Festival 094

Also at the festival were a lot of motorbikes of varying makes, each belonging to a proud rider clad in leather trousers and jackets. Motorbikes of varying colours and designs lined the promenade into the distance.Motorbikes

There were motorbike-themed markets selling clothing, jewellery and books too. There were also other market stalls.Market Stalls

I walked past the stores and peered at what was for sale: very fascinating array of wares, especially the jewellery which glinted silver. I made my way back to the promenade and ate a delicious and huge Cornish pasty.Jack in the Green Festival 080 Jack in the Green Festival 081

I walked back along the promenade in the opposite direction, past the outdoor jazz venue on the seafront which had many people out on its deck and found a red and inviting Mr Whippy van.Mr Whippy Van

I bought a vanilla ice cream with a crunchy chocolate flake. Wandering along the beach, I found an English seashell in amongst the pebbles as the seagulls swam in the sea.

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May 4, 2014

Gardens with historical statues!

imageimageToday was part of a Bank holiday weekend so many people were out enjoying the sun. I did this too, walking along the promenade. There were yachts, people fishing, people having barbecues on the beach or swimming or sun baking. People were walking dogs ecstatic to be out in the sunshine too. I walked in the opposite direction along the promenade than I did last time and watched the sea sparkling in the sun as I pottered along my way. I found gardens I had not been to before. These gardens were special because they had a statue depicting a scene from the Battle of Hastings. I walked around the gardens and admired the colourful flowers. I marvelled at how close the gardens were to the promenade and the beach which were just across the road. There was even a golf course in the gardens with some people putting a ball around and getting it in the hole! I sat on a bench where the warm sunlight streamedimageed down and read The Daily Mail: fantastic day 🙂 image