The Guest Blogger is making another appearance...
Jess visited us in London a few weeks back and emailed me a guest blog complete with embedded photos, unfortunately blogger didn't like it and I couldn't save the pics from the email. I've left the pic tags in so you'll have to use your imagination :-) She'll no doubt email them on at some time but she has been busy this week as she has relocated town, been busy applying for a (and subsequently getting ready to start an accepted) new job, moving into her first home with BF Lee, attending further interviews to keep her options open including a half day one today - and if that's not enough, as of today SHE IS NO LONGER 21!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESS
|Jess in her CSI suit down from Winchester for a long hard days painting.|
I LOVE London and pretty much everything to do with it so I was rather excited to be visiting Mum and Dad and off course LJ at yet another exciting destination. I arrived at Paddington station which is really close to Paddington Basin where Mum and Dad were waiting, very handy for any visitors. Don’t think it’s ever been that close before! However, my journey wasn’t all easy. As usual I had to get a connecting train, this time it was Reading and after being done up for the last 5 years it was very confusing and “modern” I couldn’t find the steps to change the platform. Very stupid! Be warned if ever changing on a train at Reading, allow time to find the steps!
Once I had arrived Mum had her signature Chili ready on the stove cooking away. Its always a winner.
My semi artistic picture of an evening Big Ben
My first full day in London was probably the most jam packed day of the bunch, I bought my first Oyster card to use on the buses (although can be used on the underground too), at just £1.40 per single journey rather than £2.40, I thought it was quite a bargain.
We headed down to Leicester square to see what shows were available. I would recommend everyone going through London to see 'One Man, Two Guvners' at the Royal Haymarket Theatre, with the lead being Rufus Hound. I have to say he was HILARIOUS from start to finish and all in between!!! The theatre was very beautiful although we were not able to take any photos. We had some time spare before hand not being sure whether we would be seeing a matinee or evening show. It wasn’t a very nice day weather wise so we decided we wouldn't be traditional London tourists and go and look at all the traditional sights. Having seen the British museum, Science Museum and Natural History Museum many times we decided to get the bus to St Paul's Cathedral and go to the Museum of London. Once we had gone round the entirety of the Museum we headed back towards Leicester square for my penultimate Christmas present, dinner in China Town!! Mum and Dad have been there many times before so knew where to head for, a little restaurant just off the main stretch of China Town.
After we had filled out bellies we headed to the theatre with plenty of time to spare for the show and I just wanted to be back in the warm and out of the rain. It was constantly raining all day and my shoes never got a chance to dry out, it took 3 days to dry them in total! Something which I am not used to, normally I just put them on the radiator and they dry very quickly. I would have to agree with the Daily Mail's review of One Man, Two Guvners really is the “funniest show on the planet”. Having read nothing about it before hand, I did a quick Wikipedia search, I know its not always accurate but it’s the easiest way, it turns out the title is pretty sef explanatory, there’s one man, who ends up working for two ‘guvners’ as well, there are love stories and tales of money misfortune. As we sat in our very good viewed seats in the Royal Circle, dad tried to take some photos. They wouldn’t allow it, even though there were no signs to say not!! With half an hour until the start of the show we thought this was a little unreasonable. About 15 minutes before the start time a skiffle and beat band came onto the stage all with their matching suites looking very 1960’s, it turns out this band was to be the house band for the play. During every sceen change The Craze would come and keep us entertained with a song. Rufus Hound, playing the lead was excellent, I couldn’t think of anyone better to play this hilarious role. There was quite a lot of improvisation which he proved excellent at doing. After the show I tweeted him, I’m not much of a twitter fan, but he was just that good! 5 minutes later I got my first ever re-tweet, which was very exciting indeed!! I would recommend everyone see this play. It was definitely worth the 5 month wait for my main Christmas present (Thanks Mum & Dad).
Christmas pressie voucher
On Saturday we headed to the famous Portobello Road Market, when we arrived I was slightly disappointed at the lack of buzz and people, however, once we had walked one length and went back up the other side there was so much to see, there were people everywhere! Hidden arcades with more than 20 units in each rammed with antiques and treasures were good if you’re not looking for anything in particular but I imagine if you were you would spend so much time searching. Loads of money in those places! There was so much to look at!
Sunday was going to be a couple of firsts aboard a moving LJ. Although Maida is a small tunnel, it was the first I’ve ever been through and I’d like to say I will not be doing that again in a hurry. Although the end was always in sight, I didn’t like it one little bit and was freaked out by the metal chains up and down the length of the tunnel!!!
Little Venice, hope its not like the real one, was a little disappointing.
My second first (if that even makes sense) were LOCKS!!! Camden locks at that, on a beautiful bank holiday weekend. It was packed and I think even if there had been 2 people watching I would have been scared but dad thought there was about 500 watching on all the bridges and down each side of the canal. Luckily we were able to partner up with a plastic boat so me and mum could take one side, thank goodness! Don’t think I could have done one side alone! I tried to look like I knew what I was doing and went along with it. I think I managed quite well. After all the activities of the day and finally finding a mooring, we headed out to the nearest high street and found a fab Indian restaurant.
First and busiest lock at Camden
We didn’t have any time to have a look at Camden market on Sunday so we went to have a look around on Bank Holiday Monday. Again so much to look at. The food stalls were very tempting, too tempting so we stopped for a break, mum had a massive bowl of Chinese food, dad one of the biggest burritos I’ve ever seen and I had a banana and Nutella crepe! It’s all very good quality and fairly good value for money. We had a seat each spectating where just one day previously we had been gawped at ourselves.
Later that evening we headed out to Trafalgar Square to see London Symphony Orchestra perform. It was very pleasant, although it did go on for quite a while and I started to get cold and tired of standing, very good for a free performance in the centre of London! Afterwards we headed for a stroll up the Mall and had a look up close to Buckingham palace. Don’t think I’ve ever been there with so few tourists we even managed to get onto the big roundabout in the middle.
Mum and Dad outside the Queens House
The nice weather didn’t carry on until Tuesday so we had a lazy day aboard which was well needed before heading back to Winchester and back to work. That’s the only problem with London… so much to see and do makes you so tired!