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Archive for the ‘interesting things that happen in London’ Category

I absolutely love that this man has become so well known, that he’s generated so much media attention. Imad Alarnab arrived in London in 2015 after fleeing the brutal warfare of his home city of Damascus in Syria, and now he’s launched Imad’s Syrian Kitchen, a pop-up restaurant in Bethnal Green in London.

He’s a Syrian refugee. He’s a human being. He’s a great chef. He’s a person with emotions, feelings, love. He has a family. http://www.reuters.tv/v/F2c/2017/03/13/syrian-refugee-chef-cooks-taste-of-home

Because of the enormous refugee crisis Syrians, like Amad, and other people of other cultures have become and are portrayed as a faceless mass.

Due to this we forget that they’re people, the same as you and me.

Because of this portrayal they become an entity to be feared.

This man, along with millions of others, have been demonized, vilified and manipulated by governments, religious organisations, and media and yes, even ‘humanitarian’ organisations wanting to promote their own causes.

I truly hope that this particular story helps people to change their thinking. To realise that on that whole people don’t just up and leave their country of birth with nothing, just the clothes on their backs, a bit of money and a whole heap of HOPE,…. without good reason.

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London is truly my absolute favourite city in the world….I’ve had a love-affair with this city since the day back in March 2002 when I cautiously made my way from London Bridge station and stepped tentatively onto London Bridge looking downstream. Instant love!

hello london and magic lantern festival

View of the River Thames towards Tower Bridge from London Bridge

After a wonderful adventure on the Isle of Wight I was in transit on my way home in Kent. But first I had to stop over in London, there was much to see and do – 1. go see the fabulous Magic Lantern Festival at Chiswick House and 2. meet my best friend Valy at Guildhall Art Gallery where we were to see that extraordinary and totally amazing sliver of history: William the Conqueror’s London Charter dating from 1067!!! I mean seriously!!

The train hurtled up the line from Portsmouth to London Victoria; 148.6 km’s 🙂 I had mapmywalk on just for fun and it was weird watching myself walking 1 km in 1.20 seconds!! If I had actually walked the distance it would have been 108850 steps!!! Crikey.

Before too long we arrived at Victoria Station. I lugged my bag below ground and onto the Victoria line to Earls Court where I had planned to stay the night at the YHA…my favourite choice of accommodation. I checked in, located my bed (which had been ‘acquired’ by a young lady, whom I very kindly informed had to move to the top bunk.) We swapped bedding, I made sure to put my stuff all over the bed to indicate that it was in use and headed out into the cold and dark to Chiswick House for the Magic Lantern Festival.

Wow!!! What an extraordinary exhibition! when I told my daughter I was planning on going she was aghast….I loathe those lanterns that people tend to send off into the air for arbitrary reasons and various events, and she initially thought “what??? but you hate those things!!” I do and it wasn’t.

Magic Lantern Festival - Chiswick House, London

Magic Lantern Festival – Chiswick House, London

This is the 2nd year that Chiswick House has hosted this amazing festival. The beautifully sculpted and decorated items shone out like a beacon and I’m sure could probably have been seen from space 😉 It was fantastic. My jaw literally dropped at the splendour as I gasped in wonder at each new exhibit. After passing through security the path wove and meandered around the grounds and gardens of the house, weaving between hedges, past the lake, over the bridge, past the house and lit up the night with wonder! I can’t even begin to describe how exquisite each piece was. Lifelike figures, delicate flowers, bold horsemen on charging mounts, magnificent palaces, temples and towering ships in full sail. Magnificent.

Magic Lantern Festival - Chiswick House, London

lifelike figures – exquisite

Despite the ticket sell-out, the venue wasn’t over-crowded and people tended to thin out and then gather in a group at each new wonder. The path was muddy of course and in order to showcase the full splendour of the pieces, there were only intermittent low lights on the ground to guide the way. But seriously there was so much light from the exhibits you hardly needed anything else to guide the way.

Magic Lantern Festival - Chiswick House, London

Magic Lantern Festival – Chiswick House, London

The only downside that I can think of were the food stall sort of half way round and the ‘fun-fair’ and tent and stalls at the end. But even though they were a distraction, they were necessary of course for the venue to generate income to offset the costs of hosting such an event. Well worth the ticket price…which may I add was exceptionally cheap considering the stunning stunning exhibition. I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Sunday dawned more or less bright and of course, being the YHA…quite early. People have no idea how to keep quiet LOL.

I lugged my bag downstairs to the luggage room, prayed it would be okay and stepped out into the then sunshine. I had planned on going to Hampton Court Palace but frankly I was just wayyyy too tired so instead I meandered about the area, just exploring the streets enroute to City of London and Guildhall Art Gallery to view the charter given to the City of London by William the Conqueror soon after he was crowned at Westminster.

colourful houses in london

scenes of London

On the way I visited the V&A Museum…where I saw a fantastic exhibition featuring Lockwood Kipling (Rudyard Kipling’s father), and his time in India…which seemed rather congruent as how I had just the day before visited Osborne House where you can see the influence India had on ‘Empress’ Victoria.

a magnificent Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the V&A Museum foyer

a magnificent Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the V&A Museum foyer

Then I popped in at the Science Museum to see the capsule the Tim Peake travelled back to earth in after his stint on the ISS International Space Station last year. Wow!!! Amazing. The Science Museum is a particular favourite of mine and I love to see all the amazing exhibits they have there.

Tim Peake's Capsule at The Science Museum

Tim Peake’s Capsule at The Science Museum

You could spend days and not see everything…much like the V&A and the many other fantastic museums in London. From there I meandered through Kensington Gardens and popped into Kensington Palace. My Historic Royal Palaces membership was due to expire and I really wanted to make one more visit before that happened. It was perfect really as I had visited Osborne House on the Isle of Wight just the day before.

The young Queen Victoria at Kensington palace

The young Queen Victoria at Kensington palace

I met my lovely Belgian friend Valy there at 12noon and we immediately went to have a look. Extraordinary! It’s just mind-blowing to see these treasures. How these things survive is incredible. I often wonder that if people had had more ….I suppose respect for things in the past few centuries, we might have more such treasures. Nevertheless, those that we do have are a wonder to behold and I appreciate every one of them.

On till 27 April 2017: A celebration of the 950th anniversary of the 1067 charter, the oldest item from the City of London Corporation’s 100 km of archives.

The charter was given to the City by William the Conqueror soon after he was crowned at Westminster, but before he entered the City of London. It is key to how William won the support of London and how the City itself began to gain its special autonomy.  Written in Old English, the Charter is tiny, less than 16cm x 2cm in size with one of the earliest seal impressions of William I.

Enchanting!!! Extraordinary!! Amazing!! Incredible!! Ancient!!

We spent another 30 minutes or so in the art gallery…oh those paintings….just stunning. Sometimes I look at them and just wonder at the skill and patience and love the artists must have had…very often you can look at a paintings and it is so finely executed you thinks it’s a photograph.

Procession of Sir James Whitehead, Lord Mayor 1888-1889

“The Ninth of November, 1888”; shows the Procession of Sir James Whitehead, Lord Mayor 1888-1889, passing the Royal Exchange. – artist William Logsdail (1859-1944)

From there we set off across the City of London intending to walk all the way back to Westminster but unfortunately it started to rain so we jumped on a bus instead. On our way to Leicester Square we briefly  passed by the Chinese New Year celebrations in Trafalgar Square.

Chinese New Year 2017 - Trafalgar Square

Chinese New Year 2017 – Trafalgar Square

For the very first time in a very long while I lost my beatings and ended up taking the LONG way round to Leicester Square. Urgh. I can blame lack of sleep LOL.

new LEGO store at Leicester Square

The huge new LEGO store at Leicester Square

All too soon it was time to say goodbye and Valy headed over to St Pancras for the Eurostar back to Belgium and I onto the tube to Earls Court and then back to the mainline station for my train home.

What a fab end to a wonderful trip to the Isle of Wight. I’d SO love to go back there sometime, but the chances of that are pretty slender. I love to see new places and have so many travel goals to achieve on my wish list, that it’s improbable. Although The Needles are calling for a 2nd look 😉 so who knows…..

Next time I’ll be in Surrey working in what I was to discover was one of the Domesday Book towns and………blog coming soon….the place of the oaks.

 

 

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….could there have been a more terrifying way to waken, on what was perhaps a chilly autumn morning, that day, September 2nd, 1666 than to the words of Fire! Fire!! London’s Burning

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autumn

– except perhaps to the news that the French were invading…..or was it the Roman Catholics….

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The French

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or perhaps Roman Catholics

“The ignorant and deluded mob, who upon the occasion were hurried away with a kind of frenzy, vented forth their rage against the Roman Catholics and Frenchmen, imagining these incendiaries (as they thought) has thrown red hot balls into the houses.” William Taswell.

…..they weren’t; it was just a rumour!

In the early hours of September 2nd, on Pudding Lane, at the premises of the Baker to the King; Thomas Farriner, an untended coal flared up…perhaps teased by a whisper of a breeze, just enough to kindle the embers of the bakers oven.

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Pudding Lane

Within a few hours the fire had built and all too soon, while Londoner’s and foreigner’s slumbered still, the flames jumped and ran….

From the Diary of Samuel Pepys – Sunday 2nd September 1666

About seven rose again to dress myself, and there looked out at the window, and saw the fire not so much as it was and further off. By and by our Jane comes and tells me that she hears that above 300 houses have been burned down to-night by the fire we saw, and that it is now burning down all fish-street, by London Bridge. So I made myself ready presently, and walked to the Tower, and there got up upon one of the high places, and there I did see the houses at that end of the bridge all on fire, and an infinite great fire on this and the other side the end of the bridge. So down, with my heart full of trouble, to the Lieutenant of the Tower, who tells me that it begun this morning in the King’s baker’s house in Pudding-lane, and that it hath burned St Magnus’s Church and most part of Fish-street already. So I down to the water-side, and there got a boat and through bridge, and there saw a lamentable fire. Everybody endeavouring to remove their goods, and flinging into the river or bringing them into lighters that layoff; poor people staying in their houses as long as till the very fire touched them, and then running into boats, or clambering from one pair of stairs by the water-side to another.

A trivial beginning that soon turned into a raging inferno, the city was soon ablaze and word went out that London was burning. The Mayor of London, one (fairly dimwitted) Thomas Bloodworth was unperturbed and reckoned ‘a woman could piss it out’….his words came back to bite (burn) him in the bum and by the time the hapless creature realised the extent of the inferno, it was too late to save the city!

Samuel Pepys climbed the steeple of Barking Church (All Hallows by the Tower) to view the fire.

“There was the saddest sight of desolation that I ever saw. Everywhere great fires. Oyle-cellars and brimstone and other things burning. I became afeared to stay there long, and therefore down again as fast I could.” Samuel Pepys.

Alerted by Samuel Pepys as to the extent of the disaster unfolding, by 3pm on that fateful day, King Charles II, accompanied by his brother, James, Duke of York, sailed down the Thames to observe the fire, and immediately gave orders to “pull down buildings to create a fire break.”imag9178

From that luckless Sunday till the following Thursday the flames leapt and bound from dark narrow lanes to streets and courts,

“The streets full of nothing but people and horses and carts loaden with goods, ready to run over one another, and removing goods from one burned house to another.” Samuel Pepys, describing the city on the Sunday evening.20160904_151911

fanned by an east wind….torching wooden houses and stone buildings.

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John Evelyn; 3 September 1666

And as it burned the flames destroyed 13,200 houses, 44 Livery Halls, numerous warehouses along the banks of the Thames crammed with combustible materials; coal, tar, pitch, hemp, rosen and flax (ropes), Baynard’s Castle, the Great Conduit

and four bridges within the city as well as razing 87 medieval parish churches to the ground. Weirdly, the house of Samuel Pepys in Seething Lane remained standing….

Much terrified in the nights nowadays, with dreams of fire and falling down of houses. Samuel Pepys.
copyright John Yabbacome

Samuel Pepys’s house perchance? copyright belongs to John Y

Even that most holy of churches was not left unscathed, and St Paul’s, which had stood at the heart of London life for over 500 hundred years, the 4th cathedral to stand on this spot since 604AD,

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Old St Paul’s Cathedral – the medieval church destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666

was consumed in the inferno, it’s roof melting in the heat,imag7697 causing molten lead, “glowing with fiery redness” to run in streams down Ludgate Hill. On Tuesday, September 4th, a combination of factors caused the building to burn with great ferocity; which catastrophic blaze consumed the cathedral….

copyright John Yabbacome

Old St Paul’s Cathedral – copyright belongs to John Y.

“Thus lay in ashes that most venerab[l]e Church, one of the [antientest] Pieces of early Piety in the Christian world, beside neere 100 more.” from the Diary of John Evelyn; September 7th 1666

….little did he know it then, but up and coming architect, Christopher Wren was just about to be given the biggest opportunity of his life….the rebuilding of the City of London churches, and St Paul’s Cathedral, his masterpiece that took 35 years to build!

 

The fire burned for just under five days, devastating the City, from Tower Hill in the East to Chancery Lane in the north, it swept westwards as far as Inner Temple Hall on the 4th day, which burned to the ground, and by some miracle it burned out before consuming Temple Church.

 

From the diary of John Evelyn – Tuesday September 4th, 1666

The burning still rages, and it was now gotten as far as the Inner Temple; all Fleet-street, the Old Bailey, Ludgate Hill, Warwick lane, Newgate, Paul’s chain, Watling street, now flaming, and most of it reduced to ashes; the stones of St Paul’s flew like (grenades), the melting lead running down the streets in a stream, and the very pavements glowing with redness, so as no horse nor man was able to tread on them, and the demolition had stopped all the passages, so that no help could be applied. The eastern wind still more impetuously driving the flames forward. Nothing but the almighty power of God was able to stop them, for vain was the help of man.
copyright John Yaddacome

London’s Burning

Lost to the inferno were countless treasures; art, books and documents, many of which were held in the Livery Companies Halls – 44 of which were completely destroyed; amongst which were the Cutlers Hall, Mercers Hall, Merchant Taylors Hall, Saddlers Hall, Brewers Hall, Coopers Hall, Drapers Hall, Dyers Hall, Fishmongers Hall, Innholders Hall, Pewterers Hall, Stationers and Newspaper Makers Hall, Tallow Chandlers Hall

and to add a touch of irony; the Bakers Hall!! city-of-london-livery-companies-bakers-hall-2
“We walked and walked and found nothing but heaps of stones and cellars still full of planks and smouldering beams.” Francisco de Rapicani.

Only 8 Livery Company Halls survived the fire; Armourers, Bricklayers, Carpenters, Cooks, Glovers, Ironmongers, Leather-sellers, and the Upholsterers…..others were partially damaged or destroyed by the fire and some were rebuilt, only to be destroyed during WW1 and WW2.

 

After the 6 centuries over which the Medieval city of London had slowly built up, and just five days after a small fire which began in that bakery on Pudding Lane,

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Pudding Lane

the City of London stood in ruins, almost completely destroyed, and as he explored the ruined streets of London, John Evelyn described how the ground was still almost too hot to walk upon, how water in fountains still boiled, and how the iron bars and gates of prisons had melted.

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The Medieval City of London – Agas map

6 months later, on March 16th, 1667 – Pepys recorded “I did see smoke remaining, coming out of some cellars from the late great fire now about six months since “.

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Great Fire of London 1666

By 1680 London’s first Fire Brigade came into existence, funded by the insurance companies, and the first publicly funded fire service was created in 1861, following the Tooley Street fire.imag7849

The Great Fire of 1666 was not by any means the first fire to rage through the streets of London, it was however the most devastating, and has perhaps the most detailed recordings by way of the diaries of Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn and others.

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Great Fire of London 1666

copyright John Yabbacome

1666 – 2016 The Great Fire of London 350th anniversay

Below is a map showing the extent of the Great Fire of London 1666the-photo-at-the-top-of-this-article-is-by-ben-sutherland-used-under-creative-commons-2-0-license-attribution-it-is-a-map-prepared-by-the-museum-of-london

Footnote: The majority of the photos in this blog are mine. A young man, John Y, whom I met at the burning of the effigy on Sunday kindly sent me some copies of his photos…I have noted them as such. Furthermore, for the purposes of this blog I have ‘borrowed’ a couple of graphics and a map from google images.

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On Saturday 17th September 2016, Naomi Riches (London 2012 Paralympic Gold Medallist) will start her latest challenge – to set a new Guinness World Record as the fastest woman to row down the River Thames in a single scull… 165 miles from Lechlade to Gravesend Royal Pier.

Follow her challenge on Twitter

#165challenge

For more about this challenge http://www.thegreatthamesrow.org/

15 River Thames

River Thames 01.01.2011 a misty overcast day

 

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I love London, of that there is no doubt….I can seriously just spend each day, the whole day, just wandering around looking at everything, taking photos and sharing them on social media and just enjoying the buzz of the city.

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one of my favourite views

The reason I went to London was for a Press Preview at Kensington Palace to preview the Fashion Rules exhibition…..’Fashion Rules Restyled’ for 3daysinlondon.info. I’ve seen the exhibition in it’s previous life and loved the dresses and the story behind each one. When I first heard of Fashion Rules, I thought it meant…yeah baby, fashion rules yeah…it rocks!!! But no, it was about the rules governing the design and the making of dresses worn by The Queen and other members of the Royal Family; Princess Margaret in her day and Princess Diana.20160209_112401 - london20160209_112348 - london20160209_112333 - london The focus of the exhibition has been these 3 ladies and some of their significant dresses; dresses that were seen at major functions, for state occasions, glittering balls, overseas visits and so on. Every dress had to be carefully considered, made to measure and to suit the event, as well as keeping up with ‘fashion’ trends.

I really enjoyed the new format, in the previous exhibition each cabinet focussed on one of the 3 women and the dresses they wore and the rules that governed the making of it. In the new format, the dresses have been grouped into particular compositions and focus rather on the reason behind the making of the dress rather than the women who wore them.

The dresses are gorgeous. Diana’s dresses in particular were stunning especially once she gained more confidence and maturity…she really had a most amazing eye for style.

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Diana, effortlessly cool and stylish…forever beautiful

The Queen’s dresses are outstanding, although she went through a very mumsy style at one stage, when she was a younger woman…omg, she was beautiful, and could easily have graced the covers of Vogue just for her looks….never mind her status.

After the preview I had a hot drink (chocolate) and a slice of carrot cake, very kindly provided by HRP. I was well impressed that the HRP are using wooden forks and not plastic….not a comfortable feel in the mouth, it’s quite rough, but a worthy sacrifice to avoid adding more plastic to the environment. I popped past the Round Pond at the front of the palace and then headed over to More London Riverside to watch the Flipping Marvellous Pancake Races. Oh my gosh, what fun – crazy people. There was a huge group of school kids roped in to watch and cheer loudly and did they cheer loudly LOL. You could hear them well before reaching the races.

By then; 13:00 the day was beautiful, the grey overcast skies from the morning had been dispelled and we were treated to that colour blue only found in the northern hemisphere…perfect for photos 😉

Once I had my fill of the pancake races I walked along the embankment to London Bridge, popped past the Glaziers Hall and then onto the Guildhall Library to see the latest exhibition; The Worshipful Company of Glaziers. I love these little exhibitions, they are so interesting and give a glimpse into a world we don’t normally have access to. The history of the ancient livery companies is fascinating and some of them have roots that go back centuries, never mind decades.

I was in luck…there was a talk about the history of London’s cemeteries of London at the library – I managed to get a seat. So very interesting. It’s astounding how long it took for the powers that be to realise they really couldn’t have dead and rotting corpses stacked in piles beneath the church floors. Urgh, the smell must have been awful.

After the talk I walked past St Paul’s Cathedral and took the #15 bus to Trafalgar Square from whence I walked to St James’s Park on my way to The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace to see their latest exhibition; ‘Masters of the Everyday – Dutch artists in the age of Vermeer’. My gosh those chaps could paint. Sometimes you think you’re looking at a photograph the detail is so fine. Exhibition ends 14 February 2016.

St James’s Park is looking splendid in the spring sunshine with hosts of golden daffodils. My favourite place for daffodils each spring is without doubt Kew Gardens, but since I haven’t been able to get there this year, what a treat it was to see swathes of daffodils as far as the eye could see. It was such a lovely afternoon and the sun was sinking towards the horizon and the rays of sun lit up the pretty little flowers making them shine like a blanket of gold.20160209_155608 - london
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After viewing the exhibition I walked to Victoria Station and past one of my favourite churches; Westminster Cathedral. This is such a gorgeous building and the mosaics decorating the interior are breath-taking.

On my way to the station I picked up an Evening Standard; the headlines took my breath away: Fireball horror at the palace. Seems some chap had set fire to himself at 3am in the morning near to the Orangery at the palace. How terribly sad, what an awful way to die. I always feel so sad when I hear about things like that, to think how mentally tormented they must have been at that time, to end their life especially in such a horrific way. May he now RIP, poor man.

So there it is, my day trip to London. What a terrific city. If you ever hear of a job that requires someone to walk about all day taking photos and sharing them on social media etc, please let me know 😉

Cheers folks, hope you enjoy the video

and the sneak peek at the Fashion Rules exhibition and the daffodils. The Pancake race was noisy, crazy and fun. Here’s to 2017 when I’m planning on watching the races at Borough Market. Within the next 4 years I will have attended all the pancake race venues in London.

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one of my favourite views

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Today in 1965, the great Statesman, World Leader and War Hero Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill died at his London home in Hyde Park Gate. His State funeral was held on 30 January 1965.

a sculpture of Winston Churchill at Guildhall

a sculpture of The Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill at Guildhall

I loved history in school and especially the European and British history, in particular the Second World War for which, for some unknown reason, I have always from a very young age had a special affinity. I’ve read hundreds of books relating to WW2 and used to joke about how if I came back I wanted to come back as a spy!! 😉 008 Jane Bond at your service; always stir-crazy, never shaken!! LOL.

spy games academy

safety glasses on, and assault rifle in hand….008 strikes again!

So since coming to London, albeit something I had never planned to do (was I daft or what?), I have enjoyed visiting the places where Churchill worked and lived, the Churchill War Rooms are fascinating and you can hear some of his speeches being relayed over a tannoy; hearing his very distinctive voice left my hair standing on end and tears streaming down my face.

The Churchill War Rooms, a fantastic museum

The Churchill War Rooms, a fantastic museum

St Paul’s Cathedral where Churchill’s funeral was held, has a particular draw for me for many reasons (Mary Poppins, Princess Diana) et al, it is in fact one of my most favourite places in London.

St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London where Sir Winston Churchill's funeral was held

St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London where Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral was held

I wrote a blog yesterday for 3 Days in London about finding Churchill in London and listed some of the places where you can find him. I’m delighted to say that on the 30th January (next Friday) I will be part of a memorial flotilla on the River Thames commemorating 50 years since he died.

Commemoration flotilla on 30 January 2015

Commemoration flotilla on 30 January 2015 – image courtesy of Thames Clippers

One of his most famous wartime speeches referred to the brave pilots of the Royal Air Force ‘The Few’, who fought so valiantly and without thought to their own lives in the skies above our wee island, the Battle of Britain – a defining battle of WW2.

battle of britain memorial

The Battle of Britain memorial on Victoria Embankment – “Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few”

the ever so marvellous Spitfire used so effectively during the Battle of Britain in WW2

the ever so marvellous Spitfire used so effectively during the Battle of Britain in WW2

 

And one of my favourite wartime images

an iconic image of St Paul's Cathedral from during the Second World War

an iconic image of St Paul’s Cathedral from during the Second World War

so here’s to The Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, long may he Rest in Peace

Born: November 30, 1874 at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
Died: January 24, 1965 at Hyde Park Gate, London
Buried: January 30, 1965 at St Martin’s Church, Bladon

…Named the Greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 poll

This is an excerpt from one of my favourite speeches made by Winston Churchill on 29 October 1941 during an address at a school in Harrow during WW2:

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Sir Winston Spencer-Churchill, Never Give In!: The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches

“Never give in, Never, Never, Never…” for the full speech visit http://www.winstonchurchill.org/

 

 

 

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Hello dear lovely people.

weobley, herefordshire, black and white villages of the uk, historical villages of the uk

not the horse I am on…but you get the picture 😉

Just dropping by to let you know that after much deliberation, soul-searching and missing London desperately….I have reactivated 3 Days in London…I’m back….In mind and spirit if not body 😉

big ben and westminster palace

another of my favourite quotes

That’s still difficult and although I do manage the odd day/s here and there, largely I am working and because I now have to travel all the way to Broadstairs between jobs, and since it is criminally expensive to travel by train to London for a day…I can’t spend as much time in the city as I would like. But, there we go.  Broadstairs is gorgeous and I am loving the fresh sea air and walks on the beach with my chica, (who I might add is looking so much happier and healthier and less stressed since she has moved there….3 months already can you believe!!!),

broadstairs a seaside town in kent

beautiful sunset on the beach at Broadstairs….that is Cémanthe in the distance

and the extraordinary sunrises I get to see; they’re something else (altho that won’t last for long coz the days are getting longer and the sun is rising earlier and soon it will arise before I am prepared to!!! LOL).  Hence the reason winter is one of my favourite seasons…..it’s the only time of the year I get to watch a sunrise.   7/8am is way more reasonable than 4am!!!

broadstairs a seaside town in kent

sunrise in Viking Bay, Broadstairs

So, here’s the thing, I have started up/continued with 3 Days in London.  Partly inspired by the 3DIL App…after ignoring it for 3 months and not updating it or anything, the downloads increased by nearly 2,000 to in excess of 4,500 downloads….. so, as you can imagine, when I saw that, I was like WOW…okay so I can’t let these people down and since the ‘business’ is not yet viable to sell, I have decided to activate things again and just get on with it. You may have noticed a lot more activity lately on the twitter profile and I have opened a new instagram account for 3daysinlondon as well as which I am back on my facebook page….I am however going to try and avoid the 2014 burn-out due to my obsession with the city.

london and the river thames

one of my favourite views, upstream from Tower Bridge

“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” — Samuel Johnson

I spent a lot of the latter part of 2014 deliberating and after an intense coaching session on the 3rd January, with my wonderful daughter (who is a qualified coach), I am now moving forward with more deliberation and focus.  I also discovered that I have in fact achieved my life’s goal….”to have a roof over my head while I travel”.   Only it isn’t quite in the form/way that I meant when I said it……as in “I would like to have a camper-van and travel to different parts of the country for/at my leisure”, the goal has manifested itself in my job…wherein I get to travel to different parts of the country and I always have a roof over my head while working!!! Go figure! LOL  so back to the drawing board on that and I shall have to advise the universe of exactly what it is that I want/would like (it doesn’t do to be demanding….I’ll ask nicely).

a mobile home

a mobile home = a roof over my head while I travel

So after the coaching session, I’ve now given myself 5 years in which to build 3 Days in London up into a viable business and that’s where my focus will be….besides working, of which I will be doing a lot in the next year or so. I turn 60 this year and the sudden realisation that I am nearing retirement age (urgh! how did that happen so quickly) gave me a kick up the proverbial *** to start saving…which means I have to work more …blergh!!!  That means I don’t get to as many events as I would like or spend anywhere near as much time in the city as I would love….but you can’t have it all…..so for now I have made my peace with life as it is and just making the most of wherever I am.

broadstairs a seaside town in kent

wish you were here….

I’ve also had to give up my membership of the Historic Royal Palaces and Kew Gardens, which is terribly sad, but seems no point paying for something that I am not going to be able to visit for the foreseeable future…..I shall save the money instead.

hampton court palace

beautiful Hampton Court Palace

In other news, I have been growing my hair now for the last two years and it is now unbelievably… down to my waist!! The intention is to donate it to charity for wigs for people who have lost theirs during cancer treatment.  I’ll be setting up a justgiving link to go with the donation as you wouldn’t believe it but women who have lost their hair only get a synthetic wig from the NHS which I suppose is reasonable as they are expensive….did you know that a real hair wig costs anything between £200 – £2,000….which is extraordinary.  So the plan is to have it cut while I am in London in Feb, as it is now driving me nuts and gets hooked on everything. And don’t even talk to me about washing it….lordy what a mission that is.

Besides that, we went to Canterbury 🙂 Yayyyy!!! Entered via the West Gate (or was it North?) and finally I have visited one of the cities in the UK that I was so desperate to see.  It turned out to be so very different to what I was expecting and ever so fascinating with seriously old houses.  I will write on that shortly.

the maot tearooms in canterbury

The Moat Tearooms on the right….a 15th century house

I also managed to get up to London for the 2015 New Year fireworks and although I didn’t have my usual front row seat due to himself Boris J introducing a fee #booBoris and me being the stubborn person I am refusing to pay for something that was free before and quite frankly in my humble opinion as a Londoner (well not officially right now…but still….) I should be able to go for free…..I did however, get a spot on Horse Guards and although I couldn’t see what was happening in the lower regions of the London Eye, I get to see the wonderful display above.  My gosh, they certainly are a sight to see.   More on that later.

new year fireworks in london

fabulous spectacle – New Year in London

So in the world of Cindy, all is well.  I’m back in Essex with a client I visited last year…..and more on that later too 😉 or else this will end up a book instead of a blog.

essex and kent counties of the uk

from Essex (work) to Kent (home)

 See y’all 🙂

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