Sunday, 29 May 2011

Back in London - So Soon ...

On Friday we took Our Daughter out of school and headed to London for the weekend. Our purpose in going was to see "Betty Blue Eyes" at the Novello Theatre.
I had booked the tickets for Saturday night and had then tried to book a hotel. I had tremendous difficulty finding a hotel as Manchester United and Barcelona football supporters had got there before me! Trust me to arrange a weekend away when the European Cup Final was taking place at Wembley!
I did manage to eventually get a room at the Charring Cross which turned out to be a good base as it was very near to theatreland and thankfully although the Other Half likes football - Manchester United is not his favourite team!
There was a football sculpture in Trafalgar Square - can you spot the two balls at the bottom of Nelson's Column!
Followers of this blog know that when we are in London we somehow always end up in Trafalgar Square as we like the Waterstones bookshop located nearby. We had a light lunch at the Costa in Waterstones before heading off to Covent Garden.

En route to Covent Garden we passed the statue of Edith Cavell - a British nurse who saved the lives of casualties from both sides during the First World War. She also assisted 200 Allied soldiers to escape from German occupied Belgium for which she was arrested. She was Court-Martialled and found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. She was shot by firing squad in 1915 at the age of 49.

A short distance away we saw a Metropolitan Police lamp.

We walked past a restaurant with this in the window - I don't know about you but it made me think that it would be most unlikely that I would eat at that restaurant! Is the food so awful that you have salmonella poisoning and die or that it is so bad that you can't eat it and become skeletal - either way, not a good advertisement!

We arrived at Covent Garden - it was quite quiet. There was this one act - a Charlie Chaplin lookalike. The sign says "A day without laughter is a day wasted!" in French.
As there weren't many street performers we decided to go to the London Transport Museum which is located nearby.

We learnt all about omnibuses! We discovered that George Shillibeer, a London coach builder was the first to build an omibus. He had seen similar omnibuses in Paris when he visited in 1828 and built two similar coaches on his return. His coaches were pulled by three horses and could carry up to 20 passengers. By 1831 he was bankrupt - due to the competition from other operators who copied his vision at a cheaper prize!

We also saw many Transport posters - great works of art in themselves.

The posters were cleverlly designed to make people want to travel.

We saw a steam locomotive.

And many other vehicles.

There was a section about the Second World War.

Working on the line fully prepared with gas masks!

A lovely poster from the 1930's / 1940's.

We learnt about the building of the London Underground.

We saw a poster advertising a football match and how to get there by train!

After the Museum we made our way back to Tafalgar Square and from there we went to Admiralty Arch.
Someone had had some fun with the road sign!

We arrived at Admiralty Arch.

We looked down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace.

We had thought of venturing into St. James's Park - Our Daughter wanted to see the squirrels. Our feet ached though and so instead we headed back to the hotel for baths and showers.
In the evening we went across the road to a Pizza Express for a lovely meal before retiring to bed exhausted!
We were kept awake until the early hours by someone in the street playing the clarinet - the person playing seemed to only know the opening 15 notes - sufficient to get money off passers by! The noise went on and on for hours. I think it was an Aker Bilk tune - I think I could quite easily strangle the next person who plays it!

On Saturday we returned to Shoreditch and Brick Lane to see if we could discover some new street art. We recently went on a street art tour and there are postings about it.
We also went to the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green.
In the evening we went to the Novello Theatre to see "Betty Blue Eyes" - it was wonderful!
A great night out - we were thoroughtly entertained.
When we left the theatre we discovered that Manchester United had lost 3 - 1 to Barcelona. The Other Half wasn't too disappointed that he had missed the game!

On Sunday morning we walked to Trafalgar Square and headed towards Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.

I will leave it there for today but before I go a "Thankyou" to Maple Leaf who left such a lovely comment on my last blog. Am I right in deducing that you are from Canada?

Until next time.


1 comment:

  1. Hi June,
    Enjoyed your recent pics & posts, prolific & unusual, at least from a canadian perspective. We have lots of natural beauty but very little in the way of street art. Your camera captures are a treat to see indeed! Architecture,travel, theater, books, showcase them all so splendidly. I feel fortunate to have happened upon your marvelous blog!
    Many Thanks
    Maple leaf :0)


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