Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A farewell to London...for now

Well a catch up on England coming to you from Spain.  I have to keep things in order you know!

My last few days in London were a mixture of theatre going and relaxing.   The next morning after my return from Belgium I headed off to Oxford Circus to see the pantomime "Cinderella".   I had a "double bill" that day so decided I had better have myself a good lunch.  I wandered around not really knowing what I wanted (I hate when that happens) and then saw the Golden Union in Soho and remembered I had read they had one of the best fish and chips in London.  I hadn't had fish and chips yet this trip  - and extra excitement - they had cans of "Lilt" which is a pop that has grapefruit and pineapple.  Yum.  It's not available in Canada and not as easy to find in the UK as it used to be.  So I was happy and the fish and chips were delicious!  They are not cheap but the quality is great - they aren't greasy and the chips are excellent.  Nom, nom....

Gathering outside the Palladium for the matinee of "Cinderella".   The show was pretty good - some of the jokes went over my head as they were about British celebrities whom I had never heard of or else I couldn't understand the actors accent.  And then there's the British sense of humour...but generally I enjoyed it although doubt I would go to something like this again.  Definitely a British thing and I can see why it has never gone over in North America.  Our humour is just too different. The costumes were spectacularly OTT and I'm glad I went....just don't plan a repeat!

Curtain call - as you can see the costumes were a bit over the top!

The panto went longer than I expected and I had to boogy over to Leicester Square to be there in time for the 6 p.m. showing of "Love Actually" at the Prince Charles Cinema.  I love this movie and I can't even say how many times I've seen it.  However I have only seen it on my own personal DVD and Netflix recently - not on the big screen since it was released in 2004.  So that was a thrill - Hugh and Colin together again on the big screen.  That definitely works for me! The admission also included mulled wine and a tiny mince tart.  It was funny as people (okay..women..because let's face it was mainly women with the odd man that had been dragged along) started hissing the slutty b*tch who tried and succeeded to seduce the married character that Alan Rickman played.  So of course I had to join in - it was almost like being at one of the "Sing Along" movies I've attended.  Great fun! (and now just like I sing along and do the proper hand movements and hiss the countess and boo the nazis when I watch the "Sound of Music" at home I will have to carry on hissing at that terrible hussy when I watch it at home)  At the end we all clapped - of course!!  Great fun and can you tell I enjoyed it more than the panto?

The next morning it was very foggy out - a good old fashioned fog as the papers put it.  I had another play on but first I wanted to do a bit more Christmas sightseeing.  Firstly I wanted to see the skating rink at Marble Arch.  Not there anymore!  I guess because there is a skating rink at Winter Wonderland which I avoided like the plague this year.  Anyway I got a couple of cool shots.

This is the horse head statue at Marble Arch - the first time I saw it it took me a while to work out what it was supposed to be..duh....  anyway I think the pigeons were having a convention.

I walked over to wait for a bus and popped over into the first side path of Hyde Park to get this atmospheric shot...

The reason I was heading west was to see the Churchill Arms pub all decorated for Christmas - I had read that they had Christmas trees all over the building (they have flowers usually).  And they did! I had a bit of excitement getting there - nearly got hit by a car!  I was crossing at a zebra crossing and the driver stopped so I stepped out then accelerated again to turn left.  I don't know who was more upset - the passenger or myself!  I couldn't see the driver due to their window being fogged up.....sigh...

Then it was time to go and see "Peter Pan Goes Wrong".  Hilarious!  I had seen the Mischief's Company other performance "The Play That Goes Wrong" in the Spring and enjoyed it.  This was just as good if not better.  I was in the third row this time which was a treat.

Sunday I decided to forego the central London rat race and stay local.  I took the train to Croydon and did a bit of shopping for the trip.

Great choir in the Croydon shopping centre - this little girl was so cute and kept rattling her donation bucket through the performance!

I do have a hairdresser in Croydon (a handsome Italian) but this isn't him!!!!

Monday was another relatively lazy day and I went to Brixton to look in the market and do a bit more shopping.  I had to pay my respects once again to David Bowie and get a shot of the Christmas tree.  I've passed through Brixton a bit lately due to taking the bus and then the Victoria tube line. (thanks to the train strike) but hadn't gotten a picture of the Christmas tree.

Much prettier when it's lit up at night - but I'm usually heading for the bus stop!

I have been to Brixton Market a few times before and this is the first time I've noticed this sculpture...cherries and foxes...hmmm...guess it was a controversy when it was installed in 2010.  The artist was inspired by foxes stealing cherries from Brixton Market...okay....well it's cute and it's not my tax dollars that paid for it so it works for me!!!

Monday evening I attended Claudia's son Alessandro's Christmas concert at the Roman Catholic church of the English Martyrs in Streatham.  I hadn't been to a school Christmas concert since..well I can't remember when...I enjoyed it!  I did have a (free) ticket to go to the Mayor's Christmas concert at Southwark Cathedral but I just could not face the crowds and I knew there would be a lot of standing.

I still have the cold I picked up 1) on the plane over or 2) my first day in London.  Some days are better than others.   My energy level is low and of course my sore knee does not help.  I am still enjoying the trip but it's at a much slower pace than normal.  I know I've said this before but I am so grateful to be traveling on my own for this trip as I would be the worst travel companion ever.  

Next post will be about my trip over to Spain and my first day here in Malaga.  Stay tuned!

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