Oranges and lemons
Tradition says that you are a Cockney if you were born within the sound of Bow bells. One problem is that people can't agree which church the bells are in: St Mary's in Bow or St Mary-le-Bow (photo) in Cheapside. A scientific study in 1991 calculated that before the age of motor vehicles the bells could probably be heard up to 10 kilometres away. Nowadays, with all the traffic din and every shop blasting out pop music, you'd probably need to be born in the belltower to hear the bells.
Take in a concert at St....
Take in a concert at St. Martin's in the Field. I have always wanted to attend one of their candlelight concerts, and while planning our trip, had discovered via their website that the creme-de-la-creme of chamber music groups, from the Academy of St. Martin's in the Field, would be playing a special Spring-themed program on our first night in London. I ordered tickets, telling myself 'This will certainly combat any jetlag we might be suffering that night!' Ah, and it worked. Our previous experiences have made us believers in getting as much fresh air outdoors as possible on that first long day (our flight arrived in London at 6:30AM). So, after checking in to our hotel and unpacking, we zipped over to Victoria station and boarded one of the open-topped bus tours you can hop on and off all day. The weather was lovely and we actually could ride up top -- learning the layout of the city, seeing many of the must-sees along the way. When we reached Charing Cross, we got off to pick up our concert tickets and have lunch at the Cafe in the Crypt. Back on the bus to tour some more, and we returned to the hotel about 5PM to shower and change for the concert. We took the tube from Sloane Square to Charing Cross, crossed the street, and were treated to one of the most fantastic performances I've ever seen. The group played as if it was a single gigantic instrument. Even their hearts must have been beating in sync. The audience, in that simply divine and perfect church, was totally engaged...no shuffling, coughing or whispering. The finish to the concert was Appalachian Spring, by Aaron Copland, one of my favorite modern pieces. I swear, if you closed your eyes, you could see the leaves bursting on the trees along Skyline Drive. Just the memory gives me goosebumps. And guess what? No sign of jetlag!
The Lloyds Building...
Lloyds, the famous insurers, have been around since the 1600's and have been headquartered in various buildings around the City. Since 1986 they have been at One Lime Street. The building, designed by Richard Rogers, was at the time a novelty, as it had all its services (lifts/air conditioning etc) on show on the outside of the building! At the time Prince Charles hated it...so its got to be good!
Its situated just off Leadenhall Street in the City.
London Gay Pride Celebration
It was really nice to share Gay Pride with hundreds of thousands of my LGBT sisters and brothers - on the Fourth of July, 2009. For about an hour, I mean. I live in a small town and I don't really "do" crowds very well. So it was nice to be "in the throng" of the hordes of lesbian, bisexual gay and transgender folk - I enjoyed catching a glimpse of the parade, and I walked past the music stage in Soho Square - but after 60 minutes I had enough "pride" for the day, and I enjoyed a quieter walk through Regents Park back to my accomodations in Camden.
2009 was a big "Pride" in London: the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the 37th anniversary of Gay Pride celebrations in London. Official attendance was estimated at one million. London's Pride celebrations are held annually, in the weeks before and after June 28. The events are scattered, but concentrated in the Soho neighborhood, centering on Old Compton Street and the blocks stretching up to Soho Square.
This one is not **falling...
This one is not **falling down** by any means (tower bridge). One thing cool, which is kind of like a thank you, or have a nice day is 'cheers!' This is used quite often so make sure your answer isn't 'Cheers???, well where the hell is MY drink' ;) hee hee