Proms and Palaces

Following a wonderful day at the Paralympics on Friday, we continued the ‘P’ theme with mum and I attending Proms in the Park on Saturday night and then a tour of state rooms at Buckingham Palace on Sunday.

We were graced with gorgeous hot weather and enjoyed the Indian summer weekend (whilst I continued to slap on SPF50!)  First there was Proms in the Park in Hyde Park which I treated mum to for her birthday.  We picked up lots of picnic food and headed into the park with 40,000 people to enjoy a night of great music (Il Divo, Alfie Boe, Bjorn Again and the wonderful Kylie) before we went live to the Royal Albert Hall for the final songs of the Proms.  Mum and I loved every moment of the flag waving and dancing.  It was a fantastic celebration of Britain and there were videos from the Olympics and Paralympics and moments were we remembered the Queen’s jubilee.  I’m already thinking about getting tickets for next year.

And then today mum and I were up early and at Buckingham Palace for a state rooms visit of the palace.  I went about eight years ago with a friend and since then I have been suggesting that my parents attend.  The state rooms are stunning.  Merely the fact of walking around the palace and seeing where the Kate and William had arrived at the palace folowing their wedding, where people recieve Knighthoods and OBEs and the splendour of the palace I don’t think can be matched.  The great thing about the tour is that everyone wheres headphones with audio descriptions given in great detail of every room that you tour.  It is incredible.

Apple juice (from the Sandringham Estate) and cheesecake sitting in the Buckingham Palace tearoom after the tour was pretty special.

And the gardens were spectacular.  There are some places in London where its hard to remember that you are in the middle of a busy city, but this garden was one of those rare tranquil places.

Following the tour we walked up to Hyde Park Corner and looked at the new war memorial which commemorates the Bombers, and was a labour of love for the supporters who campaigned for years for this memorial.  It is beautiful, and although the largest war memorial I have seen, it is understated and blends in so well with its surroundings.  It was sad too though, as floral tributes had been left and continued to be left by families as we stood in awe at the monument.

Its been a busy weekend and most the time I’ve felt like a tourist in my own hometime, but it has been the best weekend too.

How was your weekend?

~ Pru

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A day at the Paralympic Swimming

I hadn’t been that enthusiastic for the Olympics until about a week before when I realised that I had been mad not to apply for tickets. I hunted for tickets on the most annoying ticket website I’ve ever encountered and finally struck gold.

Today, mum, dad and I made the easy journey from home to the Olympic stadium for swimming heats. I cannot fault the day at all.

From the moment we stepped out at Stratford Station there were friendly helpers who are called GameMakers guiding us to the right places, giving advice and they were incredibly helpful.

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The Aquatics Centre was impressive and so much bigger than I had appreciated.

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We had lunch in the (barely there) shadow of The Orbit which I’ve decided I like after seeing it up close.

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And then we went for a wander. We walked to the Veledrome which is fitted with beautiful wood paneling and then we sat down on the grass and watched the basketball on the big screen.

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If it hadn’t been for needing to collect Violet then I’d still be there now. The security check was thorough but quick and we encountered no queues when purchasing drinks, although £10 for a bottle of sunscreen is extortionate.

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But I wouldn’t change today for anything. I was so proud of everyone there and of London for putting on a wonderful event day in, day out for weeks.

~ Pru

An early morning walk through Holland Park

THERE’S A GIVEAWAY THIS WEEK OF A CUSTOMISED LEATHER BRACELET – MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE A COMMENT ON THAT POST TO ENTER.  (GIVEAWAY ENDS 09/09/2012 AT 9AM UK TIME)

When I was at school and throughout college we didn’t have a computer at home.  I spent most of my lunchtimes in the computer room desperately trying to learn how to type and use a computer wisely.  During my year at college (I did a legal secretary course) we had Fridays off from college and I would head to Kensington to a computer cafe to type up my assignments.  Needless to say, that I have passed the gates to Holland Park countless times.  Heading through Kensington is my passageway from home into London.

With hot weather expected to last for the next week, an early start on Saturday morning seemed like the perfect time to venture out and get a walk done early in a park that I have been meaning to visit ever since seeing photos on the internet in the spring.  Holland Park turned out to be tranquil and still at 8am and although I think it would have been too much to handle by lunchtime, this is the perfect place to wander around and enjoy.  And I know that I missed some of the park so will have to head back in at another stage (maybe once autumn and cold brisk mornings arrive). 

I must start seeing more of the city I call home and that I love so much.  I could have kicked myself for not venturing through the gates to the park sooner, but I know that I will return with a coffee in hand and a cake from Ottolenghi to soak it all up again soon.

~ Pru

The Olympic Summer of not Blogging

So I admit that the decision to take a break from blogging was quite a quick decision and I wasn’t sure if the break would tell me to stop blogging altogether or help me sort out the problems I was having (with blogging).

Rejoice!

Because I’ve figured it out and I’m back with renewed energy and some pretty darn good posts on the way! (Including a great giveaway starting on Monday).

Whilst the sun barely shon and the temperature hit 30 twice, the summer was busy. I finished for my summer break by telling you about the 33 things that were taking over my life.  I think we are down to about 25 things – I have green beans and runner beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but some of the vegetables have had their day and are finished.

Of course, I’m a London gal and the Olympics seemed to make everyone proud of their country and city and I couldn’t have been prouder of my home town.  I made a few trips into town beforehand and the bunting strung from nearly every lampost and the atmosphere all around was heartwarming.  Whilst we didn’t go to the Olympics we have got tights for the Paralympic swimming on the 7th and I’m very excited.

Top to bottom:

(1) The Gloriana travelling along the Thames at Barnes with the Olympic Torch; (2) Tower Bridge proudly displaying the Olympic rings; (3) Mum and I went into Richmond Park for the cycling event, crowds built up very quickly; (4) Runner Beans growing at the allotment; (5) The allotment looking from the compost to the shed; (6) Honeycombe & Chocolate Vienetta following a trip to Norwich.

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You’ll be pleased to see that I kept to only a few photos, Tower Bridge especially had lots of photos taken of it as I saw it open (which I’d never seen before).  The boat coming through the bridge had Rule Britannia playing which must be the most patriotic thing I’ve ever witnessed.

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How was your summer?

~ Pru