Sunday, 29 May 2011

LONDON - BBC Studios

'Blue' and Blue Peter

I am so excited to have scored my 2nd Blue Peter badge in just 6 months!  I was on the BBC studio set to chaperon students who participated in the taping of the children's show 'Blue Peter'.  The location for the shoot was the famous Blue Peter garden and the episode included the band Blue (remember them from the movie 'Love Actually'?).  They were guests on the show to promote their upcoming role as the UK representatives in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Between takes, I got to talk with the band members. I haven't quite decided which of the band members is my favourite and but Antony Costa seemed the most down to earth and was really chatty with the kids.  As my knowledge of British pop relates back to 2002 when I was last here, I have since read up more about the band and their activities of late and perhaps they're not the best role models!
On the Blue Peter set with the band 'Blue'
 Antony Costa
Duncan James
Lee Ryan
Simon Webbe
 It was very cool though to see how a television show is made.  Here it is:

Friday, 27 May 2011

FREE STUFF London Day Out

Day out in London

Champing at the bit to get out of my tiny apartment and explore London before our glorious early summer quits on us, I am managed to successfully nag at a friend to join me in Trafalgar Square to see a mass Morris Dance. I decided to catch the bus rather than venture underground to the tube. As my stop is the first on the route, I managed to secure the front seat on the top deck.  I decided to take some photos along my route as we passed through London's streets from NW London to Trafalgar Square.
 Design on the top of a cab
Camden Town


Passing by Camden Market

Trafalgar Square
Lions in Trafalgar Square

Ship in a Bottle at Trafalgar Square

Nelson's Column

Morris Dancers... there was more crowd than dancers

Random Apartment Block

Waiting at the bus stop

The Morris Dance ended up being interesting and unique but also a little underwhelming as it wasn't quite as 'mass' as I had thought it would be.  I did get a chance to talk to one of the dancers about just what exactly they were all up to.  It turned out that the guy was from Adelaide, Australia! After all the dancing I dragged my friend for a walk down Fleet Street, past the Wren church and down to this 1600s pub called 'Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese' which I had visited a few weeks early on a walking with Urban Adventures. I enjoyed a pint of cider in the basement, saw Samuel Johnson's chair and then headed to Leicester Square for dinner at an Italian restaurant. A great day/evening out!

Monday, 2 May 2011


Sunbathing in Hampstead Heath

A German news crew interviewing folks in Hyde Park

The West entrance to Westminster Abby
My mother has just left after spending three weeks staying with me here in London. We walked this city from head to toe and took in some amazing sights including attending the ANZAC service at Westminster Abby, celebrating the Royal Wedding at Hyde Park, sunbathing in Hampstead Heath during the heatwave, dressing up and singing along at the karaoke Sound of Music cinema, sampling the delights of Borough Market, riding the Millennium Wheel, shopping at the Camden Markets and of course riding a double decker bus through the city to Trafalgar Square. Fabulous!

I highly recommend the tour company who are affiliated with my favourite tour company of all time .  We did 2 different walking tours in London. Each was 4-5 hours long and luckily I managed to time them so they were 2 for 1 prices.  We had the same guide, Joe, for each and he was a lot of fun. The information was not overwhelming and the tour was of a moderate pace.  I learned so much about the city and loved the small alleyways off of the Strand and Fleet Street. I think I'm more equipped now to get myself around the city and feel far more confident to explore it on my own.  There are so many wee courtyards and squares in that area that really are hidden away.  My favourites were by Samuel Johnson's house and also near the Middle Temple near the Temple Church.  All I need now is more guests to share all this new knowledge with!

Hyde Park at daybreak on 29th April, 2011.

Number 10, Downing Street

View of the Houses of River Thames and Houses of Parliament from the Wheel on the South bank

view from our bubble of another bubble

St Paul's Cathedral

Bunting on Regent Street

Changing of the Guard

My favourite hat at the wedding celebrations in Hyde Park

My mother's friend celebrating in Hyde Park