It's unbelievable that xmas is almost upon us! Where did 2010 go to?
For us it'll be a very different festive period to last year when we celebrated our second wedding on the beach at Wainui, and had lots of family and friends around. This year I'm working from 0700 to 1500hrs on xmas day and then again Boxing Day night - the things you do for money aye?
The week after xmas we have our house rented out to people working at 'Rhythm and Vines', the hugely popular three day New Year outdoor concert being held for the eighth year running here in Gisborne, increasing the population of Gisborne by around 20,000 for a few days. So from 28 December to 2 January, Barry and I will be camping with some friends about half an hour up the coast from town, yards away from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world - another way of trying to make some money back and not such a great hardship, apart from the basic toilet facilities but we've coped with worse than that!
Barry passed his 'Bar Manager's' course last week, and is working part time for 'Wright's Wines' helping with their wine tasting and sales (he has a little experience in the alcohol field I think!).
Anyway, that's an update from Gisborne, now onto the next blog about our last day looking around the Big Smoke ...
Monday 27 September
After a busy weekend we didn't manage to get organised to venture out onto the streets of London until around midday. The tube was back to normal so we bought another day ticket and set off for Leicester Square to buy tickets for a show tonight. Seeing as we're off to Paris tomorrow, the obvious choice was Les Miserables, celebrating it's 25th anniversary in 2010.
Tom had considered taking the train to Brighton today as it's only an hour and a half away by train, but the weather forecast was gloomy so it wasn't appealing - it's not a lot of fun wandering around a seaside town alone in the rain.
We caught the tube from Paddington to Leicester Square for show tickets
After purchasing the show tickets, we walked to Trafalgar Square to look around, then caught the tube to St Pancras to collect our pre-booked tickets for our morning ride on the Eurostar to Paris - we wanted to check out where to go so we didn't have any hold ups (well I did, Barry would be quite happy leaving it all to the last minute as usual!).
A quick look around the National Portrait Gallery, then Trafalgar Square to Euston Tube Station to get to St Pancreas Station to collect our rail tickets for tomorrow
St Pancreas sits at two levels with local trains below and Eurostar above
More walking followed, crossing London Bridge then left towards St Pauls, then back over the river on Millenium Bridge to South Bank. We had a cursory look inside the entrance to The Tate Modern, then a stroll past the London Eye - sadly by the time we got there it was way too late to go on (or we'd have missed the show!) - I've been on the eye some years ago when I lived in London, and the boys weren't too bothered surprisingly as it's a fabulous view from the top.
A very claustrophobic feeling with all the tall buildings around - much rather be on an isolated country canal
Trains and boats - no plane but no doubt there'll be one along in a minute!
No narrowboats to be seen dodging the big boats today
More oppressive structures packed in at every turn
Simple fixtures and fittings certainly look grander in London!
The modern converges with the old ...
... which are both still better than the era (or should it be error?) in-between
I think St Paul's Cathedral will be more likely to stand the test of time!
We headed back across the Thames, over the Millennium Bridge, looking back to Tower Bridge
The imposing 'Tate Modern' Gallery - an ex power station building ...
A short rest, but time was marching on, so we had to keep moving
Some more unique angles on a few of London's top attractions
Westminster and the HoWestminster and the Houses of Parliament looking magnificent
Dave and Nick's place
We headed back to Leicester Square to eat dinner and get to the theatre on time, stopping at a pub that looked as though it served wholesome British tucker but sadly didn't live up to it's expectations! If only I'd remembered that China Town was close by, we could've gone there and ate some tasty food - ah well, life's full of regrets and the phrase 'I wish I'd...' or "I wish I hadn't ...", and just occasionally we get it right!
Les Miserables was a fabulous experience, and a great one for Tom and Barry's first taste of a musical with the most incredible voices - well worth the expense. I had to listen intently to all the words of the songs as I only vaguely knew the story and was too tight to buy a programme, lol!
Dinner and a pint before the theatre - doesn't get much better than this (shame the food wasn't up to much though)!
And a walk around China Town after the show
The gloomy backstreets of Chinatown - just like a movie set
We returned to the boat after midnight, straight to bed ready for our overseas trip tomorrow and my 51st birthday!
Have we covered all the underground routes yet?
It may be under the ground, but it's not drab