Nine Things I’ll Miss About London

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Hello Readers!

As I’m writing this post I’m actually back in my hometown of Leeds, England which is about four hours north of London. I’m very happy to be back here for the summer but I can’t help but be a little sad that my time in London is over so I wanted to share with you the top ten things I will miss about London, in no particular order, I’m hoping you will enjoy this off beat list and if you’re planning on visiting London this summer, as many are, this list might give you a little insight into what makes London such a vibrant city and it might give you ideas of how to spend your London days. So here it is, Enjoy!

1) Dapper Gentlemen

London is one of the few places I’ve been in the world where the men have a tendency to dress better than many of the women. From the snazzy suits the financial district men wear to the grungy looks of the boys in Camden Town there is an undisputable style that the men have in London.

They are in my humble opinon, dapper gentlemen. It seems easy for them too as though they just rolled out of bed, threw on what they had in their closets, tutted at their girlfriends over the top heels and fur and went out to strut down Oxford street.

It was always exciting for me, coming from my beloved Warren Wilson where boys forget they need to bathe, to see a city full of stylish, clean and well groomed men. I will miss seeing that and boys if you visit London take some notes from the dapper gentlemen wandering around town and please take that confident unspoken style back to wherever you call home.

2) Pimping Window Displays

Perhaps I’ll miss this one because of the bus route I had to taken into town a.k.a central London and to my internship in Dulwich but I would travel through Knightsbridge, the street where Harrods and Harvey Nichols call home. The  the number ten bus would take me right past their windows and I adore the window displays. Especially Harvey Nichols newest one which is focused around The Queens Diamond Jubilee and shops from the fifties. It really is a gorgeous display and it always made me smile as I passed it. They were the most imaginative and impressive displays I had ever seen.

You can see more photos from  that particular display at this article from the Telegraph.

3) The Art Scene

I have been truly blessed to see so much amazing artists in London. Modern artists and old artists alike. I have seen street artists like Banksy, I have seen Van Gough’s Sun Flowers, a Picasso and my many works of my favorite artist J.M.W Turner. There is so much free and accesible art in London. I spent hours in the National Gallery, studying the art and doing my best to recreate works in a sketch. I spent a day in the Tate Modern being confused and amazed at the work and I’ve grinned like an idiot when I saw Banksy’s work at the end of Portobello Road market.

If you are ever in London be sure to soak up the incredible art scene that exists there, you can visit classics like the National Gallery, the Wallace Collection, The Tate Britain etc and you can visit more modern places like the Tate Modern etc. Most of these places are free and offer you one of the most impressive collections of art I’ve ever seen.

Also be on the look out for street artists like Banksy, London is full of such art especially in places like Camden and on old churches in Notting Hill. Everytime I discovered street art it felt as though I had uncovered a secret gem and made me smile just as much as seeing the old masters in the galleries. Yes, the art scene in London is incredible and perhaps the thing I will miss the most.

4) The Theater

I was lucky enough to take in some great theater in London ranging from the Lion King to Comedy of Errors. The theater scene in London is again one of the best I’ve ever been around and the variety is just incredible. So my advice for people visiting London is simple, expand beyond the West End and give yourself some variety.

I saw two big musical shows in the West End, Lion King and Singing in the Rain. Both were utterly fantastic and Lion King may just be the best show I’ve ever seen but I was also able to see off beat plays such as Bloody Poetry in 30 people theaters, I even went to a production of MacBeth in a theater over a pub and those experiences although vastly different from the West End musicals were just as wonderful. So take in a musical but branch out as well and be delighted by ALL  the theater London has to offer.

5) 24 Hour Transport

One of the wonderful things about London is you can always get around via the transport system. There’s the tube, which I was never a fan of, the river boat, the overground trains and my favorite the buses.

The wonderful thing is that from wherever you are in London you can get anywhere else in London thanks to the transport system. The number 9,10 and 176 bus served me faithfully and I was able to get from Kensington to Dulwich and everywhere in between. Even at two am in the morning you can get to where you need to go thanks to the nightbuses and the adventures that lay within them. So if you’re in London you never have to worry about getting home and that’s a great advantage to the city.

6) Free Museums

One of the most wonderful things about London are the museums from the Victoria and Albert Museum to the British Museum. These museums contain the treasures of England and other countries and best of all they’re FREE admission. The Victoria and Albert museum is referred to as England’s attic since odd knick knacks of every generation since the museums creation has been through in there.

The V and A also boasts one of the most beautiful sculpture collections I have ever seen and is well worth a visit. The Science museum which is located right next to the V and A is also a great FREE museum, especially if you have kids with you. During the day its full of young minds playing with all of the interactive exhibits but on the first Wednesday of every month the science museum hosts a late night event for adults only.

The late night event hosts specific exhibits and displays just for the older crowd and the late nights host a silent disco which for me was a highly entertaining and amusing experience. There is silence in the hall as everyone who is dancing has headphones on so its hilarious to watch people dance to no music and then you can tune into the same DJ station as your friends and all dance along to the same tune or be on different stations and be dancing like a maniac to completely different genre. So be sure to check that out if you happen to be near the Science museum on a Wednesday night.

Finally the British museum is the museum to end all museums (I couldn’t help it ;p) and within its walls lay the ruins of entire civilizations including the Egyptians and Greeks. In fact the British Museum boasts the largest mummy collection outside of Egypt. It also a great experience if you’re an art lover like me since it is full of sculptures from different civilizations and times. However be warned if (like I did) you plan to sit down quietly and sketched the Egyptian busts be prepared for many over the shoulder looks from curious tourists.  But all in all some of my favorite memories from London are the ones of me spending the day just getting lost in a museum and I highly recommend the experience.

7) Living Over a Tesco

So this one isn’t necessarily limited to London but my apartment in London was situated right over a Tesco express. It was fantastic! Whenever I needed to grab simple things like milk and bread it was there but best of all when late at night my roommate and I would get the craving for something sweet we would travel downstairs and around the corner to the Tesco decked out in a combination of our pj’s and whatever portion of the days outfit was on our body  creating unique and odd outfits that thrilled the employees of Tesco to no end.

That being said if you ever have the chance to move into an apartment that rests over or right next to a Tesco express or any other supermarket/grocery store you should most certainly do it, it makes for a excellent living experience. Without a doubt I will miss the convenience of living over that Tesco and all the smiling staff we met at all hours of the night.

 8) Royal Influence

The evidence of a royal presence in London is everywhere from the flags surrounding Buckingham palace to all the buzz surrounding the reopening of Kensington Palace (where Will and Kate will live). There is also evident of past monarchs such as the monument outside of Charring Cross station that is a replica of the sculpture King Edward the first created to mark the final resting place of his wife. There is also the huge monument set up in Kensington gardens across from Royal Albert Hall that Queen Victoria commissioned upon the death of her husband Albert.

The royals are everywhere around London and it was my opinion that I felt the presence of the royals in London more than anywhere else. Indeed the Queens face is plastered over ads, the Metro news and the tacky souvenirs tourists buy from the shops on Oxford street. Yes indeed London and the royals have a special relationship and it just seems to add to the charm of the city.

  9) My Internship

One of the best things about my time in London was my internship with Dulwich Onview

My internship allowed me to travel throughout South London visiting art galleries, shows, cafes, plays and more. Without my internship I would have never gotten to know the South of London and all its dynamic art communities. It was a real thrill for me to wake up and know my job was seeing wonderful art in famous places like The Tate Modern Gallery and not so famous places like the GX gallery.

My internship caused me to look at art in a unique way and hunt out its unique qualities to create worth while stories that people would want to read. I’ve had great feedback for the stories I’ve written during my time at Dulwich Onview and even had artists/owners e-mail me to thank me for the reviews I’ve written. Truly the internship was one of the best things about my time in London and I will mist traveling around London hunting out art, great cafes and moving plays to write about for Dulwich Onview.You can read all of my Dulwich Onview articles on my author page.

So that’s it, those are the things I will miss the most about my time in London.  It has been a great experience in London and something I wouldn’t trade for the world. I hope this post gave you some fresh ideas if you are thinking about visiting London and if you’re not going to be in London anytime soon I hope you found this post entertaining! I would love to hear your thoughts on this post and anything you miss about London if you’ve spent anytime there.

Until Next time be blessed, stay strong and never give up,

God Bless,

Grace Hatton

http://www.gracehatton.com

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These College Days – London Diaries – Queens Walk

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Hello!

So here is another poem from my time in London and no its not about the queen. There is a great area on the Southbank that’s called Queen’s Walk and that’s where I wrote this poem so that is the reason for the title. It’s a really intriguing part of the city and I was there for my internship. I wrote this poem just for fun but since I’m also using it for my romantic poetry class I figured it could fall into my These College Days posts ;D

Take a read and let me know what you think. Also I have updated my pages i.e my about me page, support page etc and would love for you to take a look. Anywho I’m coming to the end of my time here in London and its been wonderful! Look out for another blog post soon giving my wrap up of my experience in London and what I will and won’t miss about this vibrant city. Enjoy the poem. (As always this is my original work so no stealing :D)

Queens Walk

Seagulls squawk

They long for the sea but an ebbing Thames will have to do

 

A little sun peeks out from the clouds but a chill remains

Famous landmarks across the river seem to wink hello

 

Cranes rise from the ground like steadfast soldiers surrounding the dome of St.Pauls as if to say the new must surround the old

 

Workers in neon coats mingle and children giggle

Men in stuffy suits gaze across the river to find a moment of peace in the madness

 

Oh what a fortunate soul am I to sit on these tattered south bank benches and watch the world of London go by

 

I hope you enjoyed that little snippet of London life and I also wanted to say thank you so much for the support on my Marrakech piece. I had more likes on that post then I’ve ever had before. So thank you very much.

Have a great night and a good week. I’ll be going to Camden Town tomorrow and going to get dental surgery so exciting times for me ;p

Until next time,

Be Blessed, Stay Strong and Never Give Up

Grace Hatton – Amazon Best Selling Author

http://www.gracehatton.com

These College Days – A Day in Marrakesh

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Hello Readers!

May I just say Happy Easter, I hope wherever you are in the world, you are having a lovely time with family and friends celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and of course enjoying good food, chocolate and easter eggs!

Today I wanted to share with you a little something from my travels. On my journey over Spring Break I traveled to Marrakesh in Morocco as well as Venice and it really is a strange and magical place. On one of my days in Marrakesh the group of ladies I was traveling with and I had quite an eventful day. I recorded it in a sort of long poem/creative non fiction piece that I like to call a murmuring so here it is. Please enjoy and let me know what you think!

 

(As always this is my original work and all copyright goes to me. No stealing please)

 

Marrakesh Murmurings

(Created on February 29th 2012)

“Fatima cous cous”

Echoing calls of Arab men

Monkey’s on chains

Snakes dancing to silly tunes, their true power and bit pulled from their bodies

 

Push further and further back

White fades to tan

A very good price, that’s what he’ll sell you

 

In the darkest corners are the best men

Decent prices and smiling faces

Eager to help

 

Push back again

Back towards the square where ladies force henna upon me and fruit sellers make the amazing stuff

 

Towards the mosque

Smoke and gasoline swirl around my throat

Bike rushing behind me

Watch that foot or I might just lose it

 

The horn screeches from the roof and a haggard prayer fills the square

I hear no love in his devotion, just duty

 

Only duty

Is a nation filled with duty better than a few filled with love?

I think not

 

Get lost again

Leery stares from unwanted admirers and grunts from covered women

 

The jolly tourist police man finds us and guides us in French

I do my best to hear him

Four, six, and phone is what I hear

 

Understand?

Turn at the phone?

Go ten minutes?

Wee!

 

Merci becoup I grin and he hands us the proper shiny maps we’ve been waiting for

A palace in ruins greets us, only to have its doors already shut

Oh well, just try again tomorrow

 

I hope you enjoyed that little journey through Marrkesh and Morocco. It’s one of those places that you really have to be there to feel its energy and vitality however I do hope my murmurings gave you a glimpse into it. I will be posting a video soon about my travels. If you like my travel writing please let me know, I love hearing your responses to my work and if you haven’t already be sure to follow me on Twitter @gracehatton

Until next time, be blessed, stay strong and never give up!

God Bless,

Grace Hatton – Amazon Best Selling Author

P.S I had an idea for a post end of world novel where the youth are controlled by a singular government and a rebellion rises up to take down the corrupt government and free the youth that have been captured. That is a very vague description but what do you think? Let me know!