I Wanna Travel the World…………..

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Hello Readers!
This is going to be a really quick post but tomorrow I’m setting off on an adventure to Prague then to London for the Olympics Opening Ceremony then onto Stafford for my cousins wedding. Although traveling can be a stressful experience it will always be in my mind one of the best and most magical experiences any human can undertake.

 

If you don’t believe me take a look at this little clip, technically its advertising for a flight search engine site but it captures the great feeling you get from traveling to interesting places all over the world.

I Wanna Travel the World Video
The point of this little post is just to say this, get out there and travel. It doesn’t matter if you can’t go thousands of miles just go a few hundred and find some interesting and diverse place that pushes you out of your comfort zone. That’s the true beauty of travel it forces you to understand other cultures, other places and in a way come into your own va va voom.

So figure out where you can go and go! Don’t say oh some day I’ll get there because some day or one day will never happen. The only day is today, so get out there, see the world and let the travel help shape you into the amazing person you’ve always wanted to be. I hope this little post has given you some inspiration and if you’ve been on travels recently, tell me where have you been?
Until next time be blessed, stay strong and never give up,
God Bless,

Grace Hatton

Grace’s Amazing Three Day London Adventure

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Hello Readers!

I apologize for the gap in posts and by the way Miss Moxie did reach the 250 votes goal for the Chase small business grant. We’ve moved onto the next room and I will keep you updated on our progress.  I’m leaving England to return to Florida in two weeks and I realized I still hadn’t posted about my London adventure. Now in May my room mate from college, Hannah came to see me in England and I took her to London.

We only had three days in the capital and I wanted to make sure Hannah got the most out of it so I had it planned out very well. I kept track of everything we did and if you happen to be traveling to London for the Olympics or just for holiday, perhaps this breakdown of our little adventure will show you just how much of London you can get around in a few days, well really one full day and two half days because our coaches got in/left around 3pm on Day 1 and Day 2 so that makes it even more impressive 🙂

Day 1: 3pm – 5:30pm – Exploring the British Museum

6pm-8pm – Hillsong Church Service

8:30pm-? Dinner at Edgeware Road Kebab place and travel back to hostel by Waterloo

 

Day 2:

10am – Arrive at Trafalgar square (take photos with the Lions etc)

10:30 – Walk to Buckingham Palace

10:45-Noon – Watch Changing of the Guard

12-1pm – Eat Lunch on Steps of Piccadilly Square statue

1-2pm – National Gallery

2-3:30pm – Ride through Hyde park to Kensington Gardens on the Blue Mayors Bikes

3:30pm-4pm- Ride bus to Camden Market

4-5:30pm – Eat Bang Bang chicken and wander through Camden Market

5:30 – 6pm – Travel to Harrods

6-8pm – Browse Harrods

8-10pm – Walk all the way to the hostel by Westminster Bridge via Hydpe Park, stop for lounge on Lancaster Place roundabout. Walk through Piccadilly, Trafalgar and over Westminster Bridge

10-11pm – Drink Cider and play snooker in the pub below hostel before collapsing in bed

 

Day 3: 9am- Breakfast

10am- Check Out of Hostel and Begin Walk Along the Southbank

10:30am – Arrive at Shakespeare’s Globe and walk around the building

11-Noon – Walk across Millineum bridge to see St.Pauls and ear snacks on steps

1pm- Arrive at Borough Market by London Bride where we ate a delicious calazone and pizza

1:30-3pm – Visit Tower Bridge/Walk Around Tower of London

4pm – Get on our coach back to Leeds

 

As you can see we had a crazy couple of days and although it was tiring, it was amazing. So if you only have a few days in London don’t despair, you can get a heck of a lot done 🙂 I’ll be back in London with my sister for the Olympic Opening Ceremony so I’m rather excited about that. Hopefully I’ll have time to write something about that too.

Have you been on a short visit to London? Were you able to do this much or more? Where did you go? Let me know because I’m always interested in the travels of others. I hope this blog gave you some inspiration and gave a glimpse into the crazy fun you can have in England’s capital. Oh and the photo included in this post is one I took on the trip with Hannah,

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

Grace Hatton

http://www.gracehatton.com

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

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

London Diaries (Awake Early in the Morning)

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Hello!

I just got back from Spring Break but I wanted to keep up with my London postings so here is another poem! You’re excited aren’t you? I actually didn’t write this for class but I wrote it in the wee hours of the morning when I was traveling on a coach back to Leeds for the weekend. As always enjoy, let me know what you think and remember its my original content.This one is called Awake

 

Awake, Awake

O great city of slumber

 

Shake out your aching bones and dust of last night’s mistakes

Your little worker bees buzzing about before the crack of dawn

 

No traffic or confused foreigners, yet

Just the ones that make your heart beat and blood flow

Bus drivers, street cleaners and underground workers

 

I’m a visitor here

Not one to be seen at this ungodly hour

I’m a night owl after all

 

But the morning crows are all a flutter

They are content here

 

Awake, Awake

 

Prepare for another day of feet pounding against your skin, yells in your ears and pigeons in your veins.

Awake, Awake

Your slumber is done

Hopefully you enjoyed that little bit of my creative writing, it is really odd seeing London in the morning versus in the middle of the day. That’s why I wanted to write this poem. I also just posted my second London diaries video, its in another format than my first one so let me know what you think.

 

London Diaries Episode 2

 

Click the link above to see the video. I hope these snippets about London are enjoyable for you and give you a unique insight into this great city.

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

Grace Hatton

www.gracehatton.com

These College Days – The Love Affair Between An Art Student and the National Gallery

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  A painting, this painting (Ulysses deriding Polyphemus by J.M.W Turner) made me cry today. It’s the first time that’s ever happened to me, but I couldn’t help it.

I’ve heard my art professors talk about shedding a tear upon looking at a certain piece in a certain place, but I never thought it was truly possible until today. Indeed I thought the idea of crying at a painting was darn right silly.

However today sitting in the National Gallery in the heart of London I simply can’t help it.

I cried partly because of the pure beauty in the work, such vibrant and stunning colours bursting forth from the canvas. Such detail on the ships, the way the vapors of paint swirl and twirl together make my heart ache.

Partly because J.M.W Turner is one of my favourite artists in the entire world of art history and the fact I can see his work in the flesh at the National Gallery in London is astounding to me.

But what really gets me is the fact a man over a hundred years ago bled and fought with a canvas to unleash the vision he saw in his mind. When J.M.W Turner was creating the piece he could probably find the weaknesses of the piece, find what he thought needed improving but he presented it to the world none the less. And over a hundred years later I sit staring at his work, longing to escape to the world Turner created with his brush.

Longing to jump into the water and swim towards that crystal sunset. People of all nationalities and tongues sit in this national gallery yet they are all enthralled by this and other paintings. It doesn’t matter if we speak twenty different languages, the emotions and display of J.M.W Turner’s soul is clearly seen on this canvas and transcends language.

In another room, down another gilded hallway I stare at Van Gough’s Sunflowers and again I’m enthralled. It’s another painting that all people of all languages can enjoy.

That’s why I adore art, that’s why I call myself an artist and why I want so desperately to complete my degree in art.

Art inspires wonder, joy and yes even tears. Art reminds me of the beauty this world has to offer regardless of the strive we may see around us. Art is hope, hope for a better tomorrow and an artist can create that hope, seal it on a canvas and leave it in the world, waiting for some twenty year old art student like me to stare at its beauty in the National Gallery and shed a tear without even truly knowing why.

These College Days – Elusive

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Hello Readers,

As my weeks in London progress I feel a mixture of delight and frustration in this great city. There is so much going on in London and so many people all trying to make a good life for themselves. Yet sometimes, mainly when commuting on the bus, I feel a sense of people wanting something more. It’s an odd sensation, but there are moments of pure beauty in this city.

When I travel back from my internship I have to cross the river and today the sun was setting just as the bus was cross. The sun was resting behind big ben and a beautiful glow was cast across the city. That moment made my day and as day turned into night I saw a glimpse of the moon for maybe a few minutes. Which was perfect since for my romantic poets class we had to write a poem about the moon! So for your entertainment (it’s not the best poem in the world ;p) here’s a little poem. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Elusive

I caught a glimpse of your luminosity tonight

But alas your presence is more fleeting than a lover’s whim

Your roaming yellow light slants across the rigid rooftops

Lingering for a breath and then another moment gone

I thought you would be with me, no matter the longtitude or latitude

Yet you hid behind the Chimney’s wrapped within the city like a young maid turning from an over eager suitor.

Hiding your glory in depravity.

The shadows of the city engulf you, capturing you in their eternal vice.

Let me know what you think and if you’re a better poet, which you may very well be, please share links to your poems in the comments box below. Thank you so much for your support and belief (And as always the poem is my original work so no stealing)

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

God Bless,

Grace Hatton – Best Selling Author

www.gracehatton.com