Thursday, 10 September 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 33- For London City!

I love London it’s such a lively city and yes, of course it has its downside but generally you find what you look for. I love the fact that you can travel all around the city on bus for under £5 a day- and even the travel cards that enable you to use tubes, trams etc are not overly expensive; and let's not forget the Boris Bikes! This means that London in its entirety can be your back yard. Whether you’re looking for history, architecture, wide open spaces or a trip along the river, London has it all just waiting to be savoured.

Whenever I cross the River Thames over one of the major bridges, usually by bus, I feel so rich and privileged. Can’t exactly explain this but London has always held a magical quality for me. Just looking at the buildings inspires a sense of awe and wonder enabling us to compare the ancient masterpieces to imaginative contemporary structures. You definitely don’t need an art degree to appreciate these or the infinite carvings adorning buildings and also the diversity of statues in so many places, some of which have become famous landmarks - roll on Open London when we can visit exciting places such as the Bank of England. I was surprised to find that I can visit the building I used to live in as it is a listed building as part of this programme! 

The Southbank is an amazing place hosting a number of cultural events every year. Many of these are free and have a truly international flavour. It resembles a cosmopolitan pulse beating away as millions of tourists and Londoners take full advantage of this lively hotspot. Usually foodies are spoilt for choice with an array of stands to choose from during food fests, and let’s not forget the regular entertainment, street artists and skateboarders. I have witnessed some great musicians and street dancers displaying their skills; you never quite know what talent might be around when you decide to pop along- even sand craft on the little beach along the Thames- amazing!

London's museums are still free and frequently house exhibitions which incur charges. Children just love the interactive activities in the Science Museum and standing in awe of skeletal dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum! London also houses modern museums and a huge number of art galleries- can’t wait to see a Zwanik original displayed in the Tate Modern!  

London is also home to an entire host of other free events from lunchtime concerts to seminars and inspirational workshops. Live music within beautiful churches is definitely praiseworthy and London's beautiful parks play host to many festivals throughout the summer with Winter Wonderland at Christmas. 

My favourite day out in London was many years ago when my son and I went to a a special ENB (English National Ballet) event. We spent the day learning about what was involved when dancers go on tour and were given costume demonstrations- never realised how sweaty and horrible those costumes become as the season progresses- they look so glamorous on stage! The surprise of the day was when they tested out the organ which had been under repair for months- I can’t explain how it feels to be in the Royal Albert Hall feeling the power of that beast reverberating throughout your body and the entire building! It was a truly magical moment followed a little later by a beautiful performance of Swan Lake. I have been to many ballets, shows and just love musicals, whether in the West End or locally at Wimbledon Theatre. Once I saw the Russian All Star ice skaters performing amazing moves on a small stage at the Fairfield Halls- quite a feat! The most recent musical event I attended was in Trafalgar Square where the top musicals were showcased- a great help if you’re not sure which to watch- I must say The Michael Jackson musical looked particularly wicked!

If you have never had a chance to visit London put it on your bucket list. It’s still a magic town to me, steeped in history and culture and yes- I have seen the Queen!

Jaz McKenzie
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