Friday, 27 April 2012
There are many statues and monuments on Whitehall as well as the Cenotaph where the Queen lays the first wreath each year on Remembrance Sunday.
But my favourite place on Whitehall has to be the Banqueting Hall which is just across the road from the Horseguards. Although preceeded by another building it was James I of England and VI of Scotland (1602-25) who decided to replace it with a permanent building. Built of brick and stone and completed in 1609, the new banqueting house had a large hall above a ground floor basement. It was built to provide a setting for a new and elaborate type of court entertainment - the masque.
On 30 January 1649, Charles I was executed just outside the Banqueting House, on a scaffold especially erected in Whitehall. He had lost the Civil War, and his enemies decided that he must be executed.
Charles I was composed on the scaffold. He died with great dignity.
In later years it was used as a chapel but nowadays it is used for concerts and the occasional banquet.
Thursday, 26 April 2012
The house opened as a museum in 1925 and they have tried to furnish the house as it would have been when Dickens lived there. Much of the furniture is his original furniture.
This is the lounge where the family would entertain. Dickens was well known within London society at that time and his company would have been in demand.
A typical victorian scullery where the servants would have done the washing and ironing. I doubt Dickens would have ever set foot in this part of the house.
Walking round the house and browsing through the rooms you get a feel for life during the Victorian era. There are many rare editions and manuscripts to view. I found it informative and enjoyable to just wander in his footsteps.
The Museum is closing at the end of this week for refurbishment. I just hope they do a sensitive update so none of the essence of this dickensian building is lost
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Yesterday on a very cold and dreary day in London, I went to visit the new shopping centre, Westfield, which has been built at Stratford next to the Olympic Park. Whilst browsing in John Lewis I noticed what a fantastic view they had of the Park. It was such a pity the weather didn't do the view justice.
|The Olympic stadium|
|The aquatics centre with the hospitality tents in the foreground. To the right is the observation tower designed by Anish Kapoor|
Sunday, 22 April 2012
Today was the London Marathon. Almost 36,000 people took part from the world's greatest marathon runners to ones who seemed to be struggling from the word go. It is a great spectacle to watch. A few years ago I ran it myself. It was an amazing achievement and the incredible crowd really help to get you round. Now I have done it I feel happy to stand back and watch the runners go by.
These photos were taken at the 8 mile point. These runners have been running for about 45mins so are doing really well.
|As time goes on we see more and more of the fun runners who raise an amazing amount for their chosen charities.|
|Even rhinos run the marathon!|
|This runner is trying to get the world record for running a marathon whilst carrying the highest structure. I believe iit is 24ft high|
|This shows the full height of the tower he is carrying. It is based on the Blackpool Tower.|
Friday, 20 April 2012
It is no longer in use as a police station but is said to contain cleaning equipment.
As I said in my previous blog I have been offered a role in the paralympic opening ceremony. I was really surprised by the offer as I felt I hadn't done myself justice as I messed up the final dance routine. Apparently they took into account my previous 2 auditions and I have been lucky enough to be offered a place. I am not at liberty to say any more about the place I have been offered as this is confidential but don't for one minute think I have been offered any kind of starring role. Anyone taking part (no matter how minor a role undertaken) is being asked not to discuss their part in the ceremony.
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Last month I went to a party at the Copper Box (handball stadium) in the Olympic Park as a thank-you for working as a volunteer interviewer. It was great to meet up with the other volunteers. We had completed almost 80,000 interviews for Gamesmakers who will be working at all the different venues during the Games.http://www.hellomagazine.com/travel/201204187782/olympics-100-days-photo-gallery/I am really excited as I have just accepted an offer to take part in the opening ceremony of the paralympic games. I didn't think my audition had gone very well but I must have done something right!
Monday, 16 April 2012
Sunday, 15 April 2012
Saturday, 7 April 2012
|The prep egg|
|Sao Paulo Skyline|
Friday, 6 April 2012
Next to the Houses of Parliament is a small triangular park which runs alongside the River Thames. It is known as Victoria Tower Gardens. It is named after the Victoria Tower(which you can see in this photo) where the parliamentary archives are kept. Quite often Members of Parliament can be seen being interviewed by the media in the park.
The Burghers of Calais by Rodin
This statue represents 6 citizens of Calais who offered themselves as hostages to King Edward 111 during the 100yr war between England and France. The King ordered them to be beheaded but they were saved by the English Queen Philippa. The statue dates from 1895 and can be found in cities throughout the world including Paris, Venice, Washington, Seoul, New York and Canberra.