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goddesstogo and mr. goddess's big London adventure (an ongoing tale)

goddesstogo and mr. goddess's big London adventure (an ongoing tale)

Old Nov 6th, 2010, 10:03 AM
  #501  
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sarge, I'm so excited for you! I have every confidence that this is going to work out for you. And yes, you will be depressed when the time comes to go home. Better gear up for that. I've already promised myself that I'm not going to constantly talk about how much I love it here. I hate when people do that to me. But...I love it here.

Well, they let us come home from Broadmoor. It was a very interesting day. This all started because we'd signed up for a 1 hour talk at the Wellcome Centre on forensic psychiatry. A couple of weeks later I got an email from the them saying that the psychiatrist giving the talk would prefer to do it where she worked -- Broadmoor, so it was now going to be a daytrip. They supplied coaches (two big ones which were filled to the max) and lunch. After lunch there was a short talk by the Director on the history of the hospital and then we went into the auditorium for the interview. The doctor, Gwen Adshead, was interviewed by A.C. Grayling and there were lots of opportunities for questions and answers. One man in the audience has a son in the hospital. It was really very interesting and the kind of opportunity I feel lucky to have had because it's a one off. And I can't believe the whole thing was free. I enjoyed the coach ride too -- out of London to Broadmoor through nice countryside, with the leaves turning (although nothing like at home; fall leaves are the one thing we do better).

SO is cooking at home tonight so I'm looking forward to a nice pasta dinner!
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 11:22 AM
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Hey, that was the 500th post!
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 01:01 PM
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sarge, that's great. here's hoping it happens.

GTG - 500!!! [how many are yours?....only kidding! it's a great thread].

and a visit to Broadmoor - that must be a fodor's first. you were indeed lucky to get to see inside this unique institution. AND to hear A.C. Grayling.

but you haven't answered a much more important question - did you get to see a bonfire and fireworks?
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 01:22 PM
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No bonfire, no fireworks except for the few we could see from the window. We've been hearing them for two nights though. Did you go to a bonfire?

I wish we'd actually been able to go inside the hospital itself. Our talk was held in the conference centre outside the high brick walls. A.C. Grayling is a very good interviewer, very relaxed and easygoing. He keeps control of the time but lets the ideas roam, if you know what I mean. If you're interested, it seems he moderates many (maybe all) of the talks at the Wellcome Collection (www.wellcomecollection.ogr).
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 01:23 PM
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um, you know I meant dot org, right? not ogr?
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 02:22 PM
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ogr or org - what's an rrr between friends?

i have heard AC Grayling on radio a few times - he's very interesting.

we didn't go to a bonfire. it was wet here and the pub at the bottom of the road [actually our next-door neighbours] were having fireworks so we could watch them by standing outside the kitchen door, without getting too wet.

I found the set of lectures that you are talking about on the www.wellcomecollection.org website. they look fascinating; sadly they are all in London. but they are broadcast on the World Service, so I'll have to make a note of when they are gonig to be on. Lucky you to get on the only one which involved a day trip - how did you find out about it?
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 02:33 PM
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To be honest, ann, I can't remember how we found out about it. I'd certainly never heard of it before we came here. I think we were just walking by on the way to or from the British Library and something must have caught our attention. They have exhibits there and also a nice cafe and a very interesting bookstore. 'Lectures' sounds more school-ish than they actually are. The ones we've been to are quite casual and often funny. Those scientists are a wacky bunch!
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 02:41 PM
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There may still be some fireworks displays tomorrow night. Or there's always the Lord Mayor's Show next Saturday (procession in the morning, and fireworks at 5pm on the river; best viewpoints for the procession somewhere up the bit of Fleet St that slopes down to Ludgate Circus on the way out, and where the road slopes up from the Embankment to Blackfriars Bridge, and best viewpoint for the fireworks near the Oxo Tower).

http://www.lordmayorsshow.org/
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 02:41 PM
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how often tourists know things that the locals don't! I'd never heard about these lectures but will [try to] make a point of listening to them on the world service.
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 03:18 PM
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I'm really enjoying this report.

Please keep rediscovering London for us all!
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 04:32 PM
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annhig, do you live very far from London? I don't think all their events are in the evenings. The weekend ones are in the daytime, at least.

Patrick, I've been seeing posters for the Lord Mayor's Show but had absolutely no idea what it was. I've never heard of it before. I'll try to convince SO that we need to get out and see at least part of it, probably the fireworks. I guess places like the Oxo bar would be booked up, wouldn't they? It would be nice to see the fireworks from there, especially with a vodka martini in hand!
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 04:34 PM
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And thanks, RM -- I'm enjoying writing it. When we're home, I'll just print it all out and have an 'interactive' trip journal!
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 05:30 PM
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If you've been following the news back home, you'll know that Toronto has an ice cube's chance in hell in the next 4 years of ever having a 'Lord Mayors Show', so enjoy the chance you have.
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Old Nov 7th, 2010, 01:44 AM
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GTG, the show is a combination of historic pageantry (gilded coach, liveries and uniforms) as the Lord Mayor does the ceremonial for his taking office, plus a community and commercial carnival parade (different organisations with City of London connections put in floats and bands, and some overseas visitors too for no obvious reason other than fun and colour). If the weather's OK, it's worth a look, or there's usually some TV coverage.

As for the fireworks, I've never tried to get into a bar with a view, for that obvious reason! But anywhere along that part of the river is right opposite the lunch barges, so you get a pretty good view.
http://autolycus-london.blogspot.com...yors-show.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSOFm18BGUk
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Old Nov 7th, 2010, 01:45 AM
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The curse of the wandering cursor - "launch" barges, of course.
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Old Nov 7th, 2010, 01:41 AM
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Well, I thought the lunch barges sounded pretty interesting too.

Oh, mathieu, I know! I'm so concerned for my city. How could anyone vote that idiot into office?
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Old Nov 7th, 2010, 02:41 AM
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GTG-The penny dropped and I finally figured out that I've passed the Wellcome Collection many times on the bus. Didn't realize they had such interesting lectures and will have to look around if/when I next visit.

Never seen the LMS but if you want to go to Oxo or any restaurant close, I'd be there early. I think the parade usually has at least one or two bands from North America-there's always an article in my local paper.

You still have a month left in London, don't think about going home yet....
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Old Nov 7th, 2010, 11:35 AM
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annhig, do you live very far from London? I don't think all their events are in the evenings. The weekend ones are in the daytime, at least. >>

only 300 miles but it feels like 3000 sometimes, the time it takes to get there. 6 hours drive/ 5 or so on the train. I worked in London for 15 years or so, but never lived there, so you probably know more places than I do.
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Old Nov 7th, 2010, 01:20 PM
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emily, I can't bear to think about it because I know that while it's 5 weeks now, those last few weeks are going to disappear in the snap of a finger. That said, I've still got a list of stuff I want to do and long walks to take.

Oh, that's too far for a casual visit then, annhig. Still, if you're here for a few days sometime, remember the Wellcome Collection.

Today we went to Highgate. We didn't do the whole walk that we'd planned because we got a late start but we walked in Highgate Woods, Muswell Hill Road, Southwood Road, South Grove, Highgate High Street, and down Swain's Lane. We walked in the cemetary for about an hour and I took lots of pictures of mossy angels. It's a beautiful old cemetary and I think this must be the prettiest time of year to be there. It smelled so beautiful because of all the fallen leaves.

After that we walked a little further down Swain's Lane but then we spotted the C11 bus which we know goes right to Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre and that's exactly where we had to be right around that time so we hopped on. The bus route was interesting -- it took us around the Royal Free Hospital and Belsize and Hampstead so now we know some other places to walk. We passed by Brasserie Gerard on Belsize. Is it good? Is it worth going back there for dinner? I notice that someone has just mentioned it (but on Kensington High Street) on another thread.

I always wait in the cafe at the leisure centre while SO is at the gym and today there were about three huge birthday parties in there so the place was full of kids about 3 to 6 years old. It was noisy but, boy, they were so cute!

After that, we stepped across the road to the movie theatre and saw Due Date with Robert Downey, Jr. (I like him a lot) and another fellow with a long Greek name. I'd never heard of him. It was much funnier and darker than I expected and we both liked it a lot -- much more than we thought we would. Do you remember "Trains, Planes and Automobiles" with Steve Martin and John Candy? Well, it's like a darker version of that. Oh, and I had popcorn in the movie theater. I was offered sweet, salty, or mixed. This is brand new to me. All our movie theatre popcorn is salty and (if you wish) "buttered" (and I used that word loosely). I chose mixed. Interesting but nothing to write home about.

Movie was followed up with a nice Chinese dinner and a long walk home. All in all, it was a lovely (and exhausting) day!
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Old Nov 7th, 2010, 03:27 PM
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Highgate is a wonderful little village-I like it better than Hampstead myself. It also has one of my favorite parks, Waterlow Park on Highgate Hill.
http://3daysinlondon.info/2010/10/15...k-highgate-n6/

Going to the movies or cinema as they call it was a new experience for us. We went to a multiplex in Kensington(?) and didn't realize you have to choose your seats when you buy the tickets. So monkey see, monkey do, we did what everyone else did and choose the middle seats. Turns out everyone was sitting in the middle of the movie theatre and the right and left aisle seats were empty. When I first visited London, I noticed they offered sweet popcorn more often then they do now. Perhaps the salted, butter popcorn is becoming more popular.

Glad you still have 5 weeks to enjoy..and write about.
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