“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Monday 18 November 2013

Happy Blue Monday...London weekend break

Morning! (Oops it's not anymore)
I'm a little late today, but what can you expect when you've had a hectic weekend away in London. 
I must admit taking a break from all the renovations, mess and army of workmen coming in and out of the house was a brilliant and much appreciated idea. It must have been mine!
We only had a limited time for a short break, but never the less, we sure packed in a lot of things...so much so that I was limping at the end of the weekend (contrary to my hubby's constant comments about inappropriate shoes, my shoes were fine Emoji
In order to get around the city we used the underground rail system. It is the oldest and one of the busiest underground railway networks in the world!
I didn't really realise what was in store...travelling to Covent Gardens on a Saturday night was madness as far as I'm concerned! 
I don't like crowds and people in my personal space, but let's just say I didn't have much choice. I've never been pushed and poked so much in all of my life. I'm sure at one stage my feet lifted off the ground, as I was swept along with the tide. 
I'm sure my physical examination wasn't as up close and personal.
 I thought it was just me...but I did hear a young girl frantically telling her boyfriend that she didn't like it...NOT ONE BIT! She looked like a bunny caught in the headlights! 
It was quite reassuring that I wasn't the only one feeling like I was a piece of meat off packed off to market! 
I could have taken a photo to show you the madness, but there again I had no idea where my arms where, never mind my camera! 
If you prefer the era of the steam trains then you might like to take a peek at one of my earlier post ~ click here 
I like this photo because I think it gives the impression of London, it's exactly what was happening...everything whooshing past at incredible speed and you just have to hang on and go with the flow. 
(I know...don't I sound an old fuddy duddy?)
Unfortunately, I didn't take many photos over the weekend...namely because I forgot to take my camera out with me! Not only an old fuddy duddy...a forgetful one too Emoji
I felt like I'd lost a limb and there was no way I could return to the Hotel to collect it because we had dinner and a show to see.

However, I did manage to capture these cool Bowler Hat light shades in the Hotel lobby.
(The first bowler hat was originaly created for Edward Coke, the younger brother of the 2nd Earl of Leicester in 1849. It was designed by London hatmakers Thomas and William Bowlers for hatters Lock & Co of St. James's. The brief was to create a piece of headgear that could be worn by gamekeepers when they were out riding to protect their heads from low-hanging branches. It is thought that before accepting the hat Coke arrived at the shop in London and stamped on the crown twice to check its robustness. He paid 12 shillings for it. The Bowler went on to be associated with businessmen in the City of London. During the 1950's and 60s men wore the Bowler as part of the City uniform but the practice died out during the seventies...
...info courtesy of Laura Roberts, The Telegraph)

 I think they're really cool...what do you think?
If you ask anyone to name a London icon along with the Bowler Hat there's a good chance that they will say......the London Red Bus! 
I quite like the fact that this red bus now has my blog advertised on its side (hehe) 
This particular bus is a vintage model and used for weddings. 

And so on to Convent Gardens. 
Now this was a treat. 
What a fantastic place and as you can see incredibly popular. 
Street acts, fantastic restaurants, beautiful architecture and so much more.  
There's definitely a buzz about the area too. 
We actually had difficulty finding a restaurant that didn't have at least an hours waiting time for a table. This was a little stressful because we had tickets for a show.
I needed to eat otherwise my stomach may have out rumbled and roared Mufasa 
(we were going to see The Lion King hence the reference) 
But finally we did manage to eat and arrived at the theatre by the skin of our teeth...running up the stairs and virtually crowd surfing to our seat as the opening bars of the show resonated and reverberated throughout the theatre. 
From those opening bars we were spellbound. 
The costumes, music, choreography and incredible voices cast their spell. 

Here's a brief clip and each time I hear it...I get goose bumps! 
What an amazing spectacle and that voice!!!!

I think if you are able to see this show then you should because you will not be disappointed. 
It would be a fantastic Christmas treat for the children because it keeps very true to the Disney film. UK booking and various venue details here
(By the way, just to clarify I'm not receiving any form of payment for this promotion...this is just my view)

I'm not sure when it happened but I'm beginning to think that I'm now an old country bumpkin. The frenetic pace of the big city was a little much at times and I must admit I gave a sigh as we left. London is fantastic to visit and stay for a brief time but for me personally, I like to get back to open spaces with room to breath!   

I know that there is a fair amount of red in my post today, but there's also flashes of blue. 
I'm hoping that Sally who hosts Blue Monday will forgive me and allow me to link up today. 
If you look at the video clip you will see Rafiki has fantastic blue makeup Emoji

I'll wish you all a Happy Blue Monday.
Don't forget to pop across to see more of the Blue Monday posts at Smiling Sally's blog.


  1. Sounds like a fabulous weekend!! Lucky duck!

    1. Lucky duck indeed Queenie Jeannie ;D
      Thanks for popping over...Happy Blue Monday to you.

  2. Oh Neesie, what a wonderful London trip you had! I love your choice of photos to share with us on your blog - a most unusual selection but they give such a good impression of London! I am with you over the underground, though, and the crowds - not my favourite experience. I haven't been to London for quite a few years and when I have been, have always been glad to get back home to beautiful Devon. It would be nice to have all the theatres and art galleries etc. a bit closer to hand, though.

    Love the bowler hats! I remember visiting London as a child in the 50s/60s and being very amused seeing hundreds of identically dressed gentlemen pouring out of the tube, with bowler hats, brief cases and umbrellas! You never see that now.

    Thanks for your visit and your nice comment - your turn will soon come, when the builders have finally finished, and depart along with all their mess, and maybe you can party too! We had a great evening. There's still some unpacking, a lot of sorting and tidying to do, and some touching up of paintwork etc. but essentially we are now settled in, and really enjoying our new home!


    1. Hi Shoshi,
      I hadn't been to London for many years either, so even though I've just come back from Melbourne it took me by surprise by just how busy it was.
      Melbourne had all of the theaters, art galleries and restaurants but didn't appear to be quite so crowded.

      You've certainly painted an incredible picture of the bowler hatted gentlemen in your comment...I feel a design coming on maybe? hehe

      Thanks for visiting Shoshi. I wish you every happiness in your new home.
      Happy Blue Monday too :D

  3. Sounds like you had a blast there. I've not been to London in years even though it is only an hour from where I live.

    1. It was a great weekend Bill and one that I'm trying to recover from as I type ;D
      I live only an hour away from London too...as long as I fly there!
      Happy Blue Monday to you.
      Have a great week :D

  4. Creative shots ~ glad you had a wonderful weekend in London ~ Happy Week ~ carol, xxx

    1. Thanks Carol
      I need another weekend now to recover from last weekend!
      Happy week to you too :D

  5. Forgive you? Nessie, I LOVE this post! I've visited London twice and I've even gone to the theater there. Loved it! And, I've seen The Lion King--but here--in Florida. I loved it too!

    Have a good week and a Happy Blue Monday!

    1. Phewph...that's a relief Sally ;D
      I'm so happy that you enjoyed the post and that you've actually seen The Lion King too. I love to visit the theatre..it's one of my favorite things to do.

      Thanks for stopping by Sally...and for hosting.
      Happy Blue Monday to you too :D

  6. Wow! Neese, I enjoyed your trip to London and especially your commentary. I am with you about crowds. I would have been very unhappy in that situation. However, the Lion King show was worth it all I am sure.

    I too love bowler hats. My sister is an antique dealer and she just bought Bowler hats at an auction. They are very collectible. Your photo is so well done. I too am guilty of forgetting my camera at times. Sigh, I admit to the age of forgetting. Yikes.

    Your blue and red is fun and I am glad you shared it today.
    xo, Jeanne

    1. Hello Jeanne,
      Oh you do sound like you enjoyed our little trip. I can't tell you how pleased I am to hear that. :D
      Thankfully the show did take away all thoughts of the underground and on our return journey it wasn't so manic.

      I was so interested to hear about your sister and her hat collection. Hmm...I think I'll have to keep a look out for some bowler's too.

      I've forgotten my camera on two occasions lately and then I've seen a perfect shot and it's SO MADDENING!
      Obviously these shots would have been the best I've ever taken!!! ;D hehe

      Don't worry...'our age of forgetting' can be our little secret... just between you and me.

      Thanks for visiting and leaving such a lovely comment...I really loved it.
      I hope you have a fantastic week

  7. Sounds like you had a super time in London! I have been there three times, but now it is 16 years ago since last time. I love London and would like to go back! Did you buy your tickets for the musical before you went there? I believe it can be difficult to get tickets.

    1. We did indeed Cat ;D
      My hubby bought the tickets online about a month before we went to London. He says there wasn't any difficulty and our seats were brilliant.
      I hope you get to return for a visit and see a show too.

      Thanks for popping by...I hope you a great week :D

  8. OMG Neesie, my Hubby Tim is just back from a little jaunt all over the world including a trip to see the Lion King in London with our nieces a few days before. Wouldn't that have been spooky if you'd both been at the same show? I saw the Lion King in Sydney it is wonderful - at least the kids weren't scared like when the original movie came out! (showing my age now...)
    I am glad you managed a trip to London - I was there this time last year, luckily not so crowded - you should have kept your trip a secret, I know you draw more crowds than One Direction (showing my 'with it' & trendy side - lol!!!)
    Loved your London post, hope you managed a posh afternoon tea and time to admire some Christmas lights?
    Wren x

    1. LOL what are you like Wren...One Direction indeed ;D
      If that's what it feels like to be famous then you can keep it thank you very much!

      Oh now wouldn't that have been such a giggle meeting up with Tim in the Pridelands! I'm so thrilled to hear that you've seen the show too because you'll understand when I go on about how amazing it was.

      We crammed in so much and did see the Christmas lights but unfortunately no posh afternoon tea...just a cuppa on the run I'm afraid...so I'll have to return. Maybe next time I could do afternoon tea at the Ritz?
      If I do revisit then I'll definitely keep it a secret ;D

      I see that you've warmed up nicely whilst I on the other hand have snow forecast!!!
      I hope you have a fantastic week....enjoy that sun!

  9. I will say I felt my anxiety rising as I read this post, I am not good in crowds and would not be able to even think about going where you were, but I would love to see that show I truly would!!

    1. Oh I don't think you'd have been okay with those crowds Laurie, but as for the show...if it comes your way you really should try to see it. You and your little granddaughter would be transfixed with the magical spectacle.
      All of the costumes and how they portray the animals is very cleverly done. The music and voices are just incredible.
      Anyway, I must get on...but let me tell you before I do...we have snow this morning!
      Muffy is hiding and I'm not moving far from the wood burner.
      Keep cosy and I'll nip across to you because I see I've a few posts to catch up on.
      Pop the kettle on please ;D

  10. Love the red buses and the derby hats! I have seen pictures of the costumes for Lion King, but to see them on stage and moving--with the music and voices--quite a show! That made the crowds worth it, I'm sure. But I agree with you. I would rather avoid crowds altogether. ;)

    1. It did indeed Rita,
      We should have expected the crowds really as it was a Saturday night and getting near to Christmas (but I suspect it could be like that every night!)
      Thanks for calling in...I'll be across to you hopefully later today.
      I need to get provisions in case we get snowed in LOL

  11. Great photography! My favourite is the first and fourth.

    1. It's great to get feedback especially when its positive Lorik,
      I appreciate your visit :D
      Have a great week whatever you have planned.

  12. You are always so busy, zooming around here and there, I don't think old fuddy duddy fits you at all! Love the Nessie bus, lol waving hi from the hills of North Carolina ♥

    1. You are too kind Sandee...maybe not an old fuddy duddy then, more a headless old chook!!! ;D
      Great to see you...hope all is well in the hills of North Carolina.
      I'll be across as soon as I can find a few mins :D

  13. I hate the Tube too. Your experience makes you realise that sometimes it's worth paying the extra money to take a taxi!

    1. Now why didn't I think of that Mark ;D
      Next time....definitely.
      Especially if its a Saturday night!

  14. Your description of the Underground Tubes sounds so similar to what I experienced as a teen and that was forty years ago. I wonder if that experience was led me to feeling claustrophobic in large crowds. The doubledecker buses were a highlight for me and my siblings. Great post and glad you enjoyed The Lion King, Neesie. :)

    1. Oh Serena, I'm just checking back to see where I need to catch up and find you sitting here waiting for a reply (well hardly but you know what I mean)
      There are so many people that have similar feelings to us and the Tube...it's good to know that it's not just me ;D
      Have a super Sunday and I'll try desperately to catch up and visit you soon.
      I've missed what everyone is up to so much.

  15. Hi Neesie, what a beautiful post about London! I loved all the photos and it sounds like you had a good time! I love all the buses and the little cars. There is an excitement there and I do hate big crowds like that too! Thanks so much for sharing this post and enjoy the rest of the weekend.
    Julie at Julie's Lifestyle

    1. I'm so happy that you enjoyed your mini trip to London Julie ;D
      We had a great time although it seems so long ago now. Maybe it's time we went once again?
      Have a great Sunday :D


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