Sunday, 19 February 2012

Diddy and the Smithybears in Covent Garden

Dids...50? I still can't believe it! but it must be true, he now has reading glasses, a Galaxy phone and an electric toothbrush! Hitchin is a short train ride from London so we met up in Covent Garden for a 50th birthday meal. (The entertainers were fab!)

Is he turning into Geoffdad?! ^^^

He is isn't he? ^^^

Naturally I burned him a bread board!

Little Pixen.

We took over Punch and Judy's!! The EIGHT bottles of sauce indicates the pushing together of FOUR tables... no wonder we had a miserable, cross waitress... she was NOT amused. We, in fact, WERE.


Happy 50th Diddsville , it was lovely to see you all. If the Blue Mooners DO win the prem I'll finish your board off for you! =)

LONDON (baby) (lol)

February half term means our annual trip to LONDON to see the cub!

All Sunday Rail services went via a busride to Crewe, hmmmm, so we booked an absolute bargain... a ticket on the National Express for £7 each.

Four hours later and having had only one stop at the toll road services we were in Victoria bus station and soon walking over Chelsea bridge...

past the Battersea Power Station (I can't believe Blue Peter Helen walked a tightrope across here OMG)

to our hotel... the Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel

Eh..posh or what! This is what happens when you save a fortune on your train fare!
We didn't bother early morning swimming though, 4 breaststrokes and you'd have done a length! =)

We headed to Trafalgar Square and we could feel the Olympic excitement! We've got the mugs and the tee-shirts and a tracksuit and a photo here with the countdown....... (but no tickets haha.)

London has been much colder than Chester. Even the fountain froze.

Aaaahhh Nelly.

Husb likes to be arty when he gets a go with the camera...

Sunday afternoon... a wander round the National Gallery which was more than enough exercise for the Cub-he had been for a 13 mile run two hours earlier and was becoming increasingly aware of his thighs/hamstrings/calves/knees/feet!

I was made up that one of my fave paintings "The Experiment on a Bird in an Airpump" by Joseph Wright of Derby was still on show.

London at night... (Jubilee Bridge)

We were getting hungry! It was time for a pint and a pizza WOOOOO! Yes we had a nice glass of red with the meal but we nipped into Cub'n'Guy's local beforehand and....

I can hearby declare that I did indeed partake of a whole and entire pint of the very fine Bath Brewery Gem and indeed I did enjoy the said ale.

The pizza was pretty amazing as well, look at the size of it! By joining up all four choices of pizza in one metre long stretch of dough you get soooo much more topping WhoopyWOOO.

By now I was one elephant richer, this magnificent carving in ebony wood coming from Cub's travels to Madrid. It has TUSKS!!!!! I don't have another elephant with tusks!!!! Thank you thank you thank you =)

Monday 13th...busy day!

Charing cross

London taxis (husby-arty-street-scene)

First stop was the LUCIAN FREUD PORTRAITS exhibition.

Wow! Although there was probably not one single portrait that either Husb or I particularly liked here, there is no doubting the extraordinary talent of Lucian Freud. Last night on BBC2 was a documentary on Freud and there were interviews with his sitters. I recognised them from Freud's portraits, the likeness on each portrait was incredible. Freud was a lover of the human body and in particular, flesh, and these sitters (even his daughters) said they expected to be pained naked. I fact they would have been offended if Freud hadn't wanted to paint them naked. That was what he did. A fantastic exhibition. Well worth seeing. It was just a shame we didn't see his infamous portrait of the Queen which had been loaned to a gallery in Austria. So here is what we missed!

Next stop (after Macdonalds filet-o-fish) was The Museum of London.

To mark the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, the Museum of London has an exhibition celebrating his work, the first UK exhibition of Dickens for 40 years. London was Dickens’ ‘magic lantern’ providing the setting and inspiration for some of his greatest works.

This was a very atmospheric exhibition, we saw photos, paintings, films, his writing table and chair and several pieces of almost illegible writing. Such tiny writing and so many crossings outs! Fascinating though.

Views of London haha

The Museum of London naturally had plenty of Olympics info!

Nextstop... the V&A for the Cecil Beaton collection of photos to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee.

100 images and one of Beatons 145 diaries are on show. The photos had a fairytale feel to them due to Beaton using various backdrops for his pictures but we also see family life... Princess Anne was such a pretty little girl and from all accounts Charles was a typical toddler, into everything.

"I'm going to London to see the Queen." ... and I did!

After all that culture it was time to hurtle across London on yet another tube to meet Twin 1 and Twin 2 and have a nice sit down for a couple of hours in a very nice (fabulous) theatre on Drury Lane and watch a cute green ogre fall in love with a Girls Aloud princess while an enormous and magnificent dragon flew around our heads.

Theatre Royal. Drury Lane.

Shrek the Musical was tremendous! A big hit. A brilliant Show.

Told you.

Kimberley Waalsh was superb as Fiona and Shrek was fabulous but Lord Farquarrrrrrrr stole the show... he spent all night ON HIS KNEES! I have since tried this (trying to demonstrate how funny he was to my aerobic buddies, AND IT HURTS!!!!) Nigel Harman take a bow! Excellent. (I just hope his knees are ok when he is 50.) It wasn't Les Mis or Phantom but it WAS good family fun!

Tuesday morning was spent at the British Army Museum where we saw the WARHORSE EXHIBITION.

I was fascinated by the film footage of the stage show and the way the puppeteers learned to work the horses.

This was a horse made of barbed wire. (Joey gets caught up in barbed wire in the fim)

Horse puppets heads from the West End show.

Michelle Husain (BBC1 weekend newsreader was taking her 3 boys round the exhibition. This (sadly I know) made my day, I think she is sooooo pretty.

*photo courtesy of EttylocinShots.

So far a very enjoyable few days in London, covering a lot of miles on foot and by tube but we weren't ready for home yet, we now had to get to Covent Garden to meet the Smithy Bears for Dids' 50th... but that can have a blog post of its own =)

P.S. By now my gorgeous new elephant was feeling a bit like a brick in my bag.
P.P.S.This has taken me AGES.