Monday, 18 June 2012

An Additional Challenge...

So while on an errand for one of my brothers, I had to pop into a shop called Anthropologie to pick up something on his behalf. This is now my favourite shop in the whole wide world - tis amazing! Although it is one of those amazing shops that even with their sales on I still can't afford anything - Sigh. Anyhoo... as I was wondering around I came across a book. A very interesting book...

So I brought it. I couldn't help it!

The basics of this book is this - 366 things to do in London. Now a few of them are in my other book, but the large bulk of them are not. And this book is also split into months with more seasonally appropriate suggestions. It even includes the Wibbley Wobbley @londonfox@chrisnotwell and @tin_fish - so another visit there is on the cards!

The only problem with this is that I potentially now have 1366 things to do in London! Plus this is going to get all confusing with which book each thing is from blahdee blahdee blah... so any ideas on that front are welcome because I wanna keep you lovely people reading not put you off! 

I'm not going to lie... I'm quietly very very excited about this book. Even more excited that the 1000 things one. And I might even get to complete everything in this book - how exciting!!! 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Step in the studmarks of a genius (29/1000)

(#579 in the book)

Ok... so this section is to go and visit a london football stadium - for a tour. And for me, this would be my life long (and local) club, Arsenal. 

However I didn't go to the Emirates Stadium for a football tour (but I do plan on doing it at some point!). went there to see...


So here I am with my ticket, wristband and the stage in the background.

Apart from wanting to see this amazing band, I went as this formed part of a birthday present from my sister for her hubby.

Bro-in-Law & Sis
Sis & Me
We all got given wristbands as we entered the stadium, they were going to light up at specific intervals during the show. I'd seen this before on TV on a show Coldplay were on, and it looked pretty cool then - so I was a little bit excited!

Then it was time for the band to come on stage... eek! Excited!!!!! And they came onto such an amazing piece of music.

The clip below gives you an idea of the size of the stadium by the amount of people there!

A few songs in and the balls were released...

Chris Martin trying to avoid the giant balls...

Possibly my favourite pic... we might be at a music gig, but we are at Arsenal's ground too :) 
The band at the middle stage
And back on the main stage...

And now, quite possibly my favourite moment from the entire gig... totally fricking awesome! So, apologies for my shaky camera work (I was excited), terrible singing (I was excited) and my screaming (I was excited).

So you get an idea about the wristbands, but because they excited me so much (I am a total kid at heart) you have to deal with photos too. Sorry about that*.

So totally, like, cool!

The next bit was pretty cool. No honestly, it was another really cool thing. Coldplay went off to get ready for their encore, and then they turned up at the other end of the stadium...

with a mysterious 5th band member...

It was only blooming SIMON PEGG! Simon Pegg! Playing the harmonica. With Coldplay. So totally cool!

Alas, the concert was almost at an end. But not before Fix You (and yeah, I may have got a little tearful).

I do like this pic of the stage all dark and just the wristbands glowing... was a brilliant sight.

A few fireworks to end...

And then it was over. Finished. Done.

Sigh. Coldplay you were fricking awesome. And to see a gig at such holy turf too was wicked. Especially as it was nice and easy for me to get home!

So yeah, not really a tour. And absolutely nothing to do with football. Well, except I'm an Arsenal fan, Chris Martin is an Arsenal fan, and not forgetting the dude with the Arsenal scarf being an Arsenal fan. So there will be a part 2 to this. I have been to the ground before for a quite a few games, but I've not done a tour and I'd be very interested to. So watch this space...

Hang on... I've just realised that actually this was part of tour - a musical tour! So technically I did what the book asked. Go me**.

*not really
** I will still do the stadium tour

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Admire the city from a summit - Tower Hill (28/1000)

(#209 in the book)

So in the book there are 10 hills and Tower Hill is one of them.

Back in the day, way way back in the day, there was a Bronze Age settlement here. Now there's, well, an Underground Station.

Hardly a summit anymore. But there is a fabulous view from the top all the same...

Well hello the Tower of London! What a sight for sore eyes you are.

And that's kinda it. Not so amazing any more, but you do get to appreciate the Tower. Below is a video of the panoramic view of the area from the top of the hill.

So if you find yourself at Tower Hill Underground Station, or Fenchurch Street, come and have a look. Might not be the greatest view you'll ever see, but the Tower does look impressive on the other side of the road all the same.

Take in the view from Tower Bridge (27/1000)

(#1 in the book)

So after stuffing myself on Pie and Mash on Friday (you can see that blog post here), I decided to go up Tower Bridge.

The entrance is on the north side of the bridge. A lift takes you up to the walkway where you watch a video on how the bridge came to be - a competition was held to design a new bridge and this was chosen! Something that I never knew.

The video clip showed the designer (top left), Queen Victoria (top right) and the architect (middle/bottom).

Then we went through to the East Walkway - looking out East towards Canary Wharf, Shooters Hill, Greenwich etc...

Canary Wharf
St Katherine's Dock
Looking across to the West Walkway
Fireworks in place for the Jubilee Pageant
Then once you've got to the end, you walk along the West Walkway, looking out to the City & West End -

Gherkin & Tower of London
St Paul's Cathedral 
The newly reopened HMS Belfast
The London Eye
And not forgetting the Shard...
Looking across to the East Walkway

You do have to walk back on yourself on the West Walkway to get to the next part of the experience. But that does give you a chance to read some of the facts and figures about the bridge that you took no notice of first time round ;-)

There are quite a few stairs to go down in order to get to the lift, but there are some very good pieces of art of the significent buildings you can see between Tower Bridge and Battersea.

Looking down on the road, south side

Once you've got down the stairs (there is a lift available for disabled/pushchairs etc...), you then take the lift down to street level on the south side. 

You then follow the blue line which takes you to...

...the Engine Rooms!

This part of the exhibition shows you the engines that were used and the engineering behind them. The engines are pretty impressive, well they'd have to be in order to lift the bridge up! 

Now unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to read properly about the engines because there was a group of school kids from somewhere in Europe that wouldn't shut up! That's the thing with places like this... it's full of tourists! Everytime I tried to read something they'd get in my way, or talk incredibly loud etc.. so in the end I just wanted to get the hell outta there.

But it is still so worth going to. Tower Bridge is such a beautiful bridge to look at, and the views that you get from the top are just spectacular and possibly one of the best in London. 

Admission is £8 for adults, and you can also get a joint ticket to go up Monument for £9 (if I had more time I would have done this too). This includes the Engine Rooms as well, but I have a feeling that most people don't do this because it involves walking to another place. Most people are lazy and once they are at street level they go off and do something else.

Tower Bridge is located 5 minutes from Tower Hill Underground, Fenchurch Street Station and Tower Gateway on the DLR. There are also loads of buses that go near - and some over. Oh, and London Bridge Station is only a 10 minute walk. Their website is here and of course they are on Twitter @TowerBridge.