Friday, 13 June 2014

summer in the city

Sunday 8 June - London

Woke up to a fabulously hot day and dashed over to Highgate Cemetery to be first in the queue to get tour tickets for the 11am West Cemetery tour - all sold out by about quarter to!
Not very funereal, but this sets the scene for the weather if you play it now:

Helen did a magnificent cycle up Swain's Lane at breakneck speed - no mean feat in that heat!
and the tour was fascinating - also at breakneck speed but brilliant to see the wild green jungle cluttered with weird and wonderful Victorian graves and sculptures.
particularly the Egyptian Avenue - it's really interesting to see how all this evolved in this short history.

And there are some amazing animules to be spotted

and this was the grave of the (in)famous bare knuckle fighter Thomas Sayers and his faithful hound Lion.  His story and his grand burial with record crowds is quite amazing.
Michael Faraday, tucked away with the non-conformers

and in the East Cemetery, we spotted so many more, Douglas Adams, Karl Marx, George Elliot (you can read the list of burials) and then one of my guitar heros, Bert Jansch
and although it's a sad one this beautiful song always haunts me when I think of Bert Jansch - one of his best:

and to get onto a happier note - next we all headed to the pub just down the hill in Dartmouth Park- the lovely Star pub and it's secret back garden

pretty stuffed after fabulous Salt Marsh lamb roast dinners all round
we needed a walk - but only as far as Tufnell Park and the amazing Rose Violet ice cream parlour

the best EVER pomegranate sorbet for me, salted caramel for some and vanilla and choc sauce for the others
then the inevitable all-too-soon parting of the ways and a dash back to St Pancras for us and steaming up North to Sheffield and Docfest
but that's another story . . . . .

(This Sunday was part of a whole wonderful weekend in London, so if you want to start at the beginning - click here for Friday and Saturday)

brunch with a view

Saturday 7 June - London

So it was off for Jamie's homecooked brunch
Bit of shopping on the way in Stoke Newington High Street - temptations galore . . .
 Then a relax with the Saturday papers 
for some of us anyway - ha ha (we did help - honest!)
 The terrace at the back is just incredible - such a secret haven in this great city

 So as the sun was blazing hot, we set out the patio stuff
 and relaxed around this beautiful flat

 til suddenly it was all systems go

 and a delicious nosh al fresco
 Yes, I know, comedy!  But it got too hot for me so we had to make do with a G2 hat!!
Then a dash across to Highbury to catch the tube to Piccadilly Circus
and the amazing Zedel - an immediate immersion into all things French and Art Deco

Fabulous meal with Creme Brulee to die for - then over Waterloo Bridge (with the best view in London to left and right) to the Southbank
for the bloodthirsty
fabulous entrance
 and the truest of warnings!!!!  More on Titus here
no photos allowed til the end of course, but an amazing theatre
 and the magnificence of the mighty Thames by night as we left
which brought to mind this song I just LOVED as a child (never heard the intro before though!).
We used to sing it heartily on family hikes in Wales - I'd never even glimpsed the Thames then!!

and so to bed, to sleep - perchance to dream (yes, wrong play I know!)

And our final day was Sunday - how the weekend sped by - read on for more

(This Saturday was part of a whole wonderful weekend in London, so if you want to start at the beginning - click here for Friday )

the food of love

So how did I get to spend my Saturday with these three ghoulish guys . . . .

Strictly speaking it all started in Sheffield on Friday 6 June.  The magnificent maquette for our new Man of Steel, which will tower over the M1 in place of our cooling towers, was on display at Sheffield station.
We steamed down to London and dumped our cases at Jess's lovely flat
Then over to Waterloo St John's church in the sun for the Morley concert
But not before the best burger ever at Byron's with Oli, and a chance meeting with 'Meg' outside the Young Vic, who overheard me telling Oli about Cape Wrath at the Crucible that week.
Thereby ensued a big animated chat about Sheffield's own wonderful Third Angel theatre company and the wonderful Cape Wrath play in a minibus parked in Tudor Square! Bizarre in the middle of London, but if you check out #capewrath on Twitter you'll see how this panned out!

And after our wonderful Mendelssohn fix, we were off to various pubs with the orchestra, instruments and friends with a final toast in the renowned basement Pit Bar under the Old Vic - but alas, no celebrities spotted that day!

And here's a snippet of Fingal's Cave, in homage to the concert, our amazing visit to Staffa in 2012 and the fact Mike had an old '78' record in his family and this was the first piece of classical music he ever heard.

And so on to Saturday - read on here .........