Mr. Michie met me last night in town after work and we went on a walking adventure: Lumiere London. A selection of international artists lit up London and it was magical!
These are just a few of my shots. It was freezing outside, but the atmosphere was just incredible! They had shut down Regent’s Street so you could easily manoeuvre around, which was fantastic. Seeing Westminster Abbey lit up like that was amazing; it was surreal. I’ve had a few opportunities to work on projection projects like this, which made me appreciate what these artists have done even more. It was a really fun date night in London.
It’s been a week since I last posted here. First, it was because school was keeping me busy, but since Friday it’s been for different reasons.
I awoke on Saturday morning to Mr. Michie sharing what had happened in Paris with me and I cried. Since then, I’ve been glued to every shred of information I can read or watch about the #ParisAttacks.
I have started and restarted this post many times. Each time I have felt like I am scrambling in the dark – searching for the right words; desperately trying to process this terrible event.
I believe that events such as these encourage us to reflect, and while blogging can be a great way to do just that, I don’t like to use this space as a political platform. I have read other blogs over the past few days that have either been flippant about what has happened, or extremely visceral, voicing their tears and thoughts. I couldn’t be either, I only felt silent and heavy hearted.
I first visited Paris when I was 16 and fell in love. I knew that I would return and I did! I spent a wonderful long weekend there with my sister when I was in my early 20s. We walked the streets, visited galleries, found the greatest fondue restaurant and ate our weight in pastry.
I honeymooned with Mr. Michie in Paris; we drank wine and walked along the river. It is a place we have visited many times, throughout the seasons. We have favourite stores, favourite restaurants, favourite places to stroll or just sit. A visit to Angelina’s for hot chocolate is always a must. For a while, Paris became a second home to us. It still is.
To see the violence that was thrust upon this magical place made me sick. Sick to my very core.
But Paris is resilient. It always has been.
As I’ve walked around London this week, it is clear that things have changed. Everyone is on edge. People stop and watch police cars passing by; they listen to the sirens – jerked out of autopilot; they jump at sounds and sights that no one normally pays attention too. People are on edge, but they, like me, are trying to keep with their daily lives. To go on as if nothing has changed.
Even though we may all be a little more wary, a little more cautious, we will continue to live our lives. We will continue to go out, to shop, to laugh, to see friends, to enjoy time with those we hold most dear. We will appreciate the little things even more. We will hug a little tighter, kiss a little longer, and savour every single word breathed from the lips of those we love.
We will not be made to cower; our voices will not be silenced. For there is no where we should fear to tread.
We appreciate the value of life; the value of living that life to the full. And we will continue to look for the good in people, to not let evil shake our faith in humanity, for that will mean the terrorists have won.
As we often use cut throughs when in London, we always discover new things. Yesterday while zigzagging around Shaftesbury Avenue, we walked by the Picture House Cinema. They are dotted around London, but this was the first one I had ever been to.
We peered through their cafe, took in the grandeur of this gorgeous old building and before we knew it, our feet were carrying us inside.
We bought tickets and walked up the stunning red tiled staircase. We peeked into the bar and then got some snacks. Popcorn and a pink striped cup of pick ‘n mix as I was in the mood for some gummy candy.
We headed toward the screens and then proceeded up two floors to get to our screen. There were carved murals on the wall depicting medieval scenes, that were just beautiful!
The theatre itself was spacious, we sat in the back on a couch seat and snuggled up to watch The Irrational Man. It was a great movie going experience and we will definitely be back!
We headed into the city this weekend to run a few errands and decided to grab an early dinner at Pizza Pilgrims. I have been following their story for awhile now and had been dying to taste their pizza. Their restaurant is situated in Kingly Court, where CandyCakes used to be.
I had the “Filetti” (a white pizza), Mr. Michie had the “Salsiccia e Friarielli” (a white pizza with fresh fennel sausage, chilli and wild broccoli). We split a scoop of vanilla gelato for dessert.
I have to say, and Mr. Michie would agree, that this is hands down the best pizza we have ever had in England. It tasted like I was back in Italy – it was that delicioso!
If you’re in London and looking for a great pizza, fun atmosphere, friendly staff, good beer and ice cream to die for then I would suggest you check this place out!
Yesterday, we took our first official walk, of spring 2015. We headed straight to the Japanese Garden at Regent’s Park. It is our favourite park to walk in, and the Japanese Garden is the perfect place to begin.
We wove our way around the park taking in nature’s changing face and ended up on the “free” zoo tour, which stretched along a high path on one side of ZSL. We watched the kids play with the goats and sheep in the farm area and the camels munching away on hay, while people stared at them over their fence. Finally, we ended our walk by heading over the bridge to glance in at the warthogs, but they had decided not to come out, and so we watched people walk along the canal instead.
If you were in any doubt, spring has sprung. The trees are beginning to blossom and the bulbs and primroses are in full bloom. Happiness is!
Now, I am not a fan of Ed Rooney, but I had a bit of his day today. I had a warm gummy bear day. Do you remember that scene at the end of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, when Mr. Rooney walks on the bus and he has to sit next to the girl who offers him a warm gummy bear? By the end of today, if someone had offered me one, I know that I would have also flicked it away in silent disgust.
This morning I was one of only three people waiting for the train, but then it was late and there was a crowd. A woman, who I see everyday waiting on the train as well, actually used her briefcase to block me, so she could get on before me. I’m going to try and chalk that up to the fact that her hair is always pulled back in such a tight bun, it looks like it hurts. So maybe the pain from her bun, causes her to always be so rude. Of course, all the men made sure they were getting on, pushing and shoving their way through. Gee, nothing like a gentleman to let a lady on first.
Tonight heading home, I got a seat on the tube. That never happens. Next time, I’m just gonna keep standing. The tube smelled awful, like that hot school bus smell with a bunch of punky kids on it and you know that they had gym class that day and haven’t showered, do you know what I’m talking about? The man who sat down next to me, hadn’t bathed in quite awhile, but I couldn’t politely or discreetly move as by that point the tube was packed and there was no room. I tried to breath through my mouth.
The teenage boy across from me had his finger so far up his nose that I was sure we would have to call for a surgeon to remove it, when he suddenly pulled out a ginormous booger and proceeded to fling it onto a ladies skirt! I think my mouth might have fallen completely open at this point.
A five minute walk from the tube to the train station, where by the time I got on a train, I was frozen solid and was so happy that for once the train driver had been kind enough to turn the heating on. This warm fuzzy feeling didn’t stay for long, no siree, it didn’t! It lasted only long enough for a man to get on with a huge tuna salad sandwich baguette. The smell of tuna baking in the heat of the train was utterly enticing, NOT!
I was so happy to get off the train and breath in the fresh air again. I slowly walked home. By the time I got to the cottage, I couldn’t feel my fingers, my nose, or my cheeks, but I didn’t care, I couldn’t take one more smell or rude person today.
Chinatown is an area I criss-cross through often when I’m traveling here and there in London. Yesterday, while going to pick up a goat good luck charm for the Chinese New Year, we happened upon the lion dance.
This is one of my favourite things to see! Every year, usually by chance, we come across this tradition being performed. There are two performers inside of the costume (which is how you know it is a lion and not a dragon dance) and they go from door to door performing “cai qing” which translates to, “plucking the greens”. The lion dances around the doorway where the greens are hung, moving cat like backwards and forwards, or bending low as if hunting prey and slowly works his way up to pulling the greens down.
Occasionally we’ve seen a shop put out oranges on a small table to which the lion happily gobbles up. Yesterday one store on the second floor placed their greens, tied to a stick, out through the window. The acrobatic team worked with each other, standing on shoulders and stretching the lion’s neck, they plucked the greens from the second story window, to the delight of all of us below. There was a lot of cheering.
As we headed out through the gates, the Hippodrome Casino was handing out fortune cookies to advertise their business. Unfortunately, the fortune inside wasn’t a fortune, but was another form of advertisement for a big gaming event. But, Mr. Michie didn’t know that, he only saw the side written in Mandarin.
I told him it was I good thing that I could read Mandarin, to which he just stopped and looked at me with raised eyebrows. With a smile, he asked me what the fortune said, to which I replied that it said: “Help! Help! I’m trapped in a fortune cookie factory!” to which we both busted out laughing.
That is a very old joke, but it never gets old! When we were little and would go out for Chinese food with my grandparents and it came time for the fortune cookies to be passed out, we would go around the table and everyone would read their fortune. My Grandpa, would always say:, “Oh, No! You’ll never believe this, my fortune says: Help! Help! I’m trapped in a fortune cookie factory!” to which everyone around the table would bust out laughing and there would be a short pause while my sister and I puzzled this one out for a second! He was a great teaser!
Oh, to be little again! I’m happy that we had the good fortune to see the lion dance again this year, it is always magical to share in this experience.