Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Live from London

They say a change is a good as rest. How true as I have just had a gloriously relaxing time visiting family back 'home' in Woodford. My little hometown, which was once a village just outside London has really grown and is now one of the most popular places to live in East London.

The garden is always one of my first stops, as Dad is always changing things, adding stuff and taking loads of cuttings. A trip to our favourite plant nursery proved fruitful, with bargain strawberries, a couple of Hydrangeas, (of course) and a much wanted Smoke Bush to add to my ever growing collection. The car would definitely be full on the way home!

Smoke Bush
Chalky, purply-red leaves are the main feature. 

And another one. This time a white Hydrangea.
To go with the Smoke Bush perhaps?

As the Olympics were in their third week, the centre of London wasn't too busy so plans were made for some days out. Good thing we brought the Oyster cards for cheaper travel on the Tube.

Getting in on the patriotic theme,
 John Lewis on Oxford Street.

These 'for hire' bikes are named 'Boris Bikes',
after the London Mayor Boris Johnson

First stop was The Wallace Collection, (in a grand house just behind Selfridges). Here there is a collection of the most eclectic mix of opulent and over-the-top furniture, armoury and of course, paintings. no trip here would be complete without a quick look at this guy...

Handsome chap,
and famously with a good sense of humour

This painting of The Laughing Cavalier remind me of when I saw the Mona Lisa in Paris, 'what's so funny'? Both of these paintings are somewhat smaller than you think, but it came as a nice surprise to see it. Walking from the museum, we all took a diversion through Chinatown where, again we picked up a few choice ingredients for our storecupboard.

All decked out for the Jubilee

Chinatown is an unmistakable and unmissable
part of London life

Had to include a picture of this quite remarkable man. Chen Guanming cycled more than 37000 on a rikshaw from China to be in London for the Olympic Games. A truly inspiring story, which really topped our day. 

After a heck of a journey, I bet he has some tales to tell.
Chen Guanming and his customized rickshaw.


Ana Benedicta said...

Lovely post! Really enjoyed reading about your little adventures 'back home' in London. Amazing man to cycle so far to be here for the games - he certainly deserves a gold medal!!

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Thanks Ana, glad you enjoyed it. it was really good to just be a tourist in my home city.

Yes, I was amazed to hear about this man's story, a true inspiration.