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Posts Tagged ‘3 days in london’

I love London, of that there is no doubt….I can seriously just spend each day, the whole day, just wandering around looking at everything, taking photos and sharing them on social media and just enjoying the buzz of the city.

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one of my favourite views

The reason I went to London was for a Press Preview at Kensington Palace to preview the Fashion Rules exhibition…..’Fashion Rules Restyled’ for 3daysinlondon.info. I’ve seen the exhibition in it’s previous life and loved the dresses and the story behind each one. When I first heard of Fashion Rules, I thought it meant…yeah baby, fashion rules yeah…it rocks!!! But no, it was about the rules governing the design and the making of dresses worn by The Queen and other members of the Royal Family; Princess Margaret in her day and Princess Diana.20160209_112401 - london20160209_112348 - london20160209_112333 - london The focus of the exhibition has been these 3 ladies and some of their significant dresses; dresses that were seen at major functions, for state occasions, glittering balls, overseas visits and so on. Every dress had to be carefully considered, made to measure and to suit the event, as well as keeping up with ‘fashion’ trends.

I really enjoyed the new format, in the previous exhibition each cabinet focussed on one of the 3 women and the dresses they wore and the rules that governed the making of it. In the new format, the dresses have been grouped into particular compositions and focus rather on the reason behind the making of the dress rather than the women who wore them.

The dresses are gorgeous. Diana’s dresses in particular were stunning especially once she gained more confidence and maturity…she really had a most amazing eye for style.

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Diana, effortlessly cool and stylish…forever beautiful

The Queen’s dresses are outstanding, although she went through a very mumsy style at one stage, when she was a younger woman…omg, she was beautiful, and could easily have graced the covers of Vogue just for her looks….never mind her status.

After the preview I had a hot drink (chocolate) and a slice of carrot cake, very kindly provided by HRP. I was well impressed that the HRP are using wooden forks and not plastic….not a comfortable feel in the mouth, it’s quite rough, but a worthy sacrifice to avoid adding more plastic to the environment. I popped past the Round Pond at the front of the palace and then headed over to More London Riverside to watch the Flipping Marvellous Pancake Races. Oh my gosh, what fun – crazy people. There was a huge group of school kids roped in to watch and cheer loudly and did they cheer loudly LOL. You could hear them well before reaching the races.

By then; 13:00 the day was beautiful, the grey overcast skies from the morning had been dispelled and we were treated to that colour blue only found in the northern hemisphere…perfect for photos 😉

Once I had my fill of the pancake races I walked along the embankment to London Bridge, popped past the Glaziers Hall and then onto the Guildhall Library to see the latest exhibition; The Worshipful Company of Glaziers. I love these little exhibitions, they are so interesting and give a glimpse into a world we don’t normally have access to. The history of the ancient livery companies is fascinating and some of them have roots that go back centuries, never mind decades.

I was in luck…there was a talk about the history of London’s cemeteries of London at the library – I managed to get a seat. So very interesting. It’s astounding how long it took for the powers that be to realise they really couldn’t have dead and rotting corpses stacked in piles beneath the church floors. Urgh, the smell must have been awful.

After the talk I walked past St Paul’s Cathedral and took the #15 bus to Trafalgar Square from whence I walked to St James’s Park on my way to The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace to see their latest exhibition; ‘Masters of the Everyday – Dutch artists in the age of Vermeer’. My gosh those chaps could paint. Sometimes you think you’re looking at a photograph the detail is so fine. Exhibition ends 14 February 2016.

St James’s Park is looking splendid in the spring sunshine with hosts of golden daffodils. My favourite place for daffodils each spring is without doubt Kew Gardens, but since I haven’t been able to get there this year, what a treat it was to see swathes of daffodils as far as the eye could see. It was such a lovely afternoon and the sun was sinking towards the horizon and the rays of sun lit up the pretty little flowers making them shine like a blanket of gold.20160209_155608 - london
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After viewing the exhibition I walked to Victoria Station and past one of my favourite churches; Westminster Cathedral. This is such a gorgeous building and the mosaics decorating the interior are breath-taking.

On my way to the station I picked up an Evening Standard; the headlines took my breath away: Fireball horror at the palace. Seems some chap had set fire to himself at 3am in the morning near to the Orangery at the palace. How terribly sad, what an awful way to die. I always feel so sad when I hear about things like that, to think how mentally tormented they must have been at that time, to end their life especially in such a horrific way. May he now RIP, poor man.

So there it is, my day trip to London. What a terrific city. If you ever hear of a job that requires someone to walk about all day taking photos and sharing them on social media etc, please let me know 😉

Cheers folks, hope you enjoy the video

and the sneak peek at the Fashion Rules exhibition and the daffodils. The Pancake race was noisy, crazy and fun. Here’s to 2017 when I’m planning on watching the races at Borough Market. Within the next 4 years I will have attended all the pancake race venues in London.

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one of my favourite views

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Hello dear lovely people.

weobley, herefordshire, black and white villages of the uk, historical villages of the uk

not the horse I am on…but you get the picture 😉

Just dropping by to let you know that after much deliberation, soul-searching and missing London desperately….I have reactivated 3 Days in London…I’m back….In mind and spirit if not body 😉

big ben and westminster palace

another of my favourite quotes

That’s still difficult and although I do manage the odd day/s here and there, largely I am working and because I now have to travel all the way to Broadstairs between jobs, and since it is criminally expensive to travel by train to London for a day…I can’t spend as much time in the city as I would like. But, there we go.  Broadstairs is gorgeous and I am loving the fresh sea air and walks on the beach with my chica, (who I might add is looking so much happier and healthier and less stressed since she has moved there….3 months already can you believe!!!),

broadstairs a seaside town in kent

beautiful sunset on the beach at Broadstairs….that is Cémanthe in the distance

and the extraordinary sunrises I get to see; they’re something else (altho that won’t last for long coz the days are getting longer and the sun is rising earlier and soon it will arise before I am prepared to!!! LOL).  Hence the reason winter is one of my favourite seasons…..it’s the only time of the year I get to watch a sunrise.   7/8am is way more reasonable than 4am!!!

broadstairs a seaside town in kent

sunrise in Viking Bay, Broadstairs

So, here’s the thing, I have started up/continued with 3 Days in London.  Partly inspired by the 3DIL App…after ignoring it for 3 months and not updating it or anything, the downloads increased by nearly 2,000 to in excess of 4,500 downloads….. so, as you can imagine, when I saw that, I was like WOW…okay so I can’t let these people down and since the ‘business’ is not yet viable to sell, I have decided to activate things again and just get on with it. You may have noticed a lot more activity lately on the twitter profile and I have opened a new instagram account for 3daysinlondon as well as which I am back on my facebook page….I am however going to try and avoid the 2014 burn-out due to my obsession with the city.

london and the river thames

one of my favourite views, upstream from Tower Bridge

“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” — Samuel Johnson

I spent a lot of the latter part of 2014 deliberating and after an intense coaching session on the 3rd January, with my wonderful daughter (who is a qualified coach), I am now moving forward with more deliberation and focus.  I also discovered that I have in fact achieved my life’s goal….”to have a roof over my head while I travel”.   Only it isn’t quite in the form/way that I meant when I said it……as in “I would like to have a camper-van and travel to different parts of the country for/at my leisure”, the goal has manifested itself in my job…wherein I get to travel to different parts of the country and I always have a roof over my head while working!!! Go figure! LOL  so back to the drawing board on that and I shall have to advise the universe of exactly what it is that I want/would like (it doesn’t do to be demanding….I’ll ask nicely).

a mobile home

a mobile home = a roof over my head while I travel

So after the coaching session, I’ve now given myself 5 years in which to build 3 Days in London up into a viable business and that’s where my focus will be….besides working, of which I will be doing a lot in the next year or so. I turn 60 this year and the sudden realisation that I am nearing retirement age (urgh! how did that happen so quickly) gave me a kick up the proverbial *** to start saving…which means I have to work more …blergh!!!  That means I don’t get to as many events as I would like or spend anywhere near as much time in the city as I would love….but you can’t have it all…..so for now I have made my peace with life as it is and just making the most of wherever I am.

broadstairs a seaside town in kent

wish you were here….

I’ve also had to give up my membership of the Historic Royal Palaces and Kew Gardens, which is terribly sad, but seems no point paying for something that I am not going to be able to visit for the foreseeable future…..I shall save the money instead.

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beautiful Hampton Court Palace

In other news, I have been growing my hair now for the last two years and it is now unbelievably… down to my waist!! The intention is to donate it to charity for wigs for people who have lost theirs during cancer treatment.  I’ll be setting up a justgiving link to go with the donation as you wouldn’t believe it but women who have lost their hair only get a synthetic wig from the NHS which I suppose is reasonable as they are expensive….did you know that a real hair wig costs anything between £200 – £2,000….which is extraordinary.  So the plan is to have it cut while I am in London in Feb, as it is now driving me nuts and gets hooked on everything. And don’t even talk to me about washing it….lordy what a mission that is.

Besides that, we went to Canterbury 🙂 Yayyyy!!! Entered via the West Gate (or was it North?) and finally I have visited one of the cities in the UK that I was so desperate to see.  It turned out to be so very different to what I was expecting and ever so fascinating with seriously old houses.  I will write on that shortly.

the maot tearooms in canterbury

The Moat Tearooms on the right….a 15th century house

I also managed to get up to London for the 2015 New Year fireworks and although I didn’t have my usual front row seat due to himself Boris J introducing a fee #booBoris and me being the stubborn person I am refusing to pay for something that was free before and quite frankly in my humble opinion as a Londoner (well not officially right now…but still….) I should be able to go for free…..I did however, get a spot on Horse Guards and although I couldn’t see what was happening in the lower regions of the London Eye, I get to see the wonderful display above.  My gosh, they certainly are a sight to see.   More on that later.

new year fireworks in london

fabulous spectacle – New Year in London

So in the world of Cindy, all is well.  I’m back in Essex with a client I visited last year…..and more on that later too 😉 or else this will end up a book instead of a blog.

essex and kent counties of the uk

from Essex (work) to Kent (home)

 See y’all 🙂

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A few years ago I became embroiled in the Personal Development world.  One of the many things we ‘learned’ was to not look back; “if you look in your rear-view mirror you can’t see your way forward”.   Now I understand the sentiment, and I get the gist of it…ergo don’t always be looking back and  perhaps regretting things you may or may not have done etc etc.  However, sometimes it is good to look back and you may just discover something that you had forgotten about, but that was meaningful to you at the time, something that can lift your spirits.   I just had such a moment.  I was clearing out an old email address inbox…actually the truth of it is I booked for a workshop for tomorrow and can’t find the darn confirmation so am searching through all my email addresses in the hope I can find it 🙂

So I typed in the search bar ‘museum of london’ and an old email popped up in the search results, an email that has absolutely nothing to do with the Museum of London, and yet everything to do with London, and more specifically an anniversary date……I clicked on the link and this is what I found 🙂

The title of the email was: 08.10.08 an auspicious date….

“Hi folks,

I had to put finger to keyboard today and share with you this most auspicious date!

Today is my 7th ANNIVERSARY!!!! Anniversary of what you may ask?……well, it is 7 years ago today that I left South Africa for the first time to explore the wider world.  An adventure of my life, that is still taking me on paths unknown and avenues as yet unexplored.

I remember so well the events leading up to my taking what was for me a huge step. Me who loves my comfort zones, my own bed, a cup of tea when I want it and to be able to lock myself away behind closed doors.  How life and I have changed since then.

3 main events happened that year (2001) that were to have an impact.  My sister Caroline was living in Ireland and was to celebrate her 30th birthday on the 9th October (tomorrow), and dearly wanted someone from the family to join her and hubbie Ewart for the party .   My daughter Cemanthe celebrated her 21st birthday in the August and gained her independence as an adult, and the company I was working for at the time closed their doors in July.    I was at a crossroad.

I made up my mind easily enough about travelling to Ireland, who wouldn’t?  Booked my ticket through Swissair who promptly went bust a month later.   Not to be deterred I got myself through sheer force of argument onto SA Airways.  Handed my house and car keys over to my daughter, packed up my old kitbag (actually it was a new rucksack) and on this days 7 years ago fit to bust with sheer unadulterated terror and excitement I literally bounced through the terminal, through customs and on my way to my big adventure.

Flying via Zurich, I was overwhelmed with emotion to realise that not only was I in Europe but I was in the same space that WW2 happened.  Flying over Europe later that day I was in tears remembering.  Arriving in London that afternoon I was faced with the daunting task of getting myself from London City Airport to Heathrow with not a clue how.    I had to eventually speak to someone and asked for help (not an easy task for me at that stage), made my way to the tube and off to Heathrow.  What an experience, travelling on the tube was an experience I have never forgotten, and still love.  I recall looking out the window as we neared Heathrow, looking at the Mary Poppins scene before me and thinking to myself…..”I could live here!” and now I am. How marvellously lucky is that.  Btw….Mary Poppins scene= all the chimney pots!!

Later that day I arrived in Dublin and still bouncing with excitement and joy I flew into the arms of my beloved sister and brother-in-law.  Wow, 4 countries in less that 24hours!!!! Awesome.

Dublin and indeed the whole of Ireland was a magical experience and I am still totally in love with that wee island.  My ticket was booked for 6 weeks; I stayed for 6 months. Loving every minute I vowed to return as often as I could. To date I have: 8 times and still have a few counties to explore.   When my 6 months was up I flew over to London to obtain the necessary paperwork that would allow me to apply for my Ancestral Visa.  Yes, thank godness, my grandfather had the good sense to be born in London and I had the unalienable right to apply to live in this fabulous country.  I flew back to SA for a couple of weeks to set my affairs in order, sold the house and car packed my belongings into storage (where they still are today) and flew back to my new life.   What an adventure.

I started off in Ireland and spent a couple of months there travelling and exploring and then returned to London to find a job.  I had the good fortune to find free accommodation and for 6 weeks ‘house sat’ a fabulous penthouse in Hampstead with a view right across London. What a way to start.      I job searched and explored and finally settled on a job as a Carer, and so began a new chapter.      Initially I was daunted by the reality, but after a week something clicked and I stayed in the caring environment for 6.5 years.    I have had the good fortune to travel round this gorgeous country in that capacity and have been to some really beautiful places.  The most memorable being Plymouth where I cared for the dearest man who stole my heart.  It was there that I was inspired to write poetry for the first time, a couple of which have since been published.

During the last few years I have travelled to some amazing places, been driven through New York in a Limousine (courtesy of my daughter), climbed the Empire State Building, flown along the eastern seaboard of the USA to Florida.  Visited Disney World, seen Snow White and Sleeping beauty in person , ridden on a roundabout, visited Sea World and Animal World, and experienced some of the most amazing sights I never imagined existed.     Floated through Venice on a Gondola, driven through Paris in a soft-top Cadillac (courtesy of my daughter), climbed to the top of and had dinner at the Eiffel Tower, celebrating my 50th birthday with my daughter, sailed along the Seine and wandered the streets of Paris to my hearts content.   Wandered the halls and tree-lined avenues of Versailles.   Walked the streets of Amsterdam, seen sights that blew my mind and was humbled by a visit to the Anne Frank museum.  Been on a cruise to the Bahamas, with the love of my life and travelled right round Florida from east to west and south, waded in the Gulf of Mexico, rode on a hydrofoil in the Florida swamps and stood at the southernmost point of USA, 65 miles from Cuba.  Awesome.      I’ve meandered the cobbled stones of Edinburgh, Bruges and Gibraltar.  And as well as all that, I have had the most amazing adventures and visited some gorgeous cities and towns in England and Wales.  Explored castles and cathedrals, ancient sites and visited islands.  Explored London from one end to the other and watched the sun rise over the Thames at 5am.    Seen the Grand Canyon from the air (it’s bigger than you could imagine), enjoyed an Arizona sunset and flown over the USA from west to north, seen swathes of snow that extended for hours, walked across the airport in Canada in shorts and t-shirt in freezing weather, and seen the Labrador Coast from the air.

2012.12.14 *insert: I am no longer so sure it was my “good fortune” since it has cost me a ‘fortune’ with no long lasting benefits – but that’s for another story*…… Last year I had the good fortune to be introduced to the world of Personal Development, learnt about values and beliefs, walked on Fire and jumped backwards off a 60’ pole, dug into the very depths of my soul and made wonderful friends along the way.     I have had the good fortune to learn from some of the world’s best teachers and attended courses that have opened my mind to possibilities I never knew existed.  Discovered my wealth profile, and been introduced to some fantastic opportunities.    This has also awoken a passion in me to be what I always wanted to be; a teacher.  Every day is a constant learning curve and I feel like a sponge, absorbing everything I can.    I have read the autobiographies of some of the most influential people of our lifetime, one or two of which have had a profound effect on my thinking.

I have learned about Skype, Youtube and Facebook, am a member of more groups than I can count, have virtual conversations with people from the far corners of the world, learned more about building a website, Internet Marketing, Photo Reading and business than I ever thought possible. 2012.12.14 *insert – I have now also learned about pinterest, instagram, foursquare and of course twitter!*

I am now on a new adventure and have after 6.5 years left the world of caring and am returning to Credit Control.   Had my first formal interview in 11years, which in the pre-UK days would have left me daunted and shaking.   Instead I used the tools I have been taught and before the interview was over had been invited back for the 2nd.    It is my intention to get this job, which is a senior position for a global company and a brilliant opportunity to do what I do best, set up systems and procedures and create a new department.    I will keep you posted.    Your concentrated and concerted wishes for success will be most appreciated.  My next interview is Monday 13th at 4.30pm UK time.   Keep your minds focussed please….I really want this position. it will also keep me in London which will allow me to see my friends more often, attend all the courses and seminars i want, and attend the training available to build my business.

I have a map for my life, which I never had before and I now live my life with intention rather than accident.  And best of all, my daughter has travelled so much of this incredible journey with me.  And there is so much more to come.

In closing, thank you to all you lovely people; my darling daughter, dear family and friends who have patiently waded through my voluminous emails and listened to my dreams and shared my excitement as I set off on each new adventure.  And to those who have become my friends along the way, I thank you for the new dimension you have brought to my life.

I celebrate and appreciate you all.  We may not meet very often, yet I think about you all.  we have shared some very special times and that is very precious to me.

Here is to the next 7 years as I celebrate my JOY OF LIFE.   I love the thought of all the things I have planned and all the possibilities as yet unexplored.

Much love to you all.

end of email from 2008.

And looking back!!!! I am amazed at how much has changed and how much has remained the same……I didn’t get the job and continued with the Caring, still travelling in that capacity, I did apply for a different job a few years later, which I got and hated….the sameness of every day drove me mad as did the boss, and the commute wore thin around the edges eventually, I went back to the Caring after 7 months and decided office work is no longer an option for me, I have however started up my own business http://3daysinlondon.info/ which is finally gaining recognition and traction, I now have my own home (sharing a house with my daughter) which she has to herself about 3 weeks of every month whilst I travel in my capacity as a Carer and  I am still totally in love with London!!!! 🙂

So there you go…..sometimes it does pay to look in the rear-view mirror.  And if you have read this far….I salute you!! Thanks 🙂

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So wow!! most exciting news this morning. My 2nd kindle ‘book’ has been approved!!!  whoo hoo &lt:-P party my 1st itinerary is up and online!!!!!!

2 years ago I started a journey that has seen me delve into the streets and lanes of London discovering her history, beautiful buildings and relics of the past and along the way I have uncovered her secrets; a Roman amphitheatre 20 feet below street level, the site where Samuel Pepys was born, the site where Dick Whittington (of nursery rhyme fame) and 4 times Mayor of London had his house and the church that he founded,

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Whittington House on the site where Dick Whittington had his house in 1423 and the church that he founded in the background

the crow’s nest of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s boat Quest in an ancient crypt,

all hallows by the tower church, shackletons crows nest, crypts of london, 3 days in london, what to see in london

the crow's nest from Sir Ernest Shackleton's ship Quest

and spent a very happy time in one of London’s oldest remaining churches, parts of which remain from 1123!!!   I mean seriously….how could I not get passionate about this city.  I have spent up to 8 hours at a stretch wandering the streets, lanes and roads of the City of London, the City of Westminster and many more besides, never mind the parks and gardens in the suburbs, not all at one go of course!! 🙂

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Guildhall in the City of London

The 3 Days in London journey all began when I was chatting to a twitter friend on my @notjustagranny profile a couple of years ago.  She mentioned that she and her hubby would have a 6 hour layover at Heathrow and were keen to pop into London for that time and could I suggest something for them to do.  So I set about creating an itinerary called 6 hours in London and sent it on.  As it turned out they didn’t make the trip into London but an idea was born.

From there, and with the encouragement of my daughter I set up a business called 3 Days in London and started blogging.    It made perfect sense since London had become a passion of mine and it was very easy to blog and talk about all the marvellous places and things to see and do in this city.

I have since taken folks on bespoke guided tours and have now created 3 itineraries for 3 Days in London that will take you on a step by step guide through 3 different areas of London, that incorporates all the top attractions 3 days in london, st pauls cathedral, things to do and see in london,

St Paul’s Cathedral; a marvel of architecture

as well as many other places folks miss out on altogether….the hidden treasures of London.  I have also seen numerous visitors with maps in their hands looking not only puzzled but lost as they try to figure out how to get from here to there.  It’s not easy getting around a foreign city by map and I am sure many precious hours are lost, by being lost! Not that I believe you can ever get lost……you just get to a place that you do not recognise.   But being a visitor it must be quite disconcerting not having a clue of where you are and how to get to where you wish to go.  I know, I’ve had that experience in the foreign cities I have visited.

However, that aside I have also been stopped by a great number of foreign visitors desperately trying to find out how to get to ‘wherever’ and without a clue of which direction to go in.  Fortunately for me I almost know the city like the palm of my hand and can walk many routes in my sleep. 🙂 almost!!

So the itineraries have been in the pipeline for some time and although they kinda stalled due to lack of confidence, last week I set off with a friend I met via facebook to walk the 3rd itinerary in the series to test if the directions were good and how long it would take from start to finish.   I designated him as tour guide, no point me being the guide as I know the route by heart, and off we went.  What a great day we had (a different blog to follow about that) and although we made various detours along the way (we are both incredibly curious and nosy…..) he proclaimed the itinerary good to go…..eg we didn’t get lost and the directions were good.  He also got to see parts of London, that despite being a born Londoner, he had never seen before! Excellent, just what they were designed to do.

And so with my heart in my mouth I gave the go-ahead for the first itinerary to go online! and here it is, duly approved by Amazon and now my 2nd upload to kindle: West End itinerary

In case you were not aware, the 1st upload was the book I wrote about a little girl named Fanny Elizabeth Stokes who died in 1893 aged 7.

And now a different story has begun. Wish me bon voyage 🙂

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