Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘things to see and do in london’

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on” – Shakespeare

Today is my birthday and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my Mother; Marjorie Joy and my Father; John Derrek Alan for having me, although I’m sure unplanned, on such an auspicious day. If I hadn’t been born on the 23rd I wouldn’t have a story to tell about St George, Shakespeare and Me 😉

Discovering that I was born on St George’s Day and William Shakespeare’s birth & death day has been an endless source of interesting discoveries.  During my London walkabouts and UK travel adventures I have come across reference to them both….inciting many photos to be taken.st georges day (3)

On my many, many London walkabouts I have taken thousands of photos of the city and of course anything I find on Shakespeare and St George.  Here are some images I have discovered along the way and some of me at various events in London; Trooping the Colour in 2010, the Green Man event in 2013, the Tudor Pull in 2014, at the Feast of St George in 2014 at Trafalgar Square, up The Shard with my daughter Cémanthe in 2014, and pretending I’m a Queen at Hampton Court Palace in 2015, just some of the fun things I have done in London.

and our helicopter flight over London on my birthday in 2015.London Helicopter

The traditionally accepted date of Saint George’s death in 303 AD, April 23rd, is it seems an auspicious day….for not only is it recognised as St Georges Day (the patron saint of England) but it is also William Shakespeare’s birth and death day, and my birthday… 😉
Since 23 April 1616 was the date of death and possibly anniversary of birth of the English playwright William Shakespeare (according to the Julian calendar), UNESCO declared this day the International Day of the Book.IMAG4762

Celebrated by many other countries around the world, in fact St George is even mentioned in the will of Alfred the Great. England is not the only country to embrace our lad St George, many other countries celebrate St George’s Day too, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia as well as which a great number of cities including Genoa in Italy, Beirut in Lebanon, Qormi and Victoria in Malta, Moscow in Russia, Ljubljana in Slovenia and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, amongst many others it’s also celebrated in the old Crown of Aragon in Spain — Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and Majorca. So we do indeed have much in common with many other parts of the world.

As for William himself, born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the date of his birth, although unknown, is universally accepted as 23rd April, he was baptised on 26 April 1564 during what became known as the Elizabethan era – 1558-1603.

London has paid homage to both men and you can find many statues, busts, stained glass windows and paintings featuring them both.

Today is also the first birthday I’m celebrating as a fully-fledged British Citizen. 🙂

 

Read Full Post »

me and the green man

me and the Green Man

yes! You read that right…..I went Wassailing down the Thames on a Sunday afternoon!!  The Twelfth Night of Christmas festivities are held annually on the 6th January, and this year (also the first year) I got to hear about it!
So yesterday (January 6th) was one of the highlights of my London life to date!!  I have lived in this city for 11 years now and it was only 2 weeks ago that I learned about the custom of wassailing.  I received an email from a friend of mine inviting me to join him and his crew on the Trinity Tide as they carried the Holly (Green) Man from St Katherine’s Pier along the Thames to Bankside.    I joined the cutter and crew at the pier at 1.45pm and my excitement knew no bounds; to be a passenger on the Trinity Tide had been a dream of mine since November 2010 when I first saw it in the Lord Mayor’s Show 🙂

the trinity tide

the beautiful Trinity Tide

My daughter who was to be the official photographer and I set off really early and made our way to Tower Hill…thankfully the trains were running just fine and we made it in good time 🙂    We stopped off at Costa Coffee for a last-minute order (by text…gotta love social mobility) of 5 hot coffees; white please!! 🙂     I was guessing the crew were in need of urgent refreshment after rowing on what was a cold and grey day, from Deptford to Tower Bridge.   Then down to the pier it was…I was still stressing big time about ‘am I in the right place?’ & ‘where were we landing?’ and sent a panic stricken text to Joe to make sure I had the right place. Daft!!!

twelfth night festivities

me on my phone 🙂

When we arrived at the pier, there was no Green Man to be seen; my nerves were skittering about and almost overwhelmed my excitement.  Then suddenly I saw the Trinity Tide as she rounded the bend

twelfth night festivities the trinity tide

the Trinity Tide arrives in good time

and a few seconds later I saw the Green Man making his way down the walkway to the pontoon!! Hooray!! I was in the right place at the right time! This does not happen often 🙂  The Green Man looked absolutely splendid decked out in his greenery and the face painting was extraordinary!   The Holly Man ‘brings in the green’ and ‘wassails’ or toasts the people, the River Thames and the Globe – an old tradition encouraging good growth.

the green man arrives

the extraordinary Holly (Green) Man arrives

The cutter pulled up alongside the pontoon and quick as a flash before anyone could change their minds I was on and seated.  Try to pry me off now and see how far you get!!! 🙂

the trinity tide and the twelfth night festivities

safely ensconced and looking as pleased as punch

Within a very short space of time we were off…..the piper in the bow,

the piper in the bow of the trinity tide

settled in for the trip; the piper in the bow of the Trinity Tide

the oarsman ready to row, the jolly green man standing as we go, one of the Mummers to wave and say hello; wassail the boats, then me in the VIP seat ( 🙂 ) and Joe standing at the stern to guide us safely along the river with nautical expressions like: easy as you go, or keep it even lads and even the odd ‘heave’.

trinity tide sailing under tower bridge

looking ever so tiny against the huge structure of Tower Bridge, the Trinity Tide is on her way

Ohmygosh…what fun!!! I was truly in my element, grinning from ear-to-ear like a cheshire cat.  I could scarcely believe my luck.
What an experience…..I can recommend it to anyone….although I am not sure that you would be able to go in the Trinity Tide, but you can sure take a ferry along the river.  The views of the city are marvellous and although the tide was out and the water so low I could probably have walked along the river (kidding!), it was just amazing to sail beneath the bridges and see the buildings along the embankments from that perspective.

london bridge

the underbelly of London Bridge, thankfully not falling down that day.

The Cap’n and his crew hailed and cheered the Green Man and the Trinity Tide and even 3 Days in London got 3 cheers….what fun!!
We made exceptionally good time, those blokes sure know how to row….and before we knew it, and way too soon for me, we arrived at Bankside.

green man welcoming party at bankside

the Green man arrives at Bankside…let the festivities begin!!!

And an extra bonus….because we were so early we (the rowers not me!!) rowed almost to Waterloo Bridge and then back down again, all the while the Mummer and Green Man wassailing along the Thames.
We landed safely on the beach (Churchill would have been proud), where we were met by a group of Mummers and others.

twelfth night festivities mummers at bankside

The Mummers waiting to greet the Green Man

Quick as a flash the Green Man was gone and I didn’t even have time to say goodbye 🙂  I climbed out the boat with huge reluctance!  The embankment was lined with revellers and spectators there to see the arrival of the Green Man from the Thames, watch the Mummers and join in with the celebrations and Twelfth Night festivities.
Their costumes were just brilliant and the characters enchanting!  I said goodbye to the Trinity Tide and crew and all too soon they made their way back along the Thames to Deptford.

the trinity tide leaves for her return voyage to deptford

goodbye Trinity Tide; bon voyage and thank you

The play was in full swing by the time I found myself a good vantage point and although I could not see very well or hear much of what was going on, the bits that I did get to see and hear were uproariously funny.  At the end of the play, cakes are distributed – a bean and a pea hidden in two of them. Those who find them are hailed King and Queen for the day and crowned with ceremony.  The little cakes were duly handed out and King Bean and Queen Pea were identified, they were crowned and the whole jolly group set off with revellers and spectators trailing behind to the George Inn for the next bit of the tradition.  I ran like mad through the back streets (it’s really useful knowing my way around!) to get to the George Inn before the crowd as I really wanted to record them arriving….which they did with great noise, pomp and ceremony!! What a brilliant experience.

mummers at the george inn southwark

the Holly (Green) Man arrives at the George Inn, Southwark amidst much noise and ceremony

I can highly recommend that you put the 6 January 2015 into your diary and head on over to Bankside for next year’s festivities.  Snippets of information in this blog are from this site; do visit it, it’s brilliant.

If you would like to join me on twitter  where I post information about London I would be delighted.  I am also on facebook and if you have any photos you would like to share of your London experiences, why not join the growing community of people who love London.  Thanks for dropping by and reading this blog, I also blog about London at 3 days in London.  So if you are in London for 3 days….or perhaps more, do feel free to visit the website for some ideas on places to visit and things to do and I wish you a wonderful stay.

Read Full Post »

Webb Blogs/ Ocd and Me

Living Life with OCD and Panic Attacks.

Running over the Rainbow

Running towards Self-acceptance, Health and Happiness

Observations on life and books...

Book reviews and tidbits on life.

World Wide Walkies

Putting Pawprints Across The Planet!

1000 Places and Memories

Best collection of moments, places and memories

Me As Mom 🌍🥾👒

Bringing Mommy Positivity One Laugh At A Time

Retire In Branson

Enjoying Life in the Ozarks

Cafe Catalina

Life, as told by the caffeine-fueled Cat Ramos

Wake up!

Operation Get A Life

40thousandkm

: around the world :