November was a busy, fun-packed month for me. There was the Guy Fawkes Night on the 5th and the Lord Mayor Show on the 8th. I have watched 3 splendid musicals in November with different groups of people as well- Billy Elliot, the Phantom of the Opera and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I have done so many other things as well.. I am afraid I might not have time right now to write about everything that happened to me in November. For now, I will let the pictures do most of the talking. Even though the weather is terrible on some days, I am still very much in love with this city. There are so many different things going on at the same time, it is really difficult to grow tired of London. 🙂
Winter is coming and several outdoors ice rinks, e.g. Somerset House, Natural History Museum and Southbank, have popped up in London. Because London is still rather warm, energy has to be used to prevent the ice from melting. I find the admission fees of the ice rinks pretty expensive though. Nonetheless, they certainly look quite pretty!
I went with Martina one afternoon to see the “Little Venice” of London near Paddington. It is interesting to consider how the use of the canals has metamorphosed because of the invention of steam/ jet engine. Once upon a time, these canals were used to transport essentials (e.g. food, coal, iron) and now these canals become places for people to slow down their pace of life and relax. We happened to visit the canals on a really beautiful afternoon. 🙂
I went with a group of people from Lee Abbey London to explore Greenwich one Saturday. It was an amazingly beautiful day. We took the boat along the Thames River from Westminister to get to Greenwich and we visited several places: Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum and the Painted Hall. I remember we visited a market and a nice restaurant for pies. I love the view of London from Greenwich Park. I did not have the time to see everything that I wanted to see in the Greenwich museums so I definitely will re-visit Greenwich again.
I visited Chinatown several times in November with different people – Demetris, Martina, Yudi and my brother. It is a great feeling to be in a position to introduce Chinese food but it is an even better feeling to re-unite with familiar people in a familiar environment. I have not seen Yudi in 5 years (I think) and it was an amazing feeling to speak Chinese in a Chinese-speaking environment and eat delicious Chinese food. I hope I can see her again in the near future. I am also happy to have found Asian supermarkets in Chinatown. Now I have a healthy supply of noodles and Asian snacks in my room.
I went to watch the Lord Mayor Show with Adriana and Laia. It was a pretty interesting event – there were marching bands, all kinds of different floats representing all kinds of organizations and army recruitment floats/ trucks. In Singapore, we have a conscript army so for me, it is quite strange to see how the different army divisions try to recruit soldiers. We stayed for around 1 hour and left without seeing the Mayor because after a while, it seems to get a bit repetitive.
One weekday morning, I went to watch the changing of the Queen’s Life Guard at the Horse Guards Parade. It was interesting to see the beautifully dressed up men riding the black horses up close. But I must admit that I was fairly disappointed in the show because I kind of was expecting something more. Surrounded by many tourists, the old and new guards were facing one another for around 30 minutes in the parade square. After that, the old guards left in the direction of Green Park and the new guards went the other way.
On another Saturday, I went with Aneke and Tim to the famous Borough Market. There is a very wide variety of food options in the market and in the end, we decided to make it a German day – we had German sausage for lunch and bought snacks from an authentic German delicacy shop.
We took a slow walk along the Thames and saw something really funny. When we first got there, this guy was building sand sculpture (pretty beautiful I must say). At first, I thought that he was just an artist. I was really surprised when he said that he is planning to run for the elections next year in the UK and that he wants to make healthcare, food and housing free in the UK. I thought about it but I don’t see how this can become a reality in the UK and I don’t see how making these things free will improve the situation.
This view from Tate Modern is one of my favourite views of London. I wonder what is the view like from the dome of St Paul Cathedral on the other side of the river?