Hello Everyone….I hope your week has started as well as mine and there are several reasons for feeling that way it is a glorious day,I have had a hugely fun-filled weekend, today I have time to spend on my projects and an opportunity to get them completed, a happy prospect!
School Governor meeting at the beginning of the week was good, it was positive and challenging, I like that! And the first session of Leading Ladies where we pair girls who are finding school difficult for any reason with ladies from the community. It is always interesting, and we have a wonderful group of ladies who are able to get the best out of the students, hopefully during the next 6 weeks, some changes will happen and in some small way we will have made a difference to these young people who so deserve a second chance, a hand with confidence building, a hand with building relationships, a hand in building up relationships at home, at school and us adults always finish having learned something about ourselves.
Meetings with people at the community centre (which opens on 25th of this month eek!) discussing what form the opening should take and how we attract people in and then get them to stay….that is the hard part. I am often in the front of the building, painting or changing books or gardening and so I get to talk to everyone who passes, some people speak to me first, others I force to talk to me by greeting them with some form of dialogue they cannot ignore. We were repositioning the Little Free Library outside and a guy yelled over,”You are not taking it away are you? I think it’s a great idea and always shut the door when people leave it open!”
This started of a conversation which showed me taking him and his friend on a tour of the place. When I told them about having to clear one of the rooms and shift all the chairs into the back room out-of-the-way, they immediately offered to help! When I tell you that they have both had their fair share of problems, one being a recovering alcoholic, this was fantastic, they are going to be a huge asset and the whole idea about the community centre is to bring ALL members of the community together, exciting stuff!
A meal at our local pub, a gorgeous one with a thatched roof and beams and a big fireplace and outbuilding all dating back many, many years, is always a welcome outing particularly when we are celebrating friends birthdays! Matilda the musical and on stage in London at The Cambridge was excellent and huge fun. We have these school theatre trips about twice a term, 6 times a year, usually the same people, a very good coach driver and always an excellent show somewhere in London. What a musical it was, a good proportion are children who are amazing, they seem to have so much to
memorise….dance moves, song lyrics and tunes, words and much more and the confidence they have wow!
Before the theatre trip I called in to the art studios and textiles rooms to see the examination displays, every year I think we cannot do better and every year we do. The work is incredible and deserves excellent results, the examiners have been in to mark the work but the results will not be known until August!!!!
On Friday we came to London for the weekend to take part in the Queen’s 90th birthday festivities and so far we have not been disappointed.Our hotel is just across from St Paul’s Cathedral where her birthday service took place on Friday and we arrived in time to catch everyone coming out and cheered and waved our flags along with lots of others.
A trip to Borough Market followed, this market is one of the oldest in London and is a food market, but a food market like you have never seen before the smells and colours as you enter are an assault on the nostrils as you try to identify one from another sweet, savoury, exotic from all corners of the globe. Cheeses piled high, vegetables and fruits of all colours and shapes jostling for space amongst vegetables and fruits from the local fields and allotments. There is homemade chocolate and fudge and Turkish delight and baklava and toffee, cakes in neat rows inviting to look at and once you do, that is it, you just have to buy it! Then the meats crocodile, horse, goat, kangaroo, quails eggs, ostrich eggs which are so large the stall had made fabulous lampshades out of them, they have a shell like porcelain to look at but so thick it will last for ever. And the bread sliced, whole, square, round, every shape possible with toppings baked into the crust, just thinking about it makes me feel hungry!
On Saturday there was the Trooping of the Colour, and annual event which sees our wonderful military putting on the most intricate displays, the footwork is faultless and mesmerising accompanied by music and pomp and ceremony which is years old. The queen has only missed one of these events in the whole of her reign and that was because of the war, an impressive record! I love it all, then the royal family appear on the palace balcony and the crowd roars in appreciation as the fly past by our airman and the fantastic Red Arrows, the Queen’s acrobatic pilots, who have everyone watching with bated breath as they zoom past in a perfect ‘V’ shape emitting red, white and blue smoke from their planes takes place with the young royals waving and excited at the sight of all the planes swooping and flying low, dipping their wings to the queen. A wonderful sight! Everyone was eager to catch sight of the newest royals in the shape of George and Charlotte who was held safely in Kate’s arms and waved to the crowd, not at all fazed by the noise and attention. George was amusing as he squinted up at the planes and attempted a royal salute before trying to climb over the balcony but quick-witted William grabbed him from behind as the crowd laughed.
We walked over The millenium Bridge, built-in 2000 and closed for repairs in 2000 as people complained that it wobbled as they walked and was making the public feel nauseous! Not so when we walked over, not a wobble in sight and of course, the sights on the other side were glorious…firstly The iconic Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, an oak and thatch replica of the original Elizabethan Theatre, showing Shakespeare plays in the open air.
The first theatre was built-in 1599 and was destroyed by fire in 1613, rebuilt in 1614 and closed by an ordinance in 1642. This modern reconstruction is marvellous and was built in 1997 approximately 230 metres from the site of the original theatre! Further along from this is one of my favourites, The Tate Modern Art Gallery and houses much international modern art and forms part of the Tate Group, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives and Tate online. This gallery is housed in the former Bankside power station and is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world. I will be back in a couple of months to see the Georgia O’Keefe exhibition….cannot wait for that one!
Then The Golden Hind, an English galleon best known for her circumnavigation of the world between 1577 and 1580, it was captained by Sir Francis Drake who challenged and captured a Spanish Galleon and took their treasure, the largest to be captured to that date and enough to pay off Queen Elizabeth’s foreign debt with spare cash left over!!!!
As we walked back to our hotel we happened upon a curious event, The World Naked Bike Ride, it was hilarious, never have I seen so many shapes and sizes and colours and ages and wobbly bits all in one go. Both men and women, some on skateboards, some on roller skates, some running (not a pretty sight), most on the Boris Bikes, which can be rented all over London and which I hope had a thorough cleaning when returned. It was an amazing event and must have consisted of at least 500 riders who just kept coming, some occasionally got stuck at the lights but carried on chatting as if it was the most natural thing in the world to be riding naked through a busy town!!!! I include a photograph of my very favourite naked runner, very easy on the eye and no offensive bits on show. One our very own Lake Worth residents takes part in the Philly naked bike event every year. It is all for bike awareness and says, you notice us when we are naked, notice us fully clothed as well!!!!!
And lastly the biggest event of all yesterday the Patrons Picnic, a picnic for 10,000 people down the Mall, the long road that leads to Buckingham Palace. There were performers and music and a carnival parade and the royal family walked down the mall chatting to people and taking selfies with the public. Essentially the picnic was to acknowledge the good work done by the charitable organisations of which the Queen is the patron. The Queen and Prince Phillip came down the Mall in an open-topped car, waving and smiling, it was fabulous. Then to the parade and finally the speeches which were short and the Queen gave thanks for all the birthday wishes and end with ‘I have loved it all but do not know how I will be feeling if I am still being wished Happy Birthday at Christmas!’ Applause and laughter from the crowd.
What an amazing weekend! We loved every second of it even when on Sunday just before the picnic it rained. The sun soon reappeared and everything carried on as normal with brollies stowed away.
I have to say the organisation was second to none and our police force was magnificent, they were everywhere and were friendly and helpful but most of all vigilant and I for one felt very safe knowing they were around and for that I am thankful.
Enjoy the week ahead, have fun……until next week!