Monday, 25 July 2016

Memorandum Monday

Sending a big Monday morning wave to Sian and all the Monday gang.  I have lots to tell you this week so I'll warn you that this is a long post.

I spent three days in London last week, staying in a Travelodge hotel, which was a 'first' for me.  I've never used the Travelodge chain before but will certainly consider using them again.  This hotel was chosen as it was only fifteen minutes walk from the Queens Theatre where they are showing Les Miserables.

I've seen a couple of amateur productions of the show and also the recent musical/film but this was my 'first time' of seeing a professional production of Les Miserables.  I loved it!  This show, together with the Harry Potter play, was my belated 60th birthday treat (from last November) to myself and was worth waiting for.

I saw Les Mis on the Tuesday night and the next day I saw both parts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  Two 'new' plays and the 'first' time I've seen them (though I will go again if I get the opportunity!). It was a completely different experience to see the story as a stage play rather than a film, and of course with different actors in the lead roles.  For the first 5 -10 minutes I wasn't sure I'd like it, but then got wrapped up in the story and didn't give my doubts a second airing.  Again, I loved it!

I can't tell you anything about the storyline as we were asked to 'KeepTheSecrets', but if you are a Potterhead, it's a must see! 

Another 'first' is seeing someone play Pokemon Go.  In the interval at the Harry Potter play a couple sitting in the row in front of me switched their phones on and started checking for pokemons and doing whatever else it is they do with the game.  I don't see the attraction of the game but they were definitely hooked on it.

On the Wednesday morning I went to see the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. I've seen TV programmes about this, and about the process of choosing the exhibits, but this is the 'first' time I've ever actually been to see it. It was fascinating, all sorts of styles being exhibited.  Lots of the paintings were too modern/abstract for my taste but there was still plenty to keep me interested.  I'm glad I went and I'd consider going again in future years. I arrived at the exhibition at the same time as the comedian Simon Day (of the Fast Show), so another 'first' is seeing him.

Another 'new' was seeing The BFG dream jar trail around London. I saw a few of them as I was wandering around, but didn't have enough free time to complete the entire trail. I'm off to see the film on Thursday.

For the 'first' time ever, I used the Facebook check-in feature when I was in London. I don't usually update Facebook very often but I made the decision to use this feature for a while as a not too subtle way of showing an acquaintance who mistakenly thinks I never go anywhere, exactly where I go and what I get up to. I also made a conscious decision to leave my DSLR at home, so for the 'first' time I experienced London with only my iPhone camera, hence the quality of the photos! 

My final 'first' was a tour around the Houses of Parliament. It was fascinating, but almost too rushed - it seemed to happen at top speed and the guide kept starting his spiel before most of the group had caught up with him.  Despite that, I enjoyed the tour - I'm always interested in every aspect of British history, but I especially love the traditions we have and the Palace of Westminster is full of them. 

That's the lot for this week.  I hope  that the good weather holds out for the week and that you all have lots of interesting things planned.


  1. you certainly packed a lot into your trip to London - sounds like it worked well as a birthday treat - I'd love to see the Harry Potter plays and hope they eventually tour them around the country - have a good week

  2. Wow, that sounds like a fantastic trip. I'd totally be up for the BFG trail, and I haven't even seen the movie yet.

  3. Goodness! A few busy days. Did you feel naked without your big camera? I would have done even though it is a pain to carry. Shame your guide rushed you in the H of P . Our guide was very considerate.

    1. Yes I did, but I knew I couldn't take photos inside the theatres and the Houses of Parliament so decided it was best left at home this time.

  4. Very nice time you had!! I wonder why the tour was so rushed. Were they trying to get as many tours in as they could during the time allotted?


  5. Sounds like you had a fantastic time. I've been looking at tickets for Harry P but never seem to be able to see any that run one after the other. Will have to keep an eye on it for a future venture.

  6. I was interested to hear your views on the HP play. Sounds like you had an amazing week!

  7. WOW that was a busy week. I am so envious that you got to see both HP & The Cursed Child (I will be getting the book on Sunday (I hope)). Les Mis is one of my favourite musicals, when I play the CD the music makes me cry as I remember the story. Oh like the jar trail for BFG; I do not think we have anything like that locally :(

  8. It sounds like you had an absolutely wonderful trip. And I love these pictures, especially the first one. I'm a Travelodge fan..something about that dependable anonymity appeals to me.

    My memo is Harry Potter themed this week too. I'm trainspotting.