I have spent the majority of my life living in the Kent countryside – basically in the middle of a field. I’m pretty sure there were more sheep than people. It was very picturesque – sprawling green fields, lambs jumping around in the spring and ducklings hatching in my back garden – but I prefer the hustle and bustle of a city, and London could not be more hustley and bustley if it tried. It’s a pretty stressful city and, although I love living here, I do miss Kent more than I thought I would. Happily, there is a huge variety of things to do in London – many of which provide the greenery and the peace I have been missing.
One of the best things about London as far as I’m concerned is the number of amazing free museums and galleries. Places like the the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Wellcome Collection and the Horniman Museum don’t cost a thing to get into if you want to see their permanent collections. They also often have a changing series of temporary exhibitions as well. Some of these are free to visit as well, while others come with a heftier price tag, and whether you like space, fashion, art, history, photography, travel, politics, or any number of other things, there is undoubtedly something awesome going on in a museum somewhere in London that will interest you. Over the years, I’ve been several of these temporary exhibitions and so this is my guide to what’s going on in London’s museums and galleries and the kinds of thing you can find. I’ll try and remember to update it as often as possible.
I love going to the cinema. Back in the days of 2-for-1 Orange Wednesdays and cheap student tickets in my university town of Nottingham, I used to go all the time. Sometimes almost on a weekly basis. The problem with having a cinema addiction in London (and in a lot of other places for that matter) is the price. It often ain’t cheap. That’s why I like going to cinemas with something extra – like being an open air screen or an independent place where you can eat cake while sitting on armchairs. Thankfully, London is not short of such places.
2016 marks the 100 year anniversary of Vogue magazine and, to celebrate, British Vogue and the National Portrait Gallery has launched an exhibition consisting of nearly 300 prints from Vogue’s archive. I was in two minds whether to go as the price tag of £17 was quite steep (£10-£12 would have been better) but since I used to be slightly obsessed with Vogue back when I was 16 (I still have piles of magazines that I can’t bring myself to throw out – I couldn’t even bear to tear them up and put the pictures on my wall or in my scrapbook) I figured it would be worth it – spoiler: it was.
When I was 15, my Dad took me to Berlin for the first time. One of the many reasons I loved the city was the number of museums of antiquity that it has, as I have a bit of an obsession with ancient history. I must admit, I went a little bit nuts. I took photos of every ancient sculpture in sight. In fact, in the end, I just gave up photographing and just stuck my camera on video mode. I was adamant I was going to see everything and record every little detail.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit obsessed with Harry Potter. I’ve read the books so many times that I actually bought the first Harry Potter book in German when I was trying to learn the language because I knew the story so well that if I didn’t understand a word I could remember what the book said in English and figure it out. One of the perks of living in London is that lot of the films were filmed round here – so I’ve started this working guide which I’ll keep updated as and when I stumble across a new film location.
The other week, The Flatmate turned to me and asked what I was doing the upcoming Thursday. I answered not much but I did have a powerplates class booked in. She told me I’d be joining her in a box at the O2 to see Rudimental. I nodded and agreed. I’d do as I was told.
I’ve said it time and again but I really do love to the theatre and I really do not go enough. In fact I just love performances of all shapes and sizes. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing better than having something performed for you on stage. So when The Flatmate said that she could get us tickets for Kinky Books through work, I automatically said yes.
Despite the fact that I am fascinated by gymnastics and do love a good show, I have never been to Cirque du Soleil before. I’d never even considered going – I don’t know why not. But then a while ago, The Flatmate managed to get a couple of tickets through work and I jumped at the chance to join her. I spent months getting excited and then, finally, the time came for our visit on Wednesday night.
Saturday was a very exciting day for me; I was going to go on my first every trip to a spa. For my birthday, The Flatmate promised to take the two of us. She’d got a Red Letter Day voucher that she could use as well, so between the two we figured we could have a nice little outing. We just never got round to organising it. Then Christmas started to approach. We figured instead of buying each other presents, we’d put the money towards our spa day. That way, we could afford something even better.