Monday, 12 December 2011

The Lights of London

Upon occasion I’m an honorary and unofficial member of the W.I. This meant that I could go on the coach trip to London last Thursday afternoon. The plan was to see the Christmas lights, the London Eye and the German Christmas market on the South Bank, and finally watch the ice-skating at Somerset House. It was a blustery evening  as we made our way round the city, here are some of the lights in Regent Street, Oxford Street, and others in the West End:




And a window display when we stopped briefly in the traffic.


After quite a comprehensive tour of central London we arrived at the South Bank and the London Eye. There were about 50 of us so we needed two ‘pods’. I’ve always wanted to go on the Eye at night so this was my chance. Spectacular views, and although we could hear the wind raging around us  - especially at the top – we were snug in our pod.



After about 35 minutes we climbed out and visited the Christmas market which stretched a fair way down the Embankment. The stall selling Venetian masks intrigued me



Then we saw the Carousel. And I was persuaded to mount one of the horses for a ride. Gripping the pole tightly I hung on for dear life, and in fact quite enjoyed the experience.


We were hoping to see the ice skaters at Somerset House, but London was jam-packed that evening and the rain absolutely hurtled down, so we had to give it a miss. We couldn’t find a parking space anyway.

The previous evening my young friend and I went to the Mill at Sonning to see ‘Funny Money’ – a farce by Ray Cooney. Dinner is part of the evening at the Mill and being near Christmas one of the choices was Christmas turkey with all the trimmings. Very good. The play was hilarious, and as the seats in the Mill are very steeply raked we had a great view.

It’s party time right now and on Friday evening I went to Broadplat House where Fee and Stan were holding their annual Christmas drinks party. Always one of my favourites as it heralds the beginning of Christmas. Then on Saturday evening my good friend Jules was celebrating her 50th birthday. She’d arrived the evening before direct from Canada (where the winds was so strong that the journey only took five and a half hours, instead of the usual seven). Staying with friend Sue in Henley we had a great time. Here she is blowing out the candles on her cake, and surrounded by the men there.



One of the girls (not at the party) contributed some incredible cup cakes. Here’s one of them – all made of dual-coloured icing sugar. Even the butterfly is made of icing sugar.

Now I’m very busy painting my big Spitfire – another 4 or 5 days to finish the plane, then weeks of work to paint the background – which hopefully will show all of Henley from the air.

I managed to complete the miniature of the young lad during the week, so his mother can have both miniatures in time for Christmas as I think she intends them to be her husband’s Christmas present.

Today was a good day as I’ve just come back home from the oncologist who has given me a clean bill of health. The blood test was excellent and the report on the colonoscopy was positive too. I remarked that I wish I’d been able to see the camera travelling around my body on the screen, but was completely out of it at the time, and didn’t see a thing. To which he replied that the injection I’d been given into my vein was the same as is used in so called ‘date-rape’ cases, so I may have been conscious but just can’t remember what happened.

One last thing, my friend Jane (a fellow garlic hater) gave me this card the other day. What a hoot!

3 comments:

RG9 said...

Good news on your health, Bill. It's good to have that done and dusted before Christmas, but it is not an excuse to over-indulge!

Cheers!

Bluebells in the spring said...

Happy you received a clean bill of health from your doc, Bill. Lovely pics of London Christmas lights - they are always so beautiful. I haven't had a chance to venture out yet. I was at John Lewis on Saturday and Chinatown on Sunday. It was not dark enough to enjoy the lights.

Have a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Bill!

Love,
Bluebells

Wes and Rachelle Siegrist said...

Wonderful news on the Doc's report Bill! Wow, what lovely views of London you treated us to this week! I know Rachelle's favorite image is going to be that yummy cupcake but she'd have a difficult time bringing herself to eat the butterfly.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - we know you'll celebrate both in style. Love, Wes & Rachelle