Sunday, 15 November 2015

They're Changing the Guards at Buckingham Palace....

....Benjamin Roberts went down with {Megan} Alice.

We last saw Changing the Guards in 2003 -
 when we were in London for Jonathan and Karen's wedding -
but with a beautiful, clear autumn morning to fill -
and with the palace only a short stroll down the mall -
it proved to be just the thing to do.

Afterwards - 
a walk through an autumnal Green Park -
then tube and train home.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Two Tales - London Weekend - Saturday

When the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company announced it's year long season at the Garrick back in April there was a predictable rush for tickets - 
and of course {being a Branagh mega fan} - I was part of the online ticket buying melee.

This weekend we saw the first show of the season - A Winter's Tale -
then doubled up with an evening performance of Photograph 51.

We decided that Ben would be ok with our evening show - 
so he joined us for the trip :)

It was the usual 10am meet up with Jonathan, Karen and Katharine at Euston.
Yet again plans for a morning at a playground eg Coram Field 
were scuppered by rain.

Next best thing - a couple of hours in a bookshop with a cafe 
eg Foyles on Charing Cross Road.

It is so good to spend time chatting with family -
and Katharine really enjoyed her hot chocolate!

We had discussed having a sandwich lunch, 
but somehow ended up with lunch at the GBK near Soho Square
 {any idea how that happened Megs?}

We said our goodbyes in Leceister Square where we said our good-byes.
We had booked a room at the Premier Inn, 
so Ben could have a quiet, chilled afternoon.

Once he was sort, Al, Megs and I headed across the square to the Garrick Theatre.

This was Meg's first time seeing "A Winter's Tale" - 
{yes - I know - her theatre addiction is all my fault}

This was such a beautiful production. 
Judi Dench was magnificent as Perdita
Kenneth Branagh as perfect as ever as Leontes.
Add Michael Pennington , John Sharpnel and our favourite Jessie Buckley into the cast - 
and it was excellence all round.

An ending of love and forgiveness - 
and we headed out of the theatre full of joy.

I charged back to the hotel to collect Ben, while Megs and Al grabbed a table at Steak & Co
{which is, of course, Al's absolute favourite restaurant}

After we ate we had a bit of time, so wandered down to Trafalger Square -
the the fountains and  the National gallery was lit up as the tricolour
 in tribute to the Paris attacks of the previous night.

Our second play of the day was "Photograph 51" staring Nicole Kidman
{with our lovely Ed Bennett in the cast as Francis Crick}

The play tells the story of the Rosalind Franklin - who took the x-ray crystallography which led to the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA.

This discovery is familiar from the joyous 1987 film "Life Story" -
 {one of my all time favourites} -
but this retelling was poignant and ultimately heart breaking.

Amazingly for us - the play interleaved concepts from A Winter's Tale - 
and reduced Megs to  a sobbing heap.

We walked back to the hotel through a bustling Leicester Square -
to the quiet of our hotel room -
thinking of a brilliant woman - and the injustice of her death.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Bonfire Night 2015

It rained all afternoon - but had stopped by the time we were walking onto West Bank.

Megs and Jamie started the evening somewhat sad - thinking that this would be their last Bonfire Night together - but then realised that 2016 is a leap year, and so next year's 5th Nov will be a Saturday - perhaps they'll both be back home for the weekend!

We had fun with sparklers on the prom, before the display, which was, as ever, excellent.

Bonus flashback to 2007!