This is actually the end of first half of the year. Compared to time slipping away, I’m sadder about daylight ever shortening. However it has been really hard to go to bed on time.
We spent a long weekend in London this month. London is one of the places we have to visit each year. I’m not a big fan of the crowded and massive city, but husband has been successful changing my mind little by little. He took me to Greenwich and Richmond area last time, with many green walks. This time was even better.
We arrived at about lunchtime on Thursday. Met up with a very young member of the family and had a slow time in Hyde Park. The highlight of Thursday was The Phantom of the Opera in Her Majesty’s Theatre. I loved the sweet voice of our Christine. There was an old(ish) Chinese couple sitting next to me and we chatted a little bit before the show started. They were not that interested and mistook interval for the end! I felt so sorry for them…
The destination of Friday was Sissinghurst Castle Garden. It was at the peak of the rose season. The garden greeted us with its full glory. For more photos, see my post here.
After travelling back from Sissinghurst, we ventured into a busy area of London. It was overcast and showery all afternoon. When we arrived the south bank of River Thames, a beautiful sunset swept across the city. Even the everlasting construction site of the river banks looked peaceful and lively. We swallowed a sandwich with a trumpet and a bassoon playing in the background.
When we arrived at the Olympic Park, everything was still bathed in a golden hue. I loved the beautiful “weed” grasses and ornamental grasses there.
Monocle said there was a temporary community pool in the new King’s Cross area. The main task on Saturday morning was to find this pool. I gave up pretty quickly and sat on a smart stone bench in front of the new Central Saint Martin. The pool remained a mystery. But we found the humble-looking MagCulture shop! This was one of the few moments I wished I was a millionaire – I wanted to buy the whole shop! I was good though (or should I say, I wasn’t a millionaire though), only picked two (see below).
After that, we quickly bus-ed to the Barbican. I was never an architecture fan. I was attracted to its London’s-second-biggest-after-Kew conservatory filled with extraordinary ordinary houseplants in their full glory. So I agreed to come along. Since I was visiting, I didn’t want to do it half-heartedly. So we booked to join an architecture tour. It was very interesting – I ended up with seven pages of notes, but we were slightly disappointed we weren’t allowed to go in any of the special places, e.g. top of the towers, one of the flats, the theatre, or even the conservatory!
I did enjoy the trip in London (thanks husband) and am even looking forward to going again later on this year.
I’m reading Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs in preparation for our summer adventures. It baffles me a lot. The exchanges before bed have become quite comical. It’s usually me reading a sentence silently and again out loud, finishing with “what?!” It shows clearly how I’m removed from nature. I have been catching up though, on the subject of native British trees. So far I learnt about alder and ash ( Yes I’m learning it in alphabetical order).
Elizabeth Is Missing is a brilliant little book. I would recommend it. See my thought on it here.
I started The Buried Giant straight after the one above and finished it already. It confused me like no other book in a long time (a very different type of confusion to the book mentioned above). I will think about it for a bit longer and tell you my opinion.
I got two from MagCulture shop in London: Cereal and Lucky Peach; and one from STACK subscription: Amuseum.
I’m also making a magazine myself! Watch this space.
I watched a Chinese film called Love Is Not Blind. It was shown in cinema in 2011 and was apparently one of the most popular low-budget films in China. The storyline is a cheesy love story, no surprises at all, about a girl who breaks up with her long-term boyfriend because of his unfaithfulness, recovers from the wounds and finds the true love. Dull! But I love the personality of the characters, the way they speak with an accent of my home city, the familiar streets they walk in. It reminded me of the “meanness” which is supposed to be a typical characteristic of guys and girls from my city and made me smile. It made me laugh out loud and cry with tissue in hand. So I say it’s a good film.
Miscellany of Miscellany
I’m very proud to inform you that I picked up a new hobby successfully this month – calligraphy! To all my non-English-speaking friends: Yes there is such a thing called English calligraphy and it’s surprisingly pleasing to the eye and practical. I have been putting my new skill to use: A birthday card for my niece and many party invites just in time for summer.
We started swimming this Monday. I love the pool so empty and quiet. I can cope with the slight uncleanness… We watched a group of children having a swimming lesson. It reminded me of my childhood summers. Every evening I would go to the swimming pool with either mum or dad in blazing hot sun. When we came out, the air would have cooled. The warmth from the day, the humidity in the air and the bleach on my skin blended into a soothing smell. A symbol of my childhood summers.