Last week I went to London for work. While travelling down on the train, instead of sitting with my face in a book... or worse - my laptop, I watched the world and lots of beautiful English countryside fly by. I saw the Leaning Tower of Chesterfield (it's actually the twisted spire of Chesterfield Parish Church) The twisted spire is caused by the use of Green Oak (which was used in medieval carpentry because it could be bent into shape and was easier on the tools) and shoddy craftsmanship due to the Black Death. I pass this every time I go to London on the train and always think "I must visit that one day" but never have. It's pretty much right on my door step as well so I really should!
This is the first time I've travelled to London in decent weather (well, actually it isn't - I also went for my hen party but was too busy drinking champagne and eating cake to bother looking out of the window!) so it was nice to look out and see fields peppered with summer flowers spilling into one another. I saw seas of bright yellow rape flowers, blankets of blood red poppies nodding in the breeze and a field soft with pale purple forget me nots. Not to mention all the different varieties of lovely English wild flowers on the banks of the tracks. It was lovely to see all of the changing colours and flowers the further South I traveled.
We spent about twenty minutes stuck on a bridge over a lovely little river (no idea where I was at this point!) while there were some issues with signal failure. The river was lined with swaying reeds and big lilly pads and there was a little family of ducks splashing about at the edge looking for dinner. I was quite amused by the way they "duck" their heads into the water and manage to stay under for quite some time by kicking their legs in the air behind them.
My first meeting was in Southwark which is where the Cricket is held (the Oval) so I had a little peak in to see what I was missing. As I was walking through the town towards the office, I was really surprised to find that it was not at all like the London I know. It was quite quiet, with lots of quaint little delhi's and green grocers. It was like another time and had I not been spending the night in London I would have enjoyed scouring the shops and picking up some lovely fresh veg (I saw the juiciest looking chillies in one shop!) to take home for dinner. It was actually the first part of London that I've visited and could actually see myself living. Have you ever seen the film Notting Hill? It was just like that. I loved it.
In the evening I went out with a work friend as a special treat for a lovely Indian meal (and I mean REAAAAALLY lovely, I had mango and basil sorbet for dessert - delicious!) followed by a show. We went to see Priscilla, Queen of the Desert which was absolutely hilarious! We wanted to see something that we wouldn't have a cats chance in hell at getting our husbands to, so we definitely picked the right show - it was more camp than a row of pink tents! The story was about a group of drag queens travelling across Australia in a big tour van and the things they get up to on their way. It was full of 70's disco tunes, lots of singing and dancing and very elaborate costumes. We were laughing all the way through - it was brilliantly acted and the costumes were fantastic. I would love to be involved in making the costumes for something like that! Oh, and the men seriously had legs to be jealous of! If you ever get the chance to go and see it at the theatre, I would definitely recommend it - it's one of the best shows I've seen!