I lived on a small island in the South China Sea with a husband, two sons and a scruffy dog and now I live in London which is in a slightly larger small island with a scruffy husband two large boys and a very fluffy dog.
Don't be fooled by the slightly over cast skies it was hot. Really hot . So hot that we abandoned our original plans and headed down to the water for Panache ( Shandy to you and me) and a much needed swim. Beautiful though and dry.
Half way along we came upon a charcoal kiln and a rough hut for the collier to sleep in. It looks like a hobbit house and is very unusual. My Mother in law who has lived in The Cevenne nigh on 20 years said she had never seen one on a walk before.
It's very warm here in the South of France. Either that or I have acclimatized to the mellow temperate climate ( read cold and wet) of Britain. Still it is good for sitting by rivers eating salads and generally lazing around.
As part of the Olympics many countries have set up house in various locations in London and around Britain. As it happens one of those homes from home The Czech House is quite close in The Business design Centre in Islington. It also helps that we have an insider there( Husband) to get us in! So of we trotted not really knowing what to expect.
So what we found apart from the large double decker bus out the front doing push ups was a basketball court, lots of games from video to fuzzball , chill out zones , large screens with deckchairs flying buses and for the cerebral Chess. There was also a tv studio which allowed my older son to fulfil a long held dream of appearing live on telly( in the background ). Those Czechs sure have a sense of humour which I guess we knew anyway from the opening ceremony and their outfits. I mean Wellies!!!How cool!
So after a large (not very ) Czech lunch and an ill advised half of pilsner I fell asleep to the dulcet ( I am still partially deafened) sounds of an independent Czech band doing a warm up. Aah London in the summer.
It's just like the poster says. Hidden Gems. Here are a few that we have been enjoying this summer.
Camden Beach. On top of the restaurant at the Roundhouse in Camden they have created a beach with beach shack , deckchairs , buckets , spades , table tennis and Olympic screen. They even have good coffee. Heaven.
Next stop . Stonehenge , or rather the more fun Bouncy Castle version at Hampstead Heath.
It's actually an artwork called 'Sacrelige' by Jeremy Deller. I am impressed. It's not often I get no backchat when I suggest visiting a cutting edge artist. He actually won the Turner Prize in 2004. Again not often I suggest a Turner Prize winning artist without some trepidation.It's on tour definitely go see it if you have a chance.
Oh it's all gone Olympic mad here. Off we toddled today to see Chariots of Fire the stage play. There were laughs and gasps and tears and that was just in the coffee shop before. No it was brilliant. The boys were literally on the edge of their seats and I cried at the end when they sang Jerusalem.Go see it if you have a chance if not enjoy this clip and for you Brits out there wallow in some nostalgia patriotism and yes a little bit of pride. Oh and don't they look young?
Whoahhh here we are! I can't tell you how excited we were to go to the Olympics. After so many failed attempts we got tickets to the Hockey preliminaries Korea vs New Zealand and Australia vs South Africa.
The weather was gorgeous and we were excited!
The Olympic Park with all the wild flowers and fabulous buildings was truly beautiful.
This is Korea whom I initially felt sorry for but who went on to thrash NZ 2-0. Australia similarly beat South Africa 6-0. It was not a sport I would normally have chosen with it's bad memories from school but it was great. I can't rave about the whole experience enough.