Billy Elliot & Postman’s Park

Aaaand I’m back in London! These four months I’m abroad are basically a game of Where’s Waldo for my parents, never quite sure where I am.

I left Coventry for London late Monday morning, and after getting situated back at the flat and a bit of grocery shopping at Tesco, I got to spend the later half of my day with my Aunt Janie! For those of you who don’t know, Aunt Janie is a flight attendant for American Airlines and quite often flys to London, which works out perfectly for us to meet up during her layover! Even more perfect, the hotel the airlines crew stays at is a 20 minute walk from my flat!

After hugs and receiving my treat from home, a jar of Skippy crunchy peanut butter <3, we met some of her fellow flight attendants in the lobby and headed off to Victoria Palace Theater so see if there were any last minute tickets to see the musical Billy Elliot. Lucky for us it was Monday, so there were great seats still available, so *we bought our tickets for the 7:45 show and headed to Pret for a quick snack before heading back to the theater!

*my lovely Aunt spoils me and treated me to the musical! Thanks Aunt Janie!

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“in front” of the theater from inside Pret, since there’s construction blocking the whole front of the theater outside

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She’s gonna murder me for posting this photo, but it’s the only one I got of us together and I look just as ridiculous, so oh well! Gotta open your eyes wide for the camera and hide the “Bates Asian Eyes”!

If you don’t know what Billy Elliot is about, or who he is for that matter, you are not alone! Neither did I, until last night, that is. The musical is based off of the 2000 movie (which is based off a true story), with music by Elton John. It takes place during the UK Miners Strike in 1984-1985 in North Eastern England. Young, motherless Billy trades his boxing gloves for ballet shoes one day behind his coal miner father’s back, which later causes problems when his family finds out. I won’t tell you how it ends, but it is a true story and extremely uplifting! Plus, I found it hilarious and made the musical distinct when the children tell each other to “fuck off” and call each other “wankers”, there’s defiantly no censoring, those kids tell it like it is! Another thing I thought was funny, but probably deemed inappropriate for me to think so at the current time, was how much the miners hackled Margaret Thatcher!

I had spent the night at the hotel with Aunt Janie, just like when I was little and we had sleepovers at her house, awwwwh! The next morning we went out and got breakfast, and then said our goodbyes when the shuttle came to take the crew to Heathrow for their flight back to the States. But it’s not goodbye for too long, since she’ll be flying the same route next Monday!

Sidetracking a bit, when we got back from the musical and went to the crew room for wifi to call my dad for a quick chat, I had a moment where my stomach dropped as Janie asked my dad how he was, and whatever his response was resulted in her face turning into a deep frown and a response of “what?!”. In the three hours that I was enjoying my time with my Aunt, tucked away in a London theater, the Boston Marathon had bomb explosions going off and people running in fear from the finish line, rather then towards it in accomplishment. The newspaper headlines here are referring to it as the “Boston Massacre” and “Bloody Boston”, and it breaks my heart every time I walk past a newspaper stand and see the pictures of my home country. There’s not much I can do or say here other then it’s in my prayers and that I hope nothing else occurs.

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Back on track; after Aunt Janie headed for the airport, I walked back to my flat, only to stumble upon this lil’ treasure that London tends to have

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The home of Alfred Hitchcock from 1926-1939!

After swapping sleepover clothes for my camera and journal, me and my backpack took off for Black Friars Station! My original plan for today was to find Postman’s Park, spend some time there, and then retire for the day, but as always London puts it’s foot down and made me stop and look around, and notice how awesome of a place I’m living in.

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It doesn’t happen to often too me, no matter where I am, but I walked onto the Millenium Bridge today just carrying on my way, only to look up in awe when I saw all of the landmarks around me: to the left of me was the Tower Bridge (in the distance) and the Shard

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In front of me was the Globe Theater and Tate Modern Museum

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To the right of me, which for some reason I didn’t take a picture of, was the London Eye, and behind me St. Paul’s Cathedral! Holy crap, how did I end up in this magical city?!

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”

Of course after realizing the Globe Theater and Tate Modern were just across the river from me, I took off to get a closer look at them!

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The Globe Theater, where William Shakespeare put on his playsIMG_2664

Millenium Bridge- recognize it from anywhere, Harry Potter fans?MillenniumBridgeCollapse

It’s the bridge the dementors destroy (at 2:18) in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince!

At some point I decided it would be a good idea to jump the railing separating the sidewalk from the river and walk down the rocky beach! I mean, come on! If you put up a fence to keep me out, that’s like asking me to do it! Aside from getting my shoes a bit damp, it was pretty cool!

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After climbing back over the fence, me and my sloshing wet shoes continued towards our destination of Postman’s Park, only to arrive there after being sidetracked by St. Paul’s Cathedral and all of the detours from things being set up for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral procession tomorrow.

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The simple wall on the left side of the picture above is a memorial to heroic self- sacrifice. It contains plaques in honor of those who have heroically lost their lives trying to save another.IMG_2692IMG_2694IMG_2693IMG_2695IMG_2696IMG_2698IMG_2697IMG_2699IMG_2700IMG_2701IMG_2706

Overall, it was a really cool, off the “tourist radar” location that I really admire, for being made and for the acts displayed on the tiles.

After spending some time at Postman’s Park, which is eerily quite for being in the middle of the city, I wandered back towards the Thames and then in the direction of my best friend, Big Ben. Seriously, I’m like a magnet when it comes to that clock tower.

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Let’s take a moment to admire how blue and sunny the sky was today! I can sense Spring is just around the corner, after all, I only wore two layers today, that’s a record!IMG_2715

There he is! I’ll never get tired of that view.

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Snack time with Nelson Mandela! Statue version, of course. Unfortunately  my lovely snack time perch tends to get its picture taken every other second by tourists in their tacky glory, so I had to move on to a new location. Either that or get framed forever on foreign people’s walls mid bite…

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One last shot of Parliament and Big Ben before heading to Westminster station to turn in for the evening

All in all, today I realized that no matter how much I complain or mope around missing home, I absolutely love the city I currently call home.

Xx

Michelle

P.S. It really sucks when you can’t think of a creative title for your blog post

2 Comments

  1. Great Blog! No, your Aunt Janie is not mad at you for posting that awful picture. Like you said, we both looked ????? But we will have to do better next Monday! Your photograpy is wonderful, really enjoyed it. Postman’s Park, never heard of it, wonderful!! What great snacks am I to bring you on Monday??? Love you!xo

  2. Hi Michelle, if I respond here do you get the message? This was a really cool entry and I am so glad you got to go out with Aunt Janie. She is awesome and so are you. Things are good here, tomorrow is Saturday which means Will’s second baseball game, picture day and work around the new house. Much love to you, Aunt Leslie

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