London day trip 20th January 2018 Part 4: London double decker bus trip

On one of London’s iconic double decker buses is a good way to keep dry, whilst seeing the city. If you have bought a travel pass for the day it is also basically free.

You can tick ✅ off typical London sights:

Lion 🦁 on side of building and top of red post box.

Red phone box

Red buses

Black taxi

Red Post Box

Fish and chip shop

London rain ☔️ , with unusual green double decker in front.

Pink flamingo on wall

But you also get an idea of how multi cultural London is.

London day trip 20th Jan 2018 Part 3: Lumere Festival

The festival continues tonight and tomorrow (Sun 21st).

Leicester Square

China town

Piccadilly Circus

Only time been there without traffic (traffic had been barred due to the events).

Trafalgar Square

Top of the London eye, is in the background.

Granary Square / Lewis Cubit Park / Kings Cross

There was a great effect over Granary Square with blue lights, which made it look like there was a blue mist floating over the Square.

The top picture is Lewis Cubit Park which actually looks better in photo than in real life. In real life the flowers were just white but in the photo the lights have given the flowers; their colour.

Bird cage has a swing in the centre.

London Day Trip 20th Jan 2018 Part 2: Arrival, Granary Square, Reagent Canal and the House of Illustration

I had never been to the area around Reagent canal/ Granary Square before, but it is only 5minutes from Kings Cross / St Pancreas and it’s area worth remembering.

The canal is meant to be a lovely place to walk on a sunny day. But it is not a sunny day, it is a grey, wet, January day.

Also for a sunny day like the sound of Ruby Violet ice creams (for future reference it is between Waitrose and the House of illustrations.

I scoped our some of Lumere sites for later.

I went in the House of Illustrations; it did not take long to get round. I went round twice to try and get more value out of £8.25 entry fee and because when I went in my phone battery was flat, but the ladies at the entrance was letting me charge. When I collected my phone which was 18% charged the lady mentioned, I should get a portable charger; I remembered I have a portable charger which not used yet but would be perfect for days out.

The house of illustrations had a gallery dedicated to Quentin Blake who I most found my think of because he illustrated Roald Dahl books.

After the House of Illustrations, I thought about going to a the canal museum but that was £5 so I decided to leave for a day when had more time / had not already spent £8.25 on a museum. Another reason to revisit the area after the Lumere festival tonight is that a old building is being restored to create a shopping centre. But not a mall; independent artisan shops, I imagine it to be like the shops around Camden; it is to be called Coal Drops and due to open October 2018.

Day trip to London 20th January Part 1: Everybodies talking about Jamie and Luminee Light Festival to come

It is possible to get from Sheffield to London in 2 hours on the train, which is fairly convenient. The problem is you can not just spontanously turn up at the station and go ….unless you are carefree with money as it can cost up to £100 or more to buy train tickets. Train tickets are cheaper the further in advance you buy. Also different time trains are different prices; with the trains that stop in more places which therefore take longer, often cheaper.

This morning, I arrived on the platform 8.20am just as the train was pulling in early as departure time was 8.34 am. It is due to arrive in London at 11.14 am so it takes nearly 3 hours. The train back is one that takes two hours so that is good after a long day.

Half an hour of the journey has gone so far. I have painted my nails gold. Eaten wraps with lemon curd in and started flicking through newspaper. The train has stopped at Chesterfield and Alferton.

I have a ticket to see Everyone is talking about Jamie later. I also hope to see some of the installations that have been lit in London the last two nights and will be lit tonight and tomorrow as part of the Luminere festival of light. The festival light that has been running since 2009; it has also taken place in London, Derry and Durham.

The Darkest Hour (Film review)

Not a light film! It is about Churchill becoming prime minster and Dunkirk. I have not watched Dunkirk so, I do not know how it correlates. It is the kind of film that makes you intrigued about the historical events it covers.

Visually it is dark; a lot is set in the war rooms which were underground. Having visited the war rooms it captures their atmosphere well (incidentally they are worth a visit).

Enjoyed scenes with Churchill and the King, his wife and his secretary.

Highlight was the underground train scene, which I will not spoil here but the second review linked to below, goes into more detail. Also the following link is where the director discusses the scene and that definitely contains spoilers.

Perhapas not a film for everyone or at all times but interesting if interested in the history. I pretty much agree with these reviews. Some may find it tedious but there are good points.

Another day to remember the holocaust and some places dedicated to remembering (Boston, Prague, Austwich, Laxton)

Tomorrow is National Holocaust Memorial Day. 27th January marks the day that the largest concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberarted. Holocaust Memorial Day also remembers those affected by genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.  Of course, every day we should be observant about groups being victimized. At different times I have been to three holocaust memorials around the globe. I have been to Krakov in Poland but, could not seriously consider going to Austwich from there although it is theoretically possible, because it is a 3 – 4 hour round trip, just to get there and I did not have a whole day spare. I’m not sure I would have wanted to go, it seems a rather morbid activity and perhaps rather voyeuristc.

Appropriately the Holocaust memorial in Boston, Massachusetts is part of the Freedom trial which also. commemorates those denied freedom due to slavery. It features a line of six, tall glass towers. Each tower represents a major Nazi death camp: Majdanek, Chelmno, Sobibor, Treblinka, Belzec, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. The glass is etched with 6 million random numbers to represent the 6million Jews in  concentration camps. You can walk in line through one tower to the next like a tunnel. At the bases of each tower steam rises, from the grate below, therefore it is very eerie to walk though and brings to mind walking into gas chambers.

More personal than the numbers on the Boston memorial, the walls of the Pinknova synagogue in Prague features handwritten names of the 78thousand Czech and Moravian victims. So many names and no the only details being, if known their data of birth and date of death; no information about them as a person. Although upstairs in the synagogue is an exhibition of Child Holocaust victims art, so the loss creativity can be seen. Downstairs I zoned in on someone who shared the same first name as me and I’m trying to find out more about her, which is not proving easy so far.

The Berlin memorial close to the Brandberg gate (which was once part of the the Berlin wal) features no lists of names or numbers. It is a collection of large square blocks of granite. It covers a relatively large area with most blocks been too high to see over as you walk though. Some of the paths roll like waves rather,than being flat. Therefore it feels a bit like being in a maze and disorirntated, whether this makes you think about about holocaust victims or taking pictures in a different location is debatable. I believe there is just one explanatory board on the site. The blocks darkness makes the place rather bleak.

Upon realising I have not been to a Holocaust museum in the  I did a google search. I found there is National Holocaust Centre in Laxton near Newark, which features exhibits about the holocaust and outside a rose garden to contemplate in Additionally a Holocaust memorial for London is currently been designed, echoing the Freedom trial in Boston it will be displayed im Victoria Tower Gardens next to the Thames and Westminster; alongside monuments to suffragettes, abolishment of slavery and civic service.

The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘How can life go on’ i.e. after the genocide; something to consider today.