London · Out and About · To Move

Eek My Feet Hurt…

…and so continues my trekking around London in search of Wenlock and Mandeville.  The six trails combined are 22.1km’s of walking about and with lots of wrong turns and back tracking it’s a smidgen more.  We weren’t brave enough to attempt all the Trails in one day but two trails was enough to have my feet screaming at me by the time I’d flopped onto the couch for a breather.  It’s definitely been worth the effort though and I even met someone who had stumbled upon my previous post about the Discovery Trails.  I’m not going to lie it made me smile for a long time and I even texted my hubby about you lovely reader.  It made my day!  Thanks for stopping by my blog and for saying hi, I hope you managed to complete your trail without getting lost (I wasn’t so lucky and got lost many a time after leaving you at Builder Wenlock!).

On Friday we tackled the Purple Trail and began the Pink trail.  Once 8:30 rolled around I was dying for a cuppa and our camera was struggling to get a decent photo in the dark so we called it a day.  Today we headed back out and well and truly wore ourselves out with 4 mascots from the Pink trail left to find and the entire Yellow Trail to explore.

The bad news is that not only did I not make it to Sir Wenlock (I missed him on the Blue Trail) but somehow I completely missed Contemplative Wenlock today on the Yellow Trail (I’m kicking myself).  I know I’m a crazy lady but it’s going to haunt me if I don’t at least try and catch them tomorrow before they’re taken down.  The Paralympic Marathon might make getting to them a little difficult so fingers crossed I can get through.

For now, here’s the complete (and often blurry) Pink and Purple Trail’s.  I’ll be back with the Yellow Trail tomorrow (with or without the missing one).

. Continue reading “Eek My Feet Hurt…”

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London · Out and About · The Kidlets · To Move

3 Trails Down, 3 To Go

I was inspired by this post over at The Magnificent Something to complete the 6 Discovery Trails around London searching for the Olympic Mascots (Wenlock and Mandeville).  My poor directional skills and lugging kids along for the adventure have meant it’s taken me a little longer than I’d hoped.  We’ve kept chugging along though and so far we’ve managed to complete the Blue, Red and Green Trails.

We explored the Blue trail first and found it a bit tricky (lots of weird directions that didn’t make a whole lot of sense so lots of wrong turns!).  Sadly we couldn’t access Sir Wenlock at Guildhall.  We were there the day of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony and whilst we were nowhere near the actual ceremony there were news crews and lots of official looking vehicles around Guildhall along with lots of Paralympics volunteers.  Security was everywhere so we didn’t push our luck trying to get into the courtyard.  Hopefully I can get back there when I do the Yellow Trail this week.

The Red Trail was familiar territory for us starting at Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.  We had a dental appointment near there on Friday so we jumped straight into the hunt for Mascots with shiny clean teeth to boot.  This one was a nice easy path to follow with a lot less walking then the other Trails.  If you’re keen on seeing some of the Mascots but don’t want anything too time consuming try the Red Trail.  Lambeth Palace Mandeville wasn’t on PhotoRoute’s map but you’ll spot it across the road as you approach Garden Wenlock at the start of Lambeth Bridge.

The Green Trail was nice and easy too with lots of other families exploring Regents Park on Sunday.  We popped into London Zoo for a few hours after finding the first 9 Mascots and then finished off the final two on the way home.

After all that walking (particularly with me managing to get us lost regularly) the kidlets are completely over the whole trail thing and have lost all faith in “Mum’s idea of an outing” (I swear they’d moan and complain if I suggested going on a walk to get ice cream).  We took a break today and vegged on the couch watching movies.  Hopefully I can inspire them to come out with me tomorrow to do the Purple and Pink trails.  The kids go back to school on Thursday and the mascot statues come down on Sunday so we’re on a deadline.  I think I’ll be exploring the Yellow trail on my own later this week!

If you’re interested in exploring the Discovery Trails for yourself, check out their Official Page and be sure to check for details of missing or replaced Mascots so you don’t go nuts looking for them.  For maps (if you have a smart phone download the app, I had to do it the old-fashioned way and printed the directions out) then go here.  A quick note to anyone who plans to print the directions, the printing was awful in Chrome but just fine in Firefox (I didn’t try IE).

Wish me Luck! Continue reading “3 Trails Down, 3 To Go”

London · Out and About · The Kidlets · United Kingdom

This is what happens…

…when a naughty food blogger decides to go to the free wine tasting BEFORE taking photos of all the yummy gourmet food samples at the Foodies Festival!  Double oops!

It’s entirely possible that sticking around after the wine tasting to listen to the Hendrick’s Gin guy taking us through the history of Gin and then consuming a number of free cocktails (they were delish! I’m definitely going to try Gin next time we’re making cocktails at home) contributed to my memory card being chocka block with blurry photos of feet and trees.

Anywho!  The Foodies Festival at Battersea Park was a pretty awesome day out with loads of food to try (and buy) and free cooking and drinks demonstrations throughout the day.  I’m not going to lie, there aren’t a lot of photos of the actual food here but this fascinating display of me having a jolly good time eating and drinking whilst my children laugh both with me and at me is almost as good, right?

Our adventure began with a sunny walk along the Thames Path headed towards Battersea Park.

We tried a LOT of food today.  Almost all of it was yummy.  These infused Olive Oil’s were no exception and they had gorgeous humus dips spread out to Master 11’s right.  Naturally there are no photos of it.  We did buy a jar of their Harissa to pour over humus at home, it was that good…nom nom nom…

The stand out food of the day was hands down the Cornish Oysters.  I love Oysters so it wasn’t a huge leap for me but Mitch has never been a huge fan (he’ll eat them if he’s at a Seafood Buffet but would never order them) and he was blown away by these oysters too.  There weren’t any free samples (for obvious reasons) but we were more than happy to part with £1.50 a pop for these babies.

Continue reading “This is what happens…”

London · To Move · United Kingdom

Watching Greco Roman Wrestling: It Requires a Level of Maturity I Don’t Posess

Greco-Roman Wrestling was my favourite event we watched at the London Excel Centre.  We saw Fencing a few days earlier which was a great experience especially with it being a sport Master 11 and Master 8 both do and have an interest in.  Watching Fencing was great but I’m not a classy kinda gal so the Wrestling won me over.  Give me sweaty, muscle-bound men wrestling each other to determine who’s the buffest over delicate, lean (and very talented) fencers any day!

Before watching this at the Olympics I had never seen Greco-Roman Wrestling live or on t.v so it was a whole new experience for me.  We worked the rules out as we went along and by the end of the afternoon I think we had most of the rules down.

Each match was quick and action packed and with all three weight ranges competing at the same time there was something for every one to see no matter how nose-bleed worthy your seats were (hello me!  we got cheap kids tickets to this event, paying a pound for every year old they were (£11, £8 and £6) so we were the third row from the back).

Greco Roman Wrestling Olympics London 2012

Greco Roman Wrestling Olympics London 2012 Continue reading “Watching Greco Roman Wrestling: It Requires a Level of Maturity I Don’t Posess”

London · Move Over · The Kidlets · To Move

The Moaning

…and not of the sexy variety.  Moaning about the weather is part of being British and I’ve embraced it whole heartedly.  Ordinarily my complaints about the weather are different to everyone else’s but I think everyone’s cool with that.  I’m a gloomy weirdo who’s fond of the rain, cool weather (10-15 degrees is my favourite!  5-10 degrees whilst sunny is even more glorious, but very rare) and I even adore the snow and ice now that I don’t have to drive in it.

Anywho!  The moaning I’m referring to is over the 2012 London Olympics.  I know there have been big issues over the past 12 or so months (eg. the ticketing and more recently the private security company hired for the games messing up) but all in all I think the Olympics are something to be hugely proud of.  I’m crazy excited about not only living in this wonderful city whilst the games are on but also to be seeing 3 events (albeit not very exiting ones, but hey! we took what we could get).  It makes me want to puff my chest up proud to be a Londoner!

I completely agree that the strain on London’s Transport System is going to be a pain in the behind.  Already travel has become more difficult and we’re still a few days out from the Opening Ceremony but considering the huge amount of tourists who have already started to pour into the city, is it really surprising?  So many times I’ve heard moaning about the Olympics being a huge waste of money and resources and a big disruption to everyone’s lives.  I just don’t get it!  Isn’t it an honour to hold such a huge event in the U.K?  Won’t it bring thousands of tourists who will spend money on accommodation, food, sight-seeing and more?  Isn’t it something to be proud of?  A huge achievement and the opportunity for the U.K to be in the limelight.  Sounds like a positive thing to me.

Yes the adding an Olympic lane business on London’s roads is a disaster just waiting to happen (have you heard that they are ditching some “bus lanes” and painting over them with the silly olympic lane logo? currrraaaazy town!) and I cringe to think about the chaos that is about to ensue.  In the end though those are all obstacles that everyone will work around and it might even be worthy of a giggle in years to come (maybe).  The whole planning process certainly hasn’t been perfect but in the end, we get to host a huge event that will have the worlds eyes looking at London and that’s got to be worth a bit of inconvenience.

Londoners already expect travelling to get a little annoying in the summer time when we’re inundated with tourists.  As a foreigner who was once one of those tourists most of the time they make me smile.  I love seeing them wide-eyed taking in the sights with their map in one hand and camera in the other.  It’s refreshing seeing the little things I take for granted through a visitors eyes.  A little nudge reminding me to appreciate all that London has to offer.

I happily take people’s photo for them when asked and I even kinda love it when someone asks me for directions and I know the way (for the record I’m atrocious with directions but boy do I try!  I can picture it in my head but it comes out of my mouth a bit gobble-dee-gook and I’m sure half the time they smile, nod and ask the next person they see).

Yes certain things annoy the heck out of me (Please, for the love of all things stripey, Stand on the Right when travelling down the escalators!) but all in all it’s part of living in a big city and I’m okay with that.  If anything it makes me feel proud to live here because other people appreciate all those things that drew me to London.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times I curse tourist season. Last week with all the kids in tow I had two run in’s with the crowds whilst just trying to go about our normal routine.  The first time was on the way to the Dentist.  I should have seen that one coming since we had to go via Westminster but the groups of tourists gawking at Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament blocking the walk way were frustrating all the same.  The second time was at Baker Street Station on our way to Fencing lessons, the groups mulling about waiting to go into Madame Tussaud’s made my head feel like it was going to explode.  I was a flustered sweaty mess by the time we got to our destination!  I’ve had to accept that sometimes I just have to be rude and loudly excuse myself whilst pushing through groups of people.  It makes me feel a bit mean and rude, but It’s part of living here and one day I imagine these moments will make for fond memories.

Yes, things will be a bit more hectic and over run in the next few months but I’m trying to look on the bright side.  I don’t even like watching sports, or playing them for that matter (unless there’s a who-can-sit-on-their-bottom-the-longest-without-it-going-numb Olympic event?) but hosting the Olympics and showing off this great city to the world feels awesome!