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Royal Wedding Aussies live from London

Royal Wedding Aussies live from London

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I’m not going to lie, we got pretty excited about the royal wedding!

Well, I did, and I dragged Cooper down with me.

We had the exciting task of dipping our toes back in old familiar waters, and ended up as London correspondents for a number of Aussie breakfast radio shows.

Royal Wedding Aussies live from London

Throughout the week we talked all things royal wedding as Aussies live from London on River (Brisbane), Power FM, and a host of other stations across Queensland and New South Wales. We were a little tired by the end of it, but it was good fun.

We were also tipped-off by channel nine that they would be broadcasting live from Buckingham Palace, and I fortuitously ended up at a royal rehearsal in Windsor!

Take a look at these Instagram Stories highlights for the best of the royal wedding, Aussies live from London.

Congrats Harry and Meghan! What a lovely, sunny, romantic and historic event to be a part of.

Let us know in the comments how you celebrated xo

 

Alight Here (series): Haggerston

Alight Here (series): Haggerston

All about Haggerston and London Fields

As I walk back towards home from Haggerston station after seeing my love (that would be Cooper) off to work, it occurs to me that I probably have very little time left in what has become my new home. Saddened by this sudden realisation, I stop mid stride to take a look around, attempting to record it in my brain. It’s quiet here this morning, all except for a soft breeze and the sound of the 7am trains pulling in overhead. A black and white cat appears by me in front of the Duke of Wellington pub where I’ve paused. She stops to peer up at me as if to assess whether I’m friend or foe; we eye each other for a moment before she nods nonchalantly and proceeds with her morning’s exploration. Going home won’t be all that bad, after all, I get to see my dog again. We sorely underestimated how much we’d miss Harry, ‘our child of nine years’. I’m not a ‘cat person’, but here I’ve even begun to develop a soft spot for these slinky little animals – they’re furry and occasionally friendly – anything to remotely fill the ‘Harry void’. We’d fly him across from Australia, but he’s been in a good home for the past eleven months and we simply couldn’t put him through a long-haul flight and possible quarantine, especially now that he’s in the later stages of his life. So, we’re back to going home. I shouldn’t be sad, we (hopefully) have travelling time ahead of us yet, but I am teary at the thought of leaving this place, my new home where I’ve happily and peacefully settled.

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Snapping out of my thoughts as I notice a park-dweller glaring suspiciously at me, I continue on my way. Crossing Queensbridge Road onto Middleton Road, I take special note of the buildings, developed, I read, by Sir William Middleton (a relative of the new Duchess of Cambridge, aka Kate, I’m assuming) at the beginning of the 19th Century. I enjoy walking in this area past these beautiful Georgian period homes that lead into lovely London Fields. Although I know there have been issues with gangs at times in the past, in my experience here I’ve just seen people having fun, BBQs in the sun, dogs playing, Broadway Market action and a generally great vibe and energy that’s made us both happy. Usually we rush about, but in this area we tend to stroll and take in the environment, patting dogs, making friends in the bars and admiring the old architecture of surrounding homes.

Middleton Road Sarah Blinco

No point in being miserable about leaving though, because life goes on, and as far as ‘problems’ go, this isn’t a critical one by any stretch of the imagination. I’m just a sentimental girl (especially when I read my posts from this time last year, as I prepared to journey over here to the ‘Mother Land’ /unknown territory); but I realise I’m lucky to have had the experience in the first place. It’s not been perfect or entirely as I would have imagined, but we’ve settled, lived and conquered London – something I never envisaged as being possible.

Just as I open the gate to our building I see a tiny ray of sunshine finally poking through the clouds following weeks of wind and rain. Hopefully we’ll have some nice days between now and when we leave. With that in mind I’ve resolved to spend some of my spare days recording what it’s like on any given day at the precincts that make this city tick – at tube / train stops around London – stops that act as vital arteries to this city’s existence. Landmarks that see thousands of commuters pass each day, for work, travel and leisure. I want to record what it’s like to sit and watch the Thames in 2011, or what the townsfolk are doing within historical Covent Garden or down by St. Paul’s. I’ll stop at train stations to capture their activity and reflect on what might have been going on there in the past. Each stop in London offers new and exciting parks, pubs, restaurants, cafes and hidden old gems, and being that I’m a tad obsessed by The Tudors at the moment, this seems like a fitting and worthwhile pastime, and conclusion to life as we know it in the UK. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have the opportunity to come back and compare my musings at some crazy future date like 2031 (if the world doesn’t actually end next year, that is). Or perhaps, as others have come to England and followed in the path of Wordsworth, Shakespeare and Austen, maybe some soul who is a youngster this year, will follow in my steps and add their findings to this entry in the future. Who knows how it will have changed. I do hope the old homes are here though, and I would certainly assume that the Duke of Wellington pub (the same place we saw the historical Royal Wedding of April 29 take place) would still be standing… the pubs always are!

London Fields Sarah Blinco

 

 

Dining in the Dark: Gordon’s Wine Bar

Dining in the Dark: Gordon’s Wine Bar

Gordons
Thankfully, my two lovely mates, Nicole and Iain, thought to take me for a cheeky drink at a charming little place called Gordon’s Wine Bar. Located just near Embankment tube (but not too far from Covent Garden, or Charing Cross tube), head down some steep narrow stairs to a confined, cosy space lit by candles. It’s almost ‘tunnel’ like – probably not for the claustrophobic – but definitely for those who tend towards old, historical and possibly a little creepy (in a cool way of course, chimes the crazy X-Files fan in the back of my mind).

gordens dinner

Another nice feature, aside from the general ambiance, is that the walls are lined with old newspaper clippings and front pages from The Daily Mail, The Observer etc. from over the past 60 years or so. They have even included The Evening Standard from April 29, 2011 (a paper I also have stashed away to commemorate The Royal Wedding).Evidently, this bar is the oldest wine bar in London (est. 1890), and I do kind of like that it’s named after my grandfather (well, not really but he was a Gordon, and a popular publican in Toowoomba ‘back in the day’, so it’s fitting…).

I’ve had a few friends pop up on Facebook who also know of this little ‘hidden’ gem, although from what I understand it can be near impossible to get through the door most afternoons and weekends… old and candlelit is evidently favoured by many more than just me. Anyway, I’ve nabbed some images from their website to give you a better idea of what it looks like inside.  S X

gordens dinner 2    gordens wine

What to do now?  Post Royal Wedding blues

What to do now? Post Royal Wedding blues

Just this morning I was pondering what we would do now; what would we talk about? This time a week ago we had the big, romantic wedding and street parties all around. Then the weekend was topped off by the news that Osama Bin Laden had finally been captured and killed. 

 

Ironically enough, I stumbled across quite an amusing editorial in The Daily Telegraph by Hannah Betts which proved I wasn’t the only one thinking along these lines. It really was such an amazing event: “For a few hours we came together as a country in a way that no sporting activity, or religious celebration could muster. In a multi-media age, where the populace rarely views the same subject matter, we united on a single theme“. Am sure quite a few of you will, with a knowing smile, agree…

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Have you fallen into the arms of post-wedding-day blues?

After celebrating the royal wedding our nation is left deflated, says Hannah Betts.

Look deep into your soul and ask yourself: do any of the following symptoms sound familiar? A wistful longing for romantic conviction; the feeling that one might be a tad chubby or lacking poise; an overwhelming sense of drabness; an indignant rumbling to the effect: “Where’s Monday’s bank holiday gone?”

One week on from what the nation is still rapturously referring to as “The Wedding”, a certain post-nuptial depression would appear to be afflicting the collective female psyche. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Great Wedding Wobble.

Personally, I am no ardent monarchist, without being a republican; I am not looking for Mr Right; nor do I believe in marriage. Nevertheless, my own wake o’ nuptials malaise set in last Friday at 4pm prompt.

What, no more watching royals motor about the capital? No further tittering at Beatrice’s titfer? No more fashionable nose-upturning at the former Miss Middleton, who – even former naysayers must concede – pulled an absolute blinder? How could we be expected to wean ourselves off the eye candy so quickly? Surely the couple had a responsibility to fulfil their role as reality television stars to topple Essex’s finest and commit their wedding night to the small screen?

The male commentator who described the wedding as the “World Cup for women” didn’t come close. For when has the outcome of a football match made anyone question their quality of life? The introspection – ye gods, the introspection! I may not want to get hitched, but the couple’s beatific happiness (after 10 years!) reduced me to a gibbering heap. Theirs was a radiant certainty that I have yet to feel about anyone or anything.

Happily – unhappily – I am not alone. Legions of otherwise sane women would appear to be suffering post-nuptial angst. For those enduring separation or malcontentedly single, the wretchedness is palpable.

Said one 38-year-old divorcee: “I couldn’t help but reflect on my wedding day and the confident assumption that my life was complete. And yet here I am living alone in a bedsit, with unhappy children and an incandescent ex. The pair’s tangible warmth crawled beneath the armour I had used to protect myself, causing me physical and emotional symptoms.”

Another friend, awaiting her prince just shy of 40, admits: “It’s the first time we’ve seen a royal couple so genuinely in love and, once the excitement had passed, it was so deflating – and a stark reminder of where we are not in our own lives. It was all so damn effervescent and now life’s the opposite. To be honest, I’m a little green. They’re 10 years younger and have a happy road ahead, whereas they’ve left me looking backwards.”

The image of the oh-so fragrant Duchess of Cambridge has led to some particularly self-lacerating feminine critique. As one staunchly sensible career woman bemoans: “I am (secretly) jealous of everything: her poise, having so many amazing pictures of her big day, that incredible mane of hair. I found myself in Prêt the other day thinking: ‘Well, I won’t buy the Caesar salad because Kate wouldn’t get that. Mind you, nor would Kate have that second bottle at lunchtime or go to bed with her slap on.’

“Her stellar performance has made me look at my own existence and find it wanting. Moreover, without any desire to get married, I’ve started thinking: ‘A dress with a 9ft-train really is the minimum.’”

The incredulity with which such confessions are expressed cannot be exaggerated. From our Slough of Despond we wail: “Is it only a week since Blighty thrilled to cartwheeling vergers and pirouetting plods?” For a few hours we came together as a country in a way that no sporting activity, or religious celebration could muster. In a multi-media age, where the populace rarely views the same subject matter, we united on a single theme.

A self-confessed pessimist remarks: “I had a strange sense during the wedding of losing all cynicism – and that so had much of London. There was a genuine air of camaraderie. For once we had good news – and on an epic scale.” The sense of jaundice and ennui that marks the comedown from this delirium would appear to be universal, even among those who like to be modishly countercultural.

And late 30- and 40-somethings – who prefer to imagine themselves as young – remembering Diana’s first-born crawling around in his romper suit have felt dispiritingly middle-aged. And all of us have had to face the end of that stretch of sunlit loafing born of consecutive bank holidays. “There’s simply nothing to look forward to,” comes the lament.

A nation mourns, or rather, sulks. Zara Phillips, take note.

 

It’s a party for the Royal wedding in London!

It’s a party for the Royal wedding in London!

There’s an energy in the air in London. Even people who claimed to not care too much about the impending nuptials now aren’t denying there’s electricity around…. a spring in everyone’s step… a little excitement, and a load of Facebook and Twitter updates!

Of course there are a few sad Sam’s, but everyone else can’t help but notice the thousands of media who have descended on the Capital, the special upbeat play-lists all the radio stations are pumping out, endless pub events and club line-ups that are being promoted… it’s turning out to be one big Cool Britannia party, and we’re all invited!

Evidently even the anti-monarchy sentiment in Australia has recently been at its LOWEST in decades. Yep, Kate and Wills (or the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as we’ll officially call them in under 24 hours) are well-liked, and most of the world is loving the positive news story.

Even when we were in America last week the hype was high – it’s a big story, but it’s a popular story.

At work we fell into the inevitable ‘Diana’ conversation, and how we reckon she’d love Kate.

Apparently there are some hardcore Diana-ists threatening to boycott the wedding and cause dramas… a note, if you ‘support’ Diana, you’d leave her poor son alone.

He’s been through enough, but now, a happy ending? We can only hope so.

I’ve bought my merchandise, street party outfit, special t-shirt for Cooper… even got my hands on the limited edition Oyster (London travel) Card as a collectable memento for my mum back at home.

I’m super excited about the big party around this amazing city. I’m fortunate to be here for such a historical and hopefully happy event.

Cheers Kate and Wills! Good on you for being the charming couple that everyone likes. Now, off to join the thousands out in the street… see you on TV 😉

 

royal wedding

 

PS we ended up in town for another future Royal wedding – take a peek here!