Another from the London collection – Big Ben itself! Well, actually, I suppose that is incorrect since ‘Big Ben’ is the name given to the famous bell. I believe the structure goes by the name of St. Stephen’s Tower. Please don’t shoot me down if Google has failed me in finding this out…
My reasoning for including “Not So Big Ben” in the title is simply because when I first set eyes on the world-famous structure, standing across the road in awe, I was amazed at how much smaller the tower actually was, and how thin it stood. When seeing it on television, I used to think nothing of it and thought it was a broad and very tall work of art. But no, quite the opposite!
Nonetheless, it was still surreal standing there, witnessing something I had only ever seen in films and on television!
It was so strange when we arrived in London. One minute, we were travelling through some streets, just off of the motorway and the next, we were slap-bang caught in a traffic jam in the centre of London. We went on the Thames River Cruise and I managed to sneak a few nice, crane flooded photos whilst bobbing up and down in a very dinky and rusty blue boat along the river.
Well, almost a week ago, I wrote and shared with you my excitement towards a London trip. Well, I’m back now. Just let me check…
Yup, I’m back.
And what an experience it was. I could go on and on about my experiences in London and to be honest with you… I probably will just go on and on, and on, and on, and…
In order to try and shorten this post a little, I thought I’d just write a few things under some headings of activities, places, sights etc.
Thames River Cruise
Despite the rather long wait on our boat to arrive, this was one of the most surreal experiences of my life: seeing London in person. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve seen it on TV, in films, online – everywhere!
London Eye & 4D Experience
For my first ever 4D experience, the pre-London Eye five minute film was absolutely amazing. Terrifying, but amazing. As for the London Eye… oh, it couldn’t have been more beautiful and stunning. I was totally fine with being in a small pod a hundred metres or so in the air with many strangers but the view was just breathtaking. Absolutely breathtaking. (Photos to come in the coming weeks!)
London Christmas Markets (1)
Below the London Eye, lay a thin, long strip of Christmas market stalls. We were given about an hour to browse these markets. They were certainly Christmassy and I could have bought anything from small, handcrafted keyrings to giant, four foot gingerbread houses. I didn’t buy anything however – nothing really to my taste nor my wallet’s. The only outcome of the markets below the London Eye was that I discovered my biggest weakness: mulled wine. I honestly cannot stand the smell – as soon as I came in contact with the smell, I couldn’t stop gagging!
Hard Rock Cafe
Though we were only given a set-meal (from which, I chose the cheeseburger with chips, Diet Coke, and the ice-cream served in a glass) I did enjoy the Hard Rock Cafe. I’m not the biggest rock fan but there was an essence of awesome knowing that I was surrounded by some of the most popular and treasured rockstar memorabilia.
IMAX 3D Film – Gravity
I thought it was odd that on a trip to London, we would go to the cinema. We could see a 3D film pretty much anywhere back in Scotland – no? True as that may be, I am certainly glad we went to this cinema. The auditorium was massive, giant, colossal, humungous… you get the idea, don’t you? And the screen was taller than the London Eye (bit of an exaggeration ) and wider than three London buses one behind the other. The IMAX 3D was 99% perfected with minimal blur and motion faults and the film Gravity was just spectacular! Highly recommended!
London Bridge Tombs Experience
I can honestly say, I don’t think I’ve ever screamed so much in all my life. It wasn’t so much in fear but more so excitement, nerves and anticipation as well as paranoia. The first part was lots of fun and very educational: basically just your average interactive ‘dungeons’ experience. However, the second part was more like a haunted house only… worse. Small, confined spaces, circuses were the clowns were hidden just to terrify us, dolls in abandoned cots, psychotic men with chainsaws… It was terrifying in a way but I just kept telling myself that it was all for fun and a laugh. Let’s just say I ran out the exit door and winded myself on the way out. Yeah…
Well, I’ve never felt more like a peasant in all my life. This multi-floor pound-shop for millionaires just completely took my breath away. Everything looked and felt so expensive whilst I was terrified to move one way or another in fear of knocking over a mannequin wearing contents twice the value of our family car. From live puppies for sale (at extortionate prices) to grand restaurants with only the finest grand pianos- this shop had everything. It was here, one of the most terrifying things happened to me:
I was in the “writing” section and was eyeing up some fancy, but simple leather notebooks. I took an interest in one and decided to ask the sales assistant how much it was, believing it would be approximately £25. She opened the book, and flipped to the back inside cover where a nicely printed label was neatly resting. She answered my query with: “It’s one five five (£155) sir.” At this moment, I had to thank her and pretend it wasn’t the right colour before running out of that department. I don’t know what shocked me more: the unbelievably highly (over) priced notebook or the fact that I was actually called ‘sir’.
Covent Gardens Markets
This had to be the most Christmassy of all the places in London. The main market hall was so grandly decorated and the hustle and bustle of people from all over doing their Christmas shopping just made the perfect atmosphere. There was a market for everything!
West End Show: “We Will Rock You”
Wow. Just wow. As the last activity of our trip, it was by far one of the best. I can honestly say I have never witnessed anything more amazing, breathtaking and thrilling in all my life. I could have done without the “technical issue” which caused a halt of the show ten minutes in. However, the show did go on and I loved every second!
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London was just amazing. The past week has been filled with a depression; me wishing I was back down there! It was very expensive and I honestly think I would die of exhaustion after any more than a week down there! However, I took plenty of photos and so, you can expect to see them over the next coming weeks!
I went to the beach yesterday. Girvan to be precise, and I don’t mind telling you that because it is billions of miles away from my actual home. Anyway…
Girvan is a great little seaside town. Actually, it is almost a village. As well as the usual features of a seaside place such as fish and chips shops and family amusements, Girvin is home to a small but active harbour, mostly used for fishing. You can look the place up on Google maps because I am not going to sit here and recreate a Wikipedia page on the seaside town of Girvan.
The day was mostly filled with me taking photos almost every second of the time we were out of the car. We meaning my mum, dad and I. You can see all of my photos below this boring writing part of the blog post.
There isn’t really any interesting shops in Girvan to me, bearing in mind that it was Easter Monday and most shops were closed so we just circled the centre of the town a few billion times and then off to the amusements where we spent three pounds fifty exactly and came out with two pence. We then decided to eat. I had a sausage supper if you were wondering, and it was very interesting. What was also interesting was my experience in the fish and chips shop whilst waiting on my order…
A quiet little shop I thought. Then a tall, thin and half ginger man walked in. Thirteen pre-teen boys followed behind him. Only some of them were ginger. I soon discovered that they were Irish. I shall have to explain my love of the Irish and their accent later. Every single one of them except the fat half dead one ordered chicken burgers. Never in my life would I have thought I would be standing in a small chip shop with thirteen irish boys all except one continually asking for chicken burgers, all without batter. It was like a dream I was about to have that came true.
After my fantastic experience with the Irish children and the fat, juicy sausages, we took a stroll to the end of the pier which was easy to fall off and drown, and back. We went to the amusements once again. We went in with a fair bit of money, and came out in debt. If that is even possible.
Not much happened after that. A stop at the local ASDA which was alive with the sound of screaming children, and then the journey hone mostly filled with me sleeping and dreaming of thirteen Irish children ordering chicken burgers with no batter, all except the fat one. Before going home-home we went to our local TESCO to get a bucket. I’m still figuring that one out myself.
So overall, a great day and plenty of photos will getting uploaded throughout the day as well as the photos below.
This is a piece of creative writing that I chose to write, after seeing a good stimulus online, which was “Write something with the title, “My Life As A Coin”". So, with great excitement, at midnight last night, I wrote part one of “The Adventures and Memoirs of a Coin” Enjoy!
My Life as a Coin
No one has travelled, quite like I have. Of course, that is, referring to any human being. But I am no human being. I am a British Fifty Pence Silver, heptagonal coin. But that’s not to say that I have never been outside of the UK, or have never got dirty and used wrongly. This is a sort of look back at my life as a coin so far, and I have decided to call it, “The Adventures and Memoirs of a Fifty Pence Piece” And I very much hope you will enjoy.
The Adventures and Memoirs of a Fifty Pence Piece
19TH JANUARY, 2000
My Birthday. My actual birth-day. Well actually, it should be called a putintocirculationday, because it was the day that I was put into circulation, the day that I started my channels, and got introduced to the big, bad world. I was shiny, I was new, I was fresh. And almost straight away, I was introduced to my first owner. I was taken from a shop in London, by the name of Harrods and I belonged to a man named George Stevenson. He was Scottish, and he was any coin’s first nightmare. He was a collector.
In the world of coins, we coins only want to do one thing. Travel. Travel as much as we can. And our enemy is the common coin collector. We see them as a sort of reminder that we must be fortunate that we are not possessed by such people. However, I was in real bother. I was the unluckiest coin in the world.
I believe that I was given to my new owner, just before he was bound to set off, by train, to Scotland. After a nauseating five hour train ride, I found myself bumping and rattling about in an open end of a wallet. This man was in a hurry to get home, and he got home, eventually. And sadly, I was still with this man.
Days passed, until I was taken out of the wallet, and given an even newer, ‘Home’. I was put in hell. I believe you humans would call it A Money Jar which was rather full. Which was excellent news. It meant that I was only going to be in this glass contraption for a short period of time, until the glass was broke, and I was to be put back into circulation somehow,
And that was what happened. Mr George Stevenson of 560 Chester’s Road broke his jar of thousands of Fifty Pence pieces, put them all in the bank, and I was on the road again, metaphorically speaking.
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Many months passed and I was making my way around the country quite a bit, being exchanged for items of use to humans. However, it was one day, whilst in Brighton, that I started a great journey.
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24TH MAY, 2000
At the time, my owner was Mr and Mrs Michael Price, a long married, and happy couple. It was their 25th Wedding Anniversary, and they had decided months before that they were to go on a luxury trip to New York, in America.
For a day or two, I was in a purse, with coins not of my kind, but they were just as nice and friendly. They were of the “Dollar” race and had been living in an exchange circulation in the UK, and now, they were finally going home.
It was one day, that I was feeling rather light-headed, that I seen daylight again. This was the day that Mr and Mrs Price decided to get themselves arrested for attempted murder. Apparently.
They were on top of a building, which I later found out was called The Empire State Building, and it was to my knowledge of the saying or question if you like, What if I throw a coin off of the Empire State building? And there is a legend that goes with that of a man who once threw a cent over the skyscraper and killed a man down on the streets of New York. And it turned out that this couple were slightly drunk after a night of partying at a top NYC club. They were also fans of the myth-busting business, and so, there brain told them to throw a coin off of the Empire State building.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of feet up in the air, Mrs Price picked me out of her leather purse, and with no thought or regret, simply threw me off of the Empire State Building. Just like that.
It was a long and painful fall, and I eventually seen myself coming to solid ground again, until I noticed that a business woman, looking rather depressed was going to be the target of my landing.
I believe this is a very good time to point out that us coins are inanimate. We may be able to think, hear, and talk to our own kind, but we cannot move, at all, in any shape or form.
I tried and tried to move myself, but it was impossible, being inanimate. And yes, I did land on this woman’s head, and yes she was seriously injured, but no, she never died.
It was then, that I was sealed in a plastic bag, and taken to court within the next few days, as evidence. Mr and Mrs Price were sentenced for five years, on suspicion of attempted murder.
And I was in darkness for the next month, until I found myself, somehow, in the United Kingdom again. And it felt bloody good. I had scarred that woman for life, and I was also emotionally scarred for life.
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Years passed after this. I had several owners, and nothing exciting to recall. Just the usual trading me for other goods. People of all ages had me, and done something with me, and luckily, a coin collector of any sorts, never came across my path. However, I soon became unlucky, and was practically drowned.
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12TH AUGUST, 2008
It was a lovely, warm end of summer’s day, and I believe I was at the beach. For some weird reason, my owner, who was little older than a toddler, thought that if she threw me in the water, and made a wish, then, her wish would come true. And she did that. She threw me quite far believe it or not, and I could just hear a little voice getting further away saying, “I with I with, I with vat Mummy and Daddy vould thop agewing wiv each ova” Which, obviously made me feel very emotional, and the fact that I could be in that water for the rest of my coin life, scared me to death.
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And that it was, I was in the water for a great amount of time; possibly a year or two, but it was one day, when the weather was very rough, that I was washed upon the shore with great force and believe it or not, I was starting to be picked up by a very strong wind, and I ended up on the side of a footpath. That was like someone giving you a second chance before death. And yes, I was picked up by an elderly man, and I was put back into circulation, once again.
And I really could say I was back in Circle-ation because I found myself back at the store name Harrods, in London, and I was on my travels again.
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