Bloggers passing through and the story of the lost rugby tickets

A couple of weeks ago David from Malta was at a conference in London and with phones running out of credit and communication through his wife back home we managed to meet up in central London one evening. David is a thoughtful guy – as you can tell from his blog – and I always enjoy talking to him about politics, life and anything in between.

The week after we had another blogger passing through. This time it was Karen from Wisconsin. She had to leave Prague prematurely due to visa issues but was heading back to try again. On the way back to Prague she was making her way through Europe and London was the first stop. We had some entertaining days with Karen who was excited to be here. Here she is at Covent Garden with a Jack Sparrow look-a-like (and smell-a-like).

Karen and Jack Sparrow

This weekend we again should thank a blogger for the entertainment. At the Blogger Meetup in February there had been a competition for rugby tickets and although we didn’t win (Ann got really close). However Peter – one of the winners – wasn’t going to use his tickets and gave them to Ann. I was soo excited about the chance to see a rugby game and had been looking forward to it for weeks. But yesterday as we were starting to get ready to get out the door we couldn’t find the tickets… We looked everywhere and got the room cleared out but the tickets didn’t appear.

I grumped about the lost tickets for a couple of hours but luckily enough we had an alternative event to go to. Instead we went to The Barbican for a show called the The Manganiyar Seduction where a group of 43 folk musicians from Muslim region of India was sitting in boxes as they played. A very impressive show as you can see in the clip below – but still a poor replacement for a rugby match.

Anyways big thanks to Peter Marshall for the rugby tickets, that was a nice gesture. He blogs about photography at Re:Photo and writes about the many protests and walks he photographs in My London Diary. Peter has been walking around London taking pictures since the 70s and has some really interesting stories and observations.

Extravagant weekend in London

Last weekend was my first living in London and if it is any sort of indication of what life in London will be like, I’m excited 🙂

The band getting ready to play

We started off the weekend Friday evening meeting at the Tower of London after work for The Tower Festival. Ann had managed to get us tickets for two days at the festival and Friday it was The British Philharmonic Orchestra playing Classic Extravaganza. Before the concert we met up with a couple of local CouchSurfers at a pub and went to the venue with them afterwards. The concert was good and it was quite amazing sitting outside in central London listening to classical music. Here are two short video clips of the concert.

Saturday we went to The Barbican Centre which is a huge modern complex in the middle of London. It is a maze to figure out and although some call it The Ugliest Building in London I kind of like the place especially the inside has a very clean design in a 70s way with wood and concrete.

Handel Concert at the Barbican

We went to hear a special concert to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Händel’s death called Handel Remixed. For that celebration they had asked a couple of composers to reinterpret some of Händel’s works. The composers were at the concert as well taking applause after their piece had been played. I wasn’t really expecting much before the concert but was blown away once it started. Compared to the day before the sound was so crisp and clean. The music was also very captivating and I really enjoyed it even though I don’t know much about Händel or classical music.

Sunday we went back to The Tower of London for a day of World Music at The Tower Festival where five bands were playing. It started in the afternoon and they had encouraged people to bring a picnic, so that was what we did.

Ann at our spot

The bands we saw were Siyaya from Zimbabwe, Abdullah Chhadeh from Syria, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara from UK/Gambia and Tony Allen from Nigeria. They were all good in their own ways but the one I enjoyed the most was Adams on electric guitar and Camara on a one stringed ritti playing “Afro-Blues”. It doesn’t get more worldly than that 🙂 Here is a short video of them playing.

What a weekend! Three separate events and we had more things planned that we didn’t make it out the door to. I’m looking forward to keep exploring London 🙂 Ann has written a lot more about the event’s of the weekend. Here are here stories for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Being in a big city like London there is such a multitude of things to do that our biggest problems are finding out what’s going on and choose what we want to do.
We have started an open calendar for the events we would like to do in order to keep track of things. If you are in London feel free to subscribe to it and let us know if you wan to join us for something.