Summer in the City.

A steaming hot day in London was the order of the day yesterday. we kicked it off with street food in Camden Market, followed by a walk up the Regents canal- a bohemian, arty area in parts that was fascinating to walk.

The start of the canal walk is right by the market, over the bridge. The path along the Grand Union Canal takes you along the northern edge of Regent’s Park, right through London Zoo, where the wild dogs and bird cages line the walk for a short way.

The canal opens out into the Grand Union Canal in Little Venice.


So how did Little Venice get it’s name. Two theories abound. One is that when Robert Browning’s wife, Elizabeth Barrett
Browning, died in 1861, he returned from Italy and moved to Warwick Crescent. Local history has it that Browning referred to
this area as “little Venice’. Another theory has it that Lord Byron
named it as a joke – no one knows for sure. Victorian writer Anne Thackeray Ritchie, a friend
of Browning’s described the canal as
“touched by some indefinite romance, cool and deep’. I certainly like to believe so. Although I wouldn’t want to walk there after dark. A bit spooky and unsettling.

While we were in the area we took a quick glance at Warwick Avenue…

‘When I get to Warwick Avenue Meet me by the entrance of the tube’

Also Lords Cricket Ground.

There’s a breathless hush in the close to-night Ten to make and the match to win A bumping pitch and a blinding light, An hour to play, and the last man in. And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat. Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame, But his captain’s hand on his shoulder smote “Play up! Play up! And play the game!”

Sir Henry Newbolt

We said a brief ‘hello’ to Eros- the Greek god of erotic love-in Piccadilly Square.

Had a drink in The Nags Head in Covent Garden .

And finished the evening off at Kinky Boots the concert, showing at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Last train home saw us getting back to the South Coast at 2am, tired but having had a great day in, in my opinion, the greatest city in the world .

Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi.

A narrative about the difficult relationship between a mother and her daughter. Themes of frustration and anger, sadness and loss. It was a typical Booker nomination- worthy and wordy. I listened to it- I wouldn’t have stayed with it had I been reading the book, but I quite liked driving and letting the words wash over me. It resonates with my relationship with my own mother:
‘…no way to baste her in guilt… she mostly can’t recall what I am talking about…’

Eastbourne Funk and Soul.

The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show came to the Western Lawns at Eastbourne.

He was part of The E-Festival- Eastbourne’s very own ECO and MUSIC festival held over three fabulous summer days July 29-30-31 across the towns most iconic seafront locations. And what a treat it was. Headlining artists were Toploader, the Symphonic Ibiza Orchestra and of course the Craig Charles ‘Funk & Soul Show’

It was also my first experience of bhangra, from the energetic Bhangra Smash Up; a three piece drumming band based in Birmingham and playing all over the UK. Find them on Facebook and TikTok.

Well done Eastbourne E festival for putting on a high quality, professional event.

St. Swithin’s Day.

St. Swithin’s Day (July 15), a day on which, according to folklore the weather for a subsequent period is dictated. In popular belief, if it rains on St. Swithin’s Day, it will rain for 40 days, but if it is fair, 40 days of fair weather will follow. St. Swithin was bishop of Winchester from 852 to 862. At his request he was buried in the churchyard, where rain and the steps of passersby might fall on his grave. Legend has it that after his body was moved inside the cathedral on July 15, 971, a great storm ensued.

Today (15th July 2022) has been a scorcher. So set for the rest of the summer then 😎

Pub in the Park. Tunbridge Wells.

Tom Kerridge presents Pub in the Park, a laid-back celebration of the very best food, drink and music the country has to offer.

We went to the Lazy Sunday Session. It was ideal festival weather- hot and steamy all day. Music was provided by DJ Luck and M C Neat- brilliant Eighties Garage Set, London band Aswad- chilled Reggae and wrapped up with Mel C. She did a first half of her new 2020 album- a dance and electro feel about it. This was followed by a second half of her older material- Northern Star, Baby When You’re Gone and wrapped up with some proper retro Spice Girl stuff.

Aswad
And a big Pub in the Park finish from Mel C.

Food was Up-Market pub grub from the pubs dotted around the festival, drink a range of craft ales, wines and spirits. All fabulous.

The best way to spend a summer Sunday in July.