20 November 2014

London With The Lights On!

London is the late night lady that you won't recognise, with that prospect I got myself down to London last week without hesitation. Within the madness of the capital I always return to London with a new thirst for adventure, intrigued to see what the next hype is! The Tower of London planted the poppies to remember the fallen, so London what's good treacle!? 

London put on a fine show for this years Remembrance to recognise the fallen and heroic souls who fought in the Great Wars. I got crazy when those volunteers started uprooting those ceramic poppies, I hadn't been on my travel grind properly so I booked a train without haste to see those specials. I was determined to get a few snaps with my new camera and to give respect to the fallen. My Great-granddad Tom fought in World War II in the British Army so I took a moment to remember him. It didn't take a fool to see that millions had come from far to see the sea of blood red poppies as they rested around London's Royal Tower. I wasn't about the Tower of London because I had done that all before. As I took my photos I got speaking to a couple that were admiring the open air exhibit to think how much revenue could have been generated if a fee was taken to access the site. Yes LDN, I know the cause was served. 

Every time I love your design, London is a shady lady who dishes out some dangerous love! From the poppies I didn't have a lot in mind to see because I had been down in the big smoke just a couple of months ago in June 2014. Would I be seeking for the New Africa again or something more hipster? Yes, please! Having no plan is better than having great expectations! If the truth be told I never thought I was going to see the poppies at the Tower of London because funds have been low and the monotony of applying for jobs in China had got me down! 888,246 ceramic poppies were planted to remember the servicemen of the British and Commonwealth Armies so I guess the endless sea of red justified the queue I had to wait in order to see them. Londoners generally don't have patience to wait but when tourists are blended into the mix I got mad B! Let's take more than two minutes to remember those servicemen, those poppies brought something lovely for the cause! 

Ready for Olympic gold I wanted to see the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford, East London. Yes, the games didn't last for very long back in 2012 but the Stadium is being modified to become the new home of London's own West Ham United Football Club so that impressed me that a new tenant for the gargantuan sporting facility had been secured. Aptly located in E20, a postcode that is shared with the fictitious EastEnders set from the BBC soap. The whole Stratford complex had me from the moment I stepped from that Docklands Light Railway train at Stratford International, that station had body for sure with its many platforms. In the midst of a reboot the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has reportedly become the largest park in England? Nevertheless I did feel a sense of belated Olympic pride for London secured the bid and that probably won't happen again! Keep that E20 torch burning bright! 

Seeking something new I closed my ears because people had said Stratford lacked in excitement since the games closed but I was amazed by the expansive Westfield shopping complex, that huge lifestyle development took some going to walk around but I couldn't help feeling a number of the stores weren't meant for the average person? Call me critical I sensed that a new wave of living is coming to Stratford with a more business type vibe so I guess time may only be the test? Getting to and from the city to Stratford International didn't take much thought, I took the DLR from Canary Wharf through the heart of the East End of London then returning on the Jubliee Line to London Bridge. London is throwing a new kind of shade to the East End, reigniting a new alternative to city living without the insane rents of the central locations. Whatever happens I suggest a jaunt over to the Olympic Stadium and Westfield complex in Stratford because its major! Just go for Gold already!

I just can't resist the bright neon lights of Piccadilly Circus, the iconic logos just make me say 'Wow!' Embrace the electric love of London's mid point with Theatreland on one side and Regent Street beckoning close by its a hectic centre of energy. Part of my birthday trip I made sure I got a few close ups of the Coca-Cola infused lights for the November sunsets worked with me not against me. I wasn't looking for no million pound girl because London, she serves up something special unlike her American sister! New York City offers the craziness of Times Square, yes its an advertisers paradise but its overwhelming in one respect. London has to be my chosen city this time around! Yes, I remember now of course Leicester Square stands a short walk away from the vibrant shadows of Piccadilly Circus I love that side of town muchly! I spent my 24th birthday in London, I didn't want no cake with candles I loved LDN! 

Respecting the poppies gave me some focus to the cause and on a more personal level so I appreciated that to the highest. Being a part of my passport I regard London as a special place, it never leaves me no matter how much time I spend away from our English capital city. Going for Gold wasn't that difficult because I was fortunate enough to see the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford. Comparing to my last visit I felt more chilled out, I didn't have the summer temperatures like in June to guide me for long periods of time before the sunset. South East London will be on the cards, with a serious flashback to West London so keep your eyes peeled for my next installment of London blogs! London with the lights on sure looks pretty splendid, she's strong and a winner but above all London shines brighter than a diamond! Gentrification is happening in London so we need to shine a light back to the beginning. Piccadilly Circus you better keep your lights on all night long! Yes!

London ... She's A Shady Lady! 

Josep Harrison

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