As the summer disappears – and what a summer it’s been from the celebrations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to the success of the Olympics and Paralympics – we are enjoying what autumn brings before winter sets in. So, what’s going on in London?
London is busy any time to year and autumn is no exception so here just a few highlights from my diary in the last 2 weeks.
London Film Festival is in its 56th year and seems to get bigger every time. This year’s was full of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie which opened the festival and the Rolling Stones who turned up in force for the premiere of their documentary Crossfire Hurricane ahead of their upcoming sell-out concerts in London. The best film winner was, however, a French film called Rust and Bone, a poetic love story. I was passing Leicester Square on the night of the Stones opening so here are a few photos to give you an idea of the excitable crowd, the paparazzi and the premiere atmosphere. Colin Firth arrived as I did and the place erupted with shouts, flash cameras and oohs and aahs! He stopped and chatted to the crowd as well as the press, what a nice man.
Continuing the theme of big excitable crowds, the French gathered in London when Johnny Halliday came to town for his first concert in the UK despite his 69 years. He’s very much a French thing and the Albert Hall was turned into a French language zone for the night, no one even bothering to ask the way to the toilets in English! The crowd were adoring and knew every word he sang, desperate to enjoy every moment of the 2 hour show. We were swept away with the show which was big, loud and hugely good fun.
Autumn is a great time of year to explore London’s wonderful parks and enjoy days out to the countryside near to the capital. One of my favourite parks is Hyde Park, an immense open space in the centre of London well used by locals and visitors alike. It is full of trees which give us lovely autumnal colours – not quite like the American fall but pretty nonetheless. If you want to get out of town you can take short trips out to the small towns that gather along the banks of the upstream river Thames. At Cookham, just a 45-minute drive from London, you can enjoy delightful autumnal views and even a herd of cows joined in when I was there this weekend.
There you have just a sneaky peek at London’s autumn and watch out for more next week.
Bye for now,