The amazing London marathon and some star spotting!

The big event in London this week was really big – the London Marathon! But keep reading to the bottom to find out the star spotting….

The London Marathon claims to be the largest in the world with about 36,000 runners pounding the streets of London to conquer the 26.2 miles of agony. The elite man runner got round in just over 2 hours beating the course record but for the mere mortals it was 4 hours plus of pain and ecstasy on finishing. I found a great viewing spot on a bridge over the course to cheer them on and snap some of the fun sights. How people can run wearing the mad outfits is quite beyond me but it raises extra money for charity and that’s what drives most of the brave runners on. You could see the pain on their faces but many were cheery and smiling as they had one more mile to go to the finish outside of Buckingham Palace. Have a look at a small selection of photos: the runners flooding along the Embankment by Charing Cross; the rhino and lion; a tiger; Kate Middleton (!); a WaterAid toilet; pantomime dame (lots of men in dresses – any excuse!); the clown; the runaway bride; the chicken; and, the man with artificial legs who was an hour ahead of anyone else in these photos!

The Tate Modern has been showing the wonderful Sunflower Seeds installation by the artist Ai Weiwei but last week he was detained in his homeland by the Chinese authorities so I started the Twitter hashtag #releaseAiWeiwei and was really pleased to see that the Tate have taken it up on their building – or we just came up with the same slogan! Either way I hope it works..




One show worth seeing was E.O. Hoppe’s photographs at the National Portrait Gallery which was really interesting. From his studio portraits of the famous faces of his day to his realistic street photos of the poorer citizens, we saw a wonderful range of work in the 150 photos on display. The photo of the very small boy in a pearlie king outfit over his stripey jumper and worn out shoes was funny and very sad at the same time as his poverty was clear to see. In contrast celebrity and royal faces also graced the walls from a very young Margot Fonteyn to the future King George V and Queen Elizabeth


And finally, the star spotting which took place in the green room at recording of the Graham Norton TV show where I got to have my photo taken with one of my absolute favourites- David Tennant – and the rather lovely Josh Grobin who moved right up the favourite list. They were both completely charming and very handsome. Still recovering….

Bye for now,




Is that a plane? Yes they are back!

What a strange week! The skies over London were clear for 2 reasons, no planes and no clouds! This made for a odd feeling of calm except for the poor folk trying to get home to their own countries and Brits trying to get back here. Then as suddenly as they went, the planes returned tho’ the sun stayed for a few more days and it put everyone in a much better mood and happier times for plane spotters!

The big event this week was the London Marathon when over 36,000 people bravely struggled through 26.2 miles through the packed streets of London. The weather was kind being much cooler than expected. I was at a cheering station working for the charity Water Aid and saw some brilliant sights and some heroic battles with pain. Here are a few snaps to give the atmosphere and show how much people love to dress up even if it makes it more difficult!







I was expecting some clients to arrive from America to go on one of my It’s Your London tours. (This is my own company which offers tailor made tours of London). They made it here despite the ash clouds and we had a great couple of sunny mornings, one based around the Tower of London and the other around Westminster. We saw: monuments (Tower), river views (from Thames boat and south bank walk), bridges (Tower and Wobbly), parks (St James), museums (Cabinet War Rooms), churches (Westminster Abbey), shops (Silver Vaults), pubs (Olde Cheshire Cheese and Chandos); and, loads loads more. We walked for miles and hopefully they had a fun packed time here. They were lovely people and I wish them a great time in France too. A couple of photos on the way attached – the flowers are St James’s Park.



As I only take guests to places I’ve checked out I dropped into the Jewel Tower in case they wanted to visit it as part of our tour. This is an amazing place as it is one of the 2 parts of the old Westminster Palace destroyed by fire in 1834 (the other was the Great Hall in the current Parliament building). The Jewel Tower dates from 1365 and now houses an interesting exhibition about the history of Parliament. Here’s a photo of the little known wonderful Tower.


Eating out this week has been quieter but we did have a trip to Assaha Village near Paddington. This is new Lebanese restaurant I went to with some neighbours who are also fans of this cuisine. We enjoyed the food and after the initial surprise of finding they didn’t serve alcohol, we had lovely juices. As usual, we went for a range of starters and, as usual we over ordered but it gave us a great choice with the hummus, the salads and spicy sausages coming out winners.

Just off out for lunch so look out for more reviews next week.

Bye for now,