Sunday, May 08, 2011

Exploring London and other places

I am enjoying my time in London. There is so much to say and do here! Before I came I thought a week was a lot of time. Now that I am here and almost through the week I wish I had another week. So what have I done with my week?

Finchley Meeting House
Hammersmith Meeting House
John Milton's House
Liz Yeats, Terry SoRelle, Trish Carn, Warren Wilson-Reiner and I spent a day at two Quaker Meetings (Finchley and Hammersmith) and John Milton's House in Buckinghamshire. We learned that Friend Thomas Elwood was a student of John Milton's and influenced him to write Paradise Found. Later that evening we saw a performance of Alls Well That Ends Well at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. The Globe is an outdoor theater with a choice of standing or sitting during the performance. We had seats for which I was happy because the play was 2 and 1/2 hours long. It was also cold. I was glad that a had on my fleece vest, coat, hat and gloves. The others rented a blanket for 6 pounds. Trish provided the cushions we sat on. Watching the play took me back to my senior year in high school when I feel in love with Shakespeare's plays. We read on each year in English and it was that year when I really understood the statements his plays were making about English society.
Tree of Life
Liz, Terry, Warren and I spent an afternoon at the British Museum and several pubs! If you ever spend time in Britain, make sure you plan to spend at least a day at the Museum. We had a wonderful time but there was so much to see that we barely saw what was available. The most amazing part of the exhibit for me was the sculptures made out of gun parts by four artists in Mozambique. It was wonderful to see a Tree of Life and other items made out of items that took lives.

In addition to spending time with Trish, Liz, Terry and Warren I spent time with several other Friends in London. Margaret Fraser was in London for a couple days. It was wonderful that she spent one of them with me. We explored Brixton Market and Brick Lane. I was pleasantly surprised to find a gluten free stall The WAGfree Bakery, Cafe and Deli in the Brixton Market. Thanks to them I was able to eat a Leek and Cheddar pie (my first British pie) and A kitsch kirsch kiss: almond genoise, kirsch, mascarpone, cherries and thin crisp shortcake. I felt like a kid in a candy store there were so many options, something I am not used to experiencing. If you cannot eat gluten and are near the Brixton Market you must visit The WAGfree Bakery. I would loved to have filled up a suitcase full of their products and brought them home with me. Margaret and I walked along Brick Lane where we ate lunch at the Aladin, an Indian Restaurant. Both Margaret and my London tour book said it was a Bengali neighborhood, but times have changed and the community has gentrefied and become an artistic community with many Indian restaurants.

Gluten Free Fish & Chips
I also had a chance to eat the traditional Fish & Chips! The Mermaids Tail on Leicester Square has gluten free fish and chips. I was so excited to be able to order gluten free fish and chips. I have not had fried fish since I was a little girl. My dish came and the portion was hugh. I was sorry that Barry was not there to share it with me. In addition to the fish and chips there were mashed peas on my plate. Not only could I eat the fish and chips, but I also was able to eat the Heinz Ketchup because they use sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Everything was delicious. I wanted to eat everything on the plate, but it was just too much food. If you want gluten free fish and chips and are in London I highly recommend The Mermaids Tail.

I also got a chance to spend time with Audrey West. It was nice to catch up with her. When I was in London four years ago I stayed with her. I met Audrey when she and her daughter Yola attended the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent in the mid 2000's. I wish we had more than a couple hours to spend together.

Spotted Dick
I was able to spend time with Harriet Hart twice over the week. I visited her one afternoon at Friends House. The second time Liz, Terry, Harriet and I spent the day at the ZSL London Zoo. It was a beautiful day and we had lots of fun. Trish and Roland joined us for dinner. We ate at their favorite fish and chips restaurant, Toff's. I was able to order grilled fish which was wonderful. The group shared a British dessert called Spotted Dick, it had both wheat and dairy so I could not eat it. They really enjoyed it.

I have enjoyed my time in London. There is so much to do here and I did not have time to do everything I wanted. The good thing is when I come back there will be many things still to see and do. I feel like I am finally getting oriented to London and it is time for me to go. I am looking forward to seeing my family. I have missed them very much! 

1 comment:

iffatali said...

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