Sunday, 20 March 2011

Spring in London's parks and Never Let Me Go

It is our tradition that every year when the daffodils start to bloom, we go to Green Park and St James Park next to Buckingham Palace and just admire the beauty. Daffodils are one of my favourite flowers, even though I'm not usually big fan of yellow. They also smell wonderful and just remind me of new beginnings. We were a little bit disappointed, last year daffodils were literally everywhere, this year - probably due to the long and cold winter - there were only few yellow patches on the grass. 

Green Park

Green Park

St James Park

Japanese wish on a blooming cherry tree - St James Park

St James Park

St James Park

Pelicans - main tourist attraction - St James Park

St James Park

All of the London was today taken by tourists, they were all over the place - the tourist season has officially started. The Queen was today at the Buckingham Palace (there was a flag flying over), but there was no glimpse of her. As usual, we joked that she can check the hour on the Big Ben from her windows.

Big Ben in the background

Buckingham Palace

We took the usual route and walked past the Queen's old stables and guards. I have to finally go and see changing of the guard this year, because I've never seen it - after all these years of living in London! 

I heart horses!
We went for a lunch and it was terrible. We keep coming back to this restaurant near Trafalgar Square, because we're usually always HUNGRY after a walk in a park since it's on the way to the Leicester Square. Today, I ordered vegetarian Thai noodles and they had no taste except chili. I was aware that this dish was given three chili peppers on the menu, but I thought that there's going to be some more flavours! We're so not impressed, that we've vowed not to come back and just go extra mile or two to the same chain, but on the Tottenham Court Road.

Today we decided to go and see Never Let Me Go with Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley based on a novel by Japanese-born British author Kazuo Ishiguro. I am dying to see Biutiful by Alejandro González Iñárritu and starring Javier Bardem, but the only screening was at 5.30pm. I haven't read the Ishiguro's novel and for now, I don't think I will. The movie was nothing I was expecting. It's very, very sad. As children, Ruth, Kathy and Tommy, spend their childhood at a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. As they grow into young adults, they find that they have to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other, while preparing themselves for the haunting reality that awaits them. And the saddest thing is that they have no choice over their fate - there's only waiting. A movie to remember.

It was still relatively early when we left the cinema, so we decided to go and see exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery - An Englishman in New York: Photographs by Jason Bell. Inspired by some of the 120,000 English men and women living in New York City, Jason Bell has identified and photographed leading British born figures setting the cultural agenda in New York, including Thomas P. Campbell, Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, writer Zoë Heller, Sting, Kate Winslet and television pundit and Barney's window dresser Simon Noonan. Jason Bell began this project following a commission on ‘Anglophilia’ for American Vogue. He has lived between New York and London since 2003. I really enjoyed it.
National Portrait Gallery

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