So my family thought I’d gone on a protest…

So my friend Annie and I both realised we had never been for a trip around Buckingham Palace. Annie, not being a native, had an excuse, but I had none, so we booked a private tour with champagne as you do.

So here we are on the train, starting off as we meant to go on…

Now, I’m the sort of the lady who thinks living in a meritocracy and equal opportunities are important. I’ve been known to go on the odd, protest or two, so when I told my family I was off to Buckingham Palace, they just assumed I had taken a banner and was off to shout about something… So here’s the proof, no banners, no shouting…I even wore a dress!

Unfortunately we couldn’t take photos inside, just in the garden outside, but we did get a free prize of a guide book..

Apparently I now have access to the garden and tea rooms for a year….so might pop along there when back in London for a work trip. See what the company expense policy has to say about that ..

Trip to the Southbank

Whenever I visit London, for work or play, I always think of myself as 30 years younger. Student days long gone, but never forgotten..

This time, I’m with Martin, the husband, who has much longer legs than me. Usual trotting along behind him, a couple of pub stops and saw these en route. Just enough time to take the pic before galloping onwards…

So we had tickets for Bedoine, a last minute booking and a recommendation from Spotify. Hipster folk music from a Syrian born Armenian lady, brought up in Saudi Arabia and now in LA. ‘I come in peace’ she said, looking a bit embarrassed. You could feel the mutual love and embarrassement in the hall. o need to apologise, or we could all start apologising if you like….

We were In the Queen Elizabeth Hall, so smarter than the usual London venues and I got a loud tut when I took this photo.

Just in case you want to hear what the aptly named Bedoine sounds like here you go…

So either side of the music we wandered the Southbank.

This picture brought back memories. When we were here before, with two small boys in tow, the lure of a Doctor Who exhibition meant Martin tried to take young Matthew inside. Not fancying the queues, they tried to slip in the side door and set off the fire alarm. Older brother was in pieces, fearing half of his family were off to prison and he would be left with his mother. Fortunately both reprobates arrived back looking sheepish. Timelord or not, Dr Who would have to wait….

Good day out and reminded me I should get out more often.

End of the Road….

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

I’m writing by torch light in my campervan at End of the Road music festival, blessed to have upgraded from sleeping under canvas, but that leisure battery can’t quite last 4 days without a top up.

Not naturally a creature of habit, this festival is a place we have returned to each year for a number of years. Plenty of families with young children reminding us of the little boys we took on our first trip and who have now grown up to be young men we are immensely proud of.

So what about the music festival? It’s an eclectic mix of new music and very much a festival which shys away from big names. I make no apologies for enjoying the food, comedy and art as much as the music. It’s also set in the stunning grounds of Larmer Tree Gardens with peacocks wandering freely, parrots in the trees and surrounded by pretty pubs and villages.

End of the Road always has a packed line up of female singer songwriters, with Mitski being one of the most anticipated acts and she didn’t disappoint. So here’s the track ‘Nobody’.

As usual, my favourites were mainly unexpected. First up, Kero Kero Bonito, recommended by my son who is a death metal fan. I dutifully went along, hiding at the back protecting my ear drums and fearing the worst. What I did find was a bunch of very young, bouncy and talented musicians and it turned out to be a highlight…so here you go…..this is a newly released.

I’d been looking forward to Beirut, but they had cancelled and their replacement did not disappoint. I’d seen Kate Tempest perform on Newsnight, saying things, I’m not quite sure the BBC and our tabloids were ready for. All I’ll say is it was a sublime ‘of the moment’ performance. I was totally in awe. Oh to be so accomplished at such a young age.

While I’ve loved my trips to End of the Road over the years, I have other adventures planned for 2020, more of that later. So here’s a review of End of the Road 2019 and for now, farewell….