Sunday, 1 January 2012

England: Day Five

This is Day 5 in a series. You might want to check out the previous day, or start at the introduction.

Today was the slowest day yet. I slept in, then went to breakfast in the hotel. (UPDATE: In case you're wondering about the hotel, it's the Hotel Ibis: Earl's Court. I just recently learned that in the K-ON! movie that was released the very same month that I was in London, the girls actually stay in the Hotel Ibis: Earl's Court! You have no idea how excited I was when I learned that!)

The big event for today was the New Years Day Parade, in downtown London. If I were to give a quick description of the entire parade, I would say "Marching Bands":
Why are they even in England?
So many marching bands...
This one is from Jacksonville, in the US. There were actually a lot of bands from the US, with some universities, and several high schools as well. There was a band from Nigeria though. It seems like every other group in the parade was a marching band.

Anyway, there were some people on horseback:
They are dressed in costume (from what time, I have no idea).
I like the earmuffs.
Some colourful balloon / kite things:
I have no idea what that has to do with a parade, but there are big balloons flying.
What is this, I don't even...
Some Tudors:
Three people dressed in Tudor costumes.
I can't tell if he's supposed to be Henry VIII.
An Olympic bear:
A polar bear costumed man carrying an Olympic Torch replica with the Olympic Rings on his chest.
Because when I think "London," I think "Polar Bear."
And some steam engines:
Really tiny steam trains and the people driving them.
Steampunk much?
Of special note are the girls who went after the horses, cleaning up their droppings:
Some very entertaining girls cleaning up the horse poop in their bright yellow safety vests.
Pirouette up that poop!
They would sweep up the poo, then strike a ballerina pose. Quite entertaining.

Also of note was the steampunk horse:
The horse from the stage production War Horse (so it's all metal and controlled by humans inside).
Yeah, I take that early comment back. This is what true steampunk looks like.
There were people inside, making it walk and look at people, and act (very well) like a real horse. It may be from the play War Horse, but I'm not sure on that.

Batman showed up, riding his... Bat-trike, I guess:
Batman pedaling around on his tricycle.
Quick Robin! To the Bat-Trike!
And finally, there were some Stormtroopers and Jedi:
Some Disney characters and Star Wars characters wandering in the middle of the parade.
Not sure what this has to do with New Years, but ok...
You can kind of see Darth Vader in the background, and Darth Maul is just out of shot.

While were were there, I managed to find a carving of my face on one of the buildings:
The face of Sir Francis Bacon, carved into (or out of) the side of a building.
Sir Francis!
If you can't read that, it says Bacon.

It started to rain, so we called it quits and went back to the hotel before it was over. We killed some time at the hotel, reading and taking naps, before going out again. Actually, I watched The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which was a very well done movie. Although I'm not too sure about the ending. I'll think about it.

Yesterday, on the train from Manchester, we met a nice man. It turned out that his name was Paul Rowan, a sports reporter for The Sunday Times, and he had been at the Manchester United game. We talked to him for a bit, and today we picked up the paper, because we saw that his article was in it. It said basically the same as every other article on the game, but still, it was nice to have met the man who had written it.

We went out to get to the 5:30 service at the Holy Trinity Brompton church (known for having started the Alpha program). Turns out, the 5:30 service was actually a 5:00 service, so we were slightly late. But man, was it ever packed in there. There were people everywhere, and it was hard to find a seat. The message was good, basically talking about the three C's (Consider [Don't think about your own effort, think about what God is doing for you], Commit [Invest in your relationships, including with God], and Copy [Follow Jesus' example]) that we need to follow as we enter the new year.

This is the window of the front door:
A picture of some people worshiping etched into the window above the church door.
Stupid reflections. Ruining my shot...
After that, we came back to the hotel again, and we watched the season premier of Sherlock (on the BBC). A pretty good episode, although not perfect. I may have to get around to comparing Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes at some point.

Anyhow, a pretty slow day today, and not much planned for tomorrow, so... yeah.

Full Series

IntroEngland Trip


  1. Sounded busy to me! Enjoy.

  2. Well done Terry......I really like this blog by blog account of your trip. Give the old man a poke for me......this will show up as anonymous but tell him it's from Duke....