Archive for the ‘London’ Category

London trip

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

As part of a business trip, I finally got to see one of the last major world cities that I haven’t been to yet – London! So many great memories of that trip, as many pics below can attest. The best part of it was meeting many of my teammates for the first time, and getting to know more about the company. It was interesting arriving in a city where everyone spoke English – no foreign languages here. The flight touched down at 5:00 AM. Due to the long flight and early arrival time, I’d arranged for a car to come pick me up (turns out it wasn’t even as expensive as it could have been). Driving into town, I asked the driver if I could play some music, he passed over a connector to my iPhone, so I cranked the Rolling Stones, which was practically the only music I listened to on the whole trip (I’d packed their entire discography – about 35 releases). I put on 40 licks, and grooved to those tunes. And then, when driving through Chelsea, up came “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, with the line “I went down to the Chelsea drugstore…”. How amazing!

On that first morning I had some breakfast, then took to wandering the banks of the Thames, first crossing the Thames at the Tower Of London Bridge (amazing!), then following the river past London Eye and crossing back again after the Houses of Parliament. I then wandered back to my hotel, which was close to the Tower Of London, chilled out, and later went out again.

I took tons of pictures of the Tower Of London Bridge, at dawn, at dusk, in the morning and at night. I also crossed it three or four times. Great place.

Another highlight was looking online for concerts/gigs and discovering that one of my favourites was scheduled for three nights at the Royal Albert Hall – David Gilmour! I was initially hesitant to go, since it would be expensive and I’ve an aversion to seeing shows at big venues (ironically, it was seeing Pink Floyd in 1988 in the nosebleed bleachers at CNE Stadium that built this aversion), but my colleagues talked me into it (“don’t miss a chance of seeing one of your favourites play the Royal Albert Hall – it’s such a gorgeous place to see a band”) and I’m so glad that they did – it was beyond my every expectation. I can’t remember the last time I was so rapturously happy as when I sat down with a pint in my box seat and listened to the opening song, enjoying the beautiful light show. Aaaaaahhh!!

Funnily enough, I believe that the show was sold out, but for some reason the Royal Albert Hall released seats on the day of the show, and I got one. If I’d bought my tickets months in advance I may not have gotten such a nice seat – centre stage, one storey above the hall floor. Wow!

Great visit – I’ll never forget it!

Mutant prata in Changi airport as I head to my flight to London.
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Mutant teh tarek in Changi Airport.
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Ultra!
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Gargantua’s chicken rice.
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Go, go, go, little Queenie.
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An ironic book to be reading at 20,000 feet.
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This 1,800 year old wall ruin was right next to my hotel.
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Old City of London wall.
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Old City of London wall.
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My hotel – build next to the Fenchurch Street Station’s train platform (I could see trains coming and going in the mornings), it was so-so… but still cost £200 per night! Close to Tower Hill tube station and Trinity Square.
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Trinity House, an old Victorian building just next to my hotel at Trinity Square Gardens.
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Victorian lamp posts.
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View of the Tower of London Bridge from the place I had breakfast.
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A lovely English breakfast!
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Tower of London.
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Tower of London Bridge! Cool!!
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Tower of London Bridge in the morning.
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Selfie with Tower of London Bridge.
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Tower of London Bridge.
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Tower of London Bridge.
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Tower of London Bridge livery.
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The Shard in the distance.
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The City of London.
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The Shard and London City Hall.
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Tower of London Bridge.
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London City Hall.
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The Shard.
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Nice arcade.
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Thames River scene.
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There be dragon!
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The Shard in the morning light…
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Thames tour – south bank.
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View of London Bridge.
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I stumbled upon the Financial Times HQ!
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Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
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The Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral. I didn’t know it at the time, but my company’s offices are at the other end of this bridge on the City side.
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I love those old Victorian lamp posts. And it was a lovely day!
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Big!
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The London Eye. Not only is it a cool ferris wheel, but it’s along a great river, with a wonderful park in front of it – so much space. In Singapore, the Singapore Flyer is hard to reach and surrounded by either shops or busy roads (although there’s the Singapore “River” off to one side, it’s true).
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London Eye, Goldeneye.
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First view of the Houses of Parliament.
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H o’P.
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H o’P.
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A real London phone booth, straight out of Doctor Who!
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Distant view of the Houses of Parliament.
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Is this the elusive unicorn from the crest of England?
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The Houses of Parliament from the park.
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Abolition of Slavery monument.
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H o’P.
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Flag fluttering.
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A look back down the Thames from the Houses of Parliament park.
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Flag fluttering.
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Houses of Parliament entrance, full of lion heads. All over the city of London you see lions – what’s up with that?
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A lion!
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In silhouette.
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Big Ben.
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Statue of Winston Churchill, in the park opposite the Houses of Parliament.
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Nelson Mandela.
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Great stonework, next to Westminster Abbey.
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Same.
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Monument to war women.
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Nelson’s Column, and London doubledecker.
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Nelson’s Column.
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The London underground in Trafalgar Square.
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The base of Nelson’s Column with… a lion! Grrr!!
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Grrr!!!
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Giant fingers.
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Nelson’s Column.
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An elephant carved onto Africa House.
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More London .
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Obnoxious Canadians – they’re everywhere!
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Signs of the spooky dragon cult.
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Cool London mailbox, with the ER stamp for Elizabeth Regina.
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My first London pint…
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…in The Old Bell!
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Punch Tavern was just next door – looked like a cool place, but I didn’t go in.
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Punch Tavern.
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St Paul’s Cathedral.
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St Paul’s Cathedral.
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St Paul’s Cathedral.
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St Paul’s Cathedral.
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St Paul’s Cathedral; and in the background… Paul the bakery.
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St Paul’s Cathedral.
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The Walkie Talkie (aka 20 Fenchurch… boring!), a giant sticks-out-like-a-sore-thumb office tower in an old Victorian neighbourhood, not far from my hotel at the Tower Of London.
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Ship pub, just around the corner from my hotel. I wanted to have a pint there, but every time my wanderings took me past it they had either closed, or were holding a private function. Darn!.
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Ship pub.
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A lovely British pie.
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Tower of London.
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Tower of London lion statues.
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Tower of London entrance, with Bobby.
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Tower of London in the late afternoon.
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Tower of London in the late afternoon.
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Selfie with Tower of London in the late afternoon.
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The Shard in the late afternoon.
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Here be lions… again.
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Tower of London.
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Tower of London Bridge.
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The Shard at dusk.
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Crossing the Thames.
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Thames scene.
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The City of London at dusk.
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Tower of London Bridge at Dusk.
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The Shard at dusk.
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City of London at dusk.
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Thames scene.
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The Shard.
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The City of London at dusk.
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The Thames at dusk.
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The Shard at dusk.
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The Monument to the Great London Fire of 1666 at dusk.
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Victorian scene.
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The walkie talkie at dusk.
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The walkie talkie.
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The Tower of London at night.
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Tower of London Bridge at night.
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The Shard at night.
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The City.
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The Gherkin (aka 20 St Mary Axe… boring!).
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Heading out to Brick Lane in business duds. I went to Brick Lane more than once while in London.
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Brick Lane coolness.
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Brick Lane.
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Brick Lane.
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The Bangladeshi restaurant that we ate at served Cobra beer!
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A minaret for a mosque that was apparently once a synagogue!
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The international headquarters of the Salvation Army! On the same street as my office!!
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My Place.
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St Paul’s Cathedral, just up the street from my office.
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Cool City of London crest.
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A beautiful London morning.
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Up the Queen Victoria Street from my office… St Andrew By The Wardrobe church!
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… and a cool pub just around the corner.
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Good thing I changed my boots.
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The Blackfriars pub, near Blackfriars tube station.
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This.
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Blackfriar Pub.
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Blackfriar Pub stained glass.
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Blackfriar Pub.
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Met Rich for a pint at .
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Me ‘n’ Rich at the pub.
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Some Badger. Funny how I’d just seen The Fantastic Mister Fox on the flight over!
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Real, actual London pub grub!
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I did!
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Pulling beers.
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Me and a tankard of Old Wallop.
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Old Wallop.
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This was a very funny show, with a member of the audience.
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London by night.
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The Shard at dawn.
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The Tower of London Bridge at dawn.
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Spooky skulls at Saint Olave Church Of England, a 12th century church.
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Saint Olave Church spooky skulls.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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The sax solo in Us And Them.
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From my box seat – the view to my left and to my right….
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When I looked down – my box seat was very close to centre stage.
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Enjoying a pint at halftime.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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The ceiling of the Royal Albert Hall.
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The ceiling of the Royal Albert Hall.
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The ceiling of the Royal Albert Hall.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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View from my box to the left…
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… and to the right.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall. I believe that this was the scattershot lasers for the opening of Run Like Hell.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall. Rising Sun.
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The ceiling of the Royal Albert Hall.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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Another blistering guitar solo from David Gilmour, live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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View from my box to the left… and to the right.
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The ceiling of the Royal Albert Hall.
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David Gilmour live at the Royal Albert Hall.
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A web of lasers above, a web of lasers below. The perfect position.
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Lasers in the audience.
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Lasers meet mist.
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Any colour you like.
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This is what we saw.
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ROAR!!
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The Royal Albert Hall at night.
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The Albert monument.
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The Royal Albert Hall at night.
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The Royal Albert Hall at night.
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The Royal Albert Hall at night.
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Taking the tube home at mignight.
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The Shard at night.
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The Tower Of London Bridge at dawn – with sun this time.
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My old company.
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Hmmm… mixed feelings.
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The Shard with a halo of clouds.
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The City.
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A nice lunchtime stroll on the Millenium Bridge.
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Interesting stonework as we wander The City.
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Hello.
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Me ‘n’ my colleague.
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Liverpool Station.
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Heroic dragons.
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The historic Rough Trade Records. Sadly, they had none of the records I asked for, even things released by Rough Trade Records (I was looking for Rough Trade 001 – Metal Urbain)! I got an Om remix, though, and some books.
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Thums Up.
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A bit of history.
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I bought these books at Rough Trade Records.
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I bought this 12″ single at Rough Trade Records.
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I can’t remember why I took this picture.
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The British Museum – pure class!
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The British Museum interior – gorgeous!
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The British Museum.
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The British Museum.
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The British Museum’s ancient secrets.
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Ancient Butthole Surfers logo.
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Ozymandias.
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Beware the Amazons – the Elgin Marbles.
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Heroic torso of an Amazon; right breast burned off to get a better shot with the bow and arrow, apparently.
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The Elgin marbles at the British Museum.
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The Elgin marbles at the British Museum.
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The Elgin marbles at the British Museum.
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Interesting ancient manji design.
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Harpy kidnapping a child; because that’s what harpies do.
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Four poses of Aphorodite surprised while bathing: south…
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…east…
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…north…
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…west.
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Spooky greek pottery.
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Mastiff.
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Aphorodite surprised while bathing… again.
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Ancient Assyria. Very cool!
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Ancient Assyria at the British Museum.
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Ancient Assyria at the British Museum.
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Hall of ancient Assyrian art at the British Museum.
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The British Museum.
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The British Museum.
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The British Museum.
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The British Museum.
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An interesting pose of Jesus Christ from medieval times – shown with the Crown of Heaven, not a crown of thorns, and looking jubilant and welcoming, rather than suffering and dying.
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Mumm!
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Interesting rock carving.
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Acrobat with crocodile.
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Mummy the Cat at the British Museum.
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Mummy the cat.
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Sarcophagus at the British Museum.
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The British Museum.
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Nice Victorian condos.
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I had a pint here while waiting for Amy.
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Hangin’ out with superstar Amy at Bread Street Kitchen!
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Saint Mary-le-Bow Church, which defines cockneys as those within earshot of the bells of this church.
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Saint Mary-le-Bow Church.
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Saint Mary-le-Bow Church.
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Modern crucifix in Saint Mary-le-Bow Church.
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Saint Mary-le-Bow Church.
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Strange masonry in Saint Mary-le-Bow Church.
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A long shot.
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Saint Mary-le-Bow Church.
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Saint Mary-le-Bow Church.
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The Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666.
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The Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666.
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Amy climbing up the stairs inside the Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666.
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The stairs inside the Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666 – going up.
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View of the Thames from the Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666.
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View of the Walkie Talkie from the Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666.
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The tippy top of the Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666.
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View of the Shard from the Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666.
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Horsing around at the top of the Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666.
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The Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666 – going down.
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Trooper Beer! Probably one of the best I had in the UK while I was there!!
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Hangin’ out with Amy. So long, London, it’s been cool.
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