Things to do in London: Greenwich Park – The Middle of Time

DSCF3769Good evening guys!

I hope you have all had a great long Easter weekend!

I had work the first three days of holidays but yesterday I finally had my first day off. Greg and I hadn’t got to spend a lot of time together for a while as we have had such different schedules, so yesterday we decided to spend some quality time together.

We went to Greenwich Park, which isn’t too far from where we live. I first thought we had had some bad luck with the weather, but as the day went on it cleared up and we ended up having a great time at Greenwich.

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Greenwich Park is so beautiful and it has a great view over the city of London. With Canary Warf in the background and the city itself a bit further in the horizon it is a perfect spot for a day date in the city!

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For those of you who doesn’t know (I didn’t make the connection until we were there) this is where the GMT, the Greenwich Mean Time is set. Meaning that the time of the worlds is set from that point. Anywhere that is 3 hours before us is GMT +3 and somewhere that is 5 hours behind us if GMT -5. Pretty cool right? As Greg and I was talking about, it is as if we are standing in the middle of time, right where it starts. Not only is time set from Greenwich, but also longitude and latitude is based of Greenwich Park. The longer longitude and latitude it is on a map, the further away you are from Greenwich. So being at the top of Greenwich park, one can think that you are not only where time is set from, in a way you are also in the center of the world. I thought that was pretty amazing to think about!

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We walked around the park, philosophized about time and distance, grabbed a coffee and sat down watching all the people and dogs in the park.

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We saw this beautiful Golden Retriever and I started nagging Greg for a dog again. He said something about us not having a garden but I chose to ignore that and continued my campaign to get a Golden Retriever haha.

After the park we went for lunch in Greenwich before heading home for a cheat day of Chinese food, chocolate, cheesecake and a couple of movies.
All in all it was the perfect day.

I think it is so important in a relationship to take time to spend quality time together, such as going to the park, to lunch or just for a walk every now and then. It is so easy to slip on that especially when living together. I would hate for us to just fall into a routine of work and home, not really appreciating each other.
I can tell already after one year of living together that that is an easy trap to fall into so these dates is important to me.

Today we are back to weekdays, Greg has just come home from work and I have spent the day studying. I went a bit overboard with the sweets last night so I have been feeling a bit unwell today. But as yesterday was Easter I will give myself a pass on that.

I hope all you guys have had an amazing weekend and a great start to the week!

– Camilla

Terror in London

I never want to make my blog political and I try to stay away from writing about my opinions about current affairs. However living in London and writing my blog about my life in London, today it seems unnatural not to share my thoughts or at least mention the terror attack that happened at Westminster this afternoon.

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According to the BBC four people have been killed and at least 20 are wounded.

I had just come home today, when I turned on the TV and it said that there had been a terrorist attack by the Houses of Parliament. I first thought about Greg, because he works so  close to the site and my immediate thoughts was that he could have gone there for lunch. My worries for him were calmed fast though as I saw that it happened after he would have been due to be back at work after lunch long before this happened, so that he would have been at his office when this took place.

Looking at the TV today though filled me with sadness and made me start to wonder about life, the way that these things always make you do.

Wherever a terrorist attack happens it is a tragedy and horrible for the people involved, for those losing a loved one and for the people walking around feeling that fear of terror in their body and in their streets. All lives count the same and everyone treasures their lives and the loss of a life is the same for anyone, that is a given. Of course when an attack happens close to you however, and you feel that this could have happened to you, where you are or where you might have gone you think of it more. I feel that we all walk around thinking in the back of our minds that such a terrible incident could not happen to us or where we live regardless of if that is true or not. It is how we survive and go about our day. So of course when it does happen you get surprised and shocked.

I remember when the Terrorist Attacks happened in Paris on November 13th 2015. I worked in a bar at the time here in London and when I came home and saw the news I felt very touched by it personally. Much because it was in a big European capital like London and also because the shooters shot down many places similar to my own work. This gave the added feeling of identification with the victims because it felt as though they had  a very similar night to my own up until it happened and it gave me a feeling that it could have happened at my job during my night just like it could with them.
It is the same thought that makes me feel strong about the London attack today, the fact that you walk so many times on that exact spot it happened and the feeling that I could have just as easily been walking here today or someone I love could just as those unfortunate people today or this could have just as easily happened when I walked here not long ago.

I think that is some of the effects terror has on us, the feeling that we are not safe  where we are and that if it could happen to them, it could happen to us which is so unfortunate and a part of the desired effect.

Earlier I was thinking of how this morning I was stressed and worried about what is going on in my life and when things like this happens you realize how small and insignificant these things are. Those poor people who died today do not have worries to wake up to tomorrow and they had no idea this morning. Their loved ones would most likely have good and bad things on their minds with their morning coffee and now those things are all over shadowed by what happened today and the grief that comes with it.

I feel bad for people in our community that might experience more racism, bullying and exclusion after today as well. In my experience this is something that often happens, people lash out at innocent people who had nothing to do with the incident because of their own ignorance. I hope that that does not happen this time, and lets remember to be kind towards one another and please do not put responsibility where it doesn’t belong with innocent people who had nothing to do with this. We have to be nice and kind towards each other even after such a terrible and tragic event.

I feel so sad for the people that lost their lives today, for the brave policeman risking his life and dying for the safety of others and for everyone grieving. I will be praying for them all and that we will all just start being nice to one another and stop hurting each other.

– Camilla

Things to do in London: Notting Hill

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Good morning!
Today I want to make another recommendation for those of you living in or visiting London. I realize that my previous post was about the same thing but yesterday Greg and I went to Notting Hill to look around and I just have to share these cool pictures with you guys and give you the recommendation to go here! It as absolutely a place worth visiting!

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I am sure most of you have seen the movie Notting Hill, a classic from the 90’s starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. It is so romantic and a movie that always made me want to visit London long before moving here.

We both had a day of yesterday and planned on going to Richmond Park for the day but the day turned out so windy and rainy, we figured our feet would get soaked walking around the park. So I suggested that we could go to Notting Hill to see all the sites from the movie, such as the bookshop and the famous blue door. None of us had been to Notting Hill before so it was about time!

I didn’t realize thought that there were so much more to see in this area than just the sites from the movie. We saw all the little shops, the blue door, the bookshop and last but not least the beautiful, long and colorful Portobello Road.

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I loved how long Portobello Road is and how beautiful it is. Not just on the actual road but also the little side streets are so colorful and gorgeous. We were both freezing walking around here – non of us had dressed sufficiently but nonetheless it was completely worth it. We kept taking about how great it would be to live here, with so many shops, cafes and pubs around but also what an effect living with such creativity and beauty around would have on your soul and general mood. We walked around on a relatively cold grey day and had a blast, just imagine how nice it would be in summer!

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I was stoked to find The Travel Book Shop from the movie Notting Hill. The place were Anna Scott and William Thacker first meet and where Anna eventually confesses her love for him with the words “I am also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”. It felt like such a iconic place to see and for a second I felt as though William Thacker would be standing inside, selling travel books and going about his day.

I was most excited about finding the blue door from the movie, but that was sort of a let down. I must have built it up in my head, as this very recognizable iconic door, but even though we were looking for it we actually walked past it a few times before even realizing that this was the door we were looking for. But oh, well at least we found it and I got my picture taken in front of it like I wanted.
We rushed the picture though, because it looked like there might be living someone inside, and we kept speculating on this on the way home wondering what that would be like, having people come all day taking pictures of your door.

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Not a great picture of me, tired and on a sugar high but oh well, at least it is us in front of William Thacker’s home.

After the door was found, we just kept walking around Portobello Road and explore it’s little side streets before heading home.
I love how artistic the streets are, like a little creative sphere in West London. I wonder what it is like to live here and how expensive it would be. A great motivation to work on getting a great job, that’s for sure.

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I am of to start my day now! Not in Notting Hill unfortuantly but in the very charming South and East London.

– Camilla

Day Trip out of London: Windsor Castle

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This weekend Greg and I decided to take a day trip out to Windsor and visit Windsor Castle.
If any of you living in London or visiting London and want to make a short trip out of the city to see something else I highly recommend this trip.
Greg and I have been talking about going to see the castle ever since he first came to London but only now got around to it.

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The castle was built in 1070, by William the Conqueror and has since them been kept in the royal family and built on by the reigning King or Queen of the times.

Britains current Queen, Queen Elisabeth || has been using the castle frequently during her life and comes up there on her free weekends, and during the spring.

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I think it is so cool to walk around historic places like this and take in all the history and think how many people has walked on those grounds! Not only in today’s society but also hundreds of years ago. To think that the most powerful people of 1000 years ago walked on those exact grounds we are walking on.

Whilst we were at the castle we walked around the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel.

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In the State Apartments you can see all the rooms that the old Kings and Queens used for their bedrooms, their dining halls and their ball rooms. They also have old gifts given throughout the centuries from other state leaders to the royal families.
I wanted to take so many pictures, but both in the State Apartments and the Chapel you are not allowed to photograph.

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In St. George’s Chapel many of the old Kings and Queens are buried and their tum is displayed next to the history of the one laying there. Greg and I was talking as we walked though the Chapel that it is amazing to think that these people are laying right were we are standing. These once very powerful people, who shaped the course of the world we live in, are now right by we are standing, centuries after their death.
In a way it is a nice thought and in another way a very sad and aerie thing to think about. It suddenly makes them seem just like you and me. Mortal and human – as we all are.

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Not only is the castle beautiful and so enriched with history, but the town of Windsor is beautiful as well.
It has a small town vibe to it and at the same time you can find any store here, big or small. If you do go to see Windsor Castle make sure you set of some extra time to walk around the town.

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If you want to go to Windsor Castle from London you can take direct trains from Waterloo station. The train takes 50 minutes to Windsor and leaves every 30 minutes. The train you need to board is Windsor and Eton and it takes less than 5 minutes to walk from the station to the Castle. The train costs 21 pounds in peak our but only 12 pounds return of peak. The Entrance to the Castle is 21 pounds, 19 for students.
Be weary though that lines getting in to the castle can be long. When we went we were only in line for about 15 minutes, this was probably because we got there around 2 pm when the castle is less busy.
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So there you have it, a recommendation of a great outing and how to get there. I hope you all have a nice week, and we will “talk” very soon!

– Camilla

 

Date Night in Soho

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Good evening!

After a day of some studying and some TV watching, I met Greg after he finished work for a date night in the city.

Because I dont have any lectures on Fridays and this is the first week back at uni, I allowed myself to a bit of a relaxed day. After a couple hours of light studying, I spent the day with some day time TV watching whilst I made a slightly unhealthy but delicious lunch.

A few days ago Greg suggested that we should go to Soho after work today and eat dinner out. It has been a while since I have gone out on a date with Greg, as I said in my previous post I have been in a mode lately where I have wanted to stay in an just relax most days. But as I am changing that now, we went out and I had such a nice time!
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We met up in Piccadilly Circus and walked to this Greg restaurant that makes pizza and pasta. You simply order by the counter and chooses your choice, which they heat up and you bring to your seat.
It is like a canteen theme, only the food was so good and it looks like a restaurant with really nice interior.
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After dinner we walked down Oxford Street and looked in a few shops before heading to Trafalgar Square for a look around.
When Greg first moved to London Trafalgar Square was one of the first places I took him to and it is one of his favorite places in London.
It is quite nice, it is lively yet it has far fewer people than busy places like Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus.
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Now I super full after dinner and then snacks that we had after coming home. Greg is sound asleep but I am still wide awake – snoozing half the morning today was probably not the greatest idea.

I am so excited for the weekend now. I haven’t made any plans yet, because I thought I was going to work this weekend but it turns out that I have this weekend of!
I probably will do a bit of exercise, a bit of study and the rest just do what I want. Unless we decide to go out and see something.

I wish you all a great weekend and hope you will enjoy it!

Talk to you tomorrow!

– Camilla

Packing for Greece!

Good evening!

Tomorrow is Friday and I will finally be of for my holiday!
After work I am going straight to Gatwick airport to fly to Norway where our plane to Greece leaves the next morning.

I am now home trying to pack, while taking breaks to watch The Big Bang Theory.

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I was on a really good roll, until when I emptied out my suitcase and found a big spider in there. I have a huge phobia for spiders and there is no way I can continue getting the suitcase ready after seeing that beast in there! So the packing will go on after Greg has come home and got rid of the spider. Hope he wont be too late..

I am so ready for a holiday!
My bad neck that started almost two weeks ago has continued until now and spread to my back and shoulders.
I have not been able to sleep well either as laying my head down hurts my neck and I have kept waking up because my neck tuggs in the middle of the night.
To make it even worse I tripped and fell over on the way to work on Tuesday, something that only I could manage to do. Guess at 26 years old I am STILL tripping over on my own feet.
So now my knees and arms are all scratched up and achy, not to mention that the fall did not exactly do wonders for my neck!

Because I have been so busy I havent got a chance to collect myself and given my body the rest to heal, I think that is why it still has not gotten better. Work has been so busy, that even on the worst day, calling in sick or taking it easy at work has not been an option.

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I do belive though that two weeks with relaxation, warmth and swimming will fix my body right up.
I am hoping to be fine within the first few days, and if I take it easy and listen to my body I think that is reasonable to believe that I will be.

Well, I better wash up a little bit before Greg gets home and then finish packing.

Talk to you later!

– Camilla

Mums Visit!

Last week when Greg was in America, my mum came to stay with me for 5 days. I was so happy, because it had been such a long time since last I saw her and Greg was away so it was really nice to have someone stay and not being all alone.

Most of the times when my mum has visited me here in London there has always been something happening that we have been busy with, so she has not really got to feel like she is in London. We have not gone to the center at all on most of her visits and therefore not seen very much.

Fortunately this time, we had the whole weekend, and we got to go to into the central and take pictures with some of the main attractions such as Big Ben, The London Eye and Westminster Abby.
We were so lucky to get some great weather whilst we were there that just made our time perfect.
We had lunch by Trafalgar Square, walked around and watched the buildings and the people and enjoyed the nice atmosphere.
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We also started a project to redo our entire living room as a surprise for Greg when he came home, and he got so happy! I will in a later post show you our new place.

It is something special to have ones mum stay, it feels very homely and cozy.
I was even so lucky to get some of my favorite foods from Norway from her, such as Bearnaise Sauce and Norwegian bread spread.

In the evenings we would watch old crime series and drink tea just like we did when I was younger. I felt like I was 16 again!
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I was so sad when she left, but it wont be long until I see her again. In two weeks we are packing our bags and travelling to Greece for two weeks, so I wont have to miss her long.

Two days after she went home, Greg came back from America. It was so good to have him home, like I could finally relax again. So my time “alone” went quite well, and fortunately passed quickly.

Now life is back to normal. Greg is recovering from his Jet Lag and I am enjoying a relaxing weekend before work starts again tomorrow.

I hope everyone has had a nice end to the week!

– Camilla