London Living has been out of town and missing London. 2 visits to Scotland and one to Bristol have taken me out and about around the UK which has been fascinating but I was pleased to be back home in time for Carnival. It's a fabulous event and being a Notting Hill resident is even more of a treat at this time of year. The build up starts a few days before as posh shops start boarding up their windows, giving a very odd feel to the area. On the day it starts quietly but by mid morning the noise begins to build and the smoke rises from the BBQs, then it's all go and the place is rammed full of visitors. Some areas had rather more police than usual which was odd and somewhat unnerving. We wondered around, soaked up the atmosphere, felt the music blasting our ribcages, smelt the jerk chicken and imagined we were in the Caribbean for just a little while.
As for my time out of town, I can recommend Mull and Iona for the big skies and fabulous light, although we were not blessed with much sunshine which is a big feature of summer 2008 wherever you are in the UK. The second Scotland trip was my annual foray into the mad world of the Edinburgh Fringe where we rushed around town to see 4 comedies, 2 plays, a BBQ and a jazz brunch. What an wonderful opportunity to fill your days with a bunch of different shows and take a chance on new names.
Bristol has its charms too - SS Great Britain, a fascinating visit, its surrounding countryside, Bath, and we managed to get to 2 very constrasting music shows - a blues band in a tiny cramped buzzing pub and a classical concert in the cathedral. Always love those contrasts...
Back in London with a second trip to the Proms to see a more conventional classical programme which bizarrely featured one piece from the Bristol concert, Vaughan Williams's Lark Ascending.
Next week sees me off to Spain for a week in Minorca in search of sun and lazy days on a lounger - can't wait! So back in a week.