I have to admit it does rain in London sometimes and this week was one of those weeks and some! So it was fitting that the rainforest came town in the form of the 'Ghost Forest - from the Tropics to Trafalgar' an outdoor exhibition which highlights the extent and danger of deforestation. Ghost Forest brought us 10 stumps of rainforest trees from Ghana filling up Trafalgar Square in an haunting and beautiful display of fallen giants. The square was well chosen as Nelson's Column is about the height of one of the fully grown trees and we learned that Ghana has lost 90% of these trees in the last 50 years . I went to see them by night in the rain and by day in the sun, so I've posted one photo from each visit and you can see the trees against the backdrop of the square and the National Gallery. The trees are now off to Copenhagen for the climate change conference.
London Jazz Festival was in full flow this week - good indoor activities for rainy evenings! There was a huge range of artists in town for this and I chose to see the African Jazz Quintet at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill. They were really good and for me the saxophonist was outstanding though my friend thought the guitarist was the star but the photo is mine so it's of the sax guy! The music was full of melody and life and the band were clearly having a great time as well as the audience.
Another great escape from rainy days in London is the amazing variety of courses you can take. I treated myself to a one day on British cinema at the City Lit college and we watched clips and discussed how the cinema showed us the massive social change just after the 2nd World War (lots of great black and white movies) . Not everyone's cup of tea but I thought it was fascinating and on that day the college were running everything from singing to keep fit to professional study. Afterwards we caught up on cinema as I've been a bit lax lately and went to see An Education which was really evocative of the 60s and had some great performances.
Restaurant update. In London you can get special deals through a website called OpenTable and we picked up a great deal of 2 courses for £14.95 at Brasserie St Jacques in St James's. It's a good quality French restaurant with excellent food and charming staff who were keen to tell us that on Tuesdays they will be bringing opera to diners at their tables, rather than the enjoyable background jazz we had. I've also been frequenting coffee venues in Notting Hill and can recommend Daylesford Organic and 202 on Westbourne Grove as this week's favourites for meetings and catch ups. Good coffee but don't expect it to be cheap!
My neighbour's just turned up for coffee, so bye for now.
Sue Hillman, http://www.itsyourlondon.co.uk/