Sunday, 20 October 2013

1/4th of The Beatles awaited & The Language Show at Olympia

Sunday. It rained earlier in the morning, but now the sun has come out.

Five or ten minutes later: the clouds are gathering!

Enough about the weather front. I've just looked at an article kindly suggested by a friend in the distant homeland. (I'm smirking to you, good man!) It's about a surprise mini-concert of a septuagenarian former Beatles in Covent Garden at lunchtime last Thursday. That prompted me to mention a strange phenomenon encountered in Oxford Street at night that day.Walking back from the Embassy of Poland we encountered many people setting up an impromptu night camp in front of a music store. I can't have been the first or third to ask them what they were waiting for, because soon after they produced this note:

Fortunately, the night was not particularly cold. I hope Sir Paul was kind to them and each went home with an autograph and a hand shake of the famous 1/4th! ;-)
You could see in the picture above that Bond Street Station is still undergoing a serious revamp, just like Tottenham Court Road Station east of that one. 

The highlight of today was The Language Show at Olympia in Kensington. It was the third and last day of the annual event related to languages: teaching, learning, interpreting, translating and also travelling!
 A friend had told me about the presentation for EFL teachers. It had an interesting title: YOU ARE YOUR OWN COURSEBOOK. I agree with Matt, the speaker. Coursebooks are boring and they do not allow free thinking often suppressing  creativity. I could elaborate more on that particular topic, but there is no time... However, I shall definitely be going back to Matt's website. He is the one who loves writing, as we learnt from him today.:-) As the website is called, when the seminar was over I approached our speaker to treat him to a couple of bananas. By some amazing coincidence, I have a huge stock of bananas at the moment. Why? As I was heading home yesterday, I was approached by a fruit seller from the nearby street stall. He wanted to go home and literally begged me to by the remaining two bags of bananas from him for a mere 1 pound fifty pence! I kept saying I didn't need that many bananas, but finally took pity of the guy and reached for my purse. I could see how glad he was. Premature joy it was! I only had 1 pound and 5 pence. But that satisfied him. He handed me the bags, took the cash and dashed. I tell you. The bags were heavy. Before I got home, I sat on a bench and fortified my energy levels with the first of too many bananas. When I got home, I notified my friends about the surplus stock. She picked up a load tonight, after we made our own banana smoothie. The neighbours received a share too. I had a banana for lunch and another one for tea. I hope I won't wake up as a big banana tomorrow!;-)

In the lift, going to the next seminar, I met a girl who let me take a picture of her cat T-shirt. Giggling, we nearly missed our floor. I wore one with three cats on it, mind you.

There was something I didn't like about this Classroom of the Future: you had to stand in front of the screen!
The Korean Language stand offered some nice activities run by a lady dressed in a bright-coloured outfit.

I tried to brush up on my rusty Russian talking to a lady from St Petersburg.

Many people wanted information from this stand:

The Japanese drums performance needed some preparation:

Japanese language and culture was also represented at the show:
I talked to the girl at this Chinese school stand.

I learnt that back in China such toy characters atop a pen are made of sweet edible dough!
The red square on the right is a good luck token to have at home or in your bag. It's made in such a way that you can't find where the thread starts or finishes.
Here are more good luck charms. I've always liked the butterfly-shaped ones, with the wings spread wide for inspiration.:-)

At City Lit I had an informative chat with a teacher trainer from Paris:

Surely, I couldn't resist taking pictures of some posters from the previous shows at Olympia:

When I emerged back into Hammersmith Road, I saw the sun which followed the rain. That one I missed and didn't mind that.
I suspect there may have been a rainbow at the time, but it was impossible to check it among all the buildings. That reminds me of a lovely friend from Budapest who went with us on one of the Sunday trips in a big Land Rover. We were sightseeing in the countryside, somewhere in Oxfordshire. The rain stopped in time for us to get off and walk towards a really old village church up on the hill. The sun showed its face among the clouds and the most beautiful rainbow followed. Our friend was amazed. She had never seen the rainbow before, being a city dweller. Just hadn't happened! Imagine that! I was so surprised. But yesterday, when I stopped to think about it, I understood!
 At the same exhibition complex, just next door was a... Chocolate Show! Imagine that! Well, 18 pounds a ticket! Hope it included sampling the products! The highlight of this event is Chocolate Fashion Show.

 One show like that is enough per day, I decided. When Bus 27 arrived I hopped on and enjoyed a ride to Notting Hill Gate Station to catch the tube home.

From the front seat I took pictures of High Street Kensington which used to be my daily route when I lived nearby in bygone days.
Kensington Church Street with Notting Hill Gate in the distance can be seen below. If you look closely, you will see a pub with lots of flowers distinguishing it from other buildings. An interesting feature of this particular public house named after the famous politician with a Black Dog is the collection of objects hanging from the ceilings. I'll let you discover what objects they are.:-)
When you've reached this T-junction, go right and if you've walked long enough, you'll get to Oxford Street. Should you go left, you can descend to Notting Hill Gate Station and catch a red, green or yellow train, or you can head west and then north to Portobello Road or a bit further right into an elegant Holland Park with its wilderness,  Kioto Garden, art galleries, posh restaurant and much, much more. I call Holland Park a little brother of the big central London parks: Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Green Park and St James Park. If you are really keen to see what Holland Park looked this time last year, you are welcome to go to my old posts on this blog.
Before I descended into the tube, I strolled around for a few minutes taking pictures for myself and for you, Dear Reader:

I hadn't noticed these figurines atop the building across the road before. The owl puzzled me. I had seen another one opposite Topolski's Century Gallery near Waterloo Station a week ago.

Some of you might like to see a picture of Jamie Olivier's shop nearby, but I must disappoint you. I didn't take one.

William Blake's words can be paraphrased as a caption to this picture: 'See the world in fallen leaves on a pavement wet and shiny...

and eternity on the roofs': 

Dear Reader, I am most curious who will be the first one to make the effort and fetch the original quotation in the comments section. There is an amazing award waiting! :-)

You know what? By pure coincidence, having used the word 'fetch' I noticed that the next picture refers to canine! Now, for you seeking  English language challenges, do not go away before you explain the difference between 'fetching something' and 'bringing something'. Comment section awaits! Then you can hope for an award!:-)

Dog stuff sold here:

If you happen to be in the area, do look at this high rise building. It has acquired some funny elevation, methinks. (I used this funny expression on purpose, to make you think, Dear Reader.);-)

Good night!

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