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Buying gifts at London

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I am going home, to hug Mama for the first time since I started my PhD study in an turbulent autumn. Now, my main aim is to graduate ~ will fight for it.

This Saturday, the last day of Feb 2009, I spent shopping at London ~ I wonder when I will be a rich lady, who can spend pounds as much as I like for my family and Darling.

My day itinerary: Borough MarketSouthwark CathedralHarrodsSohoNational Gallery

Borough Market is London’s oldest food market. It was established on the south bank of the Thames when the Romans built the first London Bridge. It has occupied its present site for 250 years. Wikipedia said that one of the scenes in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was filmed at the Borough Market.

I love Borough Market, very colorful for photography and there are so many free testing of food. Tried cheese (some I like, some I don’t), mushroom pate (quite tasty), wine and foie gras (I ignorantly inquired if this is a cheese, creating laughters), chilli pastes, chocolates, etc. The stalls people are very nice, I asked permission if I can take photos, they said yes. I learned that there are so many different kinds of mushrooms, I guess Borough Market is a good place to bring children to learn about food and English words. I had a French creme caramel for a pound!

Note added in 2013: the French creme caramel is actually creme brulee which has become one of my favorite desserts. I also treated Dad and Mon the same dessert at the Borough Market when I brought them to London. Thank you God for being so generous to me!

At nearby Southwark Cathedral, I saw a statue of Shakespeare – who said had worked at Southwark. I also saw the Harvard chapel, observed the two Veritas, on the ceiling and on the stained glass. A crest-like stone behind the main altar, at the left, “God is love, God is light, God with us“.

Heading to Harrods, the Jubilee line was closed, so I had to spend more time in underground. I decided not to take underground anymore for the rest of the day. Harrods is like a palace, the food there are very expensive. I was tempted to have lunch there, but not in the end. I spent almost 55 pounds at Harrods, 47 pounds solely on chocolates (less than a kg in 5 packages of different weights) for my loved ones. I bought these: Harrods Belgian, Harrods English, and Godiva. I have dreamed of buying Godiva chocolates for my Diva, since I learned about this brand in my undergraduate final year marketing course. When I was in a-day-trip to Brussel in summer 2008, I went to an area where there were so many chocolate shops, I had a iced chocolate drink from Godiva and bought a bottle of chocolate paste. I had good memories on Godiva, so my Diva must try it. Actually, I also want to buy a caviar for her to try. I did not see such a product at Borough Market, there are some in Harrods – the good quality one ranges from over 200 to over 300 pounds for 30 or 50g (beyond my budget). There are cheaper options, the salmon fish roe or trout roe, around 15 pounds, but the staff said it will not last if I travel on the plane. It will be so troublesome to request air stewardess to put on the fridge, because
first, I need to take the nightmare coach to Heathrow
second, I need to transit and change plane.
I think my Diva has never tried caviar, so I really hope she could enjoy beautiful things in life. I will look forward to this opportunity in future.

I have not done shopping yet, tomorrow I am going to M&S to buy Triple chocolate cereals, my brother’s favorite. I bought that and Thornton chocolates, to be passed over by my Hero to my Diva in the end of 2007.

I caught bus 14, 60 pence cheaper than underground, with free view of London streets. Very satisfied. I sat on top, facing the front window. I got down after I saw the Les Miserable theatre, headed to Misato to have a relatively-cheap-for-London-standard sashimi bento. It’s my lunch cum dinner at around 4.45pm, and I still can manage to take-away 1/2 the rice & other non-raw items, from my single course. I can’t believe how frugal I can be. Thanks to H.W. for introducing this restaurant to me.

Next, I went to National Gallery – passed the Leicester Square where 1/2 price musical tickets are sold. I want to watch musicals, especially Chicago, but they are so expensive. I don’t mind watching the recordings. Arrived at National Gallery 40 minutes before close, I focused on the 18th to early 20th century paintings and I managed to stare at these famous:
# Venus and Mars by Botticelli.
# Bacchus and Ariadne by Titian (Tiziano).
# Bathers at La Grenouillere by Monet.
# Bathers at Asnieres by Seurat. Asnieres is Paris suburb.
# Sunflowers by Van Gogh. Yellow means hope and friendship. I observed the use of different thickness on paintings, made the paintings very 3D if we look from far.
# Mr and Mrs Andrews by Gainsborough.
# The Stonemason’s Yard by Canaletto. He also painted a paintings where the gondolas of Venice, had comb-like structure at the end.
Yet, I love this painting most The Umbrella by Renoir at room 44, the expressions of the young woman and the little girl are so touching, striking out among the grey umbrelllas. I also like Misia Sert by Renoir (room 43), Renoir is very good in distinguishing the softness of skin and fur of clothes.

In the near future, when I have a chance to visit London, I would like to
# visit Kew garden – possible on Easter.
# take a boat out to Greenwich. DONE.
# visit the National Gallery again.
# Primrose Hill.
# try cycling in London.

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Written by blueroselady

February 28, 2009 at 11:30 pm

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