Yesterday and last week our friend Emily has been stopping by our house to play various pieces of classical music for us on her violin. She is classically trained and I've been astounded by her talent. I'm trying to decide which pieces I'd like her to play during the wedding ceremony. She has already recruited another friend, Doris, to duet with her on the cello and she is searching for another violinist to do a Bach duet with for while I'm walking down the aisle (er, pathway, more accurately since we'll be outside).
So far we've decided on a little Mozart (since I love Mozart), Hungarian Bartok, Schuman, Fritz Kreisler, Dancla, Vivaldi, Handel, Hayden, and Meditation by Thaïs.
And to think I almost started violin lessons when I was 5 years old, but it turned out my parents couldn't afford it. I wish now that we had somehow found a way because it remains one of my favorite instruments.. along with the cello.
I hope it's lovely and if everything ends up going wrong on the day, it will still be memorable and we'd have to laugh about it. That's the what I keep telling myself anyway.
Egyptian queen, hehe that is interesting. I wish I had a troop of (well-treated) slaves to do my bidding right about now. ;P
I have to admit I'm a bit reluctant to give up this gorgeous house, view, and town for Hendon, London. I like London, but I'd have to say I'm more excited about the potential trips out of London to France, Spain, and yes even Belgium.
Maybe I am crazy, but I just keep telling myself that I won't be living in London forever.
if present house prices remain like they are, I don't think London will be an option for most people ...
don't get me wrong, I cherish the City, but when I saw the view from your balcony ... ah! it'd nice ... at least for awhile.
anyway, what's the matter with Belgium, I love the place. Brussels is one of the most eccentric places ... and that's always good in my books!
London is getting pretty outrageous. Here in Port Townsend you could buy a 5 bedroom victorian house with a garden and water view for the same price a house in Hendon goes for (seriously). I actually start to become a little depressed when spending a lot of time in London, or any city away from the water, for too long. I'll definitely miss our view here.
Wow someone from England who actually likes Belgium. I'm always made fun of when I mention I like Belgium to anyone British. I lived in Antwerpen for a summer and it's still one of the loveliest and quirkiest cities I've spent time in.
London is getting pretty outrageous.
London IS outrageous ... unbelievable, really ... I cannot see myself affording to buy a place there in the foreseeable future, unless I get a windfall or share the cost with friends, both of which cannot be relied on, maybe!! Who knows ... ? one thing I do know, I don't want to be a commuter in the suburban belts ...
there are many beautiful places in England, but few of them are worth living in culturally .. I lived in Brighton for six months after I graduated, and I loved the close proximity to London, and being on the coast ... but that too is similar, cost-wise, to London properties ... no hope!
It looks like abroad is a valid option ... but where???
I hope this doesn't depress you, as I'm sure your options are different ...
You're not depressing me!
I love Brighton, but you're right, the prices aren't much better. We've considered living in Southampton, which is handy for quick jaunts across (or under) the channel. We've also pondered moving to France at least for a year or so. I think if anything it would be a good experience.
Are you currently living somewhere in Scotland or London (if you don't mind my asking)?
oh dear! I'm probably not the best person to mention Southampton to ---> I spent three years doing my degree only twelve miles away, at Winchester School of Art, and found Southampton to be a staunch conservative area with a disproportionally large amount of militant (ie. sexist and homophobic) Muslims (as the awful stickers they posted will attest!) ... though, Southampton does have a municipal art gallery with a progressive policy :) aswell as the Hansard Gallery on the University's grounds ---> but these are the things important to me! cheapish area, nonetheless. FYI, it is a port, but not that convenient as you think for getting to France etc. but good for Spain and Portugal. Saying that, I did have a few friends that lived there, and they had no problems ...
for what it is worth, a few friends of mine are thinking of moving to Bournemouth, which is a little more liberal, and on the coast, not that far from Southampton (lovely squirrels that you can feed by hand :)), and still cheapish ... and a relatively decent art gallery: Cecil Higgins.
I suppose we each have our priorities, and they are down to the individual ...
Scotland ... London ... where would you like me to be???? : )
It's interesting hear your take on Southampton since I lived there for about 6 months. I actually never had any encounters with militant Muslims, I had no idea they were prevelant in the area. It is a rather conservative city, but at least it's a university town which prevents it from becoming extremely closed off. Max's parents live there and it's not as convenient for going to France as say Portsmouth, but they live there because it is still faster than having to drive 2 hours from London to the coast (they have family in France, so it's important to them to be able to get there somewhat easily).
I've only stayed a few weekends in Bournemouth and I enjoyed it, but I haven't delved into it much beyond the downtown area. Liberalism and decent art galleries are usually a plus in my opinion. ;)
I'll imagine you're from Scotland, but currently in London. Is that close enough, or am I really mistaken? :)
Oh, I feel a tad silly waffling on about Southampton in my last comment, now knowing that you lived there for 6 months ... but I suppose we expect to have different experiences. I, too, never had any encounters with militant muslims whilst I was there, and base my opinion mostly on the fly-posters and stickers that were all around the city centre at the time (3/4 yrs ago). Mix that with the overall Conservatism (from the university, aswell), and the general decay of any docks that have yet to be regenerated, and you have the type of place that doesn't appeal to me much. Saying that, like most places, it has good and bad points.
Ha, one of the things my driving friends used to whinge about was the amount of traffic lights Southampton has, more than any other city in England, apparently -- I'm told that the city is used as a place to test traffic systems.
It is a shame that Southampton hasn't utilized it's waterfront better. Ocean Village is just a shopping centre without much going on. You would think that such a historic port would have more to do. Still I mostly enjoyed my time there.. it was at least a greener place than London, which helped stave off some homesickness on my part. Max also used to attend university there so I think it will always have a place in his heart.
I remember Soton had some weird and confusing intersections, I wonder if those were part of their traffic experiments too?
I don't know if I'd want to live there again. I think I would have a better chance of meeting people with the same interests as me in London, if anywhere.
You're right, there are soo many, I could go on for days! :)
Do you have any particular interests, so that I could be more specific in my recommendations?
I get the impression that you're into photography, so I can whole-heartedly recommend one of my favourite littlish galleries, near Covent Garden, that has the original title of The Photographers Gallery. I think it was the first gallery in England to specialise in photography and related media, and has a good turn around of shows, aswell as hosting the Citibank Photography Prize. And, it is free.
Always worth checking out are the fairly major public spaces:
Tate Modern and Tate Britain.
FYI, as a general rule, the national and permanent collections:
Pre 20th century european paintings @ The National Gallery (where I worked for a year and a half).
British works are to be found @ Tate Britain.
Sculpture and decorative art @ V&A.
Modern & contemporary @ Tate Modern.
Also well known is Cork Street for being lined with bluechip art galleries, and is directly behind the Royal Academy, off Piccadilly Circus.
Also getting well known, for younger and trendier galleries, are areas like Hoxton and Shoreditch, in the East End. Good ones include The White Cube2 and Vilma Gold.
This should be enough to get you started with, I think.
Do check TimeOut for what's on -- it tends to be the best guide. Also, most galleries have a free listings guide with map, that helps you to plan what to see and how close it is to other places -- they tend to cluster.
If you ever want to see these places with another interested person, i'd be happy to accompany you -- it is always good seeing things with somebody that will have new eyes, to me at least :)
Is max not that interested in the arts at all?
Goodness this is an old comment, I apologize!
You're correct, photography is my predominate interest. That list is fantastic, thank you so much. I appreciate the offer to accompany me as well (that is if the offer still stands).
Max is interested in the arts, just not as interested as I am. He will go to some museums with me, but I think he burns out on it fairly quickly. :)
no need to apologise -- you do an amazing job of replying to comments as it is.
the offer of accompaniment still stands, though, at present, I'm no longer residing in London, so it won't be as easy for me to do as it was not so long ago. however, I still make frequent trips there, so it won't be an impossibility. Just let me know, though I'm sure you'll be incredibly busy on your arrival, for a while at least.
and ... congratulations on getting your stamp!!
I'm not sure about ideal.. there's quite a bit I would change if I had the time, but as long as everything goes smoothly and everyone's happy -- I'm happy.
Hah! I could never be a wedding planner. I keep swearing that if I ever get married again we're either eloping or having a potluck party on the beach. I only intend to go through this stress once, that's enough for my lifetime. :) However I would always be happy to share any knowledge or give advice.