A weekend in Budapest

We landed in Budapest on a bright September day. The coldness of London was long forgotten as we exited our cramp RyanAir flight and stretched out into the fresh and warm central-European air. After a quick taxi into town, we dumped our bags at our stunning AirBnB and set off exploring.

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Hamilton — West End Review

I went to see Hamilton this week and it is simply, the best show I have ever seen.

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Let me break it down for you. This is one of the most in-demand shows in London, in the world in fact. Its hype precedes it: the list of accolades Hamilton has received is huge, it cleans up at award ceremonies and it has an astonishing number of 5-star reviews. And everything you have heard about this show is completely true — it is incredible.
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Glastonbury 2017

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It’s that time again. Time to lament that Glastonbury is once again over for another year. But it’s double sadness this year as my favourite festival will not return until 2019. Massively sad times.
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Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire

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I love the countryside. For me, there is nothing better than wrapping up warm with a hat, scarf, and boots on and crunching through the countryside on a winter’s day. I’m very lucky that I grew up surrounded by countryside and it’s something I cherish every time I’m back oop North.
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South Tyrol

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Heimat
A German word that denotes the relationship of a human being toward a certain spatial social unit

It was whilst listening to a French conversation on an Austrian radio station when driving around the German-speaking region of Italy that I truly appreciated the wonderful diversity and homogeny of the European continent. South Tyrol is the northern-most region in Italy with a diverse culture and history, and visiting the region this autumn was an eye-opening experience to values of togetherness, collaboration, and the pure joy of different cultures merging. It’s something I cherish; no (wo)man is an island after all.
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A weekend in Kent

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This weekend, myself and my friends went to Kent for the weekend and it was simply lovely.

We went on a bit of a tour around the county to get out of London (I know I’ve only just got back!), get into to the countryside, and see the sea. It was brilliant, even if the weather wasn’t.

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Val Thorens, first skiing holiday!

Hello! Or should I say bonjour!

I have just returned from Val Thorens in the French Alps, home from my first skiing holiday!

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It was amazing – I’m hooked. I’ve got the bug, and anyone who has been skiing will know exactly what I mean when I say that. This is a massively picture heavy post, so sit back, press play on the video below (song of the holiday!) and enjoy whilst I show you around Val Thorens…
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The poppies at the Tower of London

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This year marks the 100 year anniversary since the start of the First World War. Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red is the installation created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper. Together he created 888,246 ceramic poppies which have filled the Tower’s famous moat, one for each of the British casualties in the First World War.
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The Libertines, Hyde Park

I went to see the Libertines with Virtual Festivals last Saturday and they were awesome! Here is a copy of my review!

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In a set that was plagued with crowd interruptions, The Libertines’ reunion was filled with energy, controversy and compassion – it was everything the crowd wanted from the band whose history has been so filled with drama.

The set was called to a halt three times due to crowd crushing (one person passed out), flare throwing and the crowd climbing the camera towers. After a patchy stop-start for the first few songs, Carl, Pete, Gary and John got into their stride and revived the audience with a roaring version of ‘Horrorshow’ followed soon after with a raucous ‘The Ha Ha Wall’. Deafening crowd sing-alongs then came in the form of ‘Music When The Lights Go Out’ and ‘What Katie Did’.

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The guitars were tight, the bass solid and dependable and the drums kept everyone together. Each Libertine played brilliantly, and Carl and Pete sung as well as they ever have. The sound quality, which was at times patchy (as has often troubled Hyde Park concerts) couldn’t distract from the show of talent on the Main Stage.

When ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ came round, a song which used to be filled with such anger during their troubled times, Carl and Pete simply sang it to get past it. There was little dwelling on the song which became the theme song to the Libertines’ breakup. Instead the set focused on the happier times – archive images of the band filled the screens behind them adding to the sense of nostalgia.

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My guest in VIP

The Libertines finished with a riotous ‘I Get Along’. Pete and Carl sharing mics and singing to one another made for an emotional end to a thrilling set, hugging and celebrating at the end until they were on the floor. Pete led a singalong of the hokey cokey before praising the crowd and the armed forces, and with Carl, performed a rather beautiful rendition of Siegfried Sassoon’s 1918 poem Suicide In The Trenches to finish. The frontmen were back as one once more.

There was high expectation on this gig after the success of the Glasgow warm-up shows and the boys in the band definitely delivered. Carl and Pete played with a confidence which was lacking in their 2010 reunion – they seemed more focused and much more comfortable together. The announcement of two more dates in London later this year confirms the band’s commitment to one another and hopefully rather than a reunion, this becomes a revival in the Libertines’ history book.

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The Libertines at British Summer Time 2014 set list:

‘Vertigo’
‘Boys In The Band’
‘The Delaney’
‘Campaign Of Hate’
‘Time For Heroes’
‘Horrorshow’
‘Begging’
‘The Ha Ha Wall’
‘Music When The Lights Go Out’
‘What Katy Did’
‘The Boy Looked At Johnny’
‘Can’t Stand Me Now’
‘Last Post On The Bugle’
‘Love On The Dole’
‘Death On The Stairs’
‘Radio America’
‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’
‘Tell The King’
‘Up The Bracket’
‘What A Waster’
‘France’
‘Albion’
‘I Get Along’

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Photos from my Virtual Festivals article (and my iPhone)

Did you go to the Libertines? What did you think? I loved it!

Rx