Afternoon Tea on the Thames

Afternoon tea is quintessentially British, and it seems to be a big craze at the moment in London. I’m not particularly keen on it (how in-British of me, I know) as I don’t particularly drink hot drinks and I prefer a big tasty lunch to sandwiches and cake, but when I was came across afternoon tea on the River Thames with a guide that would inform me of Muslim history in London, I thought it would be quite fun. As a cruise linked to Eid I decided to buy myself and my mum a ticket hoping she’d enjoy it too. My sisters, my sister in law and her mum also joined us.

The meeting point was at Tower of London and after we were all checked in we were able to get on the boat. Once we were in our seats we had tea to start with and then the some delicious looking food.

As we enjoyed our food and the view, the guide started telling us about some of the connections of Muslims to the city of London, which was quite interesting. When we reached Westminster Bridge the boat turned around to go back towards the port. By this point I’d had enough to eat so I grabbed my camera and went above deck. The sun was out and with the cool breeze it felt so refreshing. We passed some iconic landmarks that sit on the banks of the River Thames.

After spending some time above deck taking in the sights and some photos we headed back downstairs. The organisers held a competition that my sisters and I (and it seems no one else) entered so we won a big box of chocolates, as the odds were definitely in our favour!
As we docked back into the port we gathered our things and headed for the exit. It was a lovely afternoon that we all really enjoyed, and I thought it was a real treat to actually go on a boat down the River Thames instead of just watching the waves from the shore.

Palestine Expo 2017

Palestine has been a controversial issue for many years but it’s one that I’ve felt quite strongly about for some time, so when I heard about a Palestine Expo coming to London I made sure I was able to go. The Expo was in London and was the biggest social, cultural and entertainment event on Palestine in Europe.

There were lots of people from all backgrounds attending which I thought was great. At the venue there was a knowledge area, food quarter and a gallery. I thought the day was very worthwhile; I attended some talks with inspiration speakers and learnt about issues that Palestinians face today, about their culture and tried some of their food.

As tensions continue in the Middle East I think events like these are important to share information and broaden views and I would definitely attend an event like this again. I hope that Palestinians facing hard times know that they aren’t alone and that they have support from around the world to help and resolve the situation they are in.
You can see my sisters’ posts here and here

London Photowalk with Trey Ratcliff

I’ve been a fan of Trey Ratcliff‘s work for a few years now, and for those of you not familiar with him, Trey is one of one the leading photographers in HDR photography and has a portfolio on his Stuck in Customs blog which contains some amazing images from around the world. His photographs are definitely an inspiration to me and I’m sure to many people out there.

When I heard that Trey was back in London and planning a photowalk (on Valentines Day) I was really excited and couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day. So, yesterday me and about a hundred other photographers converged outside the National Gallery to meet him and follow him around London, hoping to pick up tips from Trey and each other.

It was a typical British, February day, with grey clouds and low temperatures, with the ever present threat of rain, but everyone was in a great mood so it didn’t dampen any spirits.

The route was planned to take us from South Bank to Westminster and Parliament, around Whitehall then back across the Thames to the London Eye.
The theme and competition for the photowalk was to take an interesting picture of fellow photographers!

As we snaked around London (attracting quite a lot of attention and causing many people to stop and ask what was going on), Trey stopped at various points to show and explain his set ups, frames and what he was looking to convey with each image. One of the nicest things about the walk was just how friendly and warm Trey was, welcoming anyone to come and talk to him and ask him any questions.

Below are some of the photos I managed to take throughout the walk and although I doubt I’ll be winning any prizes, it was really great to meet Trey and I had a really fun experience. I can only hope to improve over time and capture great images like Trey one day.

Here are some fellow photographers

And these are some of my favourite photos from the walk, from late afternoon to early evening, giving us a change in how much natural light was available, and with the cloudy weather we had some amazing skies as a backdrop as the night drew in.

I look forward to seeing Trey’s post of the walk and of the fellow photographers, aka ‘Team Awesome’ (Trey’s name for the group not mine)

Big Ben

Big Ben

Big Ben is one of the landmarks of London that I haven’t really been able to see close up. I’ve seen it many times from across the River Thames or far off in the distance and I thought it was about time that I got up close to have a proper look.

The tower which holds the clock face is really beautiful, with gold and black engravings, and lots of intricate details carved into the sides. There’s Latin engravings, crowns and shields, all created with steady hands to create a stunning building which is part of the London’s historical landscape. It’s definitely a building that I can imagine visiting again and again.