Diamond Jubilee Tour in Walthamstow

London Ambassador Module One Training Trip

Day Two 29.03.12

Forest Road, Walthamstow

Just another ordinary day in Walthamstow

Corner of Forest Road, Union Jack Flying

But a Jubilee flag already?

My intention is to rest fully today. However my friend’s partner sends me a text first thing to say that The Queen is visiting Walthamstow. This jogs my memory that I was reading in the London Standard the night before about this. It’s the North London dates of her Diamond Jubilee Tour and she is visiting the London boroughs of Redbridge, Waltham Forest and Harrow.

After some quick research on the Internet, I discover The Queen will be having lunch literally 6 minutes walk away:

‘At Redbridge’s historic Valentines Mansion in Ilford, the royal couple will see the artwork at the London Pride art and design festival before she opens the new dry garden, a colourful display designed for her Diamond Jubilee in the grounds of the building.

Later the Queen and Duke will travel to Walthamstow Assembly Hall for a silver service lunch prepared by Indian celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala assisted by cooks from top London hotels and served by students from catering courses from across the capital.’ London 24 London for Londoners

I break my complete rest rule, after all it’s not every day The Queen is having lunch so close by! I’m kind of in the mode as my Mum had wanted us to go and see The Queen: Art and Image Exhibition in The National Museum of Wales for Mother’s Day. Seeing The Queen in reality follows…

Do you think the Queen will be long?

The schools, elderly and general Walthamstow residents are out to greet The Queen & Duke of Edinburgh. You had to apply to be inside the Town Hall grounds where there is steel band music. But many line Forest Road just outside the Town Hall.

Ready To Wave...

Flags at the ready!

Spotted The Queen's Car

Here she comes!

Multicultural Union Jack

The Queen & Prince Phillip

Union Jack Flying

I catch a glimpse of The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in the car. It’s quite a different atmosphere here to Wales when the Queen visits. There seems to be more enthusiasm for her presence. I guess in Wales there are some mixed feelings at times.

Welcoming The Queen to Walthamstow Town Hall

'We Love The Queen!'

The Queen is off to Lunch!

The Royal Couple are off for their silver service lunch. Crowds disperse…

Local School Kids

Two girls nearby kindly agree to have their photo taken

Local Residents Keeping Warm

… as do a group of enthusiastic residents who tell me that last year they were inside the Town Hall grounds but this year they did not apply in time. They seem to be really enjoying themselves anyway!

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Walthamstow

Enough excitement for one day but then I remember I need to go in to Walthamstow town to pick up some wheat free bread. It is unclear whether there will be food I am able to eat at the London Ambassadors Training Module One tomorrow. Team London Ambassadors has only just contacted me about this.

Fortunately, I have been allocated a fantastic lady to deal with my requests, who has an understanding of ME and she is able to quickly sort out other points as regards MCS and learning requirements, which I am pleased about. It balances out the stress of the disability aspect being addressed late on in the process.

On the way in to Walthamstow, I smile as I see the above ‘Palace Mews’ sign. In light of the Royal day so far, I stop to take a photo and a passing taxi driver comments ‘It’s not Buckingham Palace unfortunately!’

The Waltham Forest News reports the day and  the Jubilee Tour continues…

I miss The Queen when The Jubilee Tour reaches Cardiff at Llandaff Cathedral where she has mainly a good reception. Looking gracefully stylish dressed in white. And, as a follower on Twitter @sammiejwatts mentioned yesterday The Queen took a trip on a Yellow Duckmarine in Liverpool!

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London Ambassador Module One Training Trip

Day One 28.03.12

just off the Great Western Train

To be able to manage the London Ambasador Module One Training Day on March 30th with ME / CFS, I take a few days up in London. Usually I do the journey from Cardiff and then straight across London, but this time I needed to meet my friend to pick up keys.

Travelling on the tube when you have a disability or heavy baggage can be a hard task. I recommend where possible to use the step free / minimal step stations. Here is the step free guide. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to be able to travel where you would wish this way. It seems TFL are working towards making more of their stations step free by 2013 and are keen to get people’s views on their experiences.

Also, if you are struggling getting up steps with bags you can maybe ask a Transport for London Assistant for help, if you can find one which can be hard at times. Or alternatively some one who is also going up the tube steps who looks amenable.

Fortunately this time a girl offers to help me, a nice gesture. Restoring my faith in human nature and Londoners, she says ‘I know what its like, everyone just leaves you too it. Trying to get your bags up the steps!’

fresh peppermint tea

I meet my friend at Carluccio’s in Market Place just off Oxford St, it’s on my way journey wise and I know it’s a place that caters well for wheat & gluten-free diets. They have an extensive menu of wheat & gluten-free pasta options. They are very particular about catering for allergies, which I am impressed to see.

Fortunate for my friend and I it is a glorious sunny day. We get seated in the perfect spot outside, amongst the chatter of Londoners on their lunch break.

Later, wandering back to Oxford Street tube before the rush hour, I enjoy photographing London life on the way…

Leaving the warm March sun, I head off back Underground

… picking up a free London Evening Standard on the way!

My first day back in London with the bustle of travelling, reminds me of how hectic travel is going to be during the Games times. I was made aware by another London Ambassador on Twitter recently of her friend Laura Porter’s blog post on How To Get Around London During The London 2012 Games. Essential reading!

Also Transport for London are encouraging Londoners to take a look at their Get Ahead of The Games Site for planning commuting during this period. Just saw today, on the London Ambassador facebook group, that another London Ambassador, Angela Marshall, posted a link to these photos on the London Evening Standard about ‘free running’ to work during The Games!

‘Road To 2012’

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Photo: Olympics & Paralympics on their way… 13.05.12 Juliette Llewellyn

Caught the National Portrait Gallery / BT Road To 2012 touring photographic exhibition today at Cardiff Bay.

Consisting of over 30 photographic portraits of those working behind-the-scenes of London 2012, alongside renowned athletes.

It’s worth seeing if you’re Cardiffian interested in the Olympics & Paralympics. It’s outside the Millennium Centre until 27 May.

I’ll post a few more photos from this over the next few weeks.

Olympic Flame Lit This Morning!

Olympic Flame lit screenshot from ITV 10.05.12

Screen shot 2012-05-10 at 11.30.59 from: ITV News site: Olympic flame ceremony marks countdown to London Games

The Olympic Flame was lit in the ancient city of Olympia in Greece this morning. Yay!

Catch up on the flame being lit and Union Jack raised with ITV’s videos an Lord Coe speaking at the lighting of the Flame with BBC’s video and what happens to the Olympic Torch now with The Telegraph.

Follow the Olympic Torch’s journey throughout Britain on the London 2012 site interactive map.

Also the BBC will be following the journey live between 18th May – 27th July.