Daily Journal: 22 December 2016 (Thursday)

The days leading up to Christmas remain mild and without rain (or snow). Storm Barbara is expected to only affect the northern parts of the UK and Ireland and perhaps we can expect some rain on Saturday in London.

After some false starts leaving the flat, I managed to get on the road by 2:00 p.m. My first stop was to the local library to print, sign, and scan some documents. Then I was free to do some exploring.

My first stop was Green Park. The sun was just starting to set as I took the picture below. The park is bounded on the south by Constitution Hill, on the east by the pedestrian Queen’s Walk, and on the north by Piccadilly. It meets St. James’s Park at Queen’s Gardens.

I walked down Queen’s Walk to Trafalgar Square.

The Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square has been donated to the people of Britain by the city of Oslo, Norway each year since 1947 – as a token of gratitude for the British support during World War II. (And this year this tree was voted London’s Least Christmassy Tree.)

Nearby is St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church. There has been a church on this site since at least 1222. The present building was constructed in a Neoclassical design by James Gibbs in 1722 – 1726.

The plan this evening was to meet Paula at 4:30 and have dinner before attending the Christmas program at The Actor’s Church (St. Paul’s Church) in Covent Garden. On the way there, I saw the building where “The Lady” is published. (For those who watched Downton Abby, you might find this interesting.)

The Actor’s Church (St. Paul’s Church) in Covent Garden, completed in 1633, was the first entirely new church to be built in London since the Reformation. Again, since it was dark, I’m relying again on Google to provide a picture of the outside of the church.

Tonight, we are attending a benefit Christmas concert for Cerebra, “A Celebration of Christmas and Love with Music and Song”. The performers tonight are the Hywel Girls Choir & Hywel Boy Singers and the Angelicus Chorale – John Hywel Williams, MBE, Conductor. The music was a blend of traditional Christmas music, classical, and popular songs from the Sound of Music and My Fair Lady. Also a few sing-alongs too. We thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Amazing talent by young singers from ages 7 – 14 who memorized the words and music to the 20+ songs performed this evening. The standing ovation at the conclusion of the performance was well-earned.

We took pictures of the plaques on the walls of actors and performers associated with the church.

In attendance were Chelsea Pensioners in their red coats. We had a chance to talk to one of them during intermission. The picture below shows the Pensioners and our conductor, John Hywel Williams, MBE.

After the performance we walked to the tube station, but on the way we decided to find “Seven Dials” and take a picture.

Found a shop with an interesting chandelier. Also took pictures of street lighting and the Christmas Tree in Covent Gardens.


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