Thursday, July 21, 2016

London 2016 Day 7 - The Queens Birthday Party and Belmont Hall Harrow

This day started with rain. When it eased we went to Russell Square Station by tube, only to find that it had started to rain again - too heavy to enjoy a walk outside. So we went to Victoria Station to wait for it to end, but the only walk we were able to take without getting wet was inside the train station. We finally gave up and returned to the flat. On the internet we saw photos of the picnic on the Mall in honour of the Queen's 90th birthday, but it didn't look very cosy with all the people in their raincoats and rain dripping into the food and drinks. We didn't envy them.

In the afternoon it really seemed to get better and even the sun came out a bit, so we tried again. We travelled to Green Park Station with the intention to take a walk from there, but then discovered that in Green Park there was another picnic going on. In the station we met this young couple who obviously had no tube map and got lost, so we helped them.

We wondered where people had these paper crowns from and asked someone. A group of young people overheard the conversation and kindly offered us two spare ones they had. After our return we gave them to our neighbours' 5 and 7 year old daughters and made them very happy ;)

It would have been too good to be true if the rain had finally stopped entirely, but like many other people we had to take shelter in Green Park Station.

When it eased we resumed our walk and left the park, but it soon started again, so we had stand under a roof just outside. There we met this man who when he heard we were from Germany told us that he had worked there as a construction worker in the early 90s when there had been a recession in the UK and no work for him (just a few days before we had met another man on the tube who had told us a very similar story). So inevitably we talked about the referendum and having experienced some benefits of the EU for himself he preferred to stay in.

When the rain stopped we resumed our walk in the direction of Hyde Park and Marble Arch Station.

We took the tube to Harrow-on-the-Hill and walked to Belmont Hall where we attended their Gospel meeting. This time we were also invited to the Wayfinders group which took place afterwards (actually a youth group, but many of those who attended were adults). They worked with this book which I found very useful and ordered it after our return to Germany (nice and easy via the German Amazon website - they even had it in stock). Since then I work through it.

It was around 9 p.m. when we returned to the tube station. On our way we saw these beautiful clouds.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

London 2016 Day 6 – Walthamstow Village and Hillman’s Tearoom

As LCM Summer School was over, on this day we didn't have to leave our flat at 8 a.m. So we took some time relaxing before setting off to our next appointment. We were able to walk there as it was also in Walthamstow where we stayed. On our way we walked through the beautiful Walthamstow Village which had been the centre of Walthamstow before the place became part of the ever growing Greater London. Hermann and I agreed that it would be an ideal place to live for both of us - he would have his village atmosphere and I would have my London including a tube station not far away ;)

That was before "it" happened...:

We had a little chat with this lady in her beautiful garden. She told us she had been living there for 50 years. That's what you expect in a village - unlike in London where moving house seems to be one of people's hobbies.

Our destination was Hillman's Tearoom where we met with our friend Laura Porter who had suggested it (she knows the best secret places in London!). She had looked out for us before we got there which was good, because without her we would hardly have found the place, as it was well-hidden in a kind of very narrow street with some small shops - literally a hidden gem! Inside it was also very small, the room where we sat was more the size of a small living-room with just a few tables close together. It was all in the style of the 1930s/40s, including an old tv set showing parts of films and news of that era. It is also one of just a few places in London where you can only pay cash (no plastic cards - very un-Londonlike!).The tea was excellent and so was the scone I had. We spent about three hours there without even realising where time went. It was very cosy and we enjoyed it so much :)

Afterwards the three of us returned via Walthamstow Village and passed St. Mary's Church and the old cemetery.

We had almost reached Walthamstow Central Station where we had to say good-bye to Laura when a heavy rain started and within minutes we got soaked. So our good-bye was quicker than we had expected and Hermann and I rushed back to the flat. We were wet through and for our shoes it took two days to get dry. Of course as you never know what the weather will be like in London we both had a spare pair of shoes. That is, I had two spare pairs, because I'm a woman ;) In the afternoon we took a little tour near Oxford Street.

Also thanks to Laura I was able to surprise Hermann by showing him his own statue at Bourdon Place :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

London 2016 Day 5 – LCM Summer School including Brixton

The last day of summer school started with Efrem Buckle of the LCM Training Team talk to us about 1 Corinthians 12.

After the first break we learned about victim mentality from Duncan Forbes (via video) and Robert Prendergast. People with such a mentality blame others for all the negative things in their lives, whether this is true or not, and it is an excuse for them not to try to improve their lives.

During lunch break we enjoyed a spontaneous rap performance by Efrem and Robert :)

Afterwards we travelled to Brixton by tube to take a tour in the area with Efrem and Jason Marriner, pastor at Brixton Local Church. Our first stop was a market with many intensive smells, not all of them pleasant (fish!!!).

We stopped at a fence where people had put up ribbons and flowers to commemorate a young man who got killed trying to help someone else.

Some of the articles in the Emmaus shop we visited were very tempting and I’m sure if we hadn’t been limited to one piece of luggage on the plane back to Germany I would have bought this pair of blue armchairs with pink and green flower print on them for just 35 GBP each they had on offer there :)

Next we talked to one of the local Lambeth Street Pastors in front of his office.

Our last destination was Brixton’s Street Gym, a youth project.

So this was the end of summer school – for this year at least…

Please also read about this day on the LCM Blog!