Lessons in the "London" Category

Royal Baby – It’s a Boy!

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a baby boy. The new Prince of Cambridge was born at St Mary’s hospital at 4.24pm. He weighed 8lb 6oz. The birth was announced to the public at 8.29pm, four hours after the actual birth to the press by email and Twitter.

Celebrations then rang out across the world. Town criers and TV news bulletins announced the news of the royal birth. The BT Tower in London said ‘It’s a boy!’ The House of Windsor now has three waiting heirs to the throne, a feat not seen since 1897 when Edward VIII was born.

Category: Britain / Royal Baby / Prince Cambridge

Margaret Thatcher dies

Recently Britain lost one of its most famous Prime Ministers. Baroness Thatcher, who was Britain’s first female Prime Minister died “peacefully” at the age of 87 following a stroke. Baroness Thatcher will have a full ceremonial funeral with military honours at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Current Prime Minister David Cameron praised Baroness Thatcher saying she was “the greatest peacetime Prime Minister. She was a great leader, a great Briton”. He added, “She didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country.”

Category: Politics / Great Leaders / Margaret Thatcher

David Bowie at the V & A

Today let’s talk about a new exhibition that you can see at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It features the work of the legendary pop star David Bowie.

The David Bowie exhibition at the V & A features many things about the singer; including original costumes, fashion, handwritten lyrics, music, photography, music videos alongside some of 66-year-old Bowie’s own instruments.

Category: Music / David Bowie / V & A

Queen’s English is no longer spoken by The Queen: Mirren

The Queen’s English has always been deemed the correct way to speak English. It is what many students are taught at school. However, according to the actress Dame Helen Mirren, it appears The Queen is slipping in the way she speaks. Dame Helen got an Oscar for her portrayal of Her Majesty in the 2006 movie The Queen. She is soon to return to the West End stage where she will be once again playing The Queen. This time she will star in a new play called ‘The Audience’.

Category: Plays / The Audience / Queen’s English

Going underground on London Underground

Most people who visit London tend to try out the London Underground. Going on the tube is an experience in its own right. It is part of the exciting London experience when seeing the sights. Oyster cards are a popular way to get around.

London Underground first opened on January 10th 1863 with the opening of the Metropolitan line between Paddington and Farringdon. Originally, there were many companies who each built separate lines. It was only in 1902 that a Charles Yerkes bought most of the lines, putting them under one company. Over the years the network grew into what it is today.

Londoners and tourists alike all use the famous Underground map to get about the city. Created in 1931, Harry Beck’s Tube map is a classic map design of non geographical layout and colour coded lines. Many other transport lines around the world copied the idea. Compared to the real map it simplified how to get around the capital quickly.

Category: London / The Underground / Underground Stations

Cable car to span River Thames in London

London is to get a spectacular cable car system across the River Thames, which will ferry spectators between two of the London 2012 Olympic venues, the cities transport authority Transport for London (TfL) said recently. Gondolas will glide 300ft (91.44 meters) above the water suspended from cables anchored to giant towers, giving commuters and tourists stunning views of the city.

The scheme will connect the Greenwich Peninsula, home of the O2 Arena, to the Royal Victoria Dock on the north bank, where the ExCeL exhibition centre is. During the Olympics, the O2 Arena will host artistic gymnastics, trampoline and the basketball finals, while the ExCeL will host boxing, fencing, judo, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.

Up to 2,500 people per hour will be able to make the 1.1km (two thirds of a mile), five-minute journey across the Thames in one of 34 gondola cabins that each will hold a maximum of 10 passengers. That is the equivalent of about 40 London buses.

Category: London / Cable Car / Olympics

The campaign to clean up dog poo

Today’s theme is about dog poo. I mean, there is nothing worse than stepping on some freshly deposited dog poo, is there? Call it what you like; dog fouling, shit, poop, waste or dog crap, it is very annoying when you put your foot in it. Oh, shite…!

Why don’t the owners pick it up and put it in a dog bin? Yes, some people do. They scrape it up using a plastic glove and plastic bag then pop it into a doggie bin. Others walk their dogs, let their dogs crap on the grass then casually walk away as if nothing has happened, leaving the dog faeces to harden.

When challenged the owners simply deny it was their dog that did it. Later some small child might run on the grass. They could pick up a disease from it. This makes some people’s blood boil, to the point where they decide to take action against the dog owners. Some might leave a note on a spike in the dog poo.

Others like Louise Willows recently got so fed up with dog mess in Crouch End, London that she decided to do something about it. She removed the dog mess then left a drawing of a cup cake in a yellow cup in chalk. She also wrote ‘Dog owners please clear up your mess children walk here’. Ironically, she is facing charges for doing this and she had to wash the chalk off!

Category: Environment / Dogs / Dog Poo

British Royal Wedding 2011

The wedding of the decade is rapidly approaching. The British Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton edges closer day by day. The nation and the world wait with baited breath as to what the bride will wear as she walks down the aisle of Westminster Abbey in London.

The capital is expected to be packed with day trippers eager to see the royal couple tie the knot on Friday April 29th 2011. The Prime Minister David Cameron has given the nation a day off so we can all watch the ceremony on the box. Great!

Many who can’t get to London will be watching the ceremony at home with their families in their living rooms. Others will watch the ceremony on their computers. Many will be joining their friends down the pub to watch it.

The most exciting place to see it will be in London itself as one of the thousands of spectators in the Mall. Everyone will want to get a glimpse of the royal couple as they troop past in the royal carriage on their way to Buckingham Palace after the ceremony. What a day it will be. Let’s hope we don’t get any April showers!

Category: Royal Wedding / Prince William / Kate Middleton

Cockney English

Today we will be looking at some Cockney English. What’s that I hear you ask? Well, it’s a form of spoken English that many traditional working class people spoke in the East End of London in places such as Bow, Stepney, Hackney, and Shoreditch Poplar.

So what is a Cockney? Well, a true Cockney is a person who was born within the sound of Bow Bells (St. Maryle- Bow church in Cheapside, in the city of London). However, the term is now loosely applied to those born outside this area, as long as they have a “Cockney” accent or a Cockney heritage.

These days the Cockney accent is heard less in Central London but is widely heard in outer London boroughs, the London suburbs and all across South East England including towns like Romford.

Category: London / Languages / Cockney

Prince William to marry Kate Middleton

Prince William is to marry Kate Middleton. The couple announced their engagement on Tuesday 16th November. The prince said, “The timing is right now. We are both very, very happy and I am glad that I have done it.” He has given Kate his mother’s ring. He said, “It's very special to me.” He added “Kate's very special to me now, it was right to put the two together.”

Prince William said giving Kate his mother Diana's dazzling blue 18 carat sapphire and diamond engagement ring was “my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today and the excitement”. Kate said that joining the Royal Family was a 'daunting prospect' but added, “Hopefully I'll take it in my stride and William's a great teacher so hopefully he'll be able to help me along the way”.

The couple, both 28, got engaged in October whilst on holiday in Kenya. The couple met while they were students at St Andrews University in Fife, Scotland. Miss Middleton added: “We have been going out a long time. We had spoken about our future and it just seemed the natural step for both of us.”

Category: Britain / Royal Family / Royal Engagement