Our weekend in London

Here I am  just off Oxford Street outside the London Palladium which seemed like the perfect spot to showcase my new JD Williams trouser suit last weekend. We'd taken the boat on Friday evening to Penzance where we then boarded the overnight sleeper train to London arriving at the crack of dawn into Paddington station. We hopped on the tube to the Barbican where we were staying for the weekend. After a shower and change of clothes we headed out for breakfast just across the road to hatch our plan for the day. 

Steve spent the day on Saturday walking along the banks of the Thames, his favourite way of getting to know London. I, mad fool that I am, thought I would hit the sales on Oxford Street. Oh my goodness, what was I thinking? Hot, hellish and overrun with tourists, the streets were heaving and I wasn't man enough for the task in hand. I found a couple of things in Topshop and Zara, made a quick foray into TK Maxx and then retreated back to the flat. When I say, I love to shop, what I mean is that I love to shop successfully. London, well central London, is just too much for me. I made another stab at finding some summer dresses again on Sunday morning and then admitted defeat. Steve and I went to Leicester Square on Saturday night to watch a movie, picking Rocketman which was on my bucket list - that plus Bohemian Rhapsody were the two movies I wanted to see in a cinema setting this year. Elton's story was pretty heartbreaking for the most part, but I loved the costumes and performances.

The main reason for our trip to The Big Smoke was for us to visit Johnnie Walker and his wife Tiggy, who is also his Manager, and to see Johnnie recording his show The Sounds of the 70's on Sunday afternoon. This is us outside the BBC buildings, (shame I'm standing right in front of the name) en route to Wogan House, the home of Radio 2.

I'm harbouring a mix of nerves and excitement as we loiter outside gathering up the courage to enter into the hallowed Radio 2 building.

Tiggy pointing me in the direction of the Green Room which wasn't green at all. Johnnie and Steve fixing up cups of tea, and Johnnie's guest of the day, Lesley-Ann Jones with her publicist getting ready to go on air.

And this is where it all happens. Every Sunday afternoon Johnnie is king of all that he surveys in this recording studio where he talks to the nation sharing stories of his time in the music business. He has interviewed all the music greats and has some amazing tales to tell. As he sits behind the microphone, Johnnie is completely at home in this environment, gauging perfectly each question to elucidate the most revealing answer. His interviewing style is relaxed, warm and friendly, never hard hitting or too probing, encouraging his guest to share some intimate insights behind the big music story of the day.

Lesley-Ann Jones has recently published the memoir, Tumbling Dice, of her days when she accompanied the likes of Freddie Mercury and David Bowie on tour as their pet journalist and biographer, her time on Fleet Street exposing the tales of fake news before it ever became a thing, as well as being locked up all in the name of the job - it all makes for riveting and hilarious reading. She has seen and done almost everything within the world of reporting and music journalism and doesn't hold back on telling it how it is. I love her frank and honest approach. If you listen to her interview you'll see that she shoots from the hip. 

Tiggy gasping at the revelations regarding Fleet Street journalism. You'll have to listen to find out what.

Listen to the full interview with Lesley Ann Jones here.

Once the show was finished, we joined Johnnie for a quick photo shoot and then retired to the Green Room for a bite to eat. I was so excited at the prospect of our next stage of the adventure - we were all going to Wembley to see The Eagles in concert! 

We spilled out of the underground and joined the masses on their way to the huge stadium.

I was behaving like Johnnie and Tiggy's personal paparazzi. As usual, I was giddy with excitement, unable to contain my joy. Not only were we on our way to the opening night concert of the biggest rock band in America, but we were guests of the ever-so-famous Johnnie Walker too! 

Of course I had to get a selfie!

Great seats, amazing view, awesome company - I couldn't stop grinning!

Sheryl Crow as support was fabulous. I don't think there was a woman in the arena who wasn't impressed at the physique of this 50 year old rock icon. Get thee to the gym I say!

OMG, The Eagles!

Every hit that we know and love was played over the course of the next two hours - One Of These Nights, Hotel California, A Heartache Tonight, Lying Eyes, Take It To The Limit, Tequila Sunrise, Johnny Come Lately, Take It Easy, Desperado, and closing the show with Best Of My Love which was their first number one in 1974. Don Henley told us it had been a dinosaur week at Wembley, causing a huge roar of laughter. "Dinosaurs leave big footprints" he added. And that's what they did. The musical footprint of the evening was massive, the harmonies spine-tinglingly sweet and the guitar solos were flawless. So smooth were the performances that you had to remind yourself that this wasn't a recording, but live music.

Don Henley's voice was as smooth as honey and the line-up was equally strong with the inclusion of Deacon Frey, son of the late Glenn, keeping the family connection in place.

What can I say about my first visit to Wembley Stadium? Will anything every rival this as a big night out? I doubt it. Steve introduced me to the music of The Eagles when we got together in 1978. It's part of our courtship and now part of our lives again as OAP's - oh how I love that. And it also connects us to Johnnie and Tiggy thanks to the wonderful night we spent together building happy memories. It was bloody awesome!

We left London the next morning, breaking our journey in Truro for the night. As we got on the boat back to the islands on Tuesday I must admit I was still on a high. Steve and I are latecomers to the joys of live music, but I do hope we can get to a few more concerts now that we're into the swing of things. Rock on baby!

I can't help but mention my own claim to fame. In 2018 Johnnie featured me on his radio programme for no other reason than he liked my story of how I came to arrive on the Isles of Scilly. For those of you who may have missed it, my own interview on Sounds of the 70's with Johnnie is still available to hear in its condensed version here.

                                                                                          Anna x


The Topshop sale

Hi there, how's your week going? I was away in London last weekend and had a fabulous time, the details of which I'm going to share with you next time, but here's a little taster. No trip to the mainland would be complete without a tad of shopping, would it? I'm wearing what seems to the working woman's summer uniform. I clocked all of the chic Londoners wearing the long summer dress with white sneakers which seems to be the practical answer in hot weather. The dresses are all the rage and even though I'm no slave to fashion, I just loved this look. 

I'll be completely honest with you, I really didn't enjoy shopping in London at all. Saturday afternoon, Oxford Street, sunny - do you get the picture? It was heaving: absolutely chock-a-block with shoppers and tourists and it was a big mistake to think I would be able to shop under those conditions. I spilled out of the tube at Oxford Circus and got no further than Topshop thinking I might just take refuge there. Wrong! The sale was on and it was teaming with bargain hunters. This dress and shoes are from the Topshop in Truro where I had a much more relaxed experience. 

My new sunglasses are Topshop's own brand.

My rings are both charity shopped from a long time ago, teamed with this contemporary black and silver necklace by Melissa James.  I'm a big fan of Melissa's work as she always has a slightly funky take on classic pieces. We sell the range in the gallery and it's very popular, and not just with me!

A simple white trainer is a must-have for this cool summer look and mine are the CABO lace up from Topshop for £24. You could, of course, opt for your favourite Stan Smith's for an uber chic look, but I was more than happy with this low price version.

Are you a fan of this look? I wore mine to work yesterday, earning me quite a few compliments. The dress is cool and airy, the shoes are broad fitting and therefore all day comfortable - always a bonus for those of us who have an active job. 

I'm quite excited to share my London antics with you. Some of you may follow me on Instagram and might have caught up with My Stories last weekend, but for the rest of you I'll be posting the feature on Sunday for you to enjoy. 

In the meantime, have a super weekend!

Anna x

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