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



  1. Wow, don't know where to begin! Sheryl Crowe was support act last week for Phil Collins in the Netherlands. They were both fabulous! Didn't you go to Camden market? I love that. And does it take that long from Penzance to London by train?

    1. Wasn't Sheryl great? She's a cool lady too. I don't really think I'm cut out for shopping in London - it's the sheer volume of people around that gets me. I think I'll stick to Truro! The train journey is between 5 and 6 hours, but was 7 overnight, so not too bad.

  2. What a lovely post! From your yellow suit (again - I love it so much!!) to your fabulous concert! I feel like I was with you! How exciting to see where Johnnie "works his magic" at the BBC!

    L and I recently watched a concert of ELO at Wembley, and it gave me a big appreciation for the massive size of that arena!

    Sorry to hear your shopping wasn't fruitful - it's always frustrating to us shopping "pros" when we don't have amazing scores all the time, but I'd have been hiding from the tourists too!

    1. I seem to be clocking up these once in a lifetime events recently! This was right up there as far as memorable days goes. Wembley is massive, holding 70,000 for concerts and 90,000 for football matches. It took about an hour to filter out at the end and that was after us holding back to let the majority leave.
      The good news re the shopping is that I have an appointment on the mainland at the end of the month so will get another burst of retail therapy then x

  3. Your amazing yellow suit was the perfect choice for your BBC visit and the EAGLES concert. WOW!! It's easy to see that this trip to London was a wonderful adventure for you and Steve. I'm so happy that you so thoroughly enjoyed your holiday!
    There are shopping venues that I have no interest in for some of the same reasons you found London just too overwhelming. I need time to find the shops that appeal to my tastes and unique curiosity and bigger volume tends to simply baffle and confuse me. I think of myself as a black-belt shopper but I do have my stimulation limitations (?) :-):-)

  4. Cheers Jude. We had such fun on this trip and yes, I felt the yellow trouser suit was spot on for the day. I love your term, black-belt shopper, but don't really class myself as that - I don't really get enough experience. Certainly I found London overwhelming and even though there are suburbs and markets, I think the vastness is my problem. Home for me is only one mile by two and therefore any big city is going to feel massive to me. I'll stick to Truro I think!

  5. You look super in the yellow suit! I cannot stand Oxford Street- don't blame you for baulking at it! There's a fairly good charity shop on Whitecross street which is straight on from the Barbican on Silkstreet - it is very cluttered and very ramshackle but I've seen the odd gem in there!

    1. Thanks Kezzie. The great thing about London is it's massive and therefore has to, by rights, but teaming with great finds - it's just a matter of tapping into resources like you to find them. Another friend has offered up some suggestions too, so I'll let you how things go next time x


Created by bo design