As a gift from my good friend Tosha, I had tickets for the Wimbledon tour. As regulars of the blog will know, I am a big tennis fan. I’ve quoted numerous legends like Arthur Ashe and Chris Evert to current stars like Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro and been to the 02 to see the ATP World Tour Finals numerous times. I’ve read Andre Agassi’s autobiography Open, Fred Perry’s biography The Last Champion, Levels of the Game by sports writer John McPhee and Break Point by tennis journalist Kevin Mitchell.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is an American franchise that deals in bizarre events and strange and unusual facts. It was founded by Robert Ripley in 1918 with a sports cartoon in the New York Globe. It soon sounded expanded to include items from other areas and then onto different formats like radio, television and books. Continuing that expansion have been the exhibitions first in the US, before countries like Mexico, Canada, India and Australia. And of course the UK. It was about time I saw the one in Piccadilly Circus, London.
As an odd number year, there hasn’t been a World Cup or European Championship this summer. While there has been a Confederations Cup and various youth competitions, there’s still been plenty of appetite for more football. And so the first Star Sixes competition was created. Hosted at the 02, it featured 12 countries, including half who come from a nation that have won the World Cup – Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. In China, Denmark, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal and Scotland there was mostly solid representation too. The even ran for four days, with three groups of four teams. The top two from each group and then the two best third placed teams went through to the quarter-finals. Each team had 11 players in their squad, with only 6 allowed on the field at the same time.
Pink Floyd really are something. Formed in London in 1965 by students Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, the group have gone on to be one of the most famous bands ever. They’ve sold 250 million records worldwide, had 17 UK Top 10 albums (6 at Number 1) and with 5 US Number One albums, are one of the few British bands to truly break the US over a sustained period. But the group has always been about more than chart success, as this exhibition by the V@A Museum in South Kensington demonstrates.
Stonehenge is one of those places I’ve meant to go to for ages. Living in London it seems like I have no excuse, especially as friends of the family who live outside of the country have been before me. I finally decided it was time to go. I went with a friend (hi Tosha) who was also keen to visit the prehistoric site.
Star Wars is a phenomenon that shows no sign of abating. Ever since its introduction with A New Hope in 1977 it has blown audiences away with its fantasy charm, good v evil battles, memorable heroes, sinister villains and, in the lightsabre, the best weapon ever. Even its recent spin-off was a huge smash. So when I saw there was an exhibition entitled Star Wars Identities at the 02 featuring over 200 props, models, costumes and artwork, I just had to go. Tosha Michelle who was in town, came along for the ride.
As my posts on Marvel, such as a dedicated film quiz, and quotes from Iron Man, Thor: A Dark World and Ant-Man show, I am a fan of the Marvel superhero universe. So when I saw tickets for the Marvel Universe Live at the 02 I just had to go. As my birthday and my sister’s were around that weekend it turned out like a double birthday present.
As mentioned in a recent post which concentrated on the celebratory outfits, I went to the London Super Comic Convention, the first time I’d been to anything like it. As someone who has seen every possible Sheldon t-shirt reference and likes to see himself as London’s Gambit, I couldn’t hold off any longer. I had to go and head down to the Excel Arena and see what it was like.
Winter Wonderland is hosted every year, and is always a fun way to spend a few hours. There are various fun things to do while you’re there. You can skate on the ice rink, have a drink in Arctic conditions in Bar Ice, go on the 60 metre giant wheel or one of the smaller rides or grab a bite at one of the food stalls. My favourite part though is seeing the ice statues, like I have in the past.
Guinness is one of Ireland’s most famous and long-standing exports, brewed in almost 60 countries and available in over 120 countries. No surprise then, that the Guinness Storehouse, filled with history of how “dark stuff”, is Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction. There was no way I was going to Dublin without seeing it.