Sunday, July 28, 2013

Go Bears!

A few weeks ago Keenan and I attended a University of California-wide alumni event at the Hyde Park Tennis Club, thanks to a very generous alumni who is a member.  I haven't been to a UC-sponsored event for a few years now (I know we are bad alumni) mostly because the group has been dormant until recently with a revival of some fun events including Ansel Adam Exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, Berkeley at the Berkeley Hotel, and March Madness at the Marylebone. Of course none of which we could attend due crazy work deadlines. 

UC Berkeley Alums © Fiona Hanson
It was a gorgeous summery day for a picnic at London's most iconic park. Did I mention that summer finally arrived, and it stayed for three weeks and counting? Yes, for the record, we've been enjoying record-high temperatures of 28C/86F for all of July. The event was very well-organized and they even reserved a lawn area for us to play grass bowling and petanque, a boules game which is a favourite passtime in the south of France. 

Iconic Hyde Park © Fiona Hanson
I was pleasantly surprised by the turn out. Apparently there are several thousands of us residing in the U.K. -- who knew? Well it's not surprising considering that there are 30,000+ students enrolled at any given time across the 10 UC campuses and estimated 1.6 million living alumni.  We ran into a few alumni that we haven't seen in four years and recently became new parents. Time is flying by so quickly. It's hard to believe we're approaching our fifth year in London, and now on our official countdown (two months to go!) until our permanent residency.

UC Davis Alum - © Fiona Hanson
So my 'half-decade' resolution is to be a more active alumni. So see you at another event soon. Go Bears!
Listening to speeches and donations from UC alums © Fiona Hanson

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Warsaw through the Season

One of my work projects that taken me to Warsaw on at least four occasions this year hence the title of this post. I've seen Warsaw, the capital city of Poland, under a heavy blanket of snow, under a massive rainstrom, and most recently under the glorious sunshine. 

These were no more than an overnight business trip with back-to-back meetings, followed by a late night flight back to London. On my most recent trip, I made it point to take the afternoon off on a beautiful sunny day for an alfresco lunch and stroll through the delightful Old Town. Approximately, 90% of the Old Town was destroyed during World War II and subsequently rebuilt, therefore, it's not at quaint as the Old Town of Wroclaw and Krakow, which is my favourite Polish city for the history and architecture alone. I am grateful for my colleague for wonderful architectural tour of Old Town, the Castle, and the new national stadium.

Some photos around the Old Town, Warsaw: 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Rolling Stones – 50 years and Counting

A group of friends and co-workers got coveted tickets to see the Rolling Stones live at Hyde Park yesterday. Taking advantage of the lovely summer weather, the group met up in Hyde Park for pre-party picnic outside the gate.

Some 44 years since they last played at Hyde Park, it was unforgettable evening and probably one of the most memorable concerts I’ve attended. On a warm balmy London evening, the legendary Rolling Stones delighted the crowd of 65,000 fans. They played all their classics starting with “Start Me Up” to ignite the crowd, and was joined by former band member Mick Taylor. Just shy of his 70th birthday, lead frontman Mick Jagger still got the moves, donning his infamous 'white dress' amongst other costume changes. 

Long live the Rolling Stones!

1.       Start Me Up 
2.       It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It) 
3.       Tumbling Dice 
4.       Emotional Rescue 
5.       Street Fighting Man 
6.       Ruby Tuesday 
7.       Doom and Gloom 
8.       Paint It Black 
9.       Honky Tonk Women 
10.   You Got the Silver 
11.   Happy 
12.   Miss You 
13.   Midnight Rambler 
14.   Gimme Shelter 
15.   Jumpin' Jack Flash 
16.   Sympathy for the Devil 
17.   Brown Sugar 
18.   You Can't Always Get What You Want 

19.   (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction