When I had planned my trip to London, I was so excited to take a million pictures and share with my friends and family what my London looks like. I say “My London” because every one experiences this city in different ways.

So when I got out into the city, camera in hand, I just couldn’t will myself to take any pictures. Because no matter how many I took, nobody would see what I see. Because at the end of the day, it’s all a matter of perception.

I did get a few snaps in here and there, but they could never do any justice to what London really feels like to me.

So I’ll just kind of show you a glimpse of what I’ve been getting up to here in London Town.

Mostly, I’ve been revisiting all of my favorite spots from when I was here last summer. Westfield Mall, Spitalfields Market, and a lot of Providence Row (the homeless charity I worked for).

But yesterday, however, was the first day since I’ve been here that I was actually out for the whole day. And what did I do? Go to the races.

Yes, the famous Epsom Derby. Quite a remarkable experience. It started with quite a long train ride out to Epsom Downs. And when we first got there, the weather didn’t seem too hopeful..

red devilsunion jackepsom panoramaBut we got lucky and the clouds broke. It was quite sunny for the rest of the day. You can ask my sunburn.

Because we aren’t the Queen (whom was there, mind you) we got spots in Tattenham Corner, close to the track, but so low, you can’t see what’s going on until the horses run right past you. So we had this lovely screen to keep us updated

epsom screenTrust me, it’s much more clear in person..If nobody has ever been to the races, it consists of mostly waiting around and picnicking. The races themselves only last about 2 minutes, and there’s no more than 10 races. But they’ve spread them out over the course of the day to give people time to place bets.

scopingplacing betsgloomy dayWhich it seemed like everyone did. I believe I was one of the few that didn’t (I have to survive in London for the next few weeks, after all).

After bets were placed, people anxiously awaited the start of the race.

shadespursed smilewatchingSome of these pictures were taken by my friend Phil..

When it finally started, people screamed out the name of their horse, hoping that somehow it would make it go faster and speed ahead of the group. Some were fortunate, others not so much. they're comingrunzoominvestecAnd as soon as the race had ended and people had collected their winnings, the process started all over again

chin upIt’s definitely something to try at least  once in your life. If you can’t pull yourself all the way out to London, there’s always the derby in Kentucky!

Oh, and apparently it’s pronounced “Daahby” and not “Derrrby”

Mary Jane xx
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