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Thursday 19th October
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Hello from the UK

Email from a college student about living in London

The Green, TwickenhamLiving in London can be a lot of fun, there are always things going on. There are museums, art galleries and exhibitions, concerts and events. You can go to the theatre or the cinema - there are plenty of fringe arts as well.

There are some really nice parks and open spaces. Hampstead Heath is always full of people on sunny days, it has some pretty steep hills too and the view from the top is amazing.

One of the good things about London is that is made up of lots of different areas - over thirty different Boroughs, each run by its own local government. Some areas are trendy, some are rich, some are poor but they all have their own character and a new set of people and places to discover.

There are some down sides to living in London too. It is a very expensive city. Rent is generally extortionate and it costs an awful lot to buy a house as well. Like any big city it can sometimes feel very crowded and polluted and sometimes (like Monday morning when I'm squeezing onto the tube or bus) I want move out but whenever I've been away it's always nice to be back.

Email from a student about things to see and do in London

the Millennium Wheel There are lots of things to do in London. Taking a tour on an open top double-decker bus is a good place to start. You can see all the major tourist sights and decide when to hop on and off the bus. You could go and visit the Tower of London and see the Crown Jewels and the ravens or see the Houses of Parliament. Buckingham Palace is very impressive and there is a special audio tour for children.

There are also many historical buildings and places of interest to visit, just outside central London. Hampton Court Palace with its famous maze is a popular attraction, Kew Gardens is a World Heritage site and Richmond Park is an enormous park that has herds of deer.

If you like animals then London Zoo is a must. The Zoo is set in Regents' Park, which is a great place for a walk or a picnic. If you like fish then the London Aquarium is another good place to go. You can see octopus, jelly fish and sharks and you can stroke the stingrays! Next door to the Aquarium is the London Eye, a huge ferris wheel that moves very slowly, taking you up so high that you can see all of London.

There are plenty of shows to go and see at the theatre, The Lion King is a favourite, as is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. There are also special children's theatres. Like the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon that produces plays and productions especially for children.

There are lots of museums too. The Science Museum is excellent - there are a number of exhibitions about all areas of technology, such as aeroplanes, space travel and medicine. There are interactive galleries that are good fun and fantastic learning experiences, such as Launch Pad. The Natural History Museum has the Life Galleries where you can learn about a variety of living creatures and the Earth Galleries, where you can learn about our planet. It is a good place to go if you are interested in dinosaurs and there are some pretty scary model dinosaurs as well.

An email from a student about sport

To tell you about sport in England, I must start with football (soccer to our friends in the USA). Football is somewhat a national obsession. From lunchtime onwards in London on a Saturday afternoon there is usually a gradual build up of fans from the Underground train stations to the streets in anticipation of the 15.00 kick off.

The Premiership is home to some of the crème de la crème of world football. Names like Crespo, Henry, Viera, Desailly, Van Nistelrooy are a selection that would please many a football fan.

Newcastle StadiumFootball fills the back pages and supplements of British newspapers. Last week the National Team's draw with Turkey that qualifies England for the European Championship attracted a great deal of attention due to a dispute between the teams at the half time interval. Transfer speculation, managerial change and match reports dominate our sporting media.

The home of Rugby Football Union is in Twickenham, where I went to school. Many consider the current England Rugby Team the best England team of all time, and they are seen as one of the joint favourites for the World Cup in Australia. Following yesterday's 25 - 6 win over South Africa, rugby could be our most successful sport this year.

Good prediction Mandeep - England won the World Cup 22 November 2003.

Cricket has many County teams with up to 200 professional players. It has been suggested that numbers should be cut, so that the best will play each other more frequently, raising standards.

Recreational sport in England is mainly football. Sunday morning playing fields such as those on Clapham common are full of amateur teams of all ages getting in on the action themselves. New gyms are frequently opening and trends in activities vary like fashion. During the summer, tennis at Wimbledon results in a number of young and old alike picking up tennis rackets and emulating the stars they see on TV.

My sport interest is Wu Shu Kwan Chinese kickboxing. It has classes all over the globe, it is something different but well recommended by me. From Mandeep (see Mandeep in Ghana)

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