Finally, we can all say "Thank god it is over"....I am, of course, referring to seeing the end of 2016. In a year that saw Brexit, the rise of Donald Trump as President-elect of the United States of America, numerous terrorist attacks around the world, terrible natural disasters in Italy, Chile among other places, and the deaths of many famous people, I am sure we would all like to put this year behind us and move forward.
For me personally, 2016 has been good because I got engaged to a wonderful woman, and 2017 is going to be an even exciting time as we both prepare to get married in January during Chinese New Year. I have been overwhelmed by a feeling of thankfulness. This year has been perhaps the best year of my life so far. I am grateful for the support and love of my friends and family and above else, I am grateful for an amazing job and a career that many others dream of having- I LOVE my job as a writer. I am grateful for my fiancée, Vicky, for the incredible positive influence she has had on my life and the constant motivation she provides to me.
This was my first time to visit the New Year eve's fireworks in London. Usually, every year we stay at home and watch the event on TV. However, given that I was provided two media tickets to cover the event, both Vicky and I enjoyed what must be the best New Year festivities ever. It was also nice to bump into the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who took time out of his busy schedule to come and briefly chat to the media. What a year it has been for him and if there is one piece of great positive news in 2016, then it has to be Sadiq Khan being elected by the people of this great city as their mayor.
One piece of advice for anyone who wants to visit the fireworks display next year - try to stay on the Embankment side of the river as that is the place to capture the best views (and avoid the thick smog from the fireworks afterwards!). Here's cheers to a healthy, prosperous, safe and joyful 2017 for all of us.
The last 10 minutes of any flight into London's Heathrow Airport are the best moments to capture photos...unless you're lucky enough to be a Captain and sit on the left-hand side, then ALWAYS try to get a right-hand side window seat...that way no matter whichever way you are landing from, you get to see Central London (provided its not cloudy!)
London's views are captivating, no matter if it rains or is sunny. I'll take rain over toxic filth any day.
My latest feature article for the Shanghai Daily is a travel report on how to spend 72 hours in London.
The lovely cafe on the 6th floor of the Tate Modern which overlooks St Paul's Cathedral provides diners these views. All the tourists, and locals alike, adore it...it is claimed to provide the best view for tea in London (though fond drinkers of Tetley or PG Tips tea may disagree because the Tate only serves fancy light flavoured tea...). The truffles, and cakes are ridiculously scrumptious though. Go and experience it as soon as you can!
Just when I started to appreciate the beauty of London...
With the nearest beach to the capital being Camber Sands near Rye, East Sussex (or even Brighton...depends how many miles you are willing to drive), Londoners can be rest assured that during a low tide the banks of the River Thames double as mini-beaches for the summer enjoyment of the locals and tourists alike (though may not be clean!).
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