City of London Lunch Break

This weekend has been a working one. I am glad to be home now and a few hours to relax before bed then work tomorrow. Today I had some free time in the City. I had my point and squirt Olympus, but it wasn’t really up to the pix I wanted to take. I’m not dissing the Olympus, it’s a great little camera, but I was looking at details quite high up on buildings.
Then I saw this:

I have no idea of its title. I walked all around the base, but didn’t see one. I like its optimistic, zingy, quality.
A group of tourists were huddled around a City policeman. They were all looking at a map.

You can tell he’s a City policeman, as opposed to the Met, by his helmet. In common with all forces in cities founded by the Romans, it has a ridge down it, an echo of the centurion’s helmet. Now who thought that idea up I wonder? I’d love to know.
This little detail that remembers an earlier business needs a better camera. It looks like something to do with the Watermen, but what is the man in the prow of the boat doing? And who was Mr Tull?

At the Monument, everyone, even the learner on the scooter, was taking photographs.

The Monument, and I promise there will be a better picture sometime, remembers the Great Fire of London in 1666. It destroyed three quarters of the City, not to be confused with the city, in a few short days. The Lord Mayor, summoned to see it from his bed before it had really got hold, reputedly said, “A woman could piss it out.” Bet he regretted those words when the area lay in smoking ruins. Ah well, we all make mistakes.

The Monument is 202 feet tall. If you were to lie it on its side, and do tell me if you plan to do this as I’d like to be there, it would reach here:

Pudding Lane is where the fire started, in a baker’s shop which obviously did not survive. Now, there’s a not very good piece of brutalistic architecture there which looks like it’s shortly to be redeveloped.

There’s some brutalistic architecture I like; the National Theatre being the main example in London, but not this office block.
Weirdly, I prefer this toilet:

It is one of the most imaginative uses I’ve seen of those cages of stones. You wouldn’t feel someone was about to barge in on you would you?
Right by the toilet was this guy. He’s a Knowledge boy. You can tell by the map on the clipboard. He’s learning to be a London taxi driver. Taxi drivers here are licensed by the Met, and to have to pass rigorous exams. If you haven’t see The Knowledge by the late great Jack Rosenthal, starring the equally great and late Nigel Hawthorne, make an appointment with YouTube now.
I love little corners like this, where you are reminded that before the railways, people used to live in the City.

The house is now offices, of course.
When I finished work it was dark. I walked down by St Paul’s. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Now I am going to cook, eat and read.
Have a great evening everyone.


12 thoughts on “City of London Lunch Break

  1. Oh what a lovely post Isobel, I’ve really enjoyed this travel, the pics are just great. I’ve visited London many, many times over the years, but you are taking me, and other readers, to all the parts we don’t usually see. I’m on my phone just now, but I’ll study the pix properly, tomorrow. (St Pauls looks good) 😉

  2. Years ago all coppers had to be 6′-0′ tall but they’ve been steadily reducing the minimum for decades. The City police wouldn’t compromise. I wonder if they still insist on six feet? The cop in the pic looks at least that.

  3. Oh I do like this batch of photos….never apologize for one more St. Pauls’ pic – it’s gorgeous! I do like that first shot of the “whatever” that you couldn’t find a title for. Interesting.


  4. Thanks for the likes and nice comments.
    I love writing posts like this, so if you enjoy them, it is great to know.
    I had forgotten about the 6′ rule Badger. Do you know what height restriction applied to women? The City police force used to have a very diverse ethnic mix. I don’t know if that is still the case. They were always proud of their separate identity and of being such a small coherent force.
    Pam, I shall post more!
    Val, here’s to when we walk London…
    NN, there is so much art on the streets that people simplyb walk by and ignore. London is an expensive city to stay in, but there is much to do for free once you are here. Unfortunately, there is a surge in theft of metal, and a wonderful sculpture by Barbara Hepworth was stolen from Dulwich Park. It has probably been sold and melted down now.

  5. There are some beautiful buildings in London but I imagine most people don’t “see” them because they’re too busy getting to wherever they are going.

    The toilet block does look very solid, but it’s the doors (or more specifically the locks) rather than the walls that I generally worry about 😀

  6. First chance I’ve had to look closer at these Isobel, I’ve been on coast watch duty.
    I was right, St Pauls is lovely. The others are too, of course.

  7. Pingback: City Break Rome From London | Travelling Information Tips and Resources

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