Sunday Afternoon Walk

Snow in abundance on America’s east coast. In London, our brief cold snap has gone and it feels like spring. Celia and I went out for a walk this afternoon. It had been sunny this morning and we softened the butter to have with our lunch of bread and soup on the window sill.

But by the time we went out, the clouds were banking up, so the skies in my pictures from today are grey.

We walked from Waterloo Bridge along the south side of the river, past the National Theatre to Gabriel’s Wharf where a magnificent treehouse was being constructed to promote Virgin Holidays. Apparently it’s only going to be there for a week.



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New Year’s Day in the City

We weren’t the only ones to be out walking in the sunshine of the New Year. There was a constant stream of people using the Millennium Bridge between Bankside and St Paul’s.



It was a late night. I got to bed about three. MasterB had spent most of 31st December indoors while I was at work and then when I went out. So today, despite the sunshine, it only seemed fair to let him have the lion’s share of the day outside while I did exciting things like tidying cupboards indoors. I finally met up with one of the friends with whom I had spent the evening at around two. In unspoken agreement, we wandered over Blackfriars Bridge and headed into the City.
St Paul’s never fails to please.
St Paul's from the South

St Paul’s from the South

The dome of the cathedral is one of the iconic images of London.


The whole thing is big and bold, and that makes it easy to overlook the details, things like the swags of fruit and flowers carved into the stone by the windows, the saints who watch out over London from high up on the building. Continue reading

The Day Before

I hope this little video will give you a taste of Saturday in London. Amazing ow the weather changed so much in just a couple of hours. I so enjoyed my wandering, seeing the preparations, people and dogs having a good time. And of course it was an added bonus to hear the Robster rehearsing outside Buckingham Palace for tonight’s concert.

A Wet Cold Afternoon in London

I’ve not been writing much here or on other blogs for a few days for a couple of reasons. Firstly, work seems to have gone into hyper mode since my little Irish break, and secondly because I have been experiencing excruciating shooting pains in my right arm.

I saw the doctor tonight. She reassured me that my foot is on the mend, and the hot feeling I am getting in it from time to time is nothing to worry about. As to my arm, the Ibuprofen I am taking for my foot should also help, and I should refrain from typing (!) as far as possible. Both conditions will sort themselves out in the fulness of time, especially with rest. Which means I am not going to be writing much here or anywhere else for a little while.

However, to celebrate the news that I am not about to have to face up to a life of immobility, a little post with words tonight.
I had a few minutes to kill in the City today. It was raining, but I wanted some air, so I sat under a tree in St Dunstan’s, ate an excellent sandwich from Cooper’s on Eastcheap and took a couple of pix before rain stopped play.

Notice the pigeons sheltering in the first pic.

I’m sure this morning’s forecast was for another mild day. It was damn cold. I left St Dunstan’s for St Margaret Pattens. City churches names tend to be double-barrelled as there are so many with the same dedication. Pattens were things people used to wear to lift them up from the filth and mire of the street. They were made nearby. There used to be a sign in the church asking members of the congregation to remove them before going in. I couldn’t see it, but they did have some pattens on display.

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The Lloyd’s Registry of Shipping, London

Back to Fenchurch Street and the Lloyd’s Registry of Shipping on another day of blue skies and low temperatures. This time I took my Lumix G1.

The whole building is decorated. Above the entrances and windows, carved reliefs show unlikely clad men and women worshipping at the shrine of shipping. At least, that’s how it looks to me.

They hold plans and models of boats.

And in niches, there are statues of women reverentially holding more model boats.

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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. Continue reading

God and Mammon

The juxtaposition between old and new in the City is everywhere, and most strikingly between old churches, some of them pre the Great Fire of London of 1666, and towering office blocks.
You would think that the money markets and the churches would make uncomfortable neighbours, but not a bit of it.
Most companies have links with local churches. Netball teams from the various banks compete in the churchyard of St Botolph Bishopsgate; Lloyd’s choir sings at St Katherine Cree. Each church hosts carol services for the companies large and small.
During the rest of the year there are busy lunchtime services and talks, bible reading classes, chances for City workers to get from behind their desks and meet.
It seems to work.


St Andrew Undershaft


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