Blogs from Greater London, England, United Kingdom, Europe

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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London April 17th 2014

Great day! Camden Market and British Library card! Having done too much yesterday, I had a slow morning until about 10:30. Then off to Camden Market, a simple walk of about thirty minutes. Long before the market, the walk was fun, because on Camden High Street there was every kind of shop – from hardware through grocery to clothes and shoes. After a while the variety turned more punk and goth, with a liberal sprinkling of charity shops. Then the first of the markets appeared, called “The Camden Market”, perhaps a trademarked name, because it is a bit away from the others. It was full of clothing stalls – either modern baby-doll dresses for young women or coats for men and women, plus lots of T-shirts with edgy sayings on them. Across the street was a ... read more
Camden locks
St Pancras Parish Church
Reader Card

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London April 8th 2014

What a mixed and full day! I left the hotel at 10:00 to walk to St Bartholomew the Great to listen to the Sung Eucharist, as discovered on the internet. The Google map worked really well until the last few intricacies of turning. (Later I saw that one of the streets was incorporate into a construction site.) I had brought a city map and, by consulting it, zigzagged my way until I saw the church down a short street. It was completely hemmed in by other buildings and was only distinguishable by its stonework. Even then I couldn’t see how to get in because of more scaffolding. (Apparently everything is being cleaned and refurbished for 2012.) A church-going-looking woman was walking purposefully towards me (it was very close to the 11:00 service time), and I asked ... read more
St Bartholomew the Great
Smithfield Market
The Old Bailey


I am en route to Istanbul and 2014's Major Event, which will be broadcast to you slightly delayed via this website. But barring any mishaps, let's see if I can finish sooner than I finished Africa's blog! Having friends who work for Virgin Atlantic, I tend to fly them most frequently and therefore haven't ever been to Heathrow's Terminal 5 which is solely British Airways (I think). After a few minutes of panic at the check in desk when I was told the flight was 'grossly overbooked' (I hadn't been able to check in online) and the relief at my carry on backpack full of gluten free products (more on that later) and camera equipment being allowed as hand luggage, I was on the move. The computerised boarding card check prior to security was fast and ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London April 1st 2014

After egg and bacon and tomato for breakfast in the very busy dining room, I set off for the National Gallery. Although the direction felt right and I had map in had, I walked about five blocks in the wrong direction. Reversed and mentally stumbled my way there, checking the map frequently, hampered by the relative lack of street signs and the neglect of Google to print all the streets on the map. My first stop was actually the National Portrait Gallery to see the Jane Austen portrait by her sister Cassandra. As warned, finding it does take some searching. Even after I found Room 18, the portrait was almost invisible because it is very small – maybe 5 inches square – and buried in its own spe... read more
National Gallery
National Gallery interior

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London March 31st 2014

So, what have we been doing since Janice got back to London from the US? The first couple of days were awash with Janice recovering from jet lag. The most immediate job was putting away all of the things that she brought back from the US. That always means finding a good place for it and of course updating the inventory. Janice’s information on what was happening in London was out of date so she needed to get to the visitor’s center again (every time Janice goes near an information center., Bob plans on adding a half inch to the waterline!). The weather has been great since her return so we took quite a few walks and of course one of them lead very close to St. Paul’s Cathedral which just happens to be near the ... read more
The Old and the New
Lunch Time in London
Only a Couple of the Pub Signs

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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » London City March 27th 2014

What a relief it was to finally be back where we felt more comfortable, ie in a country that spoke English as its primary language, and also a country where the customs are mostly quite similar to home. While we didn't really have any issues with language barriers across all the other countries we visited, it was still nice not to have to worry about it at all, and also know exactly what people are saying! You get used to being an outsider and I think we started being a bit less discreet in places because we knew people may not understand us. Our trip to London was the longest we stayed in any one city (besides our skiing) but it was the most packed of all our cities, simply because we had too much to ... read more
St James Park
Easter Island Statue at the British Museum
Stone Henge

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London March 24th 2014

After a cup of tea, Christine and I sat in her summer house and talked for a while, then went for another walk in Trossley Nature Park. At the end of the walk, we stopped for a coffee and tea and some cheese on toast for breakfast, prior to going back and getting changed ready for Sunday dinner. Pre-dinner drinks were at The Black Horse in Wrotham and then we all went to the Hilltop Hotel, near Christine’s house, for dinner. It was full of people, in for its famous roast dinner, including a couple of tables next to us booked by escort girls, which made for interesting people watching. We got home about 6pm and were still full so no tea was necessary and I repacked my bags ready for the Eurostar train to Paris ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London March 22nd 2014

Saturday was a lazy morning with a lay-in and then a fry-up breakfast cooked by Ron. Christine came to collect me after midday and we went back to her place to drop off some things and then went to Trossley Nature Park for a walk through the woods. We stopped off back at the house briefly and then went to The Angel Pub for an early dinner. The Gong Healing session started at 7pm so we had to get to the hall at 6:30pm. We set up our beds prior to a circle and short speech and then the Chiron gonging started and went on throughout the night. Sometimes I woke up with the loud bang of a gone and at other times, I felt like a flag on the top of a flagpole fluttering in ... read more
140322 2 Gong Healing
140322 3 Gong Healing
140322 4 Gong Healing

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London March 21st 2014

Jean and I were dropped off at Coulsdon South railway station to catch the train up to London Bridge. We walked past The Shard, a new tall building with an observation deck, and got a taxi to The Globe Theatre. This is a replica of the original 16thCentury theatre which used to put on performances by Shakespeare and also was part owned by him. The entrance to the theatre contains an exhibition about the original theatre and its dockside location in London, as well as costumes and other information about theatre at that time. The theatre is the only thatched building in London (due to fire rules) and is made of a timber frame and wattle and daub walls. It is an open air theatre, with the outside ring roofed, but the inside open to the ... read more
140321 2 Model of the Globe
140321 3 The Globe Stalls
140321 5 The Globe Stalls

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Heathrow Airport February 21st 2014

So after Lucie (thank you!) gave me a cheeky lift to the airport avoiding the London train delays, I couldn't help but think nothing could go wrong with travel today. Little did I know that the temperamental German Lufthanza security services were on strike so our European plans had to be put on hold! Despite trying to wangle an upgrade (apparently doctor points don't work nowadays!) we (with unsurprising German efficiency!) ended up on a slightly delayed but direct flight to Johannesburg with South African airlines. Strolling through the security terminal I noticed Ed being stopped for a full (not cavity!) search - a bit of over enthusiastic filming with the go-pro apparently made him come across as an international super criminal!! After some sweet talking (and swifty video deletion!) and with 5 hours to kill, ... read more
Departures...




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