Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Friday, 31 May 2013

I Promised You London

You may have read this earlier in the weekend, but something went wrong with the post I put together on Saturday and it completely disappeared, so I am trying to put this back together from memory.  So annoying, but hey ho, these things are sent to try us!  Ok, rant over!  Here we go...again!

I love visiting my home town of London and plan these trips with the teenagers well in advance.  This is mainly because I had a wonderful Grandad who knew every inch of the City due to his day job during World War II which helped him by night as he was a fire fighter during these hours.  I try to remember everything he taught me and pass this information on to my two, but his knowledge was so great that we usually ended up with a following believing he was a guide!  We had decided to visit the Science Museum (this ended up as being briefly), the Victoria and Albert Museum (one floor) and the Natural History Museum was given up right from the start due to the enormous queues going down the road.  So, we got back on the Piccadilly Line to Green Park as we use this as a base due to it being near Buckingham Palace which is a good start if you are touring the Square Mile.  So, in true marathon post style, please grab yourself a glass of Pimms and a punnet of strawberries and join us on our journey in the City I call HOME!  We will start at the Victoria Memorial looking down towards The Mall which was adorned with Union Jacks and getting ready for the Trooping The Colour.
We had decided that we would take a leisurely walk down to Trafalgar Square but just from this ten minute walk you can see so many wonderful London sights.  The stately Big Ben...
Horseguards Parade was being prepared for the Trooping the Colour.
But on when we walked looking at the Union Jacks along the way.
And then, there he was, Nelson, looking towards the Houses of Parliament.
So much cleaner these days compared to the days gone by where there were pigeons everywhere!  
This pigeon was one of the few and he was having a bit of a wash!
Oh the fountains of Trafalgar Square!  Happy New Year's memories.
And this man would have been right at home on those evenings!
We had our lunch while he played to the passing crowds (being careful not to drop any crumbs for fear of being swarmed by the notorious pigeons!).
and also while watching people trying to clamber onto the lions.  These lions are huge and the plinth they lie on is very high, so a suitably tall parent is required to launch the child onto these magnificent creatures.
But after a late lunch we were only half way through our day and the coaches of people were pouring into the square, I have never seen it so busy to the point that even I was uncomfortable, so we decided to take a slow walk back down to Buckingham Palace.  So goodbye Nelson, see you at a quieter time, maybe Autumn.
And back towards The Mall, where taxis were beginning to queue up.  I can remember when they were just black cabs but now they come in all colours and advertising numerous companies.
We passed the memorial to King George VI and the lovely Queen Mother.  I just love the art deco lamps that accompany this memorial.
We had noticed that there were rather a lot of large hats everywhere along with flowery dresses, suits and uniforms.
They were all heading towards Buckingham Palace for the Queen's Garden Party!  These three were cutting a bit of a dash!
But the queue to enter the party was already building up.
And the hats were still arriving!
The soldiers stood on duty as the event started to get underway.
And the armed police stood by as the approved guests were allowed through (I personally would have been straight at the window to straighten the voile out!).
Our time was slipping away and we still needed to walk through Green Park to the station, so it was goodbye Victoria.
...and the crowds still looking for the perfect position to capture the memory of the day.
Goodbye to Buckingham Palace.
And then our walk back through Green Park.  Now this photo is of some clergy walking over to the Garden Party.  It wasn't until I got home and looked through the photos that I realised one of them is a work acquaintance!  Small world!
Amongst all the 'going's on', there was calm!  I could have watched this man for hours as he went through his routine (I think it was Tai Chi?).  Such calm in a busy area.
Now back at Kings Cross I had one more surprise for the Teenagers.  Miss Teenager is a huge Harry Potter fanatic!  Many years ago, when Harry Potter was only really just taking off, I took them to Platform 9 and there in a wall was half a shopping trolley (I need to dig the photo out of the two of them pretending to push this through the wall).  Now that Harry Potter is huge and with the re-fit of Kings Cross, they have made a bigger attraction and have opened up the Harry Potter shop.
This is full of WANDS!
Boxes of them!
Outside there is a more embellished shopping trolley where you can have your picture taken.
They put a scarf around you and someone holds on to the end, you are then asked to jump and there you are, on your way to Hogwart's Express!
We were getting a more modern version as we had run out of 'steam'!.  So now it was time to go home, legs and feet hurting, but very very happy memories once more.  Goodbye Kings Cross, see you again soon.
Phew!  Another marathon post (even harder for me as I have had to re-write it again!).  The next visit to London will be to mine and my late Grandad's favourite place, Greenwich, but that will have to wait until the summer holidays now.

I am going to save this once more and hopefully the 'gremlin' in the system will let this post stay on.

I hope you have had a fantastic weekend and I am looking forward to catching up with you on your posts.  Thank you all so much for your lovely comments, and welcome, welcome to my new followers, I am looking forward to catching up with your posts.

Take care.

Chel xx

This week I am sharing with:

51 comments:

  1. Great photos and fun journey!!!

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    1. Thank you Bernideen. My camera went through two sets of batteries in the end! xx

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  2. That was a wonderful post! How I'd love to be there. We're hoping for a trip to London this fall, depending. Thank you for all the links too. :-)

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    1. I hope you manage it too. London in Autumn is beautiful as the lamps come on when the nights draw in and it takes on a whole new magical feeling. I hope you find the links useful. xx

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  3. Great photos. Thank you for sharing the trip. I have always wanted to go to London and I plan to do it someday. I wanted you to know I really enjoy your blog; I came here yesterday from Ravelry when you joined the Cherry Heart group (I like to see whether people have blogs, and you do!), am a new follower now and also saw a post from you on the Sweet and Simple Fridays hop, so I guess I'm following you around Blogland. :)

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    1. A very warm welcome to you Jennifer! I have a few favourite link parties that I join each week now as they are a great way to meet other bloggers. I hope you come to visit London one day too. xx

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  4. You have made me thoroughly homesick for London where I lived for 5 very fun years.

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    1. I get very depressed when I come away from there as I spent my happiest times in London. It's such a diverse place isn't it? xx

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  5. Hi Chel, wow what a great blog post this week! Thanks so much for the tour of London. I do love the hats, the city and the taxis so much and it brings back fond memories of my trip to England a while ago. I love all the photos you took of everything and my daughter is a Harry Potter fanatic also and would of loved the exhibit. Thanks and have a good weekend and a good week. Julie from across the pond.

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    1. Thanks Julie. The Harry Potter shop and little trolley was definitely my daughter's favourite part! xx

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  6. Thank you so much for bringing us along on this lovely tour of your amazing London! I enjoyed every last bit of it and will be peeking at it again and again. I just love all the grand statuary, the guards, the castle, the bagpipes, the big hats, just everything! Thank you, too for sharing a bit of your Granddads history with us. An amazing man. And those wands.....:)! Hope your weekend is lovely! Hugs xoxo

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    1. There was a lot wasn't there Karen? We only went to go to the museums but they were not holding my teenagers' attentions. I will have to start putting together a post on my Grandad as his life was an amazing one (I'm trying to put together a book based on all the papers he left me when he died...a HUGE task!). Maybe I should have bought one of the wands to do the work for me! xx

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  7. Thanks for the tour of London. This is a city I hope to visit someday.

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    1. I hope you do Linda, it is worth it. xx

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  8. Fabulous pictures Chel! Wow you certainly packed a lot in ... I was there two weeks ago, just love London!

    Glad you had a great time

    Claire xx

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    1. Are your feet also throbbing Claire? xx

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  9. Brilliant tour Chel - I bet you were even more exhausted by the time you finished writing this post! Fancy recognising one of your colleagues on that photo. Love the idea of the Harry Potter platform - I don't think I'd be able to jump quite as well as that young man though! I think you deserve a nice day off now - enjoy the sunshine x Jane

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    1. It certainly was Jane! I took so many photos and it was difficult to put them in a 'flowing' order (four hours in total to put that post together...yikes!). I couldn't believe it when I spotted my colleague. As for the young man jumping, I would have held that shopping trolley like a zimmer frame the way my feet were hurting! Take care on that bike now Jane! xx

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  10. Wow, you had a busy day. Some great photos there. My Granddad was a fireman in the war too. They lived in Woolwich near the Arsenal so must have been kept busy. xx

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    1. They certainly were. My Grandad lived in Poplar and told us of the morning after that famous photo of St Pauls in the middle of burning London and just walking amongst all the debris and destruction. He was absolutely shattered from the night before but had to go back into the City to do his 'day job'. He said 'and there was St Paul's...and hope! If St Paul's had been destroyed the life would have gone out of London'. His words were often recorded for an oral archive at one of the London museums and these particular words are now in an exhibit. Very proud!

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  11. Chel, thank you so much for the trip down memory lane. We did that same walk in July 1992. Your photos are so beautiful and I love all the flags for colour. Trafalgar was very crowded the day we were there as was St. James Park and around Buckingham Palace. We even saw the Queen and Prince Phillip, and Charles and Diana as they departed in their cars!! It looks like it was very chilly there on your visit. Lovely post!! Pamela

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    1. It was overcast and a little bit chilly (and obviously a spot or two of rain...it wouldn't be London without that would it?), but not as overcast and foggy as my last trip a few weeks ago, so that was a blessing. xx

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  12. I really enjoyed reading this, I love London and planning on visiting soon. You have really captured the beauty of London in these pictures! I am so glad I found your blog, I am learning to knit too although struggling with my newest project! Looking forward to reading more! (new follower). :)
    Sarah
    www.lookingasuare.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Welcome Sarah, I am really pleased you enjoyed reading this (it was a rather long post - I get a bit carried away when it comes to my home city!). Good luck with the knitting, I'm still not sold on this and prefer to get my crochet hook out. I'm going to pop over to your blog now to read up on what you have been doing. Take care. Chel x

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  13. Looks like you had a fab time, I love the black and white pictures really lovely!
    Makes me want to go to London! x Laura @Vintique Tree

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    1. I don't think London looks better than in black and white. I remember years ago when I was tiny and visiting all the same sights, and strangly I recall them in black and white!!

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  14. I love London!!It's a very beautiful city!!!Great photos!!!Thank you for sharing!
    Dimi..

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    1. It certainly is beautiful and this is just a tiny part. Next time I am taking my two teenagers to Greenwich as I want to walk under the Cutty Sark! xx

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  15. Some Classic sights from our capital City.

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  16. Oh, I loved seeing the city with you today. You took amazing photos and they mean more to me when seen through your lens. I'm glad even the teenagers had fun! Platform 9 3/4 was a surprise to me! Enjoy your weekend my friend!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. I'm lucky that the teenagers enjoy London and don't mind the long walks I take them on. Platform 9 3/4 was the icing on the cake. XX

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  17. oh how lovely! we were just here in March and it was cold and wet! It looks so lovely right now!

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    1. It's certainly much better with brighter skies! However I do love it at Christmas time. xx

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  18. Wonderful photos, Chel. Thanks for the guided tour! :o)

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it Anne. My feet are still suffering! xx

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  19. I admire your patience in rewriting your post, Chel. If it is any consolation, I did enjoy my London visit with you. Pity we weren't invited to the Garden Party!

    Enjoy your week,
    Karen

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    1. I know, I'd love to wear a huge hat!! xx

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  20. I had that happen to a post once! Not fun trying to rewrite. I did read the post last night but didn't get a chance to comment. Thanks so much for taking and sharing so many gorgeous photos! I love visiting your blog and seeing Europe through your camera lens! It makes it even better that you give us so much information and details about what you photograph as well. I love it! My daughter and niece are both Harry Potter fans as well. I had to share that photo with my daughter who was home for the weekend for my son;t high school graduation. Thanks for sharing your London trip! Have a blessed week my friend...:)

    Vicky
    Life On Willie Mae Lane

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    1. Thank you Vicky. It was no fun at all re-writing such a big post (but fun going through the photos again!). I loved your post this week and enjoy your Kindle!! xx

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  21. What a nice day to share with us! Could you manage to get invited to the Queen's party next year? I would love to see you put the veil back in place!

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    1. Out of all the things that we saw, that voile (and many others at the windows) were making my fingers itch. Maybe I should be the 'Royal Voile Straightener!' xx

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  22. Our capital is so wonderful, so much to see and do. Loving the boxes of wands. Sarah x

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    1. It certainly is, so much to see and do...everywhere! I was tempted with the wands but at £40.00 that is a Christmas treat I think! xx

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  23. Oh thank you for taking me along on your trip through London. I was there in 1989 and loved every minute of our trip. Would love to return someday!!

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    1. Thank you Deanna, you certainly must! xx

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  24. Loved the photos and your enthusiasm for London. I have lived in the capital for over 40 years and never tire of seeing its sights. There is also something new to discover.

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  25. Beautiful pictures and I remember so much from a trip we did with the kids last year. Can't wait to go back.

    Nina x

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  26. What a wonderful visit. I felt like I was there.

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  27. London is one of my favorite world cities. It has been more than 10 years since my last visit and I long to return soon. Thanks for taking me a long on your tour. It brought back fond memories. Lovely photos.

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