Yes, these are my people! On route to our destination when we ran smack dab in to a Saturday afternoon Morris dancing 'dance-off' and I couldn't have been happier for the absurdity of it all.
Nothing like a bunch of blokes swilling pints and getting competitive.
When I was a nipper the Pearly Kings and Queens seemed almost magical. Therefore, I had mixed emotions when I saw this old gent standing around having his pici taken, "a bit undignified" I thought. Though clearly he's not shy and that's his way of raising money for GOSH, which is nothing short of heroic. So who am I to feel sorry for him?, yet I had exactly the same feeling when I saw Chelsea Pensioner wearing the heavy scarlet uniform on his frail little body. I guess all the hospitals need help and everyone does their bit as they see fit. Agh, Sharon, just shut up and donate.
Here's someone by the fountain at Buckingham Palace who needs no help!
For mid October the weather was ridiculously good and such a perfect day required us to go on the Eye.
I'm not a fan of standing in line for things that go up high, which is why they created the 'pay more and jump to the front of the queue' tickets! Which we duly did and it was really worth it. Charlie, a fellow blogger was also recently back home in London and took some terrific night shots (scroll down a post or two to see them), one of which was from the Eye.
Bloody sightseeing requires pacing yourself with pit stops and refreshments and what better place than Covent Garden for a coffee and moment.
The visual icons of London never disappoint and you want to know the tide changes at Tower Bride you can follow the River Thames (literally) on Twitter!
The skate boarders & BMXers have an underground park along the South Bank and you can easily lose a half hour watching them screech and clatter on the concrete steps and benches, practicing, entertaining and generally showing off.
London was a short stop for GP before he headed back to Maui. We'd stayed with his fabby cousin who lives in Greenwich and I'd scheduled a few days alone before I too headed back.
Left to my own devices I hopped on the bus and headed to the Camden Lock market. It's funky and tries a bit too hard...but I still loved it and aimlessly wandered through the countless stalls and shops.
This would work as my fantasy flat for my fantasy life where I travel to Europe three months a year with a big fat fantasy bank account and have a little pied a terre in the city all ready and waiting for me.
With traveling in general I like to have one destination and let the rest of the day be organic. Which is how I found myself in front of the Natural History Museum, having meandered through the residential neighborhoods just off the Kings Road, not exactly sure where I'd come out.
My need for a wee and the realization that I'd not been to the NHM since I was a kid made my next port of call an easy choice!
The lobby was as magnificent (if not more so) than I remembered. What I really loved was how busy it was, numerous school parties with kids in uniform obediently walking two by two, locals and tourists alike admiring both the building and the exhibits and as if this weren't enough, there's the brand new Darwin Center.
The structure alone is brilliant, but as I navigated through it and realized what's going on in there (thanks to the state of the art interactive information points and ability to talk to scientists during their work day), by the time I reached the bottom of the Cocoon my eyeballs were moist with the splendor of it all! Trust me, if there'd have been a lecture at the Attenborough Studio, I'd have pushed one of those cute little school kids out of the way to get a seat! What a stimulating and beautiful experience for the mind and senses and I walked out of there in a daze of appreciation.
It was getting late on my last day and I didn't want it to end. I stood outside the Royal Albert Hall and thought about catching a cab back to my hotel as I'd been in denial that I was getting sick. Yet Hyde Park was just there and the Albert Memorial, so I kept walking and walking and was so glad that I did because it let me breathe and absorb more of why I love coming home.
Sustenance from one home for the long journey back to the other.