Autumnal London

4th November

My birthday falls in half term every year, rather useful I always thought as a child.  It meant I did not have to go to school on my birthday, but unlike my children whose birthdays fall in the summer months bad planning on my part or was that no planning?!?! the holiday is not long enough for friends and family to forget it!! Apart from this year when my father did!

This year my birthday was a huge success in every sense but mostly because I spent it with my three favourite people in the world and we spent the whole week end together in sun shining London.  Boy did we do a lot!  I make no apologies for the huge number of photographs, in fact I will let them do the talking.  Suffice it to say, the birthday, the half term, the company,  the presents and the good wishes received were all fabulous and I felt, still feel loved and truly lucky.  Thank you all x

Grab yourself a coffee and a pew and let me show you around London, this could take a while...


Saturday
The day started at Camden, something for all of us there

Quirky building adornments everywhere

Fantastic food stalls, good value too.  We each choose
 a stall and then share between the four of us,
that way we taste a bit of everything!

If you have not been, trundle down to the Stable market,
there are so many life size bronze horse statues tucked
around every corner, breath takingly good.

One of Camden's own remembered... Amy

Nothing about Camden is ordinary
From Camden number one daughter and I used our Oyster cards and tubed it to the Tate Modern, whilst Mr H and number one son Boris biked it across town.  Yep, the bikes won by about 15 minutes!

St Pauls, opposite the Tate modern on the north side of the Thames.
Can you tell I was playing with my camera this week end?

I am not a modern art fan, but somehow I am drawn to going to the Tate as often as possible.  Trying to work out why is a mystery, I think I want to try and understand it and to see what all the fuss is about and perhaps the more I immerse myself in it, the more I may 'get it'?  The following photos were taken for a reason however.  Many years ago I used to spin and weave and these pictures would make excellent woven interpretations.  I may no longer weave now, but in the future I hope to again and perhaps, my 'modern' phase may be influenced by pictures such as these.





This would make a great weaving



Neither of my children are into modern art

The wibbly wobbly bridge as it began, but really the London
millennium walk bridge connecting from St Pauls to the Tate Modern

Fantastic autumnal October weather

From the Tate we walked along the south bank, taking in street entertainment and mooching along people watching.  Again I played with my camera...




 
Taken by request of the children!

Err, what happened to the bridge?

Such an eclectic mix of buildings, colours, sights
and sounds on the South Bank
And still they build more...
 
South Bank skate and bike park, some of them were seriously good
 
Graffiti contained like this in an area for youths,
I think is fitting and suits the purpose
 

Rubbish washed up at the base of the bridge

Look how different the same photograph is in colour

Once we crossed the river back to the north side, we came
 across Kipling's old house.  I love some of his writing and
was surprised I had not known about this blue plaque


Can never resist the vivid red of the phone boxes
and next to an old police lamp too!
 
Indian puppets hanging from the ceiling at the busy Masala Zone,
on a side street off  from Covent Garden, highly recommend it. 
Well priced food too.
 
We managed to pick up last minute tickets to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  We had wanted to see this for such a long time.  We all laughed as we knew we would, but the joy of watching my just teenage son, laugh out loud for nearly the whole show was priceless.  I love this cusp of adulthood that he is becoming a part of.  If you are not after intellect but are in need of a smile and to not have to think but be entertained, you could do worse than see this play.  Try and catch it now before Robert Lindsey leaves, he is fantastic.

I was treated to a night at the theatre to end Saturday evening.

 
Sunday          


The clock 'fell' back and so we had an extra hour in bed, but not me!  I hopped outside with my camera and had some 'me' time whilst the others dozed.  The north side of Kings Cross has been undergoing huge redevelopment and amongst the cranes and the old industrial buildings, new modern works are rising up from the ground.  Rejuvenation is all around.  It is becoming quite buzzy and exciting. 

This is a great coffee shop where you can buy yarn or gifts and in the evening learn new crafts and even some nights dancing.  If you are in the area, pop over.  Link here


I loved the brightness of the yellow in stark
contrast to the  grey concrete



Kings Cross development are trying hard to bring the new and old together, I am sure they are not perfect and make mistakes but as an outsider the garden programme they have come up with seems like a great initiative.  The Skip garden, grew out of a need to get youngsters involved in the community and growing fruit and vegetables seemed like a good idea.  Initially they grew their crops in skips, so they could be portable and moved to different locations as the building developments grew.  The garden now produces food for local cafes and restaurants, including their own Skip café, conveniently situated next to the ball park.  I love how the business areas yellow chairs are used here in the Skip café too, bringing all elements in harmony together.  Want to read more about this initiative, click here

A garden and café within the building development


Almost Halloween, spot the pumpkins

Walking further along I came across these live aboard barges, a boating ideal in the middle of the capital.

Happy boating life in central London
 
 


But on closer inspection and taking in the full view,
living by such dirty canal water may not be so ideal after all
By now I needed a coffee and decided to head to St Pancras International Station to people watch.  I found myself a lovely bookshop that sold coffee and I sat at one of their tables just outside their doors away from the main concourse but in great people watching position.  Whilst there, the piano with the sign, 'Play Me' was played on and I was royally entertained.
 
A perfect simple filter coffee


The buzz of people on the move and destinations
to be reached makes me excited

Yet amongst it all, some find time to stop
and literally hear to the music

By now it was time to re-join the family, Mr H had been for his run and sent about a hundred work emails, the children had had their teenage lie in and in one case completed some homework.  But I was greedy even further and whilst making my way back to them, I snuck into the British library to have a peak at Jane Austen's Persuasion, Elgar and Mozart's sheet music, of which I could not understand and to nose at Da Vinci's notebooks written backwards, genius. 




We decided as a family to be tourists for an hour and headed over to Oxford Street.  We spotted our first street Christmas decorations but were soon fed up of the pushing and shoving from the thousands of pavement beaters that we decided to call it a day and hot footed it to a pub, choosing Karl Marx' local drinking haunt.  After quenching our thirsts, we met up with an old London friend and ate near the British museum in the UK's first Wagamama restaurant, our daughters favourite restaurant.

We didn't last much longer as we were all shattered and called it an early night.  I don't think any of us had trouble going to sleep that night after the full on weekend we had had.  I know I don't even remember going to bed at all I was so tired, but I do know this; I went to bed very happy.



I hope November is good to you 


12 comments:

  1. I don't get out much now due to M.E. but your blog has just made me feel I have had a weekend away in London. So thank you for your lovely blog and photos.

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    1. I am sorry to hear you have ME, I know how debilitating it can be and so frustrating. I am glad in done small way to have brought London to you. If you scroll back in my posts to August you will see a whole host of photographs from Norway, maybe you can take a mini holiday with me, but don't forget your coffee, the Norwegians love their coffee. Thanks so much for commenting, it warms my heart and means so much ❤️

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  2. Hey, Happy birthday firstly.
    A wonderful weekend you had too, your pictures are fantastic, capturing the delights of real London, life, smells, buzz and diversity.
    Glad you had fun with your family and saw your family have fun with you.
    Helen

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    1. Thank you kindly for my birthday wishes. London was fabulous, I had so many more things to write and photographs to post but felt already this post was way too long so didn't dare. Good to know it hit the mark 😉

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  3. Happy Birthday Selma!!!! I am so glad that you had such a great time and did so many wonderful things. I hope that it is a great year ahead for you. xx

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    1. Thank you Amy. Fingers and toes crossed for a good year for us all Sending love x

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  4. I loved seeing all your picture from London. It looks like you really enjoyed your birthday. I was there a year ago (November 3) to celebrate my birthday. My daughter took me on a three week trip to England and France and we had a wonderful time.

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    1. What a lovely thing to do with your daughter. What was your favourite in England and also in France? We had a great weekend thanks x

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  5. Wow, thank you so much for taking us with you on your trip. Glad you had such a fun birthday. Camden looks so colourful these days - I'll have to go and take a look some time...

    Your photos are fabulous, by the way. I especially love the shot of your son and daughter sitting at the Tate, and the photo looking up through the trees.

    See you very soon I hope, if you're free.
    TTY x

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    1. Thank you. I had a real at with the camera but admit to getting very frustrated when I couldn't get it to do what I know it can do. It was my fault as I can't remember how to operate the darn thing!!! Need some serious time set aside for photography I think. X

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