“London is a roost for every bird.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli.
Hi again, everyone. Well we had a great time walking our legs off around London. I have to say that it’s actually a very dirty city with filthy squashed chewing gum adorning the pavements, together with quite a lot of litter. I was reminded of the story of Dick Whittington and his cat, about a poor young boy who went off to seek his fortune in London because he had heard that the streets were “paved with gold,” and eventually served three terms as Lord Mayor of that city. Well, they might have been in the 14th Century, but definitely not these days. It’s difficult to photograph any of the landmarks, because every statue has hoards of people adorning the steps up to it, as you can see here with the famous statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus.
It was sculpted in aluminium by Alfred Gilbert, unveiled in 1893, and was described by the Magazine of Art as, “a striking contrast to the dull ugliness of the generality of our street sculpture……..a work which, while beautifying one of our hitherto desolate open spaces, should do much towards the elevation of public taste in the direction of decorative sculpture,” etc. It has been vandalised and repaired a few times, but is certainly no longer in a desolate open space. The city is teeming with people and it’s very rare to hear a British accent as one is jostled along by the crowds. Nevertheless, it was great to visit this historic capital of the land of my birth and to marvel at some of the wonderful old buildings and monuments. I didn’t get to visit the Queen who is probably too busy preparing for her diamond jubilee celebration, but maybe next time.
We rode the tube trains, and I asked myself, “Where else could one see the contrast of a guy in a smart business suit, striped tie, and highly polished black leather shoes, sitting shoulder to shoulder with a Rasta man wearing earphones atop his shock of wild hair, and sporting an an odd assortment of mismatched clothes, grooving away to his music, and chewing gum? I would have loved a photo, but thought one or both would object to being put on my blog.
We meandered up and down Regent and Oxford streets, occasionally popping into various eateries to have a sit down and regain our strength for the next onslaught. I thought long and hard about putting in this next photo, but decided that my blog friend ‘The Asian’ would be so disappointed if there was nothing to eat on my blog, so here are some of the scrumptious-looking cakes we ogled in a bakery window. We were sorely tempted to go inside, but I remembered that old hymn, “Yield not to temptation,” and just feasted with my eyes instead.
Today we fly on SAA back home again. I’m wondering how it will feel after spending so much time away, but am really excited to see my mom and sister again and then to visit our daughter and family over Easter, when we will be driving up to Jo’burg to spend a few days with them. We’re being picked up at King Shaka airport in our own car, and hubby will be able to drive on the right, (or should that be the left) side of the road for the first time in over six months.
Hope your week is going well. Chat to you again soon, from the seaside.