“When a man is tired of London, he’s tired of life.” (Samuel Johnson)

“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. Frown 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.Undecided

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. Wink

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.

 

 

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Side View’s challenge “Decision.” What to pack and what to leave behind?

Hi there everyone. Today has been a day of packing decisions for me. Undecided  I’ve had to decide what I want to take back to South Africa and what to leave behind. Usually when you go on holiday, you just pack everything and take it home, but this time it’s different. Anyway, I’ve done one case, mostly with pressies and a few winter clothes, some of which I’ll need in London. I see the minimum and maximum there is 3C and 16C, so I’ll definitely want a warm jacket when we get off the plane about 9am.

The workmen did a great job of enclosing the lanai with windows and sliding glass doors. This morning, we saw that Lizzie had decided to come back and check on the the new insect netting on one of the screen doors. She must have been patiently watching and waiting for the work to be finished, so that she could try out her refurbished hunting ground. She seems to like it………can you see that little smile on her face? Smile

We’ve made a start with covering the furniture and upholstery with dust sheets. The sight of it makes me sad, but I’m sure that the time will fly by until we are back here again. I’ve been getting a few e-mails from the Club telling of more wonderful outings, celebration dinners, and a Mexican poolside party in May. I would so love to be here for them.

We made another decision yesterday and bought me an iPhone 4S. Here, the price is two thirds  of what you pay in South Africa.The Apple Store was buzzing as usual, but we didn’t have too long to wait before a consultant came to help us. He was Spanish and although he told us he’d lived in the USA for 20 years, he spoke just like Manuel the waiter in “Fawlty Towers,” and I couldn’t really understand a word of what he was saying.

He asked if I wanted it set up for “The Cloud” whatever that is. Hubby said that we don’t have enough band width in SA for that, with only having 10GB a month, whereas over here we have 250GB. I don’t think “Manuel” had a clue what that meant, as he probably couldn’t imagine such a measly amount of bandwidth. He just shook his head in disbelief.

My new phone is white and beautiful, but I haven’t the foggiest idea what to do with it yet. He put all my contacts from my other phone onto it for me, so that should help, and I have a little booklet entitled “Fingertips,” which I shall study on the plane, and hope that by the time we touch down at Heathrow, I’ll know how to use my new toy. I think it will be great to take decent photos with my cell phone, instead of having to carry a camera around in my bag. Hubby also told me that I won’t ever get lost again, as apparently I can just tell it I want to go home and it will give me the directions. I’m dying to try that one out. Wink

I hope you all have a great weekend. I must finish those cases now. Think of me sleeping on the plane; well I hope I’ll be sleeping amyway. I may chat again from London if I find the time and the Internet connection.