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A Short Break in London – Part 5

Here we are back with my final post about our short break in London, looking at the day we visited Carnaby Street a fabled street when we were teenagers. It was strange though how wide it seems now and how commercialised. And so busy! That aspect of its character certainly has not changed. We were sad that it was our last day, we had loved our hotel and every aspect of our capital city. These great chairs were the highlight of the hotel foyer! Great shape and super colours!

But first we were treated to a special breakfast at TheWolseley, once the showroom for theWolseley Car company. What an impressive building, and so easy to imagine it lined up with glossy black limousines and ultra-smart salesmen. Today it makes an equally impressive restaurant, smart throughout including the crockery and cutlery and of course the waiters and waitresses, dressed as smartly as possible. What a treat indeed!

So now for a wander at London’s well-known buildings, Hatchards the booksellers, Liberty’s, The Royal Academy, Fortnum and Mason’s and Carnaby Street itself. We had a tour of places we wanted to see and places that Jo and Rob wanted us to see. Quite a mixture! It was the day of the great march when nearly 700 000 people called for a new and more honest Brexit vote. We discovered odd placards which we enjoyed agreeing with.


The buildings housing The Royal Academy were proud and imposing. We walked beneath a gateway into an internal courtyard which surprisingly displayed a strange wooden house. I enjotyed spotting a statue of one of my heroes, Carl Linnaeus.

Crazy Carnaby Street was busy, colourful but not quite what we were expecting and it was hard to explain why.


A taxi back to the hotel to pick up our gear then another to run us to the railway station ended our greatly enjoyable weekend break. We just have to go back in the spring and/or summer over the next couple of years. Thanks to Jo and Rob who gave us the confidence to return after so long.



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A Short Break in London – Part 4

This is number 4 in this mini-series about our London break, where I will take you along the South Bank.


Surprises along the way included the “New Globe” theatre building which seems so out of place but fascinating too, and odd green spaces being enjoyed as relaxation spots.


A railway station in the air was also unexpected, totally enclosed inside a bridge over the Thames.

As we reached the end of our riverside wanderings we turned away from the Thames towards a street where we could find a taxi. We were faced with the side of an old building which bore the scars of its many former uses. It was amazing to see it still fully in use.

We passed the famous OXO Building and reached another open green space, a park for the local residents being used on this sunny day. We were amazed to find tiny allotments producing fruit and veg inside “cages” of wire.

A morning in the Tate followed by a South Bank wander made for a most enjoyable day, which was to finish with an evening at “Ronnie Scott’s” jazz club in Soho. We had to return home by train the following afternoon so post 5 will be about that final morning’s wanderings.

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A Short Break in London – Part 3

In part 3 of this mini-series of posts sharing our London visit I will be looking at the art pieces in the Tate that attracted me most. A very random selection! But to start off I will share with you more photos I took of indications of the building’s previous use, featuring the use of concrete.


There were so many works of art that I loved at the gallery it is hard to make a selection but here goes. In the gloom of the concrete of the old parts of the building videos played so I took a couple of stills to show how they shone in the darkness.


On into the main galleries with their pristine white walls pieces of art stood out in almost each one.


A remarkable floor attracted many of the gallery visitors to exerience its magic. We were no exception. The floor somehow reacted to body heat and created white images of hands and feet. It was a strange experience!


The sculptural pieces on display were so varied and we all reacted very differently to each one.

I shall finish off now with a selection of my favourite art work at the Tate Modern.

We enjoyed being back in London so much we are determined to return in the spring.




A Short Break in London – Part 2

As mentioned in Part 1 we then enjoyed time at The Tate Modern, another ambition I wished for but never thought I would be able to manage. Thanks to my orthopaedic surgeon and support from Jo and Rob the visit was very special.

The taxi dropped us right outside the Tate on the edge of its forecourt and we found ourselves with the Tate modern, a restored power station, in front of us and other interesting much more modern buildings around it.


The Tate’s neighbours were really good exciting examples of modern architecture, a strong feature of present day London. I loved the use of materials and colour especially the strong yellow on the building in the first photo.


Once inside the gallery we loved the signs of its original uses, hard raw concrete surfaces with such strength of structure. Concrete at its best, powerful but sleek. As we had walked 50 yards or so into the building we looked back to see the yellow building looking back in.


We enjoyed the building and its structure for a long while before we entered any formal gallery spaces. My favourite pieces will feature in another London post. We broke for coffee and went right to the top of the building to enjoy it. Here an outside balcony walkway afforded us wonderful views over the city. We got so excited about just being there looking out.


We began to spot green patches in the air where the occupants of buildings were trying to green up their space with roof gardens, planted patios growing trees and shrubs to help them feel relaxed.


After enjoying the delights of the Tate for many hours we took a walk along the Left Bank of the Thames. This will be featured in a further London post.


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A Short Break in London – Part 1

Since I had a major operation to rebuild my right leg, I find myself being able to tackle  things I have not done for years and I am gaining confidence to have a go at them. Jude and I  have not visited London for decades because of my disabilities, but the time came in early autumn to give it a go. So we relied on daughter, Jo and son-in-law Rob, to organise our London adventure and guide us through our time there.

We managed and it felt wonderful! I think Jude, Jo and Rob were as delighted by it all as I was. I also realised a life’s dream! We spent an evening at Ronnie Scott’s in Soho. It was just as good as I expected and an experience that stays with me every moment.

But lots else happened, not just the world’s most famous jazz club!

The hotel we stayed in, Citizen M Tower Bridge, afforded us the most special of views looking out over the Thames and straight at The Tower.


On our first evening in the Capital we wandered towards the Thames to dine in a restaurant on its banks. There is something very special about cities at night.


After a good night’s sleep in our i-Pad controlled room, we took a taxi to the Tate Modern, and that will be the subject of my next London post.