Sunday, 9 October 2011

Loving London...

I'm feeling a bit out of sorts because I'm so out of sync with getting things posted! I know it really doesn't matter but it makes more sense to me (especially when I look back...) if these little snippets of life are in some kind of logical order! 

So although, it's properly cold today and I can hardly think we are going to be lucky enough to have any more unseasonal sunny warm weather, I need to fill in the gaps of the last couple of weeks - when we had sunshine and lovely blue skies!

I have officially had a couple of weeks off work ( I say officially, because in fact I have been in more than I've been off really - why do big projects start to get moving just as you are about to go on leave?) and I have managed a couple of days doing nice things. Son 3 has been desperate for a trip to 'the big smoke' for ages so we splashed out, took a train to Liverpool Street last Tuesday afternoon and then had the whole of Wednesday to do what we wanted.

We risked a late booked 'secret hotel' which found us in the redeveloped Docklands area. It was a bit further out than I'd planned but not an area I've explored before and, to be honest, nowhere is difficult to get to on the tube.

I loved these architectural structures - relics, I presume, from the days when this was a working dock and  well before all those waterfront properties were developed (we couldn't help wondering what these places are worth???). This area actually felt remarkably quiet - I guess it gets busier in the working day but in the evening and early morning it felt virtually empty apart from a few runners jogging round the waters edge.  

T was keen to see Camden street market, so we set off promptly (after the biggest - included in the price, gotta be done! - breakfast ever!) and arrived before even all the stalls were set up. Camden has an eclectic mix of crafty stuff, London tourist 'tat' and general 'stuff' of pretty much any sort and it is easy to spend a couple of hours just wandering around.

I don't remember there being so many signs up saying 'no photos' before (maybe I've just never noticed!) but it was surprisingly empty so I felt a bit inhibited about taking pics of the stalls. So you'll have to make do with my Swan Vesta son (to be fair - the hair has faded quite a bit!) glowing in the sunshine!

It was so hot that ice-cream was calling us and we stopped at Chin Chin's - a nitrogen ice-cream bar where they freeze the ice-cream in front of you with liquid nitrogen. It's a fun spectacle and the ice-cream is deliciously smooth - even for someone like me who is not a huge ice cream fan (I always get that horrible 'brain freeze thing!) this was very welcome...

Mine was chocolate with fresh raspberry sauce and white chocolate, T had grape sorbet, with chocolate sauce and popping candy. Delish!!!

We walked up through Chalk Farm - look at this amazing bit of street art...

and on through the 'posh bit' of Primrose Hill, where apparently the great and good live, so we tried a bit of celeb spotting...didn't see anyone I recognised! But then I probably wouldn't know half of the people who are supposed to live there anyway - I'm a bit clueless, don't watch much telly!!

Primrose Hill itself was beautiful, you can see right across the capital... we decided to just sit and chill in the sunshine.

Time for a spot of public knitting...

(it was a good couple of days for it! Two train journeys and a bit of sitting about time - bliss!) ...and people watching...

I had a bit of bike envy here! How lovely to be able to cycle to this beautiful piece of park with your book and the sit in the dappled shade of a tree...

And I have no idea why this lady was dressed like this in the middle of a scorching late September day...

She had the most amazing feather headdress on and I loved the gorgeous bright blue of her dress.

We decided to walk back to the city rather than go 'underground' on such a beautiful day so headed down through Regent's Park...

You forget how much lovely green space there is in this city - really beautiful.

We took in Oxford Street and Carnaby Street (I have to just walk through Liberty's and yes, we did go and have a quick peek at their Christmas floor!) where we found a lovely little wool and craft shop in a little courtyard...

I had to be very restrained with all this lovely colourfulness and T was very patient while I oo'd and aa'd and squished!

On through, Chinatown... Covent Garden, where the entertainment is always worth a watch.

By the time we got as far as Trafalgar Square the light had changed to that lovely golden glow that you get in late summer evenings...

Nelson's Column and the surrounding buildings looked as though they were lit against the still blue, cloudless sky.

By this stage, we had walked miles and our feet were beginning to complain, but it was great to spend a bit of one to one time with T - something that seems so much harder to do the older the boys get. 

And definitely a little bit of 'holiday time' in my mad week!



  1. It looks like a wonderful time, and a wonderful place to be Sandra!
    Your photographs of it are wonderful!

  2. Looks like you both had a fabulous time.

    This brought back memories of when I lived in London. Even though I'm only 40 mins away by train, I rarely go back these days.

    Your post has inspired me to visit more often.

  3. What a fabulous trip you both had. Thank you for sharing the sights with us. It's all right on my doorstep and yet I so rarely go into town seeming to prefer going out to the green parts nearby. The wool shop looks fantastic. Love the lady in blue and your son's gorgeous colour hair! penny

  4. Wow, I don't think I've ever seen pictures of London like those. I've only ever seen dark buildings, lots of brick, stone and concrete and not a lot of sky. I've always wanted to visit but this inspires me even more. I'll get there one day!
    xXx Helen


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