Friday 25 November 2011

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Another London day

Horseguards and The Mall are decked out in their flag-flying finery. Google News confirmed to me that there is a three day state visit from the Turkish head-of-state. I think the Turkish flag gave that away!

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I was out and about today, and on my way back I saw some classy pigeons - no chocolate muffins dropped on the pavement for these guys - it's table service only!

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Tuesday 22 November 2011

A year has gone by...

...since my lovely Dad passed away. Today we went to the lovely churchyard (in the middle of beautiful countryside) to visit him and put some new flowers down (just in time for winter frosts!).

Afterwards we drove to a nearby pub in Chiddingstone (a tiny Kentish village near to where my Mum grew up) which does suitably 'gastro' food - which my father would have approved of... if there was one thing my Dad enjoyed it was a good meal!

Thursday 17 November 2011

Little London Moments

This pigeon has an unexpected treat for lunch. Not only half a chocolate muffin - but he has it all to himself!

Sunday 6 November 2011

Bonfire Night

Ok. So actually that was yesterday. I missed quite a lot of the local noise due to the fact that I had a nap between 6 and 9. I'm also far to lazy to make my way all the way to Blackheath for the municipal fireworks...

Not that, if you live in South East London, you'd be sure when Bonfire Night was... they started on Friday and they're still going on tonight. 

What annoys me every year is the fact that I'm pretty certain that most people have no idea what they are 'celebrating' on Bonfire Night.

In 1605 on the night of 4th November Guy Fawkes was discovered in an undercroft guarding barrels of gunpowder. The plot that was uncovered was to blow up the Houses of Parliament, and more to the point the King (James I). Fawkes and his 12 co-conspirators wanted to rid England of the Protestant James I and replace him with a Catholic monarch.

On the 5th November the citizens of London were encouraged to light bonfires to celebrate the deliverance of the King. In January 1606 an Act of Parliament 'Observance of 5th November Act 1605' was passed and not repealed until 1859.

There seems to be a great deal of confusion with people thinking that there is a revolutionary or anarchic undertone to Bonfire Night; probably due to the movie (and comic book series) V for Vendetta where the protagonist is an anarchist wearing a Guy Fawkes mask working to bring down the government. The Guy Fawkes part might be accurate but the celebration part is upside down in this case.

I'm not a huge fan of Bonfire Night. I didn't like fireworks as a small child (although I've grown out of that!) - I think generally the night puts a strain on the Fire Brigade, upsets pets (and small children), and (honestly) is a terrible waste of money.

I support municipal displays... at least then they'd only happen on one night - well, apart from all the religious festivals and New Year!

Friday 4 November 2011

London Poppy Day

Yesterday was London Poppy Day. I only found this out because I had the unfortunate necessity of having to take myself to a meeting and back on the Underground.

At Green Park and at Holborn (and many others besides, I'm sure) there were soldiers with trays of poppies collecting for the Royal British Legion.

"London Poppy Day, wear your Poppy with Pride".

As a child I used to go out with my Grandmother where she lived collecting for the Poppy Appeal. I remember back then you used to get one or two poppies a tray with leaves on - now they all have the leaves. 

When I got back to Green Park I met these two extremely well dressed soldiers who kindly let me take their photos for the article.

As I pointed out, I was a bit late with the whole London Poppy Day bit. "Don't worry," one of them told me, "we'll be here all week".

Green Park is well situated near to Horseguards and the Household Cavalry barracks to get a good lot of soldiers (I counted four on my way back from the meeting).

The new lift at Green Park
In other news, the lifts have finally opened at Green Park. This station is now accessible from platform to street level. Here's my list of reasons why that isn't true (I was on my crutches yesterday not in my wheelchair). I was headed to the Piccadilly line. The lift from the ticket hall takes you to the intermediate level. From there it is a lengthy walk to another lift down to the platform, where you step up onto the train. I was exhausted by the time I got onto the train. If I'd been in a wheel chair I'd have had to clamber out to get the chair up the few inches onto the train.

TfL and accessibility are two words that don't go together.

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011, a set on Flickr.
Monday night saw Halloween roll around again.

We don't go to costume parties, we don't get any kids trick or treating, we don't decorate the house... apart from pumpkins.

Two pumpkins this year - one small and one large. The flesh isn't good for much but I do save the pips and roast them to eat later.

It really is just about carving pumpkins. This year there was the traditional jack'o'lantern and a more ambitious attempt of a a cat watching a bat.

They were lit every night until the smaller one started to rot and the candles ran out.