Friday, June 29, 2018

More London stories

Hop on and off again...

From Buckingham Palace, Fleet Street, the London Eye to the Tower of London. 

More stories. Stories that give us insight into humanity and its light and dark.

Crows at Tower of London...

Fleet Street started as part of a Roman road that led from the west side of "Londinium," mentioned by  Henry III (1228) and later referred to as ‘a dangerously muddy track.’ Fleet Street or "Ink Street" has its origin in the world of printing.  1440... the revolutionary year of the printing press led the way for a man called Wynkyn de Worde who had a press in a house near Westminster Abbey.  Soon this infamous street, also known because of Sweeny Todd's meat pies and dangerous highwaymen, became the hub of map making, newspaper printing and book publishing ( 

Literally, stories were made here--those of imagination and real life. 
Or maybe a bit of both. 

Onto Parliament Square Garden--lined by those whose stories have changed the world.  Mandela. Gandhi. Churchill. And the first female hero to be added--suffragette Milicent Fawcett (about time...) 

A story told with a chip. Salty and crunchy family time amongst the ancient. Poor Big Ben is all covered up... but we'll see him in a few years (4 I think?) 
We make new memories and take 20,000 steps across London. 

A bird's eye view from the London Eye is spectacular. If only our winged friends could talk and tell us what they see. The joys, the sorrows, the surprises. For us, it is a landscape of beauty and excitement and something new. The thrill of stepping out of one's box and into a new place. 

And then of course, off the bus for a stop at Hardy's...the sweetest place in London for the girl with the sweetest tooth around.  A girl so sweet that London decided to name a few spots after her!

Victoria Station brings confusion. Train back to Horley not posted. Re-routed with a little stopover at a Container Park for yummy sangria, bruschetta and World Cup!!! Love the UK. Love Europe. Love this trip and the stories to come...

Friday, June 22, 2018

Back at it London!

London. The start of Grecian vacation of a lifetime. A bucket list trip to soften the blow of turning half a century. We've got a house on a Greek Island. Friends and family. A sense of adventure and a need for R&R. 

Get ready. Set. Go!

First stop: Horley, England. 

An English breakfast to begin and a BIG nap. Yummy late night veggie curry at Spice Boys (nobody else open on our California hours.) Next morning, let's go for a run. It's 5:30am... cool air blankets my skin, a beautiful borough. What could go wrong? Just a quick left turn...sure, I can find my way back. Lost in a maze of brick Tudor houses... circles and circles— trust yourself... find your way. Calico kitty greetings, light mist on my arms. A hour of feet hitting the pavement. Lost in Horley makes for a good workout. 

I'm ready. Ready for a little adventure for sure. 

Take the train into London. A whirlwind of landmarks to show our first-timer. What I'm first caught by are the faces--tucked away in palaces, towers, abbeys and often unnoticed. I start to look--to wonder--about these faces and what they've seen, heard, watched over time. Erected with holiness, honor, violence or power. What would they say if they could speak? Would they take pride in their homes or cower with shame for the atrocities they've witnessed. 

Do the gargoyles really protect? Do the angels sing? Or the lions roar?

Will the kings and queens govern with pride and ethics and justice?

The horses and unicorns storm to our rescue?

Or is it time to do that ourselves?