Yesterday we spent the day in London. Not, for once, on business (viewing or attending auctions), but just pottering round. I think I'd better start this one again- at the beginning, which was last February. We had our Golden Wedding Anniversary, and, among other things, one of our youngsters (and her husband) gave us tickets to tea (that should of course, be Afternoon Tea) at the Ritz Hotel. Then, because of health reasons, etc, that had to be postponed a couple of times, so that we eventually had that TEA yesterday, and decided that we weren't going to be able to fit it in with a business trip, so we had a day off in London. We went up by the nine a.m. train from Manningtree, getting into Liverpool Street just after ten a.m. Then took a 'bus towards Trafalgar Square, and took the above photo of Saint Paul's through the front window of a double decker (hence the blue strip along the top of the photo). Half a mile beyond St. Pauls we decided to walk for a bit (in London Traffic it was quicker).
After half losing ourselves in back streets we eventually spotted an old aquaintance (Eros) but he was encased in a bubble - I would have thought that one good arrow from his bow into the inside of the bubble would have freed him instantly. Ann, however thinks that he's inside the bubble as part of the Christmas decorations.
Eventually found ourselves within view of Trafalgar Square. The building to the left of the above picture is the front of Saint Martin in the Fields Church.
Above is of the Crypt of St. Martins.
Near the Crypt, in a passageway, are several gravestone memorials. The above is by a versifier who shows a certain self awareness. The last four lines read -
Modest as Morne, as Midday Bright,
Gentle, as evening, Cool, as night;
'Tis true, but all so weakly said,
'Twere more significant : She's Dead.
It's as if he suddenly wonders if he might be writing verbose tosh about the departed woman, so in the last line he gets down to the important bit - she's Dead.
Went on to the Wallace Collection in Manchester Square, where we spent a very pleasant hour or so renewing acquaintance among the exhibits. Eventually took a taxi back to Piccadilly.
The warmly clad gentleman above is standing in the gateway of the Burlington Arcade, just off Piccadilly. He is a member of the smallest, oldest, Police Force in the country. He is one of the Burlington Beadles, of whom there are three (and a Head Beadle). The Force was founded in 1819, ten years before the Metropolitan Police. They seem to be a very effective force - I noticed no serious crime, and indeed very little unsocial behaviour in the Burlington Arcade yesterday!
A glimpse, through traffic, of our destination, but as we were still rather early for our teatime slot of 3.30 p.m., we had a stroll round St James.
Above is St. James' Palace. We were in the right place at the right time, and were able to take a snapshot of the above horse-drawn equipage which eventually drove round to the back of the Palace. Don't know who was in it, but Ann caught a glimpse of a lady in the back.
Eventually back to the Ritz :-
Above and below are snapshots of Ann and meself in front of the tea room. Must say the tea was of excellent quality, and rather too great quantity, although we both did justice to it.
After this memorable meal, we took a tube to Chiswick, and Lizzie's, where we spent an hour or so with Lizzie, Georgie, Andy, Matt, and Beth. Then tubed back to Liverpool Street, trained to Manningtree, and motored home, arriving about 9.30 p.m. and slept well (surprise - surprise!)
Many thanks Sarah and Mikey - it was a glorious meal - almost up to Great Aunt Jessie's Teatime standards; and the basis of a lovely day out.
Much love to you both - the Parents.