Friday, 30 September 2022

Clearing the floral tributes.

 I happened to be walking through Green Park again today. The last time I was here I was looking at the thousands of floral tributes laid out in memory of the Queen. 

Today I saw an army of volunteers removing all the letters, photos and other non plant materials and then putting the flowers into mounds.

The flowers were being collected by a carriage pulled by two shire horses and taken to Kensington Palace gardens where they will be turned into compost which will be used in the Royal Parks.
There was an overwhelming lavender fragrance in the air. I wonder if that was the Queen's favourite perfume.

Sunday, 25 September 2022

The Lost Explorer

The other week I was in Berkeley Square in London when this was being created on the front of a building. The building is the club Annabel's. An exclusive private club for the rich and famous.

All this to advertise a drink. Well, I think it's a drink - The Lost Explorer

Sharing with Through my Lens

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

A dog's life

 As I walked over Westminster Bridge today a large crowd had gathered to watch a couple of firemen. Curious to see what was going on I made my way to the front to see that a dog had got its head stuck in the bridge parapet.

The firemen seemed to have everything under control and I left them to get on with it.

Saturday, 17 September 2022

The Queue

 Being British we love to queue but I just couldn't handle queuing for over 20 hours. Don't know what I'm talking about? Well this is the queue to pay your final respects to the Queen as she lies in state in Westminster Hall before the funeral on Monday. The queue is about 5 miles long and snakes its way along the South bank of the River Thames. It is incredibly well organised with everyone receiving a numbered wrist band so they can go off to the toilet or to get a drink and not lose their place. There are portaloos along the route as well and first aid stations etc. When the queue gets too long they stop people joining it for a few hours. 

What has amazed me the most is not that people have travelled from all over the UK to be here but many, many people have flown in from round the world to pay their respects. David Beckham joined the queue at 2am yesterday and didn't  use his celebrity status to try and jump the queue. I think it took him 12 or 14 hours to achieve his goal. The queue has grown since then and so was closed for a few hours again this morning. In years to come I might regret not experiencing the queue!

Instead I went to visit the floral tributes which are now being put into Green Park and Hyde Park as there were just too many outside Buckingham Palace.

The thousands of flowers were laid in rows and what I did notice as I walked amongst them was the beautiful fragrance drifting through the air.

It was quite a sight with so many flowers. There were huge bouquets, single blooms and hand picked garden flowers. When they have passed their best they will be collected by the Park's gardeners and used for compost.
There were poems, drawings, photographs and heartfelt messages with the flowers.  These will be collected but I'm not sure what will happen to them. The public have been asked not to leave anymore Paddington Bears and marmalade sandwiches amongst the flowers! Check out the video of the Queen and Paddington Bear on YouTube.

A final view of the Mall before going home. It wasn't that busy today except for all the TV crews from around the world getting ready for the Queen's  final journey  down the Mall on Monday. After the funeral service at Westminster Abbey she will be brought back down the Mall before being taken to St George's  Chapel, Windsor Castle for a private family service and her final resting place next to Prince Philip. I only saw one lady and her tent by the side of the Mall saving her place. With almost 60 hours before that final journey you have to  admire her determination in getting the best spot.

Thursday, 15 September 2022

Travel in London

 I ventured into London yesterday as I wanted to see an art exhibition at the Tate Britain before it ends this weekend. I knew London would be busy as it was the day the Queen's coffin was ceremonially moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall in Westminster Palace. I would have watched but I didn't arrive in London until 10.30 which was much too late to find a good viewing spot. What I hadn't expected was the number of road closures, even Trafalgar Square was closed off.

When I say closed off, I don't mean just a cordon across the road but they had erected these high green barriers that you couldn't see through or over.


 Security was at its highest with police, soldiers and security guards everywhere. It had been planned down to the tiniest detail but then Operation London Bridge has been regularly updated since it was first planned out in the 60s. Each member of the important Royals has a funeral plan in the name of one of the bridges over the Thames.

These people probably had the best view of all  but I expect the police were up there as well.
This group were standing on top of four telephone boxes!

It has been interesting watching the various ceremonies that tradition dictates. Being over 70 years since the Queen succeeeded to the throne we have only seen her Coronation on the TV but this time cameras were there to record all the duties and ceremonies a new monarch has to perform. The only problem for me was getting home!


Friday, 9 September 2022

R.I.P. Your Majesty

 It was a shock to hear of the Queen's death yesterday as it was only Tuesday that we were watching her on the news inviting Liz Truss to form a new government.  Many of us have never known another monarch. She was always so dignified and tireless in her duty to the country and the Commonwealth. She will be greatly missed.

Today I went to Buckingham Palace to pay my respects. As you can imagine the crowds were incredible with hundreds and hundreds of people wanting to lay flowers in front of the Palace. So many that you had to wait quite some time to be able to file past the Palace to view or leave the flowers. 


There was a notice saying that the flowers would be moved from outside the Palace every 12 hours and placed in a special area in Green Park which is next to the Palace.

Sunday, 4 September 2022

Regent's canal, King's Cross.

This is a photo of a section of the Regent's Canal which is close to King's Cross St Pancras station. There was much to see in this one snapshot of the canal. The building being constructed is the new headquarters of Google in the UK. It will be 330m long, employ 4000 people and will cost £1billion. To the left of the construction site is a restaurant called the Gas Station. For decades it was  a petrol station but it has been recently converted and they have erected a small section of a gas holder or gasometer which make it stand out. a little further down the canal there are three gasholders  which have been given a new life. Two of the three sit around apartment blocks and the third is a small park.  
This photo was taken a few years ago when they were building the apartments. Next time I visit I will take a photo to show you how it looks now that the work is finished.

Can you see the two arched buildings and what looks like a church steeple in the background?
Well those are the glass roofs of King's Cross station and it isn't a church steeple it is the clock tower of St Pancras station. If you ever come to London via the Eurostar  then you will arrive at St Pancras station.

In the foreground there are two narrow boats moored. The one furthest away from the tow path was like a summer's garden. It had so many plants on it I really wanted a closer look but this was the best I could do.

A little further along the towpath I could see the'Word on the Water ' book barge.

Out on the canal eyeing up his next feed was a heron.