Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Cheapside









These three shops  on the corner of Wood Street and Cheapside date from 1687 and were built after the Great Fire of London. There is an inscription on the back of the building giving details.
Just to the right of the shops is a small garden with a huge plane tree in the middle of it. This was the site of a former churchyard. The church of St Peter's was first mentioned in 1196 but destroyed in the Great Fire and never rebuilt.














On the railings surrounding this small garden is this memorial to the church wardens dated 1712.

 Cheapside was one of the busiest streets during Medieval times. The word 'cheap' is from the old English word for market. Looking at the local street names it isn't difficult to guess the goods that were traded here.




Monday, 23 March 2015

Two Temple Place

Katherine A at Art-e-facts blog suggested I might like to visit this building. I had noticed it before but didn't realise that it was open to public for 3 months of the year so thanks to Katherine for the info. Two Temple Place is situated close to the Embankment in London. The building was built in 1895 for William Waldorf Astor. He wanted the building to be both a home and an office away from the USA.
The weather vane above the building is a representation of the Santa Maria, the ship on which Columbus travelled when he discovered America. Unfortunately for me I couldn't get a side on view of the ship as the wind was blowing from the wrong direction!









Inside is an array of wooden carvings representing a wide range of literary characters to historical figures.




















Above the main staircase is this ceiling of stained glass




Inside the main hall are two beautiful stained glass windows.























More literary figures feature around the ceiling in the hall. Some of which have been gilded to make them stand out.






The door leading from the Great Hall to the main staircase.




These bronze lamp standards designed by Frith adorn the steps to the front of the building. They were to celebrate the age of telecommunications and electricity


























The building is now managed by the Bulldog Trust as you can see from the sign.
Sharing with  Our World Tuesday

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry is an English artist well known for his ceramics and cross-dressing. Some of his work was recently on display in the National Portrait Gallery, London. The exhibition was entitled 'Who are you?' and had some thought provoking pieces. Here are a couple of my favourites.












This is a tapestry entitled 'Comfort Blanket'. It is Grayson's take on how others view Britain. People who come to the UK  looking for a safe and secure place away from the terrors of their own country.






















































Friday, 20 March 2015

Sky Garden


On the top floor of the Walkie Talkie building in the City of London you will find the Sky Garden.
 Accessible to the public (but only if you book online in advance) it gives you a fabulous view of London and some great reflections




























The plants are still very young so it's more the beginnings of a garden.




























You get a 360 degree view of London








On the right, in the distance, you can see the arch of Wembley Football Stadium














If you look closely you can see St Paul's in the centre of this picture.

Overlooking the cheesegrater and the gherkin.



Great view the Tower of London

The high rise office blocks in Docklands

Excellent views of the Thames








The walkie talkie is the building which caused damage to cars and shop fronts when it was first built as the curve of the upper windows reflected the sun's rays down below. Then last year some of the outer cladding fell onto the pavement. This photo shows how a member of the public held onto the hand rail which came apart in his hands. Well built? That remains to be seen!

Off in search of the Health and Safety Officer!

































Opposite the building is a living wall. Always a pleasure to see greenery within a city.




If you would like more info about visiting the Sky Garden click here



Sharing with Weekend Reflections