Sometimes I hate the digital age, but when I can have a Face Time chat with my friends 5,000+ miles away then I totally embrace it. I am suffering from jet lag so at 3:00 am I was able to connect with Madison in London. I love this little girl. I just wish there was smellevision because she smells great.
She kept trying to stroke my face and kiss the phone. When she tried to give me a hug then I lost her. I think we’ll be having many of these sessions for years to come. When I met her Mom in 1998 we would read books to each other over the phone. When she got a computer we would do craft sessions while online. Sometimes technology can be wonderful when put to good uses.
It’s time to say “good bye” to the city I have visited many many times, but seems so different this time.
As I walked down familiar and unfamiliar streets I was struck by the change in the street scape. Cranes and new build-ups dot the skyline. Looking for familiar landmarks that used to stick up above the old buildings are now hidden by new modern glass architecture. I don’t particularly like the changes even though I know they are a given. But coming from a city where we might see one or two cranes, this is a huge contrast.
the view from Westminster Cathedral courtyard
The congestion and the crowded streets got to me this time. I felt like I was always fighting for space when I just wanted to wander down a street. Stopping to take photos could sometimes feel like a jostling match. I didn’t get to take as many as I wanted and setting up my pinhole camera was, at times, impossible.
It was after my last night staying in central London when I returned to my friend’s house on the outskirts of London that the tragedy in Paris unfolded. We don’t like giving into fear, but admit we changed our weekend plans. We were going to have a crazy jam-packed weekend in the city, riding the tram across the Thames, the O2, the lighting ceremony on Regent Street and lots of eating in crowded restaurants. Instead my last weekend is spent doing family activities , snuggled on the sofa, getting take-out and watching the news from Paris. We’ve decided to forget the crowds. Maybe if I was alone I’d do it, maybe not, but when there is also a baby with us, we think twice.
I will come back. Not sure when, but I know I will. London and the friends I have here draw me back. Now I just want a safe journey home and I won’t just think about the people in Paris, but people everywhere who have lost their lives to the violence that seems to crowd our newspapers and Tvs. Will we ever have peace? I can only hope.
( I will continue to share photos from my amazing 6 1/2 weeks in London once I return home. Take care and may we all stay safe)
The 11th day of the 11th month and the 11th hour. That was the date and time to the end of WWI, the war to end all wars, but it didn’t. To honor that date I spent the day at Bletchley Park, outside of London. For many decades we did not know what went on at Blectchley Park due to the Secrets Act…”loose lips, sink ships”. I can think of a few people who should try living by this motto to keep our country safe.
I arrived at Bletchley just minutes before the ‘moments of silence’ at 11:00, followed by a short program and poem presented before a small crowd in front of the mansion.
For those of you who never heard of Bletchley until the movie ‘Imitation Game’ was released I want you to know there is more to the story than Alan Turing. He may now be the most famous person who worked there due to his building the code breaking machine, but he did have help.
Alan Turing’s hut 8
Turing’s mug still chained to the radiator
maybe just a bit OCD
At the height of operations there were about 9,000 people working at the Park helping to defeat the Germans by breaking codes or supporting those people. Every job was important.
code breaking machine
It’s an interesting place. You can tour many of the huts, the main house, and see a working Bombe. I’d go into more detail, but there are volumes written on the subject. I shall end here and leave it up to you and your desire to learn more.
Those who know me well know I could exist on ice cream. I have mentioned several times that if I am so lucky to make it to my 90’s that I plan to go on an ice cream diet, breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am sure there must be vegetable ice creams to keep me fit, right?
So while in London I just have to sample some ice cream. Getting back to my no-sugar mantra will take a few weeks when I return home. In the mean time:
coffee latte ice cream with chocolate drizzle
vanilla ice cream with oreo ice cream pie
srawberry waffle with raspberry and lemon sorbet….not mine
After searching for ice cream photos I’ve discovered I’ve eaten healthier than I thought on these first 5 weeks, but also think I’ve added 5 pounds to my body. Boo. No sugar or ice cream when I get home. Just gave yo get to 90, but there’s no rush.