A Weekend Diary

…words and images from England's green and pleasant land…

A snowy walk from London Bridge upstream…

I was up with the lark this morning, to accompany my partner to Gatwick Airport, for her midday flight to Beijing, to see in the Chinese New Year with her family. After we’d said our zai jians I caught a train up to London Bridge, and then wandered westwards, upstream towards Charing Cross, which is a pleasant ramble through some historic parts of London…and the falling snow was no deterrent at all ;). So here we go :)…

Standing on a deserted London Bridge, looking towards The Shard, London's tallest building, which opens its viewing platforms to the public next month...

Standing on a deserted London Bridge, looking towards The Shard, London’s tallest building, which opens its viewing platforms to the public next month…

Misty view downstream from London Bridge, towards HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge...

Misty view downstream from London Bridge, towards HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge…

St. Paul's Cathedral, as seen from the east...

St. Paul’s Cathedral, as seen from the east…

The following picture deserves a few lines of explanation; you’ll see three people at the bottom left of the photograph. One is a young Japanese (I think) tourist with a camcorder, and to her left is her companion. The third individual, the chap being filmed, was actually doing a performance of ‘Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)’ from the film ‘Mary Poppins’, so I’ve provided the lyrics to the same, directly after the photograph…

St. Paul's Cathedral, as seen from the top of Ludgate Hill...

St. Paul’s Cathedral, as seen from the top of Ludgate Hill…

‘Early each day to the steps of Saint Paul’s
The little old bird woman comes.
In her own special way to the people she calls,
“Come, buy my bags full of crumbs.
Come feed the little birds, show them you care
And you’ll be glad if you do.
Their young ones are hungry,
Their nests are so bare;
All it takes is tuppence from you.”
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.
“Feed the birds,” that’s what she cries,
While overhead, her birds fill the skies.
All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares.
Although you can’t see it, you know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares.
Though her words are simple and few,
Listen, listen, she’s calling to you:
“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.”
Though her words are simple and few,
Listen, listen, she’s calling to you:
“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.”‘

At the bottom of Ludgate Hill, beyond Ludgate Circus, lies Fleet Street, and Valentino, is the first shop on its northern side...

At the bottom of Ludgate Hill, beyond Ludgate Circus, lies Fleet Street, and Valentino, is the first shop on its northern side…

By now, the snow was coming down rather heavily, so I took refuge for a while in an Irish pub,’The Tipperary’, opposite Valentino’s, on the southern side of Fleet Street…

A pint of ale called Doom Bar, and a packet of Tayto Cheese and Onion Crisps ;)...

A pint of ale called Doom Bar, and a packet of Tayto Cheese and Onion Crisps ;)…

At the western end of Fleet Street, stands a rather splendid church called St. Clement Danes

At the western end of Fleet Street, stands a rather splendid church called St. Clement Danes…

...and here's St. Clement Danes, as seen from the west...

…and here’s St. Clement Danes, as seen from the west…

A bit further along the road, I caught sight of both bird and human footprints in the snow :).

A bit further along the road, I caught sight of both bird and human footprints in the snow :).

Beyond Fleet Street, lies The Strand, and at the western end of it, opposite Charing Cross Station, are these four red telephone boxes...

Beyond Fleet Street, lies The Strand, and at the western end of it, opposite Charing Cross Station, are these four red telephone boxes…

Alongside Charing Cross Station, running down to The Embankment is Villiers Street, and this is the entrance to Victoria Embankment Gardens, as seen from the bottom of Villiers Street...

Alongside Charing Cross Station, running down to The Embankment is Villiers Street, and this is the entrance to Victoria Embankment Gardens, as seen from the bottom of Villiers Street…

Within Victoria Embankment Gardens, are several statues, and this is part of one dedicated to W.S. Gilbert. The engraved quotation , copied below, comes from 'Yeoman of the Guard'...

Within Victoria Embankment Gardens, are several statues, and this is part of one dedicated to W.S. Gilbert. The engraved quotation , copied below, comes from ‘Yeoman of the Guard’…

‘Is life a boon?
If so, it must befall
That Death, whene’er he call,
Must call too soon.’

Cleopatra's Needle, on the Victoria Embankment...

Cleopatra’s Needle, on the Victoria Embankment…

One of two Sphinxes, guarding Cleopatra's Needle...

One of two Sphinxes, guarding Cleopatra’s Needle…

Having now crossed the river to the South Bank via Hungerford Bridge, here is part of the Albert Embankment, in front of the Royal Festival Hall...

Having now crossed the river to the South Bank via Hungerford Bridge, here is part of the Albert Embankment, in front of the Royal Festival Hall…

The London Eye, unsurprisingly less busy than usual today...

The London Eye, unsurprisingly less busy than usual today…

...and finally, not far from The London Eye, a row of 'Boris Bikes', doing even less business...

…and finally, not far from The London Eye, a row of ‘Boris Bikes’, doing even less business…

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