Monday, December 29, 2014

London oh London who I love thee

Westminster at Christmas

Well  I must love London because I just keep going back when I am there I am happy I love going to all my familiar places. I call them by their first names because we are in a personal relationship.  I am rushing to see Ben I can never get enough photos and then there is James a yes he is the best and of course Paul (no not that one) and My Bridge someone familiar with these places may know what I am referring to but in case not.
Ben at Christmas time 
Ben is Big Ben yes it got renamed Elizabeth Tower in honor of the Queen's 60 year reign but sorry Queenie I do not think so. Then there James yes I fell in love with James on my first visit to London in 1971 and I managed to visit every time I go I feel I am home when I see James aka  St James Park and Paul well that is St Paul's Cathedral and I have snapped dozens of photos across the river, up close and I never stop. The Bridge well that's the Tower Bridge, rumors were that when  London Bridge was bought by an American in 1968 has been denied. Personally why would anyone consider that Bridge at all. 
dinner time at James 

Over the years like a couple years ago when i spent a week tramping around I said ok fine for now and then when I was home a few weeks I had the yearning to go again. So somehow I find my way back and over and over. There are my faves of course but there are always new areas to discover as  Samuel Johnson said.

"No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." — Samuel Johnson
Paul   St Paul Cathedral 
Me and my Bridge 

Tower Bridge

view across the Thames

Another great spot is Trafalgar Square despite the loss of the pigeons that are no longer allowed there too bad I really enjoyed them although I get the reasoning then there is the newer built Shard personally don't like this building but they did it up pretty good for Christmas. St James is always a special treat and one of the things I love most are the pelicans.  Let's not forget the London Eye with awesome views of London visit on a clear day and you can see for Miles and Miles.                                                      
Pelican St James park
about to take flight

The Shard
Methodist Central Hall
Westminster Abbey
along the Thames RAF Memorial
dinner at my fave restaurant Capital Restaurant the Cut

Buggy ride Harrod's 
London Eye

Friday, December 26, 2014

Cricket Stalks Paddington and drags me along

 click on photos to enlarge
Maddie Cricket and Paddington at Paddington
(It is a well know fact that when Paddington arrived in London he was found on Paddington Station by the Brown family which is how he acquired his name. He was wearing nothing but an old bush hat and a label on which Aunt Lucy had written the words "Please Look After This Bear. Thank You")

One of the bonuses of deciding to go to London for Christmas was The Paddington trail, 50 plus bears were "hanging" around London and I decided to take the challenge and see how many we could "stalk". They were on display from Nov 4th to Dec 30th.  We were in and out of London over a 3 week period and did my best to track him down, we managed in the end to see 35.

Blush Nicole Kidman Leicester Square
Cricket gets cosy Wonders of the World London Bridge station when I finally located this one I was nearly blown away by the wind
Taste of Peru  Borough Market
The Selfridge collection
I wonder how many of these jars Paddington got into

It was fun to stalk Paddy and to explore many "new" areas of London and at times we ran into fellow stalkers and we would exchange information as where they were located. We was joined at times by my fellow stalker Laurie who went to several locations she had already been to help me along. THANK YOU LAURIE. We did the section of the trail that started at Paddington Station on Boxing Day and we were surprised to find that area empty a first, because the trains did not run that day. There were 8 to locate in that area and I admit some were hard to find, luckily we ran into others who helped us out.
He wishes he did not run that day

sorry can't miss the opportunity to pose

the Original Paddington yes I am kissing him
The Journey of Marmalade Hyde Park *by  Hugh Bonneville
snazzy side view
Bearer of Gifts  Hamleys toy store

climbing to the top at Hamleys
Bear in the Woods St Paul's Cathedral

Good Morning London Guildhall Square

great just what I need a cat
Paddingtonscape Norfolk Square

Bearing up canal towpath yes this one was a soft as it looks I could bearly keep my paws off him

Texting Paddington something I never do

Love Paddington  X Rembrant Gardens You can kiss my %%

dig the sweater on Sticky Wicket in Regents Park
Fra-gee-lay  he must be Italian
barely bare ok just wanted to see if you were paying attention

The Mayor of Paddington
Sherlock Bear Museum of London
Bah humbug
Dapper Bear by Guy Ritchie Nottinghill Gate

look at all the icons on his jacket

The Bear of London - Trafalgar Square 
Paddington Lloyd Webber *I love the colors 

The hardest bear to find was the one in Trafalgar Square I was there several times and never ran across him.  We resorted to looking at maps in order to try and figure out just where he was but even that did not help as we scoured the Square in vein I finally asked a street sweeper and he pointed out the general direction and we finally found him. Lot of people took photos of cricket as he posed with the bears though some thought he was a bear HELLO he has whiskers he is a cat.

Many celebrities painted the bears and they were auctioned off at Christies The auction, helped to raise close to £750,000 for National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, when the bears were sold at auction. I checked the web site and it looks like Hugh Bonneville the  Journey of Marmalade received the highest bid at  26,000 pounds (wonder if he is going to put it in Downton Abbey) Hugh Grant was among the bidders at the auction.