16 3 mins 14 yrs

houses_of_parliament_and_lords_london_england.jpgBack at ATW central after my weekend break in London. Having teenage kids means one thing – shopping, and for me that is a fate worse than death but one I endure in the name of family compromise! We had a great time but as always with a weekender it goes by in a twinkling of an eye. I did enjoy Spamalot and we had an excellent Saturday evening meal in the sumptuous surroundings of the Cinnamon Club. I always do enjoy London but my goodness does it involve walking here and there – my feet felt like they had been in a marathon!! 

I couldn’t help but notice the growing legions of Burka/Niqab clad-females in the major stores around Oxford Street – with section of Selfridges and Harrods looking like downtown Tehran. One of the things that surprised me that these Islamic ladies were busy buying the richest trinkets produced by the running dogs of the infidel West. I do understand that there is a place for modesty in how one dresses but I honestly do find the sight of these covered up legions of Islam disconcerting because more than anything else, I believe they are making a political statement and they are getting more confident by the day. I also saw the "Peace Camp" outside Parliament – a bunch of out and out extreme left wackos who litter the grass a few yards from the statue of Sir Winston Churchill.  They were waving placards calling for the arrest of Gordon Brown as a "war criminal" LOL. 

One of the real treats for me when in London is admiring the wonderful architecture, some of it hundreds of years old. You can walk along a side-street and suddenly come across the most fantastic old building that takes your breath away. Got back through Heathrow with no bother and finished the day with the Italian Rugby team on our flight – mamma mia! With my wife and kids shopped out, I now hope to return to the normality of the insanity of ATW! Now, where to start…..???

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16 thoughts on “BACK!

  1. That’s true. London is like an English garden, full of twists and turns and sudden surprises. You never know what’s coming.

    Paris is the opposite; like New York it is easy to know where you are and plan how long you’ll need to go where you’re going.
    I don’t know which of these is harder on the feet tho; in Paris you can be sustained by the smell of coffee and croissants, but in London you will discover infinitely more places where you just have to take a break – whether it’s the tiny and silent church where Keats was baptised or the noisy pub where the Goon Scripts were written (two idylls discovered on my last trip).

  2. That was in response to

    >>You can walk along a side-street and suddenly come across the most fantastic old building<<

  3. My favourites are all behind Fleet Street (from the Thames looking back up towards Middle Temple is beautiful the area is stacked with history) or in the City, around Barts and St Pauls, the hidden 900 year old well in Smithfields market and the ancient Tudor beams supporting the arch at the Church. To walk around that old medieval church dating from 1123 is incredible. Come out, walk past the area Braveheart met his grisly end, up towards the ancient Knights headquarters in Farringdon or over to St Etheldredas catholic church, the oldest in England where you can check out the stained glass windows… or the crypt where Henry the VIII and Catherine of Aragon dined on feast of stuffed swans… and then go and have a pint in a tiny old pub called Ye Olde Mitre a cosy Elizabethan alehouse that opened up ‘to the boozing multitude in 1546’. Its claim to be the oldest pub in London is questionable due to it technically being in a part of Cambridgeshire like the church! Another of Londons curiosities.."London Walks" are a great and cheap way to discover London btw. ANYTHING is better than going shopping. Much as London has it all on that score i cant handle it. Its exhausting.

  4. David –

    Glad you all had a good time. I tend not to notice the increasing number of bats whenever I’m up town. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a vibrant, multiculti paradise in east London. Yep, we all got along there. What I notice are those silly rickshaws which middle class students have taken to. On Friday evening, on my way out of town, I drove from Mayfair, around Piccadilly Circus, down to Trafalgar Square and cut throught to the Embankment. One thing is for certain – these rickshaw drivers just don’t have enough respect for a Range Rover.

    Alison –

    I regard myself as pretty up on London history and agree with your sentiments. But Its claim to be the oldest pub in London is questionable due to it technically being in a part of Cambridgeshire raised my eyebrows. Did you mean Middlesex?

  5. No honest guv.. The pub is on Hatton Garden attached to the back of the old Bishops Palace and served the bishops and staff. It was like an independent state, the ‘Bishop of Ely’s place’ in London or ‘Ely Place’ as it is now called. I think that up until recently it used to have special rights and could gate itself off. The gates are still there. The chapel took its name from Etheldreda. A Princess, daughter of King Anna, a prominent member of the ruling family of the Kingdom of East Anglia.

  6. http://www.stetheldreda.com/history.html.

    The history is great. Oh and this bit is good:

    It is here at Ely House that Shakespeare has John O’Gaunt making one of the finest speeches in the English language. It is the oration in Richard II, the first lines of which are known by heart by many English speaking people –

    This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
    This Earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
    This other Eden, demi-Paradise,
    This fortress built by Nature for herself
    Against infection and the hand of war,
    This blessed plot, this Earth, this realm, this England.

  7. Alison –

    Ah yes. I thought Ely Place was still part of the diocese and could still close its gates to London. By the way, one of the bishops actually built the Mitre. Temporal and very spiritual. All cities are far more intruiging when you throw away the maps and go nosing around yourself, London more than most.

    Incidentally, Charles Dickens set Fagin’s home in Saffron Hill. It’s parallel to Ely Place, no more than 100 yards away and, in the early 19th Century, one of London’s most notorious slums:

    SAFFRON HILL. A squalid neighbourhood between HOLBORN and CLERKENWELL, densely inhabited by poor people and thieves. It was formerly a part of Ely-gardens, [see Ely House], and derives its name from the crops of saffron which it bore. It runs from Field-lane into Vine-street, so called from the Vineyard attached to old Ely House. The clergymen of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, (the parish in which the purlieu lies), have been obliged, when visiting it, to he accompanied by policemen in plain clothes.

    – Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

  8. Whilest shopping in Manchester I was in House of Fraiser
    , in the lingerie dept. I saw 2 burka clad ladies purchasing several extremely small thongs . I do not think the the Imam would have approved .

  9. >>I do not think the the Imam would have approved .<<

    On the contrary, Doc.
    I think you misunderstand the whole idea.

  10. Noel: I probably do misunderstand , I am not very bright you see , universities do not teach common sense , unfortunately . However I am always will to learn and be enlightened .

  11. The Doctor,

    I saw the very same behaviour in a very large department store in London this weekend when some Burqa babes were exploring the flimsiest and most transparent underwear available. What would the Prophet think? Makes you wonder what is under those Burqa’s and Niqabs.

  12. LOL David, hope you all had a great time. I must say London is a great place, I’m just back from a stint in the midlands. O boy! I’d like to sing the praises of it, but it was more like aparthied in Birmingham than multiculturalism. I’m glad to get back.

    ps hope you weren’t buying any of that slinky underwear. You’ll go blind.

  13. So this is the thread Colm. What is under those burkas and niqabs I’ll tell you colm if you tell me what is under your kilt.

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