Saturday, 14 January 2012

Radiant London

The guilded statue of Victory on top of the Victoria Memorial
in front of the Buckingham Palace.
This time last year we were in London. A rather rough patch in my life had finally come to an end and we deserved a refreshing break. 

We normally travel abroad during the spring and autumn months to extend the short summer and compensate for the weary season of darkness we have just left or are about to enter but visiting London cannot be fitted into the general pattern. London will be wonderful any time of the year. For me London will always represent an endless summer with nothing but sunshine and unlimited opportunities because that’s how it was when I first went there as a young student – and that’s how it remained for the whole three months I stayed.

It was the summer of 1976 which still holds the record for the hottest summer in the UK in more than 350 years, i.e. since records began. That summer also saw a very long dry period. People were not allowed to water their lawns because of the drought and some handy men built temporary systems to drain their bath water down to the garden. I never saw any rain during the three months. However, I remember having been in Leicester Square one afternoon in August and feeling a few faint drops on my cheek but nothing more.

That summer Björn Borg won his first Wimbledon title and ABBA was dominating the music charts. I, too, was so young and naive and oh so ready to face the world. Since then I’ve made all my visits outside the greenest season and once I lost there my purse with everything from passport to credit card but nothing will ever scale down the radiance London holds for me whenever I’m there.

Teresa Maria

PS. While waiting for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June, you can watch the video on her Golden Jubilee on the Mall in 2002 uploaded on YouTube two days ago by the Royal Channel.

A young couple cuddling under the colonnade of the Queen's House facing the Royal
 Observatory, Greenwich. (It was far too chilly for an older couple like us I'm afraid.)
Sculpture by Mike Chapman at the entrance to St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square.
Peace activist at Parliament Square. One protester who had been there for 10 years died this summer
and it started calming down. I wonder if the authorities have succeeded in clearing the place by now.

City of London Information Centre at St Paul's Churchyard.
Through the Millennium Bridge towards Tate Modern.
Quite a prominent location for the Salvation Army headquarters
that have been on this spot in the City since 1881.
The Selfridges' campaign 'Bright Young Things' showcases 10 + 10 Britain-based designers
in Jan-Feb 2011. The second scheme currently features 15 fresh talents.
These removers would convince me in a blink.
A London cab promoting the new shopping centre One New Change
at No 1 New Change in the City behind St Paul's.
Would you dare cycle in London? I don't think I would.
A night out on Shaftesbury Avenue.
There were quite a lot of us photographing the evening lights at the Piccadilly Circus.
We stayed at the Grand Royale Hyde Park, a short walk from Queensway tube station. The room was tiny
but nice enough and the period building beautiful. Rather good value for money we thought.


  1. Just catching up on some of your posts Teresa! Looks like you had a wonderful time in London and certainly took in some amazing sights. Greenwich of course, is my favourite!! Take care xx

    1. We even climbed the Monument but the St Paul's view will have to wait (I saw your great photos!). We have been talking about a new trip for a couple of years now. Hubby made his career in the marine business so Greenwich is a must for us.