Wednesday, August 14, 2013


We did other stuff in London, apart from patchwork. For example, we toured the rebuilt Globe...

 ... which looks like this from the outside. Somewhat spoof, no doubt, but Shakespeare would possibly have recognised it and we could imagine being a groundling - though frankly I'm not sure I would have liked this much - I'm not a fan of standing for a long time, or of crowds, especially smelly crowds. Though I suppose I would have been smelly too.

We walked across a bridge and looked at the Shard, an astonishingly high building that you can go to the top of. Daughter 2 has done this but we didn't.

Here's St Paul's - much more attractive to my eyes.

And this is Leighton House, the home and studio of Sir Frederick, later Lord, Leighton, an artist. This was very interesting. He was unmarried and had only one bedroom in the house, though lots of very fancy reception rooms and a huge studio. Quite a cunning wheeze really for his lifestyle: he could never have visitors to stay - only one bedroom - but all the public rooms in the house looked very impressive.

And this is the Chelsea Physic Garden - very pleasant and nicely labelled but it costs £9 per person to get in. Edinburgh Botanic Gardens is free. Just saying.

But we were there to visit Daughter 2, not because we particularly wanted to see London. I'm not really a lover of cities, despite living in one. Edinburgh is tiny, however, compared with London. I particularly don't like the London underground, though of course it's essential if you need to get around. But there's something a bit dreadful about all those people scurrying down into the bowels of the earth and crowding on to trains  You go from the middle of the city, travel miles and then get out and you still seem to be in the middle of the city. I find the hugeness of it very oppressive. And even if it were the most beautiful place in the world, I could never forgive it for containing our lovely daughter.

However, we did enjoy spending time with her (and of course there are nice bits to London too).


  1. Maybe one day it will give you back your daughter.It had our son for 11 years before he returned.
    When we visited in 2011 the Physic garden was the place son took us on the first day - he knows my love of growing things, and we were able to walk across the bridge and be there. We laughed at their examples of kiwifruit and avocado - mere shadows of the real thing ( wrong climate ). If you are ever there again try their lunch - all vegetarian and absolutely delicious. We did have to wait as it was not quite cooked when we ordered - but we watched it being done so knew it was so fresh. The composting set up was impressive.
    It was the first of many beautiful gardens we visited throughout the UK.The young ones flat was just beside Battersea Park it had lovely parts but is huge.( it's free )

  2. I love London holidays, but I know what you mean. It's the dust and grit that gets to me. I feel dirty at the end of the day, and my skin feels rough, especially if I've had to go on the tube. Husband is a Londoner, and just isn't affected by it!
    I've joined the Friends of the Physic Garden in the past, just to be able to go in when it's quiet!

  3. I'm sorry you find London so oppressive. I think I can understand that having now lived in a smaller city for almost 20 years. But I still love big cities and the different neighbourhoods.
    I love the idea of that big house with only one bedroom! He obviously knew his limits where having guests were concerned!

  4. I am really hoping to get there in a week or so, have wanted to visit for years. And really, Edinburgh isn't that far, Isabelle, cheer up AND you have lovely G ALL the time! Can you tell I am missing my family, lol?

  5. I have longed long to see "Hamlet" at The Globe... and the longing will long linger, I fear... thanks for the bard's-eye view!

  6. I feel the same way about London...ok to visit but I don't want to linger...and yet my daughter is thrilled to be there and wants to stay..sigh......

  7. It's a very big city, too big for me......I have never been, although some of my ancestors came from there. But seeing the Globe would have been interesting!

  8. I'm sorry you're not a London fan Isabelle. I love London -- and Edinburgh for that matter too. Maybe because they're both just so different from where I live. And exciting. I laughed at your "just saying" comment. I think gardens everywhere should be free!

  9. We all have different tastes, don't we. I have several friends here in Melbourne who LOVE England (London in particular), and can't wait for their next visit (and that's after two or three visits already). I've never been to any part of Europe and I guess I would enjoy going there and seeing the big cities, but I would much rather live in an outer suburban or country town.