Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A rest between stops

What better way to rest from two weeks in two of the biggest, most beautiful and bustling cities in the world?

Why ascend a small mountain of course.

Ok, we didn't actually climb it ourselves.
We had a bit of help with a cable car.

Lunch at the top with a fabulous view.

We decided to walk down under our own steam,
even though we were told by about five people that we couldn't go in THOSE SHOES!!

But the path was in good condition (like everything in Switzerland).

And there were plenty of rest stops.

And within 30 minutes we made in one piece - still sporting our cute natty sandals.
We looked for our unbelievers but they had disappeared.

Next, a drive to a calm lake for ice cream and a dip of the toes in the water.

There were plenty of swans of course. 

Daughter tried to make friends with one.

But he was more interested in her toes.

To escape the toe eating swan we walked on.

And discovered - well - I'm really not sure.
A monument to the Knitters Guild of Thalwil maybe?

Felsenegg and Thalwil, Switzerland - July 2015

Monday, April 18, 2016

A day steeped in history.

Let us take a trip back in time my friends,
to a fortress built a millennium ago.

Our friendly guide will show us sights

and we will see some men in tights

and perhaps the odd crossbow.

There are many rooms to explore my friends
and accommodation is quite cosy.

Places to ponder,

Corridors to wander,

However the facilities are rather - errr - blowsy.

Such merriment to be had my friends.
Laughter, rhetoric and japes.

We can play hide and seek,

 or converse with a Queen.

All over the place we shall traipse.

But 'tis not all fun and games my friends.
This place has a dark past.

Kings have met sticky ends,

Queens have lost heads,

 And a boat ride may be your last......

The Tower Of London - June 2015

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A house of mystery and surprise.

"Are you here to see the collection?"


"I will return shortly."

And with that the black door was closed in our faces.

We were bewildered, befuddled and yet - bewitched.
Do we wait or move on?

We waited.

Presently the quietly spoken man returned.
We were instructed to take great care as the house was lit only by candle.
Electricity had not yet been discovered.

Photography was not allowed - one needed to just be in the moment and experience the surroundings.

"And please, although it is not forbidden, don't try to examine closely each small item.
The best view is from the middle of the room."

We tiptoed into the first room and found ourselves in a comfortable parlour.
The sound of a horse and carriage passed by the window.
Confused, I glanced through the lace curtain at the street outside - no carriages, just cars, but again I heard horses hooves on cobblestones.

The tinkling crash of porcelain behind me and I turn and see a broken cup on the hearth.
Fire crackling.
The smell of spiced ale.
A meal half eaten.
A cat runs across the room.

Where are we?

In another room we discover we have just missed a friendly gathering.
An alcohol fueled gathering by the sounds of ale jugs being opened and distant laughter in the hall.
The guests must be just leaving.
An overturned chair, spilled ale.

I turn and see a painting on the wall and realise that I am standing in that painting,
Only the people are missing.
And the mystery of the overturned chair is solved.

Room by room we explore, absorb and experience.
We communicate only in whispers.  Speaking out loud seems wrong.
We follow the story, room by room of fortunes rising and falling,
and in each room we feel the occupants have only just left.
I was sure they would return very soon.
If I waited.

For once I was happy for the no photography rule.
Instead of trying to get the perfect shot, I was free to just be - there.
Be part of the story.

And so I leave it to your imagination as to what is behind that black door.
(Or of course you can Google it)

Do you want to know where it is?
Come closer and I will whisper........................ "It's here"

Spitalfields, London - June 2015

Monday, April 4, 2016

Posh jam v's cool jam

 I'll take the latter please, after all
This Is A Modern World.

Posh morning tea at Harrods then off to...

The Jam: About the Young Idea exhibition at Somerset House.

Hundreds of 40, 50 and some 60 somethings were suddenly transformed into teenagers and bewildered actual teenagers wondered what on earth had just happened to their parents. (Daughter had enough and joined a group of bored teens waiting outside - all with their faces planted in their iPhones)

Some crowds.....

More crowds..........

Umm too many people!  

I found something to lean on and chatted with one of my favourite authors.

Can anyone tell me where the nearest tube station is please?  
I need my hotel room and a cup of tea.