Sunday, May 22, 2016

The last day is guess I had better catch you up!

Well back for another recap of the last couple of days.  Time is going too quickly - one more sleep and it's time to head home.  Part of me is okay with it and the other part is saying NOOOOOOO!!!   Ideally I would go home for the summer and be back here on October 1st with a big smile on my face.  That won't be happening though - I really have no clue when I will be back.  So I am savouring every minute. 

When I left you last I was at the Internet cafe moaning about not being able to go on the walking tour of the West Highgate cemetery.  Yesterday I got an email asking how it was and wanting feedback...grumble, grumble.  Anyway I shall back up to that morning with the pictures...

Here are a few of the area around Camden Market...

And here's a picture of the stall where I spent too much money on coasters...thought it could have been a lot worse...I mean look at these faces...

Yesterday (Thursday) I headed to Borough Market....

This shop is wonderful but I already have spices from there I haven't used yet!  But you can order online..

This cheese is absolutely wonderful but sadly I had nowhere to store it this time...

Red phone box turned into an ATM

These cookies were the biggest I've ever seen...and no I didn't buy any!

I did buy one of these elephants though - I've had them before and they are delicious spice cookies.  Though I have yet to consume it - almost too pretty to eat! (notice I said almost...)

Nope, didn't have any goat ice cream.  I was saving myself for lunch!

I took a short cut through Redcross way and saw a bunch of flowers on the side of a chain link fence.  I couldn't figure out what it was.  But it made an interesting picture with the Shard  behind it...

I turned the corner and here's what I saw...

Turns out it is a burial ground that (within the garden and surrounding area) could contain up to 15,000 bodies.  It is believed this is the "Singles Women's churchyard" for medieval sex workers who of course were excluded from Christian burial (don't get me started...) so were put in unconsecrated ground.  The brothels or stews as they were known in the area were actually licensed by the Bishop of Winchester under an Ordinance signed by Thomas Becket! The women became known as the "Winchester Geese".  There have been many referrals to the Cross Bones burial grounds and mentioning the location as well.  Cross Bones was closed in 1853 as it was getting to be a "Public health and public decency" hazard.   It had been also used as a pauper's grave site as more than 60% of the skeletons found were that of children.  A vigil is held at the site on the 23rd of every month to "honour the outcast, dead and alive".  I will definitely try to attend one when I am next in London.  I love discovering new places and parts of history in London!

Notice the geese...

The volunteers have made a bit of a garden in what was once a very tough part of London. (in Victorian times it was a cholera infested slum where London bobbies feared to go) to honour the dead buried here.

Then it was back to Bankside for a bit of a walk..

Time for lunch!  I finally found a place that makes Turkish pide (pizza) - it was good but not as good as the pide I had in Turkey.  Plus the pastry was a bit too crispy.  But I still enjoyed it!

I then walked over the Millennium bridge to St Paul's but not before taking a few photos..

Not sure what this was about but they were video taping two "tourists" walking around just never know what you will see next in London.

I then took a bus to Piccadilly Circus where I popped into Fortnum and Mason to see the Alice in Wonderland exhibit.  It is to promote the film so used the props, etc. from there. (they even had Johnny Depp's outfit on display). I thought it would be the old fashioned Alice so was disappointed but oh well...

This the "Walmart greeter" of Fortnum and Masons...yes it's that kind of place.  Need I add I didn't buy anything...I did look at the tea but I got a similar tin from Twinings for half the price....I have enough damn tea to sink a battle ship but that said I have been good as I was promising myself to get some nice tea in England.  And I did!!  (and coasters and tea towels and books...but let's not go there right now...)

I then went to see the comedy "The Play That Goes Wrong" about basically the world's worst theatre company which was hilarious.  I felt that the last half hour or so got a bit over the top but still enjoyed it so much.

Friday I moved from my bed and breakfast Iolanthe in north London (Hampstead Garden Suburb which is near Hampstead Heath) to Streatham for the last couple of days of my trip.  I wanted to see Claudia and her son Allesandro again before I left and it also has such easy access to Gatwick.  I then sat and had coffee with Claudia and she gave me the Belgian chocolates (from Bruges) that Loraine had left for me...thanks Loraine! and had a catch up.  I then decided okay I will have a quick look at Kensal Green cemetery which Loraine had told me about.  It is north of Paddington so about an hour later I was there...I wandered through on my own (as in no tour) - it doesn't bother me to be alone in a graveyard - I fear the living more than the dead.  Of course maybe not at night and there is a strange orb in one of my photos...seriously....anyway I saw other people and there were workers.  The cemetery is HUGE - it is one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries opened on the (then) outskirts of London when the city cemeteries were overrun and causing disease. (basically bodily fluids were leaking into the water supplies causing disease and children were playing with bones in the church yards) which I will be talking about more in a future blog post.  Here are a couple of I did not take a tour I know nothing....for now...until I do more research...

Next it was off to the British Museum to see the special exhibition of Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost Worlds.  Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus were once thriving cities but earthquakes and tidal waves eventually took them into the sea.  Ruins were first spotted from a plane in the 1930's but it wasn't until 1996 when divers went down to have a closer and they were gradually over the next few years brought to the surface.  One of the sculpture was six tons!  It was really such an amazing exhibit but of course photos were not allowed - so of course I had to buy a guide book so I could have something to remember it by. (although I must say I always do buy a souvenir book when I visit one of the British Museum's special exhibits as it's so ...well...special!) 

I then wandered around Bloomsbury which I have a soft spot for as I stayed in that area when visiting London from pretty much mid 80's until 2000. 

My friend Pat told me about this - sadly I didn't manage to get there on the days it was open.  Talk about innovative!  These shops are referred to "pop up" shops as they are only open either for a limited amount of time or infrequently.

My last pie and a pub...and no wine...I hadn't eaten much all day, was VERY tired and I know what wine does to me on an empty stomach when I am tired and if you've been reading this blog you know too! 

Yesterday I got my hair cut in Croydon and had a look around the shops then went to see Brian Wilson perform Pet Sounds as well as other Beach Boys hits.  Wonderful!  Their music always makes me so happy. 

Today is my last day in London.  Claudia is making pancakes for Sunday brekky then I will get showered and dressed and head off to the East end markets.  I'm  not allowed to buy anything but tiny jewellery - I just don't know how I am going to fit everything into my small (just above carry on size...barely) duffle bag...I hope to hell Luftansa lets me take two carry ons (big purse and day pack) or I am, for lack of a better word..screwed.

Tomorrow I will be up for 24 hours before I land in my bed. 

 Lots more stories to tell and another trip coming up so quickly I will barely have time to do my laundry and repack. (yes I am crazy...). More details on that later...if my Internet has been turned back on of course! 

See you on the flip side!

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