Transitions

London Travel Blog

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Going to the palace
 

My stride had a new spring to it after buying second-hand shoes at a charity store in Southfields. The pair of black Adidas looked a little flashy with bright yellow trim but they were the only pair close to my size. I handed the clerk a 10 Pound note and made the transition to shoes and socks right there in the store. Slipping into a pair of crew socks that I had kept felt immediately warm and comforting - like curling into flannel sheets on a northern autumn night. My theory of wearing over-sized flip-flops for seven months made the annual ritual a smooth transition. I didn't stumble, trip, or miss a step but would stop often to re-tie them.

 

I rode the tube to Piccadilly Circus hoping to buy a jacket too but the fashionable Lily White store there would not open until ten o'clock.

The lake in Saint James' Park
Instead of waiting, I walked the sunny side of the street to Green Park. The British flag was flying over Buckingham Palace signaling that the queen was in residence. It was about 9:00 and I wondered what time she sipped her morning tea. Television camera platforms dotted the area. One anchor was rehearsing a news story with the royal palace in the background. (Unbeknownst to me or the world, Prime Minister Gordon Brown would announce his retirement there later in the day.)

 

The sky toward Westminster buzzed with circling news helicopters so I strolled in that direction along the lake in St. James' Park. A wide variety of birds, ducks, and squirrels wandered its colorful south shore. Graceful white swans drifted glassy waters in a natural woodland setting.

Imperial War Museum
London has many such parks and they are all fantastic to stroll. Government buildings at the far end of the park stirred with media activity. Reporters and camera crews hovered around Downing Street which was blocked off to the public. They also swarmed in front of several nearby buildings. History was being shaped behind the closed doors with the forming of a new British government after Friday's election. Much grander than my own, I wondered how many feet that transition might warm.

 

I crossed the River Themes and continued about another mile to the Imperial War Museum. Besides educational audio-video programs throughout, the museum housed interesting displays of military tanks, cannons, vehicles, one-man submarines, a German V-2 rocket, and much more. Aircraft from the two world wars hung from the high ceiling. After several hours, I walked back to Westminster and rode the tube back to Southfields. My feet stayed warm and the 'new' shoes were broken in.

vulindlela says:
Lovely photos!
Posted on: May 23, 2010
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Going to the palace
Going to the palace
The lake in Saint James Park
The lake in Saint James' Park
Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum
The transition
The transition
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Going to Buckingham Palace
Going to Buckingham Palace
Big Ben
Big Ben
Reporter
Reporter
Swan in Saint James Park
Swan in Saint James' Park
Waiting for news
Waiting for news
Gates to Downing Street
Gates to Downing Street
Quiet bridge
Quiet bridge
London Eye
London Eye
London Eye gondolas
London Eye gondolas
P-51 Mustang
P-51 Mustang
London
photo by: ulysses