London and Being Thankful

Humbly giving thanks for an incredibly wonderful year with friends, experiences and good fortune.  I’m reflecting back on my June trip to the UK, where I met up with beloved friends from faraway places. 

Lovely to see you again, my friends.

London was my travel ‘hub’, meaning I passed through the city on my way to every other destination on my trip.  This is a London recap.

First destination was a lunch gathering at this restaurantI love how the menu resembles the album cover.  Here I ate delicious food and enjoyed catching up with old and new friends.  (This is where I learned that Apple Pie in the UK is not the same as in the US.  In the UK, the fruit filling has more of an applesauce consistency, whereas in the US it is sliced apples baked in the crust.  It is tasty both ways.)  Sticky Fingers menu-w

Then I rode the Thames Clipper to the O2 Arena, where I caught up with more friends I hadn’t seen in almost three years.Tower Bridge-w

Then there was the quick trip to Bristol, and then back to London, where I spent a few more hours visiting places on my ‘London bucket list.’

I can now say, “I went to the Chelsea Drug Store.” 

The drug store is a McDonald’s now, but they’ve adorned the downstairs dining area in a great retro style; I presume a nod to the building’s role in the Rolling Stones song.IMG_2999w


[Chelsea Drugstore reference at 3:05.]

I did a lot of walking; often past lovely rows of flats. IMG_2996w

Caught my first glimpse ever of the Battersea Power Station.IMG_2378w

But saw no flying pigs.

I bought a pair of earrings at the Buckingham Palace shop.  Earrings-w

Hung out at Bag O’Nails.

(This is not the same Bag O’Nails that was the famous Rock and Roll hangout in the 60s, but this one met my other needs, as it was on my way back from the palace store, it had wifi, coffee and food.  I had more UK apple pie ala mode. )IMG_2391w



Bag o Nails sign-w

On my return from the Glastonbury Festival, I visited Harrods.  But just hours after having camped three nights in a tent, the culture shock was immense.  So, I didn’t stay long in the store.  Even more surprising for me, I didn’t buy a thing.

I didn’t allow myself enough time at the Victoria and Albert museum.  The collection and displays were beautiful and overwhelming.  Victoria and Albert museum-w

I need to explore the Kensington Palace grounds next time, too.  This is as close as I got.  Kensington Palace Gate-w

Lovely sights were everywhere.  Window trellis-w

Does anyone besides me still miss the 2012 London Olympics?  It was the most enjoyable Games I’ve ever watched.   IMG_2988w

I took a stroll through Carnaby Street.  Carnaby banner-w

Then, I went to this other famous store, whose fabrics I adore.  I can’t believe I didn’t allow time to do some serious shopping here.  This is a definite do-over on my next trip to London.

Liberty of London-w

Enjoyed a soup dinner at the Neal’s Yard cafe.  Neal's Yard2-w

Neal's Yard3-w

Neal's Yard

The Tube is such a great way to get around.  This is a lovely skylight somewhere in the London Underground.    Underground window-w

A musical duo playing for donations in the Tube.  Tube musicians-w

Miscellaneous memories:

  • I discovered Argos.  It was a great way to pick up a few necessities for camping at the Glastonbury Festival.
  • I made numerous passes through Victoria Station.
  • Left Luggage got way too much of my money.

This song and video set in London is only two years old, but immediately became one of my all-time favorite holiday songs.  Until next time, my friends.

Where in the world to start

Home from my trip.  I had hoped to make a few posts while traveling, but it wasn’t to be.  I was always on the move, or without a good internet connection, or a workspace from which to compose something.  So here I sit with 12 days worth of experiences, thoughts and photos, wondering where to start.  How about at the end?  My banner picture gives a clue–I went to Glastonbury!  I took so many photos, but it won’t do to post 300 or so…  The Rolling Stones and Mumford and Sons were highlights of the festival for me (although just being there was the main highlight).  I also loved PIL, Elvis Costello, Billy Bragg, and The Proclaimers.  I’m also thrilled that I now know about The Staves.  I saw so many excellent performances.

Early both Saturday and Sunday mornings, I managed to get in run/walks, pausing to take a picture whenever I saw something interesting.  It was great getting out and seeing things while the rest of the crowd was mostly asleep.

I got to Glastonbury by coach, a really great way to go, in spite of certain factors that intervened to make it a longer trip.  Traffic congestion at Stonehenge delayed our arrival, and caused me to miss a couple of Friday concerts I’d hoped to see.  As cool as Stonehenge is, I was on a mission to see the other “Stones.”

Stonehenge traffic

But eventually, the coach crested a high ridge, and we could look down and see a panoramic view of the massive festival already underway.  There was a collective gasp from the coach passengers, followed by a sort of squeal, and then applause.

The next night I did see The Rolling Stones.  Me and 100,000 other fans.

Stones Glastonbury

Stones pano

The sights around the festival grounds were all captivating.

Note the row of colorful loos at the left.  Tents and loos Toilets men mostly

Every morning the garbage truck came through and removed the massive amount of trash from every bin.  A corps of people followed on foot with bags and gloves, picking up what was left on the ground.

Trash can

Sometimes I could see the musicians on stage.

M&S encore

Sometimes I had to look through others who were also having a great time.

M&S encore3

Sometimes the crowd was the view, and it was a great view.M&S crowd

Interesting people having a good time were everywhere.People

Some in uniform.Police

This was the nighttime view from my tent.  I don’t want to forget it.    Nighttime view from my tent