Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dickens and London On A Saturday

Hello all! So as I mentioned in my last post, Brit Boy and I headed to London on this past Saturday, despite not going ahead to see “Sister Act”. We had a good time and it was good to have a day out.

We took the train into Paddington Station. Since we were arriving a bit before lunch-ish, we headed for the tube so we could make our way to Sophie’s, which is one of our favorite places to eat nowadays :-) We had a wonderful waiter. We got seated and served very quickly since we beat the rush. We got a prime spot up front and when I looked out of the window over Brit Boy’s shoulder, I caught sight of this blue plaque.

All around London there are these blue plaques which mark different locations of interest where certain well known people lived or worked or where something occurred. This one marks the building that housed the offices of Charles Dickens’ magazine “All The Year Round” and his private apartments from 1859 to 1870. The magazine was a weekly publication and featured essays, poetry, serialized fiction, and other writings. I just happened to notice the plaque after I noticed that there was a coffee house there that was using his name. Who knew? :-)

We’ve eaten at Sophie’s before, but we are usually there after dark when we’ve gone in the past and everything is so busy, so it’s easy to miss things. That’s why I really loved getting a chance to sit there in the daylight and take a look around. So as a lover of literature, I was truly excited to be around where Dickens once walked. By the way, the light bulbs that you see in the photo are inside the restaurant, but I thought it would be fun for you to see the plaque the way I first saw it.

And here’s a better view of the plaque from outside and a view of the building from down the street…

After we had lunch, we took a walk around Covent Garden. I love strolling around the market there and doing some people watching. Here are a few photos of the sights…

Check out the tasty looking cupcakes above, all lined up and ready to be sold. I wanted to taste all of them ;-)

Below is the entryway of a lovely shop called, Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop. I thought that this display looked so inviting for a child of any age from 5 to 105. To the right of this display there were stairs that led up to the shop. It seemed all beautifully Willy Wonka-esque to me and I loved it! :-)

We walked along to another section of the market and I told Brit Boy that I wanted to check and see if the palm reader was there that I visited a couple of years ago. The palm reader was very intriguing and it was all in fun, but some things that he said did resonated, so who knows??? :-) Sadly though, he wasn’t there anymore. We did see someone else we remembered from before though. There was an artist that we met before and we bought a print from him. It made me happy to see that he was still there using his creativity and doing great work :-)

After our walk around Covent Garden, we decided to head to a museum. We decided upon the Science Museum. I’m usually one more for the art-filled museums, but this was a very interesting place. It was a good change of pace. There were loads and loads of exhibits. There was a lot about NASA and a bit about everything and I mean everything that has ever been created. I came away with one main thought about the whole experience. Humankind has created so much and it boggles my mind to think of what it must’ve been like to create things that had never existed before. It's something special to have the faith to see it through in bringing new things to the world.

There were day to day items and big things to see, but what also stuck with me was that it made me see our place in the passing of time. One day, some of the things that we use in our homes everyday may be in a display case for others to see. And feeling that connection to the thread of history, even as an everyday person, made me feel a bit in awe. What a glorious feeling that was.

It’s hard to really share representative photos since there was so much, but here are a very few.

Above: Ford Model T - 1916

Above: Panhard & Levassor car - 1895. This is an example of the type of car that won the world's first motor race in France in 1895.

Above: a Royal Mail coach

Above: Apollo 10 Command Module - 1969

As our Saturday in London drew to a close, we strolled back along the edge of Hyde Park and the leafy surroundings. The light was beautiful as the sun was retreating. Take a look…

Below are our feet, you have a Dori foot and a couple of Brit Boy feet ;-) This is a photo I took while we were taking a breather and sitting in Hyde Park.

It was a wonderfully varied day and I enjoyed our trip to London as I always do. We made our way back to Paddington Station and caught our train back to Wiltshire. I hope you enjoyed coming along with us! :-)


Anonymous said...

The Dori shoe on the Dori foot is uber-cool.

Carol Yates Wilkerson said...

I would have been just as excited at the prospect of being so close to where Dickens lived and worked.

Anne said...

It looks like such a great day! I love seeing historic buildings unexpectedly. Somehow it is more exciting than when it is planned.

Tink said...

Very interesting, thanks for sharing!

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Unknown said...

glad you guys had a good time. i love pics of the the countryside. so green, lush, and peaceful.

RE - RecycledFrockery said...

wowww,, looks like major fun was had by allllllll. good for you. those are such cute shoes. awwww, glad you had fun. the royal science academy is fun always. have you been to the botanical gardens ? now that's fun. I love covenant gardens. theres' always something there calling my name, everywhere I turn. great snaps as always Dori Dear.

Dori said...

Thanks! :) They are my favorite shoe. Have a great weekend!

Carol Yates Wilkerson,
Yeah, it was so cool when I noticed that his place was right across the street :)

Isn't it the greatest when that happens? :) I love a surprise like that.

You're welcome :) I will be visiting you in just a moment.

Yes. My favorite bit of the day was when we were able to find the green bits in the middle of the busy city :) Have a great weekend!

Thanks for the shoe love :) I haven't been to the botanical gardens yet, but they're definitely on our list. Oh yes, I love Covent Garden...I hear stuff calling my name there too ;-) Have a great weekend!

Melissa said...

Aww, such a wonderful day! Lovely pictures! I also love being in places that are rich with history and I'm an avid fan of literature as well. Must be an amazing feeling to be in Dickens' surroundings! I'm so looking forward to when Bristol Boy and I can take trips like these.

Dori said...

Yes, it was cool to notice the Dickens connection :) I hope that you'll enjoy your trips too. It's great when you stumble across places like we did that day :)

Mandy said...

What a lovely adventure! I love that you went to the Science Museum and saw completely different things than I saw there!! It goes to show how big it is and how we must go back sometime. I like the look of that toy shop.

Dori said...

Yes it was great! A lot of what I photographed was all mostly on the ground floor. It's a shame that you didn't get to see the area that we saw. You're right...it's really spread out.I hope that you get to return soon. It's well worth the trip and fascinating :)