Saturday, August 9, 2014

WW1 Poppies - and Ride London - a busy day in the City!

A few weeks ago I read about the ceramic poppy installation at the Tower of London to commemorate World War 1, and knew I'd have to go and see - you can also buy one (here) which I have done.  Today dawned sunny (after heavy rain overnight) so off I went... straight to the Tower!

 it certainly already looks like blood swept lands and seas of red, goodness knows how spectacular it will look in November when the final poppy - 888246 - is planted, one for every Commonwealth member of the armed forces to give his or her life during the war. I'll go back to see the difference!
the volunteers were just getting started for the day..

 wonder if one of these is mine?!
 crowds of people watching already, even just after 10 in the morning.

it looks great from the top of the wall, but I wish you could get down at ground level too.

 I hadn't realised it was continuing round the other side of the Tower too, this is on the river side (I was standing on a bench!)

I could have stayed all day... but there was lots else on!!
 not least the Prudential Ride London Free Cycle - miles of London roads closed to traffic (it was so quiet!!) and cyclists of all ages took to the roads..

 and I wandered around London having fun....I think this is the first trip to London with my new camera...

Tower Bridge
 the Tower - round the back!
 the Shard
 Tower Bridge again
 in Cloister's Walk in St Katherine's Dock, round the corner from Tower Bridge, are a series of enamel panels I've seen for ages, but never really stopped to read this!
 reminds me of Lin Brown's stencils..
 gelli plate printing anyone?
 colourful "book" benches dotted around London  - Lynnette on twitter found one at Waterloo station on her way on holiday, and I came across a few more!
They're made to look like open books

This was at the Tower
 the back of the seat
 it was hard to get photos without anyone sitting on them!
this was based on Wind in the Willows
 fancy juggling on a unicycle on a high wire? he was great!
The last time I was here (at Tower Hill) watching racing was the London Olympics in 2012, for the women's marathon - and I got soaked to the bone... bit different today!
(edit - just read this back this morning, must have been too tired, as I see I put this was at St Paul's not Tower Hill!)
not sure I'd attempt it..

 I love all the reflections and new architecture alongside the old London
and all round the course, there was entertainment (like the unicycling above) - these were having great fun.
 St Paul's Cathedral looking glorious against the blue blue sky

 more fab reflections

 I had walked and walked, (and a couple of hops on the tube) and ended back at the Tower!

One last look at the poppies, then headed home...
except I couldn't resist jumping out at St James's Park and walking through past Buckingham Palace and through Green Park before getting the tube back to Victoria, and a train home.... knackered!
I had 5 minutes sit down at the Tower (on visit 2) otherwise I was walking all day..

Hope you like the photos - do go to see the poppy installation if you can, it is fabulous!


massofhair said...

Thank you so much for sharing the poppies Helen as i will not be able to see them irl. You have taken some cracking pictures!

Glad you enjoyed your day, time for feet up and a rest:-) xxx

CraftygasheadZo said...

Wow what pictures. Those poppies look stunning and I'm pleased I've purchased one. Glad you had a great day, kind of jealous, I'd love to just go, hop on off tube and wander around but I can't. One day I will go to London and explore though! Take care Zo xx

sam21ski said...

WOW Helen, fantastic photos, and that sea of red looks fantastic. I hope you're going to go back in in a couple of months to see how it's all changed!!

Thanks for the tour of the sites of London too, such a long time since I've been.

And you picked a fabulous day to go to, great photos and the weather really makes it, doesn't it.

Thanks for sharing as ever - Sam xxx

Julia Dunnit said...

Your pics are fab, they really show the organic shapes they're planted in, something I haven't seen on all the press so far. You deserve to be footsore, crikey, you did. A lot of walking....and just as well today..the forecast for tomorrow is hideous!

Neet said...

Thank you so much Helen. What a wonderful sight those poppies must have been. I am going to share your blog with a friend in America who is coming over on a trip shortly.
Love those benches too, I would love to be able to just wander around London and take photos of all the benches. Think art like that is amazing.
Thank you so much Helen, you are a gem!
Hugs, Neet xx

fairy thoughts said...

Not sure if you got my earlier comment ... It went ....... Somewhere anyway fab photos I am
Planning on gping to the tower later .... Was going to ask you if you have to pay to get in or can you see them from the outside ( thinking more of the queues than the money)

Lunch Lady Jan said...

Blimey, you walked miles!! Great photos though, those poppies are amazing and so poignant xx

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the photos, especially of the poppies, they look wonderful. Thinking as I looked at your photos how much I miss London, haven't been in so long. I'm glad you enjoyed your day, hope you've got your feet up by now.

Deborah Wainwright said...

Wow what an amazing day you have had. Thank you for sharing your fabulous photos. The Poppys look stunning, and I loved the seats. Your photos made me miss my time living there. Loved hopping on a tube for some culture and diversity. Looks like you enjoyed it xx

Gabrielle said...

Gosh! The poppy installation is stunning. Thank you visiting mine - I'll return the favour and visit yours later in the month! Wonderful photos of your day in London - no wonder you're shattered!!!

craftimamma said...

Your photos are beautiful Helen and OH is going to take a look later too. I would love to see those poppies (including mine) irl but am pretty sure it's not going to happen. Never mind, you've done a fab job for us and as always your photos are stunning.

Lesley Xx

BJ said...

Super photos

snazzyoriginal said...

Beautiful photos Helen, brings back memories of when we lived in Earlsfield in the early '80s and were just a 2 min hop from all of that. I can't wait to see the poppies for real but have to be patient as not going until 27 Sept! Thanks so much for sharing x

Carmen said...

Amazing photos! Thank you for this Helen. I would love to get up to see them but realistically can't see me affording to. I bought a poppy as well - and that's made me feel a part of it.

I never even knew they did that ride event - what a great thing to do!

craftytrog said...

Wonderful photos Helen, the poppies are stunning! Love the book benches too. Must go up soon, and see for myself.
Alison xxx

Elizabeth said...

Hi Helen, no idea how I missed visiting this blog but delighted to have found it today. Love this post and all the fab photos. London is a lively place by the look of it and your pics show just why it is such a popular city to visit. Thanks for sharing. Elizabeth xx

Eliza said...

Helen thank you for the wonderful tour of your town and it's beautiful sights. Those poppies are Amazing and to see the other places truly was magnificent, this is really one of many places I was to see IRL but will have to be content in what you have shared.

Thank you again

Hugs Eliza & Yoda