Hey Ho

Hey ho, it’s back to school they go. Meaning London is quieter as well as cooler. The crowds in the museums and galleries are thinning out and there are hints of autumn in the air.

For a Keatsian moment visit the British Museum. You could contact me to arrange a private tour, or come on a public tour. I’ll be there this afternoon, 22nd August, meeting outside Russell Square tube at 2.15, and again next Monday,27th August, at 2.30.

The City is endlessly fascinating. Such a small area packs an impressive punch. I am always happy to lead bespoke tours around the Square Mile on a variety of subjects and themes. st-pauls.jpg

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Keep Blue Badge Guided Tours in Parliament

Some of you follow this blog because you have been on my tours and enjoyed them, tours that include the Palace of Westminster. I qualified as a Blue Badge Guide twenty years ago. In 2000 I took an additional course and passed the written and practical exams to allow me to guide in Parliament.

However, the future of Blue Badge Guides in this building is under threat. There are plans to replace us in just five months with non-professional guides who will learn a script.
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A Spring in my Step

London under snow was beautiful, but I can’t say I’m sorry the thaw has come. It was cold. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Now the mercury is rising, the daylight hours are longer, and with the snow gone growth is apparent everywhere you look.
I’ll be leading a number of public tours over the next few weeks, starting with one around the Elephant and Castle on Sunday.
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Happy 2018! Travel Safely, Visit Well

A New Year. A fresh start. A new opportunity. So what will you do? Have you made your resolutions?

I’m going to continue my 2017 pattern of day trips to places in the UK. They have been fabulous. Without a doubt Coventry was the highlight. I went there twice, and I urge any of you who have not been to add it to your list pronto.

I’d love to take people around that amazing city, so if you want an enthusiastic guide get in touch. Sheffield is on the list for 2018, and I’d like to visit Lincoln and Nottingham, but I’m not sure they are achievable in a day trip from London.

One destination on my list that is definitely not achievable in a day is New Zealand. I have quite a few clients from New Zealand and I was supposed to be a New Zealander but my parents decided not to emigrate. Visiting other countries helps join the dots, make sense of our connections and shared history as well as our differences. Continue reading “Happy 2018! Travel Safely, Visit Well”

Cutting It

Tomorrow morning is due to be sunny; the heavens be praised.

I shall be leading a walk around The Cut starting at 10.45 outside Southwark tube.

The Cut is pretty couth these days, but George Sala, a nineteenth century journalist saw it differently. He said the gin shops, leviathan, ghastly in their newness, richness of decoration were the only things new. Everything else was secondhand. The women were slovenly, you could hear the howling of beaten children and kicked dogs; the tenements were vile and rotten. There was a smell of escaped gas, deceased cats, ancient fish, unwashed soddened, unkempt, feckless humanity.
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Going Under

I’m going to be having a bit of break from guiding people around this wonderful city as tomoorow I am heading for Australia.

I’ll be back in December, and getting back into harness leading the Walworth walk on Saturday 3rd December at 10.45 from outside Kennington tube, and getting into the festive season at the artists’ open studios.

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Oh to be in England

Spring has sprung and April is well and truly established.  It’s a month where the weather is as changeable as the days. Showers, wind and sunshine chase each other through the hours. Trees get greener, more blossom laden by the minute.

It’s a time of hope, of new life, and London stirs like a great beast and stretches towards summer.

Tomorrow, Sunday 17th April, I am leading a walk around Denmark Hill and Camberwell. It’s an area close to the centre of London, but greener and leafier than you might expect. In the past it was called South London’s answer to Belgravia. It was also the home to many German families who had migrated to London, including some of my own family. Indeed my grandparents were married there, and it is where my father was born.

So it has a special meaning for me.

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The William Booth Memorial College, Denmark Hill

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Scrufts annual community dog show – Saturday June 27th 2015

Oh a dog show in Camberwell, in the square where my grandmother grew up and my father was born. What bliss. I can feel the family ghosts beaming their approval. And the family ghost dogs are barking theirs.

Friends of Brunswick Park

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We hope you can join us for our annual dog show on Saturday 27th June from 1pm – 4pm.

Lots of categories to enter. Amazing prizes including an portrait of your pouch, awarded to the best in show.  There’s also a raffle with great prizes to be had.

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