I bow to no one in my belief that London is one of the greatest cities in the world. I never intended to stay here. I came meaning to leave after four years. That was long ago. How do you leave a city that is endlessly fascinating, that is the definition of multicultural, where there is so much to do, to see?
This weekend we have been enjoying Lumière London organised by the amazing Artichoke, it gets people onto the streets in the coldest part of the year to enjoy wondrous illuminations. It’s free, so a great leveller. Old and young, monied and hard up can all enjoy the fun.
With events like these I fall in love with London all over again. Not that it stops me visiting ng other parts of the UK. Belfast is a favourite destination, and I am lucky that as my mother came from Co Derry I have family and friends in Northern Ireland it is a second home.
However, I wouldn’t do a day trip to Belfast from London. I’ll leave that fro the business travellers. But there are many other wonderful places you can visit from London. This year i have enjoyed two day trips. The first was to Leigh-on-Sea on the Essex coast. I have been there before and really enjoyed it. This visit confirmed my impressions.
One of the great things about being in London is how easily you can visit other parts of the country for the day. The train for Ipswich leaves from Liverpool Street station and the journey time is around an hour and a half.
It’s one of those places I have driven through but never stopped at. Famous for being the birthplace of Thomas Wolsey,the butcher’s son who rose to be one of the richest most powerful men in the land before he fell from grace when he could not procure a divorce for Henry VIII from his wife Catherine of Aragon.
The city is full of references to him, cardinal this and that, Wolsey this and that. A fine statue near the site of the house where he was born.
Wolsey Room in the Town Hall
The Most Famous Son
The Art Gallery
A Humble Man
Sculpture with cat
I’m doing a bit of homework for the tours I do fairly regularly to Salisbury, reading The Spire by William Golding. It’s very good, both the story and the way it is written. I’m two thirds of the way through, so not sure how it will end. I hope to finish it before I am back in Salisbury on Tuesday.
I am rather fond of Salisbury, so I was glad to meet someone at the start of last week who came with me a couple of weeks ago. She approached me smiling, and said how much she had enjoyed the day.
That sort of feedback always pleases.
Salisbury Cathedral’s spire is very famous. It pierces the sky above the town. Currently in the cloisters and in the churchyard around the cathedral there are sculptures by Sophie Ryder.
This one is my favourite:
Dog and hare having a conversation sitting on a horse
The explanation says the dog and hare are having a coversation while sitting on the horse and the horse is listening intently. Sophie Ryder uses animal figures, or often human bodies with animal heads, to explore the relationships we have with each other. That is a pretty important theme anywhere, but particularly in a Christian church. Continue reading