The Royal Navy is present in London for the celebrations of the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. There’s more about the celebrations here on the Royal Navy website.
In some ways it could have been surrounded by a much worse collection of buildings. Although nothing of the quality of One New Change seems to have been built near to the Tower to blend the ancient and modern.
At least it’s impossible to see the Tower of London and the Tower Hotel at the same time.
Watching the bridge go up and down, I realised what a classic of monstrous architecture, the Tower Hotel opposite where I stood, is!
I suspect that if anybody applied for planning permission today, they’d be sent back to their drawing board with several fleas in their ears, to think again. Wikipedia sums up the hotel like this.
The Tower Hotel, part of the Guoman collection, is situated on the north bank of the River Thames, on the east side of Tower Bridge, in London. It is built in a modern style considered unattractive by many, indeed it was voted the second ugliest building in London in a 2006 BBC poll. However, it is reputed to offer occupants excellent views from its rooms.
As you see, they do give the rooms credit. But I am very much reminded of Guy de Maupassant’s thoughts on the Eiffel Tower.
I think I went inside once to meet someone with C and our view afterwards was it is the sort of hotel, where you took somebody else’s husband or wife to impress them. I think one of her clients had done that, as I haven’t and I don’t think she ever did!
Surprisingly, I’d never seen the opening and closing of Tower Bridge from up close. But as today, I hadn’t anything planned and the BBC London News said it would open twice at 10:30 and 17:00, I decided to go and look.
The boat that requested these openings was the SB Kitty.
I then walked on to Tower Bridge.
I timed my arrival for just before 10:30, as the BBC had announced the bridge would be opening at that time. There is a list of opening times here.
I was on the top of One New Change, this morning in the sunshine.
You can also see the Shard all too clearly. But I didn’t take a picture, as it’s ruined enough of my pictures already.
It really is the best free camera platform in the centre of London.
I took this picture of an advert for four of the major tourist attractions in London.
But the London Aquarium, the London Dungeon and Madame Tussauds, would be prime examples of the sort of places, I would never chose to visit.
The latter must be one of the most over-hyped rip-offs in London! If I want to see likenesses of famous people, I go to the National Portrait Gallery, which shows Tussauds t0 be the crap it is. And the National Portrait Gallery is totally free, except for the special exhibitions.
The BBC has done a blind tasting test of the tap water from various parts of the United Kingdom.
I don’t drink much water directly, although I do drink a lot of it in cups of tea all day.
I was brought up in London and I suspect that the water I drink now in Hackney is vaguely similar to that I had sixty years ago in Enfield. It’s probably exactly the same to that we had in the Barbican, as that area is only a kiolmetre or so away and I can see the flats from the corner of my road.
I certainly will drink it again, if there is nothing else, which is something I hardly ever did, whilst living away from London.
Except for the four years or so, that I lived in Liverpool, I’ve always lived in hard water areas. In fact, at one time, I lived in Melbourn near Cambridge, which in the 1970s reputedly had the hardest water in England. It also had quite a few sets of twins and the doctor thought there was a connection.
It’s funny, though but a few months ago after a couple of days in Liverpool, the tastes and smells around my mouth were quite different. It was almost if they were much fresher. But that could have been the Liverpudlian sea air.
Incidentally, one of the waters they tasted was from Woodbridge in Suffolk, where C and I lived for twenty or so years. The water didn’t come out well in the taste test! But I do remember C, who was an obsessive water drinker, saying she didn’t like the water, when we moved to Newmarket. She used to drink masses of bottled water, although usually insisted on tap water in a restaurant.
I’ve never been to the base of the Gherkin or 30, St. Mary Axe to name it correctly, until today.
A lot of the buildings between the Gherkin and Liverpool Street station have now been removed and the views of the building are a lot better, as some of the pictures show. Note the reflection of the Gherkin in the windows of TK-Maxx.
I’ve nothing against either group, but although I hope one day to be part of the first, I doubt I’ll ever be vegetarian. I couldn’t be that today, as I’ve just had some delicious meat pate.
But in my view, there are a lot of vegetarians, who are overly touchy. I remember once being served a meal in a five-star boutique hotel with organic wholemeal bread and the vegetarian owner couldn’t get it, that wheat was bad for me. As it was organic, surely that wouldn’t cause me any harm, as animals were the problem. So C gave her both barrels as only a barrister could and we never ate in the hotel again.
Change a recipe for a chocolate bar and the veggies will get you, as Mars found out a couple of years ago.
it now appears that cyclists in London can get just as touchy about changing road layouts, as this story shows. The article even has a go at Crossrail, saying that it will bring lots of shoppers into Central London.
I regularly go to that area and it is a nightmare for everybody and especially pedestrians and cyclists. I found this out a few days ago and posted this.
The question i asked in that post is probably the correct one and the sooner we get New Buses for London in those routes around Piccadilly Circus and down the Haymarket the better, as I’m certain they would get a lot of the pedestrians out of the way. Some pedestrians might even say they’d had enough and see an open platform on a bus and go for it!
What’s the betting though, that in a few months as more and more New Buses for London appear, we will read an article about cyclists complaining about them?
Perhaps to create more road-space in Central London, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put restrictions on taxis. Now taxi-drivers are another group, who act like vegetarians and get touchy at the least provocation.
How about banning rickshaws too?
But the main thing that is needed is some good British design, followed up with a good helping of compromise!