Weekend Roundup - 14th/15th April '12
There are three walks to roundup today, so I'll try to be reasonably concise, which might in itself be an oxymoron ... if that's the right word.
Trafalgar Sq to St Paul's
On Saturday morning I was joined by Natalie, Sam, Leah and Anne or maybe Anna (she didn't seem too sure herself) and we set off from an abnormally busy Trafalgar Square, due to the Holland House Dutch Festival, which according to their official blurb, is a 'full on party of orange proportions' to celebrate the Dutch Queen Mother's birthday. I'd have thought that a party of 'orange proportions' would be a very small and round party that could fit in the palm of your hand. Anyway ... we headed through Covent Garden, where we were joined by the fashionably late Darren. Here they all are in Covent Garden.
We then weaved our way through Fleet Street and managed to pop by a bit of 14th Century priory and also St Bride's church amongst other things en route to St Paul's cathedral.
St Paul's to Monument
Anna (or Anne) and Darren returned after lunch for some more Bowl Of Chalk action to complete the Saturday 'double whammy' and with the new recruits Della, Elise and Laura we set off from St Paul's and after a minor detour headed over the wobbly bridge to Bankside to be joined by Syreeta (I think that's how you spell it) who had been trying to find somewhere to park her car. That's beside the point really, but the next stop was the recreated Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. If anyone of a mildly foreign disposition is reading this, I feel compelled to mention that the Globe have been busy putting together a quite incredibly adventurous and exciting festival which runs from the 21st April until the 9th June and every one of Shakespeare's plays will be performed in a different language by 37 international theatre companies. Not surprisingly they have called it the World Shakespeare Festival 2012. Check it out.
Here are Saturday afternoons group sitting inside one of the few remaining pieces of Old London Bridge which is situated in Guy's Hospital. The guy on the left (with whom Elise seems to be getting rather familiar) wasn't actually on the walk, but is a statue of John Keats who studied at the hospital before embarking on a rather short lived career as a romantic poet.
My neck of the woods - east end walk
I was fortunate enough on Sunday to be joined by another great bunch of people keen to explore Old Street, Hoxton, Shoreditch and the like. It was actually a bit nippy on Sunday and Rita who had come along on the walk decided that she'd like to invite the whole group to tea (which was incredibly nice of her). So, we popped in to I made It For You, a small, recently opened independent tea and cake type place on Pitfield Street. Here are Rita, Ivan, Nathalie, Gemma and Matt just before the soda bread arrived.
From here, we made our way to Columbia Road Flower market, scooted around the busy Brick Lane Market, shimmied through a snippet of the City of London before finishing by Spitalfields Market.
Most fashionably late - Darren and Syreeta
Most German - Anne (or Anna)
Most generous Lithuanian hot beverage provider - Rita
Best beard - Ivan
Best moustache - No winners
Tallest - Matt
Most knowledgeable about Alfred Hitchcock - Nathalie
The Della award for the whitest teeth - Elise
Weekend Roundup - 14th & 15th Jan '12
The first London walks of 2012 took place this weekend under a clear, crisp and bright wintery sky ... except when it got dark on Saturday. It was still clear and crisp, but less bright.
Saturday 14th Jan
In the end it kicked off with Saturday afternoons walk and after meeting the group of intrepid Chalkers, had a minor mooch around the streets that surround St Paul's cathedral before heading over the wobbly bridge to Bankside.
We paid an impromptu visit to the Rose Theatre, or at least its watery remains, as it was the first Elizabethan theatre, built in 1587 and after the foundations were re-discovered in 1989 now resides in the bowels of the office building that was built over the top. However, we had an equally impromptu mini talk from a lady who worked there, and next time you're down on Bankside, spare a thought for the Rose, to which the recreated Globe owes a huge debt.
Anyway, here are Saturday's Bowl Of Chalkers in Borough Market. See how much fun they're having. They've even got a coffee. It just blows me away each time I see it.
Here they are exploring a quiet enclave of of Guy's Hospital.
Sunday 15th Jan
On my way to meet Sunday's Chalkers for their east London walk I spied a new piece by street artist Xylo which has popped up by Old Street roundabout next to the City Road Turnpike plaque. Xylo is more than a one trick wonder, but these little golden frogs are sprinkled all over London and apparently represent the 'global crisis of mass species extinction'.
It was another clement, but chilly day and despite Old Street underground station and most of the Northern Line being closed, I was impressed with the tenacity of the group to valiantly find their way to the starting point.
Here they are outside the Geffrye Museum, which if you haven't been is one of the many gems to be discovered in the Shoreditch area. It is a museum dedicated to how Londoners have lived from 1600 to the present day, housed within a beautiful building that was itself built in 1714.
Laure seemed to be quite taken with the tiny figures created by street artist Pablo Delgado, like this one just near to Columbia Road flower market.
As were the whole group for that matter, even when standing on a street almost completely covered by street artist Eine.
That photo wasn't remotely staged by the way. After this, we headed to Spitalfields where the east London walk drew to a close outside the Ten Bells, a pub whose walls, if they could speak might reveal the true identity of Jack The Ripper. Obviously they can't speak, so I don't know why I mentioned it. Sorry, I was having a moment.
Most Canadian - Amy & Whitney (although Amy was pseudo Canadian, so I guess Whitney has the edge)
Most French - Laure
Most medically qualified group - Saturday afternoon
Most multi lingual - Dan
Bowl Of Chalk
Bowl Of Chalk based shenanigans.