I actually have two weekends worth of walks to roundup, so I shall begin with the previous weekend (11th & 12th January) which began with a mighty group, comprising of the extended family of the Robertson's who were celebrating a 70th birthday. Here they are outside St Paul's cathedral at the end of the walk.
In the afternoon, the group was rather smaller and I took Lindsay, Brian and Clementine over the Millennium Bridge to Bankside, where I took the below photo. St Paul's cathedral can be seen behind them.
On Sunday 12th January, Marcus & Karen returned for their second walk with me, and were joined by Mel, Jonathan, Pete and Alec. We began (as we often do on Sundays) in Old Street, exploring around Shoreditch and Hoxton, before finishing by Spitalfields. Here they are outside Hawksmoor's Christchurch on Fournier Street.
So, catching up with the weekend just gone (18th & 19th January) on Saturday morning I met Imogen and Celyn who have only just recently moved to London, so wanted to discover a bit more about this city they now call home. They were joined by Karen, Jacques and Pablo who is over for a month from Spain. They were a lovely group, and I took the photo of them below on Carter Lane, just outside the YHA hostel by St Paul's cathedral, which provides cheap accommodation, right in the heart of the City of London. The best thing about this particular building is that it looks incredibly grandiose from the outside, albeit in a slightly dilapidated, endearing way. It was originally built to house the choir boys who sang at the cathedral.
The walk around east London took place rather later than usual, which is why, when I took the photo of the group on Folgate Street at the end of the walk, it was already a bit dark. They're standing outside the rather incredible Dennis Sever's House, which if you visit, takes you on a 200 year journey through the lives and home of the fictitious Huguenot weavers of the Jervis family.
Most family members on one walk - Robertson family
Most French - Clemetine
Best moustache - No winners
Most appropriate surname - Walker (Imogen)
Pinkest coat - Jan, the birthday girl.
Libby, who came on the first 'My neck of the Woods' Sunday east end walk of 2013, sent me a few photos she took along the way, so I thought I'd share them here. This was the whole group at the end of the walk, by Nicholas Hawksmoor's Christchurch in Spitalfields.
So, the first one, is a rare photo of ... me, perusing one of street artist Ben Wilson's tiny bits of chewing gum art, which as it might suggest, are tiny paintings on bits of chewing gum, stuck to the pavement.
This next one was taken in Bunhill Fields Cemetery, with the buildings of the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) in the background. Despite being right on the cusp of the City, there's 6 acres of open space behind there, which once (as you might have guessed) was an artillery ground back when people were still using bows and arrows, but is now more commonly used as a cricket pitch. The HAC also have the distinction of being the oldest Regiment in the British Army.
The photo below shows an old bank, which a few years ago was a bar / gig venue / art space and much more, partly set up by Bill Drummond of KLF fame, called The Foundry. It's since been closed down and is awaiting development ... no doubt in to a swanky hotel. You can see work by street artists Cityzen Kane, Roa, Eine and Phlegm.
The next photo I really like, and if I had my arty farty hat on might feel inclined to say that it's a wonderful juxtaposition between the block of flats in the background and Sweet Toof and co's sideways clown in the foreground.
Onwards to Columbia Road Flower Market, where of course you are guaranteed to find another strange juxtaposition, which is rather burly Essex blokes shouting about how cheap their pansies are.
And ... if you look carefully, delicate little paper cut outs and their respective shadows painted on to the pavement, the work of Mexican artist Pablo Delgado.
Although pretty newish, that particular one is already quite weathered. It originally depicted a lamp post, from which the light is falling.
So, last but not least, Lucy and Jamie who accompanied Libby on the walk and although Jamie started empty handed, acquired a small olive tree along the way ... as you do.
So thanks very much to Libby for sending her photos. It's always great to see what people have snapped along the way.
Weekend Roundup - 24th & 25th March '12
It's weekend roundup time again and all three walks took place in one form or another beginning with the Trafalgar Square to St Paul's walk on Saturday morning. Unfortunately for Yang Fang who joined us all the way from Birmingham via China, her bank card was callously eaten by a rogue NatWest cash machine half way through the walk. However, the situation was mildly rectified and hopefully she has now been reunited with her card. I also completely neglected to take a photo of the group, but a special mention goes to Denise who became the first person to complete what she has dubbed 'the trilogy' of walks. They were a truly international bunch represented by Uruguay, China and Newcastle.
St Paul's to Monument
It was a day of repeat offenders, as Richard, Kat, Stella and Enid returned for their third Bowl Of Chalk walk, but are yet to complete 'the trilogy' as they have come on Sunday's east end walk twice now. In fact, Stella was so keen the first time she came in December, that she wasn't actually born until a week later. Yang Fang valiantly returned after her bank card fiasco, and the group were complemented by Joelle, Ben, Zoe and Janice. Here they are after having had a mooch around Borough Market.
On Sunday morning, I met Joe, who was the sole group member on the My neck of the woods east end walk. He's going to be working in the area this week, so it was nice to be able to show him around and help him get acquainted with the area. This is Joe standing outside Christ Church in Spitalfields, a Nicholas Hawksmoor church, which Joe recognised from having read a blog (and now book) which I can highly recommend called Spitalfields Life. 'The Gentle Author' who writes the blog (and subsequent book) has set him or herself the momentous challenge of writing 10,000 stories about the area at the rate of one a day, detailing the fascinating history, buildings, characters, shops and life of Spitalfields which will be finished in the year 2037.
First to complete the BOC London walking trilogy - Denise
Best at dealing with a bank card catastrophe - Yang Fang
Most Uruguayan - Marianne, Santiago & Anna
Most dog like - Enid (again)
Best moustache - No winners
Bowl Of Chalk
Bowl Of Chalk based shenanigans.