Sunday, September 21, 2014

Poppy and Thistle

It was interesting to be in the UK during a time when the "U" was going to be put to the test by vote within weeks.  Not surprisingly, the impending vote was a hot topic among the natives, and on the chance that Scotland would have bent toward independence, I was glad to be there for the last few weeks when passports, money exchange and customs would not be an issue at another border.  I even got to walk across the border back from England into Scotland on a little castle tour in Northumberland--a picturesque trek across a little bridge, rather than a building and border patrol hassle.  It was not to be, anyway.  Poppy and thistle remain together, and the conversation continues.

Doorway detail at The Queen's Gallery, Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh.  Poppy and thistle.

Stunner of a memorial at the Tower of London.  One ceramic poppy for each English soldier who died in WWI.  When they are all purchased (with proceeds going to various charities, of course) and installed by volunteers, there will be 888,246 of them.  Jesus.  Beautiful and awful.
Tough old bastard Winston Churchill with his gaze toward Elizabeth Tower, Parliament.

River Thames.

I adore the Lewis Chessmen, made around 1150 probably in Norway.  Found on Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland.  Today, some of them live in the British Museum in London, and some in The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.  I told the ones in Edinburgh "cheers" from their mates in London.

Sitting on his tiny throne for six hundred years before the U.S. was a nation.  He will sit there after I'm gone.  Seeing things like this moves me very much, and gives me perspective.  For a minute, anyway.

I toured Buckingham Palace on my 40th birthday--the Queen's Gallery, the mews, and the state rooms, which the royals had vacated for the month (so I got to see more of them than if the old bird had been there).  There's a cafe in the garden, and I picked out a piece of birthday cake, which was really tasty.  I loved the strawberries and the regal chocolate button on top.

This was a special stop.  A friend of mine in my art club lived in England off and on.  She told me how to find their old apartment, above a high end shoe store and across from a great little restaurant where she recommended that I have lunch.  I think she thought that I really wouldn't go due to time constraints and it being out of the normal thoroughfare of central London.  I did make it in fact, and took a selfie with her apartment in the background.  She was sort of touched by it when I emailed her the picture.

So many different shots of this, you have no idea.

Thistle ring from a shop on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh.
Some old lady modelling my rings (me).

Come on, Edinburgh!  A rainbow on my first evening there.  Smooth, Scotland.  Very smooth.

Promised Nike picture, shining in the sun.

Westminster Abbey. You can't take photos inside, but in this corridor it seemed ok to do so.  I hadn't been inside a church building in awhile, but the walls didn't bleed while I was in there.  Good to know. 
Parliament behind a super-chuffed Richard the Lionheart.


  1. The best little photo tour I've seen in ages! I want that cake and I love that ring!

  2. What an amazing adventure! Thank you for sharing the photos.


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