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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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Taking It Easy Tuesday
Drawing of a trike
Tuesday in London, Deb and I somewhat overslept. Ah well, we are on holiday. We had a lunch date with my friend Julia, so we hopped on various trains and met her at Barbican Station, which is next to the Barbican Centre, which takes up almost an entire suburb in London.

The Barbican is a complex of lots of apartment blocks, with silly names like Shakespeare and Cromwell, and an arts complex with several theatres and galleries and a library. It is also connected to the (rather good) Museum of London, which I visited the week before. The whole place is built in something they call the Concrete Brutalism style, which was big in the late sixties and early seventies, until they realised it was a bit crap. So the centre has, simultaneously, been listed on the Historic Buildings register, and voted London's ugliest building! I actually liked it in it's unadulterated ugliness, and bad Seventies urban planning which made finding your way around it a bit of a pain. Apparently no less than two recent attempts have been made to make it more user friendly, although it sounded like the second one was largely an attempt to undo the first!

And as usual my day in London caused me to scurry to the Internets for more information. It seemed odd for such a large cohesive architectural monstrosity to be plonked more or less in the middle of London. Or at least close to such significant centres such as the Bank of England and St. Paul's. As usual, the informative Wikipedia told me it the Barbican centre was built on the sight of a suburb called Cripplegate, so named for the nearby gate in the London wall. Said suburb had been effectively demolished during the second world war by German bombing - I saw some photos, and indeed the whole area was flattened beyond recognition. So eventually they built this huge project on the area. And despite being so ugly only it's mother could love it, the apartments being so amazingly located are very very pricey.

After lunch, we went for a rather meandering walk to St Paul's Cathedral. Meandering partly because I got us slightly lost wandering through the financial district. We ate lunch on one of St. Paul's lawns, next to what looked like a couple of graves, but which totally lacked any indication of who might have been buried there.

We wandered around the cathedral, but didn't go further inside than the entryway. I don't like churches much, what with being a long-established atheist, and deicded that the church interior would probably just annoy me.

Next we hopped on a bus over to Waterloo station, partly because we needed too, and partly because I'd never been on a double decker bus in London before! We had plans for the rest of the week, which involved booked train and other tickets all over the place. So we popped into the booking office, and monopolised one counter for a good ten minutes. Ticketing is weird in the UK, or at least it was on the lines we were going on. A return ticket was in fact two tickets, one out, one coming back, and then two more tickets for specific seats on specific trains, and then other tickets for the bus to the location, and still more tickets for entry into the attraction in question (you'll have to wait for a later entry to find out what it was :-) So for one day trip we ended up with five tickets each, or was it six? Certainly a hand full which I sorted into order so we wouldn't get completely confused.

Deb needed a nap, so we wandered over to the park underneath the the London Eye, Jubilee Park, and lay down for a bit, to be entertained by a gypsy band on and off.

After that, we went for a walk past Big Ben and the house's o' Parliament. We crossed the river and took some pictures under Big Ben - despite Deb's best efforts to spoil my pictures by jumping up and down in front of me. We might also have encountered a place that made Dr Who photo stickers on the way... Then headed home from Westminster Station.

OK, so, I'm not entirely sure how that was Taking it easy... :-)