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Royal Kensington and Chelsea

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    • Day 40

      Full Circle

      June 1 in England ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      I have gone full circle and arrived back in London ready for my journey home.
      I went to the Royal Albert Hall last night hoping to catch a concert but nothing was on. It wasn’t even open to have a tour. It was also too late in the afternoon to visit any of the museums as by the time I would have got to the front of the entry queue it would be closing time. I had to settle for a walk in Hyde park in near storm conditions.
      It has been a fabulous month and thank you for coming along on my unpredictable journey. Stay tuned for my next adventure.
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    • Day 36

      London day 3

      June 9 in England ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      Nice final catch up with Andy and Tommy X 2...met friends of Andy that were very nice....gave young Tommy his 1 year old birthday present...a size 2 years all black jersey and a cool book that hopefully he will enjoy.

      Plans of going to a celebrity soccer match fell through...but thankfully that means no stress with not having to worry about getting back to hotel for a booked taxi at 4.50am to Dubai...where it will be 40 degrees!

      Back in time visit to Kensington high St where I lived with great aunt Mary and worked at David clulows opticians.

      Mary was 3rd floor above gap clothes shop...but I think it is the Rituals shop now. Stayed also 1 foor down with nice gay man called James...did so when Jason Lind needed a place to stay.

      After that it was a long bus ride to an outlet store by Wembley park station... stadium.

      Not worth the time but I got 2 items vs 1 from v...so I won 😎
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    • Diana: 25 years on…

      June 15, 2022 in England ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      It is always a reflective time when I visit Kensington Palace. Sure, I love all the history, particularly related to Queen Victoria and Princess Margaret who both lived here. But, obviously my biggest reflection is Diana. Everybody remembers where they were when they heard the news. I was living in London that year and remember feeling devastated as I travelled around France and Spain at that moment in time. I watched the funeral in Spain and the normally busy streets were completely void of people. It was eerie. Such a waste… Such an outpouring of grief. Can’t believe that it is 25 years this year. I couldn’t wait to get back to London. I lined up to sign the book of condolence at Kensington Palace and I saw the amazing floral tributes in front of Kensington Palace. They were as high as me and as far as you could see…💐🌹🌺🌸🌼

      Today all I had to do was walk out of my hotel room and cross the road to be at the palace. How fantastic is that? ❤️👑 I have visited and toured the palace many times but I get just as excited 😆 when I am doing it again. Today is no different! Last visit I saw Diana‘s dresses 👗 exhibition and this time the exhibition is ‘…life through the Royal lens…’📸

      And, what an exhibition it is! So many wonderful photographs… some never before seen. Queen Victoria started the photographic craze mid 1850’s with her reign. There is one photograph that shows her face smudged. Queen Victoria did this to the negative because she did not approve of the way she looked. It was with her children and they all are untouched. I simply devoured all the information around the photography and how it completely changed the public perception of the Royal family… as expected, the Queen calls all the shots when ever she has a photography session.✊🏻👑

      There was another story about Queen Mary crying for three days when she was to marry William. But, it became a true love story because William would not leave her side for weeks, even setting up a bed right next to her when she was sick and eventually died of smallpox.😢

      I am now standing in a quiet alcove admiring the serenity of Diana‘s statue. You are no longer allowed to walk around in the sunken garden which I was at first disappointed about, but then I spoke to the gardener who explained that a sunken garden is supposed to be appreciated from a distance, as a whole… It made complete sense and made it much more serene and respectful ❤️❤️❤️🪴🌸🌹🌳🙏

      This was indeed another highlight of this trip! There were not too many people so you had to complete silence to just admire and reflect. Beautiful moment 😢❤️🌹

      PS: I went a little bit crazy in the gift shop! Whoops! Rule Britannia! 🤪👑 🇬🇧 🇬🇧
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    • Day 3

      Day 3 Kensington Palace Hyde Pk The Mews

      June 2 in England ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      Seen princess Dianna Menorial, & childtens playground
      Itslian gardens, Peter Pan monument
      Squirrel in a tree can u spot it
      Lots of flowers & lots of what we call weeds
      Kensington Palace was amazing & the gardens people everywhere beautiful day outRead more

    • Day 4

      May 21

      May 21 in England ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Today was a typical English day. We started the day with a Full English breakfast (actually we had a half) at a family run cafe. Feeling full of energy and ready to tackle a day of exploring, we set off for a day of visiting museums. We began with a lovely walk through Hyde Park with stops at Kensington Palace and Kensington Gardens. A particularly moving moment when we wandered the Sunken Garden that Princess Diana used to enjoy, and saw the monument that her sons commissioned in her honour for what would have been her 60th birthday. From there we encountered some swans and ducks in the pond, and a particularly mischievous swan who tried to steal from my backpack. We enjoyed and learned so much during our tour at the Royal Albert Hall, an ncredible feat of engineering and fascinating historical stories were a few of the highlights. We then continued to the Museum of Natural History and the Victoria and Albert Museum, both of these were interesting but didn't hold the same appeal for me. Mother Nature did her part to ensure we experienced a true British day with a downpour to walk back to our hotel. Dinner at the local pub concluded a quintessential British day.Read more

    • Day 63

      Thames Path to Putney

      June 23, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      I thought I would set off early this morning to walk some more of the Thames Path. Ma wee sister Meg's had drawn a beautiful coloured map of the walk (or what I thought was the walk) consisting of 6 kms!.

      I ended up walking the Barons court to Putney path after forgetting Meg's map!! Hobbling home after 16.9 km I immediately soaked my feet in cold water. I hadn't worn my trail shoes, thinking my trail sandals would suffice on such a hot day, 26 degrees!

      It was a lovely flat easy walk, passing a few iconic statues and buildings along the way. I began to wonder if I was on the right path about half way along the route. The reality hit, the Putney bridge was the next stop according to a "Thames Path" sign and indicated 1 and 3/4 miles!? Ok so that's only around 3 kms I can do this! My watch is unreadable in the sun but I'm sure it had told me I'd walked at least 6 km by now???

      Distracted by beautiful gardens, statues, buildings I walked on stopping to ask one woman how far to a bridge across to opposite side of Thames, determined to complete a loop today! She was quite taken aback, I mean I do look my age!! She looked me up and down and at my walking sticks, assuming disability (which most people do here, not that you're walking a few hundred kms! Hehe) and said "oh my, it is quite a walk!"

      I urged her to go on and tell me anyway. "Just keep going straight along this path and you'll find it, but then how will you get back" she added worriedly! "Do you intend to walk?" "Uh huh! That's my plan",
      I forgot I then had to head back to Barons court!

      I saw her face just then, head on side, eyebrows raised "that's a long walk" ... It is a bit of a walk and had my trainers been on my feet it would have been easier but hey ho, it was what it was.

      I'm not keen on walking over bridges, but Putney bridge is like walking along a road, and I felt at ease; .. compared to the Hammersmith bridge which is under reconstruction, being forced to walk on a makeshift platform at the side of the bridge boarded off..!!

      On the Thames, tourist boats and serious rowing crafts ambled along at a slow pace and I thought of my great granddaughter doing similarly in New Zealand. I noticed a school full of pupils, their parents and teachers enjoying a sports day in a huge open field next door to the Fulham football ground. Their shouts of glee and encouragement taking me back to other sports events I had attended. How did they survive sports in this blazingly hot sun?

      Apart from the Putney rowing club, on the other side of the Thames, were many other college rowing club houses I passed, including the "Imperial" rowing club, The Thames, the Vesta, the Westminster, Dulwich College, Crabtree Boat Club, for Cambridge University Alumni, there seemed so many I was impressed!

      I was reminded of my short sojourn rowing on lake Rotorua over thermal vents! It is a lovely sport.

      "Hirpling" (old Scottish word for hobbling!) toward Hammersmith, off that bridge, I asked for directions to the main street. The young woman said "come with me I'll take you!" Just amazing! So off we went, she putting her hand out in front of me at each traffic crossing saying "don't cross, wait"! I was inwardly laughing to myself, she was very serious, she even asked if I could "see". I was heartily enjoying her kindness and assumptions about my abilities!!

      She had glowing red hair and eyes, not unlike Queen Mary of Scotland. It wasn't long before she told me of her Scottish heritage. Such a lovely young woman, thanks to her, my Camino was shortened by about another mile as I would have walked on instead of the shortcut she showed me.

      I reached home and sunk my feet into a delicious bath of cold water... 😊👣...satisfied I had completed my intention for the day...and some!!
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    • Day 63

      Friday in Ealing Broadway

      June 23, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Today my Camino was to tube to Ealing Broadway and visit with Jonathan and Rozalia.

      First things first write my journal! Then again at tube station they have finally cordoned off a left and right pathway so that one can actually get down to the platform through the throngs of people heading out to Tennis at Queens 👑 🎾 honestly it was a walking crowd!

      I had to change at Holburn then get the central line to Ealing Broadway! Phew.... How to do that?? Firstly a gentleman told me to take the lift down to platform 4! So, trustingly I went toward the lift following his outstretched arm and finger pointing the way.

      Down the lift I went and out at platforms 7 & 8, "well that can't be right", so off I went again back to the start point. "Ah", said he " it's the second lift!!" I had to walk further down to get to the next lift!! Down I went again and could not work out which platform from here. Asked another tube worker "oh you get on here at this platform but you'll have to change at Acton".

      "Well, ok" I mused, as I thanked him and wandered to the platform he pointed out. Once there, I didn't know which train to take so asked another worker. He had to get his phone out to check the timetable. I told him that someone else said I had to change at Acton. "One moment" he said, and I waited as he searched the timetable.

      "Yes", said he, take the train there on platform 7 it will take you all the way there. "What about Acton?" I asked concerned "No need to change, as I said this train will take you", I thanked him profusely for his reassurance and went toward the train, 5 feet to go and the train left the station!! He had to laugh and I just shrugged my shoulders to wait for the next one!.

      My grand nephew was on fine form and we enjoyed a wee bit of time together. He had been playing the piano at the station when I arrived, so sweet.
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    • Day 60

      Barons court, hammersmith, lost on tube

      June 20, 2023 in England ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

      Hehe!! All I did was enjoy the babies today with Meg's and go into Hammersmith one stop on the tube. After battling through the crowds going to the Queens tennis just up the road.

      Grocery shopping done, a bit of Saintsbury's meal deal lunch , 3 pounds 50 pence...had and back to get the tube to Barons court!

      Somehow I ended up on the wrong tube and jumping up with anxiety, spontaneously yelling loudly "oh no!" A lovely gentleman got up from his seat to help and reassure me ... Got off with me and pointed me in the right direction.

      Never be alone in the world, there are angels all around us, we just need to ask!
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    • Day 12

      Southbank today

      May 3, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Trip into Westminster to walk to Southbank

      Today I took the train to Southbank as per Colin's suggestion. Teaming with folk coming in all directions across the bridge from Westminster station, there was a lot to see including the lowlander playing the bagpipes in his full regalia. When I learn how to crop a video I will post. I got him to play his favourite tune and then Highland Cathedral. ( guess who I was thinking about there?)

      The other photos of course are of the Lion, a wonderful statue on top of a window in the old council buildings, the London eye..oh dear no way was I going to get on that monstrosity, Westminster Palace and big ben, which chimed just as I was videoing the piper!! The place seems to become more and more like Blackpool. There was sea world, london dungeon themed experience, and Shrek all next door to each other along with a merry go round, various food carts, restaurants galore along the way.

      It was a slow walk down the southbank pier into the centre a lot of which is closed off and walked down a narrow roadway which used to be the council buildings I believe to see the wee garden below with the crown atop it, and the sentry standing very still.

      I found a wee shop and bought a few wee coronation things and took the photo of the mini inside the shop...bless! Watched the tourist boats going up and down the Thames before walking across the next bridge to Charing Cross station to be on my way home again. A beautiful sunny sunny day, the weather is changing! Woohoo!!

      Today I have also been in touch with our cousin, Jean, after finding out she lives next door to Portsmouth where we just were at the weekend. We have organised to meet when I return from Spain. I am so excited to meet our kith and kin for the first time on Dad's closest family members.
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    • Day 135

      Barons keep to lambeth

      September 3, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      After all my travels and wanderings, to reach London and my sister and brother in law's home feels like a sanctuary. I have felt the effects of the miles on my physical self, my feet groaning, griping, whining with complaints, longing to sit a while, bide a wee.

      Despite this we are off to the Oasis church at Lambeth today I am certainly going to give thanks for the blessing of physical ability and travel mercies. Away in the tube, or two and a bus, we enjoyed the busi-ness of London Bridge where I was right up close to the houses of parliament and big ben and Westminster as I have never been before. Just the scale of the buildings is awesome.

      We met some lovely people at Megs and Colin's church which believes in inclusion and service within the community doing so much work wherever they see a need. I kept falling asleep during the service but was very aware of my head lolling to the side to embrace the stranger next to me. She didn't seem worried at all, I just hope i didn't snore!
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Royal Kensington and Chelsea, Royal London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, KEC, KEN

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