Sunday, 10 July 2016


we are having our apartment in Beckenham refurbished,

so we took a walk to see how things were going, the wisteria at the front of this building now finished flowering,

into the park,

and into the driveway,

the house is a Victorian home that has been converted into apartments,

once inside the main hallway there is a high ceiling,

up a flight of stairs,

 and our door is at the end of the landing,

in the hallway ceiling there are faces looking down at you and stained glass windows on each side,

opening the door and into our hall, off of it the living room and kitchen,


and bedroom, we are having a new kitchen and shower fitted, all rooms completely repainted with new carpets and tiles throughout, 

looking from our door, our neighbor on the left,

the ceiling

and landing leading to the stairs,

one side of the stained glass windows,

visit over we were next off to London,

we passed the London Eye on the train,

arriving at Kings Cross,

and made our way across Trafalgar Square,

and passed the lions,

a quick pose,

and we were on our way past the fountains,

on one of the corner plinths this strange creature, a horse as a guess,

Diana's picture will be on her pages before you can say done it!

a quick pose,

as a red sightseeing bus goes past,

and a blue one goes past St Martin-in-the-Fields,

the Garrick showing a production of Romeo and Juliet,

we decided to walk to Leicester Square,

for our late breakfast/early lunch, TGI Friday looked good,

but we went next door, lasagna and chips for Diana,

chili con carne for myself,

the place was nicely laid out with plenty of room,

outside Independence Day Resurgence was showing, the good news is that Steve has bought tickets for it at the London IMAX, we are all looking forward to that,

a strange name for a public house, The Moon Under the Water, but there it is, the good news that food was excellent,

we walked back through Leicester Square,

past the National Gallery,

and into the Underground, to our first port of call,

we both love Sherlock Holmes, so to The Sherlock Holmes Museum,

and we have watched most of what is available,

on DVDs,

so it was natural that we should call here,

a small tip to save you waiting, buy your tickets in the museum shop before you start to queue to go inside, or you will have to queue twice,

a look inside the shop to buy the tickets, but more of the shop later,

we started our look around,

what is this?

a club,

it was just as we expected,

but better,

everywhere you looked,

there were items that made sense,

if you had watched the series,

we especially liked the ones starring Jeremy Brett,

it seemed strange sitting in this chair, looking out of the window,

or this one by the fire, with a pipe,

and hat,

I know these were not the rooms,

that were used in the production of the series,

but everything,

seemed to be so familiar,

even Doctor Watson's medical Gladstone,

everything was laid out,

and looked so lived in,

Diana tried the comod,

the house was on a number of floors,

each floor,

and room a delight,


 we both signed the visitors book,

and posed for a picture,

myself at the fireplace,

as we continued our tour,

we kept saying, 

'that was from the The Man with the Twisted Lip',

each room or artifact from one of the series,

there was a board to pin your card to, naturally we left ours in the center,

Diana poses,

with two characters,

and who has not heard of The Hound of the Baskerville?

also on display letters from all over the world asking for Mr. Holmes to solve a case, he is I believe to some, to be a real person, also there are letters like the one above in reply from the Prince of Wales's equerry to look at the museum,

in the roof space suitcases ready for use,

this chap really gave Diana  a fright,


I just had to have a pose with hat, pipe and policeman outside,

we then made our way back to the souvenir and gift shop,

there was so much memorabilia,

on show,

it was difficult to know where to begin,

but we had a cunning plan,

not gold,

or black pens,

nor mugs,

or DVDs, well we had all of these and a few more from other Sherlock actors as well,

for us it was a humble refrigerator magnet,

we have been buying one in every port, capitol, country or place of interest we have visited in this holiday to England and the continent,

the building is not easy to miss, for no other reason than the crowds,

the flower baskets outside each window,

and of course the blue plaque,

here is the card with all you need to know,

and for any Beatles fans out there just down the street the London Beatles Store,

our next stop Pollock's Toy Museum,

I know it seems strange,

but there is a museum dedicated just to toys,

it was started way back in 1956 in a single attic room at 44 Monmouth Street, near Covent Garden, where Pollock's Toy Theatres were also sold,

but is now at 1 Scala Street, London, W1T 2HL, telephone: 0207 636 3452,

Pollock's was originally a shop and printers, dating back to the 1850's, based in Hoxton, then a poor quarter of London, Benjamin Pollock's hand printed, constructed and coloured much of the toy theatre material housed in the museum today,

again it may seem odd to have home theaters,

but in the days before radio and television,

entertainment started at home,

there are so many items on display it is difficult to know where to start,

so here are a few that I remember from my childhood, the harmless rifle, cap guns and the red Indian outfit,

Diana looking at me reminiscing,

I did have a few live steam stationary engines made by Mamod, I can still smell the methylated spirits used in the burners now,

and who in the day did not have at least one box of Meccano?

lots of tinplate toys,

and of course trains,

a few solitary and board games,

and dare I say it, I did have one of these,

a few more board games,

were hanging,

on the walls,

moving on to cars and boats,

I still remember owning one of these but in green with the same aluminum top, inside it had a tube with a burner under it, as the water heated it hot water would exit drawing more water in propelling the boat forward, similar boats called putt-putt boats are still made today,

I always for some reason found Punch and Judy a trifle frightening,

up another floor,

to the Teddy bears,

and dolls,

including these matryoshka dolls,

and of course dolls houses, starting with a few rooms,

I wonder if kids were really allowed to play,

with these?

the detail, 

is in many cases so realistic,

all perfect miniatures,

the houses themselves,

have been well made,

I remember a chap down the road in the 1950s that made dolls house in his shed at the bottom of his garden and gave them away just before Christmas to local orphan children's home,

farmyard toys,

cooking utensils,

and Easter eggs are all here,

this one for me looked a little sinister, but there it is,

on to the dolls proper,

some of these I think,

were not just play things, they look so skillfully and expensively made,

Diana found this room a bit scary, all of these were behind glass, but it looked like in the twinkle of an eye they could all come to life and break out,

I have to agree with Diana, 

with some of these,

I am not sure if they are cute or scary,

Teddy bears in a case rather like the stuffed birds in cases that were popular in Victorian time,

I hate to say it but I do remember some of these,

we have now crossed over,

the top floor of the house into the one next door,

I mentioned home theaters,

and that Pollocks had started by making them,

well there is another Pollock's shop that sells them as well as this one,

it is in Covent Garden,

back in the day,

plays were written especially for home theaters that took into account the displaying of the theater and the limitations of the person performing the play, later models use lights for a more realistic look,

we were now downstairs,

into the main shop,

where all manner of goodies were waiting to be taken home,

and here are a couple that many years ago,

I did take home as a kid,

and for home theatre lovers one of the ones available here,

the main sales room,

a last look around,

then time for a coffee,

before walking to our next,

place to visit, passing Harry Potter on the way,

it is in Old Compton Street,

and here it is,

above Bar Termini,

at number 7,

it is a plaque to show the high water line in the Great Dangaroo Flood

the plaque reads, 'which was one of the worst floods of the En'kymhuirian period of history, it is here that incredibly, after two years at sea on their rafts of asphalt, the Tehachapi, the great road builders of Extrelliia [the initial k is not usually written], nearly foundered here at the end of their voyage, so they called the place kNow Estrelliia - the name now given to this whole rezhn of Arctic Islands', I realise that this time period may be unknown to many, so here is the explanation, and a similar version here,

we continued our walk across London,

passing new buildings on the way,

until we arrived here,

at the base of the shard, and meet up with Steve and Kai,

so a quick pose,

and look along the Thames,

and over the river,

to this building that many think looks like a mobile telephone or a Walkie-Talkie, the building made the headlines a few years ago as sunlight was directed down from its windows and started melting cars!

we were now on the other side of the river,

looking back to the shard,

we passed the monument,

and entered The Crossed Keys, I am not sure if this name has anything to do with The Society of the Crossed Keys a book strangely enough that I have which contains Wes Anderson's selections from the writings of the great Austrian author Stefan Zweig, whose life and work inspired The Grand Budapest Hotel, heres a thing I also have the film and have watched it several times,

enough already! we were here to watch a game,

the public house was packed, it was a England game, we left at half time as Steve and Kai had booked a table at,

the Walkie-Talkie building,

all the way up there,

and here we were,


a green facade,

in we went and 35 or so floors later,

 we were in the Sky Garden,

the restaurant area was huge,

and it was a garden,

behind the seating area on both sides a large floral display went up to the next 2 floors,

we had a brief look at the drinks list,

then settled down to look at the view,

a panorama of London looking towards the Shard,

and of the garden,

the girls were off on a photo shoot,

then our drinks arrived,


looking down on the Thames,

St. Pauls,

the London Eye,

the GPO Tower,

and a roof garden next door,

Steve and myself made our way up one side of the garden,

we were being watched,

as I mentioned the space up here was huge,

as was the garden,

and what views,

we made our way to the other side of the building,

to look at the pineapple building,

Canary Wharf in the distance,

and down to the Tower of London,

we made our way downstairs,

to the restaurant level,

it was getting dark, so lights were going on,

over the city,

cocktails for the girls,

then our food arrived,

after our walk,

we were all hungry,

selfie time!

another 'Cheers!',

from all of us,

after our meal,

a walk around,

to take a few more pictures,

of the venue,

and bar,

by now the lights in the city,

were well and truly on,

 St. Pauls, ancient amongst the modern,

at the top of the stairs looking over London,

Canary Wharf,

and Tower Bridge, looking splendid,

our drinks and meal finished,

a couple for the family album,

then 34 well it was 35 but I was a bit slow with the camera, 

to 0 in no time at all,

outside and looking up,

the green wall, the exit of the building,

the legend says it all,

a last look at the building,

on to the Underground,

then mainline train, a walk and we are home for a nightcap then for all of us off to bed.

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