Sunday, June 06, 2010


I donít feel much like writing today, but I feel like I donít want to fall behind, so maybe I can tap out a short Ramblings.† Unless I get my second wind, Iím not going to do a Photos tonight, though.† I feel very tired out from my long day of walking around London.


I was out of here by 9:30, after a breakfast of yogurt and (what else?) a ham and cheese sandwich.† I took the tube up to Leicester Square and started my walk.† Basically, I made a big loop, ending up at the Embankment Underground station, by way of Piccadilly Circus, Green Park, Buckingham Palace, St. Jamesís Park, Westminster, across the river to the London Eye, and back across the bridge again to walk along the Victoria Embankment.† I took pictures along the way, and I plan to get them up eventually.† They have a wildfowl collection in St. Jamesís Park, and I took some pictures of pretty ducks and geese.† They canít be counted on my lists, of course.


My stop at the London Eye (a giant ferris wheel, built for the Millennium celebration) was to check it out and make a booking to use the ticket that Johanna gave me for Christmas.† It turned out that at this time of year, the crowds arenít big enough to need a booking, and I ended up using my ticket today.† It was sort of hazy, which is too bad, but I was there, and there are showers forecast the rest of the time I due to be here, so I took the flight (as they call it) today.


It was interesting, and it was fun.† The mechanics of the wheel were interesting, too. †Each capsule rotates as the wheel rotates, and the wheel doesnít stop except when someone needs extra time to board or exit.† We had 16 people in our capsule, and I think that was about as many as would be comfortable.† The limit is 25, I think, which would be crowded.† I took a lot of pictures while we were on our 25 minute revolution, and it will be interesting to see how they come out, given the haziness today and the plexiglass I had to shoot through.


That loop was a long walk for the old Rambler, but I decided to go for more, so I rode the tube over to Bayswater and walked back through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.† More pictures, of course, including one of the famous Peter Pan sculpture.† I always kind of liked old Peter, with his idea of never growing up.† My own Wendy eventually captured me, and I sort of grew up, I guess, although in some ways, I still identify with Peter.† Certainly my retirement years are not being spent in a very ďgrown upĒ manner.


The boats were out on the Serpentine, which is a lake in Hyde Park.† See the Photos when they get up.† It warmed up in the afternoon and was pretty humid, too.† The weatherman totally blew it again, with the prediction of a big storm today.† It rained overnight, but no rain today at all, at least so far.† I donít know if the last 5 weeks have been exceptional, but the weather forecasting has been absolutely terrible since I have been here.


By the time I made my way through Hyde Park, I was beat, despite my stops to rest on several benches along the way, so I took the underground ďhomeĒ to my local station, Kennington, and called it a day.† I was out there for 7 hours, and I felt tired and hot.† I had a shower and that refreshed me, but I am still tired.


I am wondering about the tiredness I feel. †When we used to go to Los Angeles to visit my parents, I would always be very tired for the first few days, and I eventually decided it was a reaction to the smog there.† There is certainly smog here, and the way I feel today is very reminiscent of the tiredness I would feel when we went to L.A.† I have a feeling that the way I feel today is due to being in The Big Smoke.† If so, then maybe it will pass in a couple of days, as it used to do when we visited Los Angeles.† I guess my body gets used to it or something.† We will see.† Maybe the way I feel is simply due to my age, my weight, and the poor shape I am in.† The heat this afternoon certainly didnít help any, thatís for sure.† I didnít have enough protein at lunch, either.


Despite the tiredness, I did enjoy my walk around London.† The tourists are out in force, it being June and all.† I canít imagine July and August here.† There seem to be more people speaking languages I canít even identify than people speaking English.† I very much enjoyed seeing all the interesting ways that people dress and all the different body types there are.† As I said before, London is as good as anywhere for watching people.† It was nice to see the places I have memories of.† There were minor changes, but the basic fabric is the same.† I hit most of the places I want to see, but there are several more to do still.


If the weather looks okay in the morning (no point in even looking at a forecast, Iíll just wait and see how it looks), I think I might take the Underground and a bus to the London Wetlands Centre.† It is a nature reserve, and I could get some bird pictures.† Unlike St. Jamesís Park, there would be wild birds.† It isnít likely I will see anything new, but I would like to see the place, as I have read about it.† It has been constructed in the last several years, I believe.† I donít plan to lug my scope on the underground and bus, but I will take my binoculars, which I didnít do today.


Five nights in London is sounding like a long time at this point, but the original plan was that it would be at the start of the trip, and I was planning on adapting to the time change during the five days, and getting past jetlag.† Today I asked myself the question - would I rather go home a day or two or three earlier, if I had the choice, and I decided no.† I will be very glad to get home when I get there, but I can be glad on Thursday just fine Ė no need to get home sooner.† I will find things to occupy me here in London.† I would enjoy a river trip, for example, and there are several of those I could take.† I also still want to visit the Isle of Dogs, riding the Docklands Light Railway, and stop and walk around at Canary Wharf, a modern development in the former dock area that I find very interesting.† I see that the Docklands Light Railway seems to have been extended to Greenwich and beyond since I have been here, and I assume it goes under the Thames to do so.† I want to see how that looks.† I also have to visit Trafalgar Square still, and the National Gallery, which is located there.† Covent Garden would also be interesting to visit.† Regentís Park or Hampstead Heath are also possibilities.† I think I can fill my three days here just fine.


So, that is my report for a Sunday in London.† Maybe I will find the energy to process my pictures from today, or maybe I wonít.† We will see.