Knitting and London life. Not necessarily in that order.
Sunday, December 27
Today's chilly and blustery weather didn't have quite enough sunshine to tempt my friend Gareth and I out of London for a walk, but instead we had a mooch around the City and did one of the things that has been on my 'to do' list since I arrived here (ahem more than 20 years ago!).
We climbed 311 steps to the top of the Monument which commemorates the rebuilding of the city of London after the Great Fire of 1666. This the tallest free-standing stone column in the world, according to the certificate you are given when you descend the stairs after admiring the views from the top. The tower was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Dr Robert Hooke, and provides fabulous views over the city of London and the river, even on a rather dull December day. We could see as far as the tower on the top of Shooters Hill in south east London. On a sunny day you could probably see even further.
The weekend is a great time to explore the so-called 'square mile' of London, which is home to all the major banks and financial institutions, but hides many surprising gems of architecture and tradition. You can wander around and explore all the little side streets, cut-throughs and hidden churches without getting in the way of tetchy bankers. The only downside is that many of the pubs, cafes and shops are also closed, even on Saturday. Head to St Pauls, the Barbican or Liverpool Street station if you need food or drink, they usually have places open to cater for travellers and tourists. The late afternoon sun provided a very warm glow to Wren's beautiful dome on St Paul's Cathedral as we headed home.