Tower Bridge at night.

Tower Bridge: Happy Birthday!

Combined Bascule and Suspension Bridge

Lovely image of London's famous Tower Bridge, taken from St Katherine's dock looking south.
Lovely image of London’s famous Tower Bridge, taken from St Katherine’s dock looking south. By Bob Collowân [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Tower Bridge was officially opened on this day in 1894. I have long been enchanted by it: as a fascinating piece of engineering it is the only combined bascule and suspension bridge I’ve seen; and as a monumental piece of Victorian Gothic architecture.

I first saw it as a child, though it was to be many years before I learned that Continue reading

School of Medicine – for Women

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Signs.”

This week, publish an image of a sign — from the signs you encounter on the street to more personal, less obvious signs that hold meaning for you.

I often walk past this sign. I am never quite sure what to feel about it. Dismay that “for many years, the Royal Free Hospital was the only hospital in London to offer medical services to women.” (Source: Royal Free Hospital). Or something more positive, given how far we have come. Continue reading

Re-reading Harry Potter

I find the Harry Potter series enthralling. I have read the whole series at least three times now. Generally, if I can I’ll read them one after another. I read quickly but this is still a fortnight of Hogwarts. I am currently halfway through the Goblet of Fire, episode four of the set. It is not my favourite! The first one is still the best. I just love the fairy tale quality to it, it has an excitement and innocence that I love. The wand shop in Diagon Alley is a favourite location, it reminds me of a very old shop near where I live. Though it was stacked high with small boxes of Airfix models, rather than wands. Continue reading

Mounts and Crosses

I’ve travelled to London since I was child. Then we moved around by Tube. I think my mother felt that London was a dangerous place for young children, and thus clung to the perceived safety offered by the underground. If it wasn’t near an underground train station we simply didn’t go there.

South Kensington had a tube station, so all the museums in Exhibition Road museums were duly visited. Even better the pedestrian tunnel under the road allowed uninterrupted subterranean access.  Continue reading

84 Charing Cross Road

84 Charing Cross Road though relatively little known is minor masterpiece. Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins are the two main characters in this film adaptation of the twenty-year correspondence between author, and avid reader, Helene Hanff and Frank Doel, from Marks & Co. a book seller in London’s West End.

I lent my copy to a friend recently. I think she sums it up well:

“I loved watching 84 Charing Cross Road. What an amazing film. And why had I not ever watched it before?

There is a site dedicated to the play and film here. A list of the books sought by Ms Hanff can even be found here. A cult film? Perhaps, if not I really feel it should be :)