Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

London! January 12th 2010 Biking Birder relaxes.

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Breakfast with a Tim from Detroit in the youth hostel. He'd met billy Connelly in a cigar shop adjacent to St. James' Palace the day before.

What do people think about the charge to enter cathedrals? £12.50 to enter St Paul's. Didn't. Instead first went to the chapter house to 'discuss' the issue then walked to the National gallery and enjoyed the whole day there for free. Where does one find God these days - not in a cathedral.

Saw a protest on behalf of one John Twomey and went to find out why. Trial with no jury. Strange!

Barnaby Bear photographed on a Trafalgar Square lion but where are the pigeons?

Had a wonderful day at the gallery. Paintings by 'you name them they've got some' artists- Van goch [sunflowers], Leonardo Da Vince [Virgin & Child], Degas, Klimt, Picasso, Cezanne, Seurat, Monet/Manet, Goya, Constable and Turner.

An interesting large piece titles 'Hoerengracht' was different - prostitutes and cookie tin hats.

Lunch, provided by me but taken in the Gallery cafe, was pleasant with chat about cricket and teaching provided by 2 lovely people - Bernard & Ursula McCarthy; he a retired Head, she a retired chalkface Primary teacher.

What would oil painting masterpieces look like with the cracking repaired?

A school party from St James's School, Pettswood Bromley in kent were having someone explain Titian'sBacchus & Ariadne. On first seeing it I wondered why a few stars were in the top right corner. By the end of the sharing I knew. It was a reward for Ariadne marrying the God Bacchus; she'll become a constellation. The children were so well behaved, their teachers and parents must be proud. Their answers to the Gallery staff's prompt were succinct and intelligent. A pleasure to observe.

So to the Portrait Gallery next door and contemporay mixed with the old : Tudor paintings I remember from so many History text books in front of me in the 'flesh'. Photographs and paintings of the famous, yet it was an eyeless boy from Vietnam that I remember most. No eyes, never had any, just skin where eyes would be; all as a result of the Vietnam War.

So now what to do? Want to get to Rainham so that the tour can continue.


  1. The pigeons have probably all been frightened away by the Harris Hawk that patrols there each morning... sadly not tickable, but the handlers are usually happy to have a chat, and even let you hold the bird

  2. Thanks for telling me. I wondered where they'd gone. Appreciate that. All the best. Gary