Tuesday 5 February 2013

Butchers Hook

Oh! Hello at last.  
I have been working on this post for days now...endlessly interrupted and busy, but finally (big sigh!) 
Last week we saw all of London spread out around us like a giant, intricately decorated circle skirt. Last week we saw London up close and intimate, lock stock and barrel! So we really did have a jolly good "Butcher's Hook" LOOK!
We saw London from the 72nd floor of the Shard and it was magnificent. Of course it was cold, grey, damp and dull and I loved it all the more. An authentic London day, I thought to myself as others bemoaned the lack of sunlight. "But it wouldn't be the same" I said...Not lost on me, the fact we were standing at the tip of a great glass prism, gazing out at  familiar landmarks through glistening raindrops, each droplet a liquid London prism. The Thames, a great ricrac river the colour of weak tea, wending on and on. I had no idea it was so loopy!

I was so reminded of this amazing work by Riccardo Vecchio, a city that is part memory part reality. I just love the layer upon layer of detail, patterns emerging and such a beautiful pewter and tea stained palette.
The Gherkin and London Eye are now firmly fixed in our psyche appearing, as they do, on all manner of graphical London memorabilia, it was great to admire them for a while from above. We tarried as long as we could, looking and planning different aerial routes from one landmark to the next. Crying out as we spotted something familiar, something unfamiliar....I'll name that Street...stadium...monument...park...
...Back down to earth. 
A stroll along Bankside, past the Globe Theatre, The Tate and the Millennium Bridge towards St.Pauls....
Hungry now, we turn back towards Borough Market and Wright Bros. for a fantastic bowl of moules and some liquid refreshment before heading into the market proper.
I could wax lyrical about Borough Market...the unmistakable market "Buzz", all bustle, noise, colour, smell. Vibrant and busy, transactions in every corner, choices, tastings. Delicacies, things you've never seen, things you've never tried. All life, and for me, all the essence of a place. I like to seek out markets whenever I travel somewhere new it helps me make sense of  it. If I could have one wish it would be to bring back the markets to our sad town centres...they are the soul of a place.
A prophesy? Or has it already happened...te he...

One last treat, on our way back to the train station we pass the Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret. Once part of St.Thomas' Hospital, now a most unusual museum. A metal skull above a doorway caught my eye. On closer inspection the skull is constructed entirely from bits old metal and features some macabre looking operating tools.
The museum features the only surviving 19th Century operating theatre complete with wooden operating table and observation stands from which spectators witnessed operations performed without anaesthetics, yikes! Who knew? Not for the faint hearted me thinks?

What a day! Loved it all...one for the gratitude jar...

If you fancy reading more about Borough Market here are a couple of good pieces...the market website here or this 
Or if you fancy seeing more spectacular Shard images try this and this