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We’ve a full day in London today and we’re about to head out and make the most of it. There’s very much a feeling of two cities right now. There’s the classic city with Londoners and tourists going about their normal lives and then there’s the other city which is coping with the late Queen lying in state until her state funeral Monday. Today we’ll be exploring both, so expect flow of pictures throughout the day…


I nipped out to buy some snacks for breakfast whilst Dee gets ready. The Bayswater Rd is traffic free but you can tell you’re in ‘posh’ London as the local petrol station has a mini Waitrose supermarket rather than the usual Tesco! Petrol’s surprisingly cheap too. £1.63 a liter (we were seeing it at £1.75 in Norfolk last week). I nipped into Kensington Gardens to sit and watch the world go by for a while. Life appeared normal. The paths were full of runners and dog-walkers or tourists out for a stroll. Back at the hotel the TV announced that the ‘queue of queues’ as it’s becoming known is so long it’s been closed. Newcomers are being kept in holding pens in a park in Bermondsey and it’s been announced no-one else should try to join until after 4pm today! Somehow, I can’t see that happening…!


Having wandered back down to Leicester Square then across the Thames at Charing Cross we’re now sitting outside the Founders Arms on the South Bank (one of our favorite spots) watching the queue of queues and enjoying a view of the river and city of London beyond.


Crowdwatch – pt 2


We’re now back at the hotel after yet another full day walking around London and experiencing what’s going on in the capital due to the death of Queen Elizabeth. It’s been a fascinating experience on so many levels. I’ll add more about this soon when I’ve more time to go into detail. But here’s a few shorts. As far as we could gauge (and we saw a lot of it) the queue was almost evenly balanced between genders. It was overwhelmingly older, with most folk over 30 years old – and also mostly white, although Asian communities were a significant minority with (from what we saw) the African and Afro-Caribbean less represented. It was also good-humored and stoic – despite the length of time. Here’s a few pictures from our observations.

A Pigeon decides to take a close look at the queue near Blackfriars.
Ex-members of the armed services were much in evidence.
Not everyone came with others. There was a significant number of people who came on their own to pay their respects.
The queue by the Globe theatre with Tourists strolling past in the opposite direction.
More medals on display…
The queue by Tower Bridge. This was far from the end.
Grandad and Grandson by HMS Belfast.
Vanessa Feltz from Talk TV out interviewing members of the crowd.

Having walked for miles around the South bank we headed back to London Bridge and crossed to the North bank of the Thames for a wander past St Pauls, Fleet Street and the Inns of Court before heading up to Euston where we dropped into Drummond St to eat at an old haunt. Ravi Shankar is a long established Indian vegetarian restaurant which I’ve been frequenting since the 1990s. It didn’t disappoint..

Chana dahl.
Uthappam – South Indian pizza!

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