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March 26, 2005

Southwark Cathedral

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Southwark was once the entertainment district of London. It's most famous feature was the Globe Theatre where William Shakespeare produced the plays that school children all over the English speaking world hate and serious theatre goers absolutely adore. A modern reconstruction of the Globe Theatre stands on the spot and is dedicated to the exploration and performance of Shakespeare's works.

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Southwark is on the south bank of the Thames, just near the Tower Bridge. We accessed this area using the Big Red Tour buses on which you can buy a 24 hour site-seeing ticket. There has been a church on this site for over a thousand years. On the river side of the church a new conference centre has been built, containing a nice little cafe where we had lunch. Between the restaurant and the main structure of the church is an area where excavations have been left open so that visitors can see remnants of the Roman foundations and other early parts of the church walls.

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In Southwark Cathedral is a monument to the bard that was paid for by his admirer's. It contains a life-sized figure of Shakespeare, reclining in front of a bas-relief of the Southwark skyline, promenantly showing the theatre and the spire of the cathedral.

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March 13, 2005

An eye on London

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Given a very little encouragement I could keep talking about Cornwall until I am physically there again. Of course I would end up a blubbering mess and any readers that I had left would be bored senseless. I suppose that I should move on to our final destination before we came back to Oz.

There are a couple of companies in London who run double decker bus tours of the City and Westminster areas. After buying a ticket you can get on and off the bus at any of their stops for a 24 hour period. They go past all of the regulation tourist must see spots so you can see everything that the folks back home are going to ask you about.

The Poet and I took this trip the first time that we were in London together, four years ago. This year we bought tickets because it really is an easy way to get to most of the places that we wanted to go. So long as it isn't raining, the open top isn't too bad at this time of the year, but you do need a warm jacket, gloves and probably a beanie.

After four years of whimping out, The Poet finally gave in and said that he was prepared to take a ride on the London Eye. I think that he was wise to the fact that it is closed for maintenance in January. At least I got a decent photograph from the top deck of the bus.

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March 12, 2005

As I was going to St Ives

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It has been a few days since I posted any reminiscences of our holiday. Since then I have made a new e-friend, Blue, who has the enormous good fortune to live in St Ives in Cornwall.

The Poet and I have enjoyed a day in St Ives each time that we have visited Cornwall. He came here years ago and bought a painting by the St Ives artist, Keith English. It hangs on the wall of our family room to serve as a reminder of our times here. The Poet has visited Keith English's studio on our last couple of visits.

I imagine that St Ives in the summer is wall to wall tourists but in the winter it is not very busy. Many of the shopkeepers take the opportunity to have a holiday so lots of the shops are closed. The main street is very narrow and paved with cobblestones. Normal traffic is not allowed to drive down it but it is still a good idea to be cautious as delivery vans use it and there is not much space to let them pass. A handy doorway makes a good bolthole at these moments.

Fortunately the pubs are still trading and the one just out of of this photograph provides a great lunch of crab cakes with chips and a crisp salad. The bread rolls are fresh and crusty and the cider is cold.

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March 4, 2005

Moving Porthleven


Porthleven panorama

I want to go back and have another look at Porthleven. I want to go back in this entry and I want to go back.

Our cottage is on the road that leads out of the village above the cliffs to the west. Between the cottage and the sea is only a narrow road that has wound up from the harbour, past the Ship Inn and then on to the cottage - The Lookout. From the cottage the view includes the Atlantic and the long wall of the outer harbour. From the road it is possible to see the coast sweeping up towards the Lizard, the Fishermen's Institute that always gets mistaken for a church and then round into the harbour with it's row of Edwardian terraces.

It is peaceful place, even with the waves in the aftermath of a winter's storm.

If you have Quicktime and some patience (8.5MB) click here to view video.

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