The day before I left London I met my long-time friends, Kate and Bob, and we meandered alongSouthbank, just like all the other tourists. Certainly, I was very much a tourist, as so much has changed since I lived there.
Of course, there are still the familiar landmarks, buildings that survived the Great Fire (1666, in case you’ve forgotten), Hitler’s Blitz, the onslaught of modern machinery…things like Southwark Cathedral, now somewhat dwarfed-but-not-diminished-by The Shard, Tower Bridge, The Tower of London.
The Tower. Thank you, William of Normandy.
HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge.
But so many new (to me!) places.
Cruising around trendy boutiques, eateries, pubs, and other tourist traps, I was pulled up short by something called “The Navigators.” Closest description? Sort of steam punk. I would dearly love to see this contraption in action, but the hose-pipe ban was still in force so I had to be content with its static display. Ah, but I went straight to Youtube as soon as I got home! David Kemp is the artist and you can see more of his fun stuff if you Google his website. Here is the Navigators with water. There may be an irritating little advert, but you should be able to skip it
Finally tearing ourselves away from the wonderful contraption, we .next found ourselves in what looked like a firewood merchant’s yard. Whopping great chunks of tree trunks. Why? Puzzled at first, it suddenly dawned on me that these trunk chunks had been (rather crudely) carved into animal shapes and were intended as toys. Think: rocking horse and you’ll get the idea. Of course, I had to try one, didn’t I?
And that was almost my undoing…
A placid-looking duck, I saw no harm in swinging a leg across and having a wee rock. Bloody hell! The nasty little bugger reared up and almost unseated me. I was lucky to come away with nothing more than a fright. Vicious bucking duck, indeed.