After my day time “Walk 1” from Westminister to Pancras, with a stop at Coal Office for a cappuccino and some amazing Israeli nosh, it was onto the second walk of the day.
I took the tube to Moorgate (but maybe would have gotten less lost if I had arrived at the Barbican station itself) and doing quite the lost round about walk to Barbican- spotted the above building. As some say, life is about the journey, not the destination and I can’t deny there is value is wandering around being lost sometimes.
I love night time walks- when attention to detail is paid to lighting- it makes for such magical experiences. 88 Wood St, as I now know its called, reminded me immediately of Centre Georges Pompidou which makes so much sense once I found out the responsible architecture firm.
After spending a good bit of time at the Barbican (worthy of its own separate post)- I meandered out onto a small side street littered with amazing views one after another.
Again- night time. It’s the freaking best.
On our way from the Shard to our stay at the Corinthia, we drove along Cannon St and I was quick enough to mark a couple of buildings to go back to- of which I hit on this walk. One of which is the Bloomberg London building, also deserving of its own post. Past the Bloomberg, we drove by St. Paul’s Cathedral, which I’ve never managed to get to while in London.
And then I found it. One of a few rare places where I actually sat down and sat still for a while. At the Reflection Garden- I discovered a moment in time and space that seemed reserved just for me. It felt as if not a single other soul could ever know the meaning of that moment.
Surrounded by a set of buildings, the most curious was the one having the most fun with its lighting- and The Ivy’s gave a view into its world that looks well worth a stop in the next time around.
Cutting over to the banks of the Thames- a quick moment to take in the respects being paid to the Queen- the city shone of purple far and wide.
I took a quick stop at the hotel and headed back out to see all the preparations (or really just more barricading and security) as this was the eve of the Queen’s funeral procession.
I’ll end with the story of Sergeant Eleanor- who saved my night. As someone notoriously shy, I sometimes reach out into the universe to see what comes back. Typically this involves talking to people I don’t know- its amazing how every day we exist in the same space as others, sometimes never to know who they are and sometimes brought together in joy, folly or tragedy.
I spoke to security guards about getting back in- then at the last barricade took a shot at talking to the police and there she was- Sergeant Eleanor, who so kindly ensured I’d be able to get back.
Well, on the return, turns out that no one believed me! I told the other police I would wait until they could understand if I was allowed to enter the area and just as the universe does, some 15 minutes later, Sergeant Eleanor comes on her patrol right my way. This is one of those moments in my life where I know that everything is beyond me- no matter what I believe I control all I know is that I surrender everything to the universe knowing that its all about stepping up and letting go.
It was a big personal journey this trip to London in September 2022. I’m incredibly grateful for the wealth of kindness, generosity, love and luck that came my way.