Ragtag Tuesday: London calling – an energy give & take

This Country Mouse, this bumpkin, loves a trip to London.  I love visiting my family above all, especially William and little Zoë (who’s doing alright.  She’s been moved from Intensive Care to High Dependency and back to Intensive Care: out of, and now back into an incubator. These set backs are not unexpected in such tiny babies, but the staff are confident that she’s basically doing well. Slowly she’s learning to breastfeed).

Zoë during her brief time out of an incubator.

I love the neighbourhood shopping streets. They’re often, and depressingly, a bit grubby and litter-strewn.  But they’re full of life.  Turkish, Lebanese, Italian, Chinese and East Asian, English, Syrian, French, Ethiopian, Eastern European, Caribbean shops, take-aways and restaurants rub along together.  There are barbers and hairdressers, some specialising in working with the tight curls of the local black population.  They may not open early, but they’re busy until late.  Markets sell fruit and veg. by the bowlful, and the fish stalls are an education in unfamiliar marine life.  No pictures – sorry.  When I take William to the park, I may find myself making common cause with grannies from Poland, France or Thailand.

I love the happenstance of walking the backstreets almost anywhere in central London.  When I have to get to King’s Cross Station, I often get off the tube at some station beforehand and complete my journey on foot.  That’s how I found myself in Smithfield Market, England’s largest wholesale meat market, trading in meat sales as it has been for over 800 years.  Then nearby is the church of Saint Bartholomew the Great.  It ought to be twinned with Fountains Abbey. One was founded in 1123, the other in 1132.

I like exploring the destinations the average tourist doesn’t have time to see.  The Wallace Collection, the Museum of London Docklands, the Wren churches of the City of London.

Go to the Museum of London Docklands, to explore London as a sea-trading city from Roman times onwards, and you’re rubbing shoulders with the high-rise financial quarter, seen here from the Thames.

I’m energised by my visits to London.  I love exploring, and discovering London’s secret corners.  It’s an interesting combination.  London gives me renewed energy as willingly as it tires me out.

This week’s Ragtag Challenge is Energy.

34 thoughts on “Ragtag Tuesday: London calling – an energy give & take”

  1. It sounds wonderful, and I’m very glad Zoe is getting stronger.

    This is very much how New York City is for me. I love going to the city and exploring, but I can only be there about 10 days. After that the noise just wears me out. Then I’m ready to go back to my country home and enjoy the sounds of birds and crickets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Being a native of East London, Bethnal Green and a cockney, I know what you mean about the back streets. I have been away for 50 Years living in Switzerland, but they are some of the things I miss, although London has changed very much since my time and the back streets I knew no longer exist.

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    1. Of course a lot will have disappeared, but I’m constantly surprised at how much remains too, and how much that once was disregarded is now sought after and appreciated. The very fine former council flats near the Tate Gallery now change hands for shocking amounts of money.

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  3. So, so pleased to see that Zoë is getting on with this living and growing thing. A big round of applause for everybody including grannies doing there bit.
    I am off to London tomorrow for yet another ‘moving day’ – wish I could share some of your energy. Fortunately this year I am not driving across the metropolis with the car packed to the gunnels (or gunwales). I am informed a man with a van has been hired. Fingers crossed that he turns up!

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  4. I’m glad Zoë is progressing and is so well cared for. She’s a little sweetie. I can understand why you chose ‘energy’, after reading this! You’ll need a whole load of energy for her, William and London. It is wonderful to be able to spend time in several different places, as you do, not as a tourist, but living alongside local people, with their insights and sense of familiarity.

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  5. I think I feel about Boston the way you do about London–a city I’ve spent enough time in to get a feel for, beyond just the tourist spots. It’s awful nice to have such a place, relatively nearby, where you can get the lift from it and then go home to the quiet, country life. And sweet Zoë–she looks so focused and serious in that photo. Maybe she’s concentrating on getting strong! I hope!

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  6. The photo of little Zoe is so touching to see. So sorry about the setbacks but good that she is basically doing well and learning to breastfeed. Wishing her well. I enjoyed reading about your explorations in London and the paradox about cities that you point out is interesting. Visiting and then going home to the country is perhaps the best of both worlds.

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  7. I feel pretty much the same way about London. I lived there for 4 years when I was much younger, and never really got it out of my system. Impossible to be bored wandering there. Good to hear that your granddaughter is doing well. Such a relief for everyone! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. She is so adorable! I too love the big city. I now live in a town of about 17000 about 100 miles west of St. Louis, Missouri. Having grown up in a big city, Detroit, Michigan, I am in seventh heaven when I get to go into the big city…it feels so much like home!

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  9. Just a word of encouragement for ZOE….. Have seen this a few times but wasn‘t up to commenting. I only hope that Zoe will get better and stronger, every day a bit. You all have had your fair share of health problems in the past years – may this be the last of your health worries! Love

    Liked by 1 person

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