Big Ben

The Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster – officially named Saint Stephen’s Tower – is commonly known as the Big Ben. The tower is one of London’s most famous landmarks.

London Saturday 081The clock inside the tower was the world’s largest when it was installed in the middle of the nineteenth century. The name Big Ben actually refers to the clock’s hour bell, the largest of the clock’s five bells. The other four are used as quarter bells.

London Saturday 082The hour bell was probably named after Benjamin Hall, the First Commissioner of Works. Some sources however claim the bell was named after Benjamin Caunt, a British heavyweight boxing champion.

London Saturday 083The clock was the largest in the world and is still the largest in Great-Britain. The clock faces have a diameter of almost 25ft (7.5m). The hour hand is 9ft or 2.7m long and the minute hand measures 14ft (4.25m) long.

London Saturday 092The clock is known for its reliability, it has rarely failed during its long life span. Even after the nearby House of Commons was destroyed by bombing during World War II, the clock kept on chiming. The clock’s mechanism, designed by Edmund Beckett Denison, has a remarkable accuracy. The clock’s rate is adjusted by simply adding small pennies on the shoulder of the pendulum.

London Saturday 094The tower was constructed between 1843 and 1858 as the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster. The palace is now better known as the Houses of Parliament.
The clock tower rises 316ft high (96m) and consists of a 200ft (61m) high brick shaft topped by a cast iron framed spire. The clock faces are 180ft / 55m above ground level.

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HT: A View on Cities

I just have a few more England Trip posts left and good thing because the Christmas/Advent season is here and so many wonderful things happen this time of year. I hope that joy and peace will fill your hearts during your busy days. And in the spirit of this post I hope to fill my “time” with good things. We celebrated our Daughter in Laws birthday today and I’ll share about it on her actual birthday which is December 3rd. I’ve pulled the cards out and have to get busy on our annual letter (I could write a book about 2013). All the Christmas bins are down from the attic. Fun events planned for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I wonder if I can get those cards done by Wednesday morning?? If not there’s always next week…

I’m so excited that it’s snowing on my blog. It happens this time of year without me doing anything. Thanks WordPress!

What is going to fill your time this week?

The Original Tour of London…

On Saturday the 21st of September we headed into London early to take advantage of touring London from a bus top. It was cold but we braved the upper deck to see what we could see. We had a plan in place in which we’d hop off the bus if our tour guide was lousy and hop on the next one. Our guide was fabulous with an amazing store of knowledge and he could recite quotes and passages and entries from famous historical documents including the Bible. We stayed on the bus!

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Fountains and statues and fabulous architecture, oh my.

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The ballerina on top of the Victoria Palace Theater is Anna Pavlova this statue is not the original but a replica made in 2006. Here’s the story of the original…

From 1911, the year after its rebuilding to its present design by Frank Matcham, the Victoria Palace had a gilded statue of prima ballerina Anna Pavlova poised above it. This was owner Alfred Butt’s homage to the dancer he had spectacularly introduced to London.

The tribute was not appreciated by the superstitious ballerina, who would never look at her image as she passed the theatre, drawing the blinds in her car. The original statue was taken down for safety reasons in 1939 before the blitz and has completely disappeared. It is not known whether it is in someone’s garden or was turned to wartime military use, such as bullets.

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Standing on Old Park Lane since June 14th 1971, this is the one that started it all. The brainchild of Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton, the cafe attracted customers from day one with first-rate, but moderately priced, casual American fare (available no-where else in London or the UK at the time), warm service and ubiquitous Rock ‘n’ Roll music and sensibility – Hard Rock Cafe London became an instant classic.

The reason I’m including this in my Saturday London post is because Dear and I ate here with the members of our singing group and band in the summer of 1973. We were so ready for a good ole American meal after having so many salads and other interesting food touring England. We savored each bite of our hamburgers and cokes with ice in them!

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This masterpiece by Adrian Jones (born 1848 – died 1935) named “Quadriga”, was commissioned by King Edward VII, and stands on the top of the Wellingtons Arch, Hyde Park Corner. Quadriga (from the Latin Quadri-, four, and jungere, to yoke) is a four-horse chariot, raced in the original Olympic Games and other sacred sports. The Statue was built in a garden in Old Church Street Chelsea by Adrian Jones. This iron work weighs 40 tons, and dates from 1912.

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It was fun to read the different names of all the pubs you see around London.

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London Saturday 204There is so much to see and share from London. You could have ten posts just on statues on top of buildings. I haven’t even gotten to the very familiar landmarks yet. Only two more days that we were in London so the end is in sight. Glad you have hung in there. Next time we’ll hit some of the well known images of London…

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Back to the good ole U.S.A. On Monday I had my hair looked after by my very efficient hairdresser and I let her know that I have come to peace with my “new do” and she could continue that cut for the time being. When I got home from that appointment I totally ruined my fresh cut and color by mowing the lawn for the last time this year. I’m happy to report that all the leaves have been swooped up and delivered to the yard waste bin. Can I hear some applause? You should have seen my drippy hair do after that task was completed! Now I’ll sit back and enjoy the cleaned up look around here.

How was your Monday? If you live in the U.S. are you hosting Thanksgiving or are you going somewhere else for a meal?

To London We Go…

On Friday September 20th we left the coast of Cornwall for the long trip to London. We were dropping our car off at Heathrow and then booking a taxi to take us to the apartment we were renting through the weekend. Soon we would be depending on the London Tube for our transportation. “Mind the Gap”!

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This is the street and building where our flat was located. It was a short walk to Portabello Road but a long walk to the nearest tube station that got you into London easily. We were close to a station that required connecting to a London central line.

2013-09-20 To London1The living space was roomy and comfortable.

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We each had our own king room and bathroom.

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After we settled into the flat we decided to head into London and see what we could see but first we had a nice long walk along Portobello Road to the Notting Hill Gate Tube Station.

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We walked up the steps from the underground and landed right in Trafalgar Square. Soon we would be quoting Laura every time we tried to get from A to B in London proper… “Oh the Humanity”. After being in the countryside it was quite unnerving to be thrust into such a sea of people.

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Now we were very hungry and Dear remembered a pub we ate in back in 2003 just down the road from here so we walked with “the humanity” and headed that way. The pub was packed to the gills but we found a nice spot in the back and settled in.

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2013-09-20 To London2Our food was good and we were revived and decided to try to take in as much of the National Gallery before it closed. It was getting dark outside.

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We saw some wonderful works of art but no photos were allowed in the National Gallery. We were all well spent from our long day and found our way back to the flat for a good nights rest before our Saturday in London.

Back here in the Northwest we’ve had a relaxing weekend and we’ve been cooking meat. I cooked a chuck roast in the slow cooker and we had roast beef sandwiches for dinner on Saturday. Today we had ribs slow cooking in the oven and will have them with some coleslaw and baked beans. Good thing we don’t have any vegetarians in our house. Our Katie is a huge Dr. Who fan so Saturday’s 50th Anniversary special airing in Britain and B.B.C.- U.S.A. was on the agenda. Judging from her squeals of delight it was all she had hoped for.

I had a fun experience today after church. We host a Toy Shop at our church for needy families from public school districts in our area. Church members donate toys for different age groups (new, unwrapped toys). Parents can then come to the toy shop and choose 2 gifts for each of their children. They take them to the wrapping table and we wrap the gifts for them to take home and give to their children on Christmas.  So after church I headed to Fred Meyer to do some toy shopping. I was in the Lego aisle and a grandmother with her two grandsons came into the aisle. The grandmother told the boys to choose a toy that they would like but the toy was not for them. The toy was for someone who had less then them. She was trying to teach them about giving. She looked at my cart and the list in my hand and asked me who I was shopping for. I told her all about our Toy Shop at church. She then said, “Ok, boys pick a gift and put it in this ladies cart, I’ll give her the money for the toy and it will go to the toy shop and a little boy your age will get it and enjoy it” Ha! After they selected the gift and gave it to me (and $15.00 cash) I told the boys that a boy their age would be really happy to get that toy. Then I said Thank you very much and Merry Christmas. The grandmother explained to me that she wasn’t sure where to donate a gift so she was happy to bump into me at the store…

How was your weekend?

Timely Advice…

P1040463Several of these photos were taken from our stop at a roadside Inn on our way to Cornwall.


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The rest of the photos are some advice from other parts of England…

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My last bit of timely advice to you is this…Set your clocks back tonight or you will be way too early for Church tomorrow!

ABC Wednesday ~ L is for …

L is for London


Dear and I love to travel to Great Britain and spend some time in London while we travel about the Isle. This is me in February of 2003 after we took a ride on the London Eye. You can see the “Eye” in the background.

This is a shot of one of the pods across from ours.


You really get a wonderful view of all of London.

For more ABC Wednesday Posts on the letter L head on over to Mrs. Nesbitt’s.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!