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The Final Chapter

This will probably do it for London. Not that I'm not ready to go back and really study the city, but for now, this will have to suffice. So, let's see a few more sights before we get back to reality. Please accept my apology for this order, I'm having some internet connection problems and decided while it was working I would upload every photo and just go with it.

Have you EVER seen a cuter ice cream truck in your life? Part of the summer happenings on the South Bank of the Thames. Ad nauseam, we've discussed how summer lasts forever in Florida; we not only don't appreciate hot weather, at times we abhor hot weather. English people welcome what they call hot weather.  As such, from what we saw, while they could, most folks were out enjoying the "warm" weather. Summer=ice cream, right?
Years ago Matt gave me a Tift Merritt cd which I adored. The name was Tambourine Man. Get it if you can. Apparently, she makes an annual visit to London, this time on the bill with Duane Allman. Last year it was Mary Chapin Carpenter. We were fortunate enough to have a concert-going genius on board who booked the tickets to a solo gig. Tom, the history buff, is not as much of a music buff. This is where Matt comes in. I have no idea how many concerts Matt has been to in his short life, but suffice it to say, it is more than most folks. He is introducing Tom to some of his favorites. Last year when they saw Tift, Tom fell in love. You would too if you saw her. I will say that I've yet to take a decent concert photo and below is no exception, but it does document our experience. She not only did a great show musically, but was charming as well. Check her out!
Remember how I told you how long we spent in the Museum of London? The place is huge. Having history that dates back to pre-historic times will do that. This costume display was simply amazing! I only wish the lighting conditions were a wee bit more photo friendly. Nonetheless, can you imagine wearing clothes like these? The HATS! Astonishing!
Back to the South Bank friends. I may have already mentioned all the amazing street performers. This guy was particularly fascinating. It's hard to describe, but although he wasn't actually holding the ball, he moved it from side to side between his hands. You had to be there.
Below are some performers who got the audience into the act. That darling little boy on the left was such a good sport as these crazy guys did all manner of gymnastics with him.
The other day I mentioned the Columbia Road Flower Market and the huge crowds that come to buy flowers. We could only wish to have these crowds at our market! Here is a great description of the action. Don't you just love the internet? You can find out anything! I was struck by how the vendors called out their prices, however, I apparently didn't know the correct term for the vendors. According to their site, they are called "barrow boys". I highly recommend that you check out the link to learn the history of the area. Good stuff.
 Soho below. Need I say more?
During our street art tour we saw some amazing work. Can you imagine that an artist chiseled this out of the wall? I can't. Think about it for a minute......he/she was right up against the wall, so how the artist could do this at such close proximity is beyond me. Those eyes are SO expressive. I am not a fan of the taggers though. How DARE they disfigure such an amazing piece of artwork?
Regular readers will remember that I got up in the pre-dawn hours to watch the "Royal Wedding" with Angela. I was very anxious to see Buckingham Palace for myself. I kept thinking about the hundreds of photographers stationed on this very fountain to get their shots. This sure is a cute picture of Mr. Bruce--not so much of Mrs. Gail.
Leaving the city, take a close look at these tiny little Costwold cottages. The flowers! I was thrilled to see the gorgeous coral fuchsia hanging baskets which do NOT grow in Florida. The sidewalk is so tiny isn't it? So are the doorways.
 More beautiful hanging baskets. Seriously, they were everywhere!
On an early morning walk in Bath I took this photo of a bandstand as I walked through the park.  It wasn't till a little later that I realized that someone was sleeping under the tiny blue hump you see in the middle.
Early morning is putting it mildly. What I believe I've yet to mention is the seagull population in Bath.
Although the city is inland, somehow seagulls by the hundreds have made their home there. Around here, near sunrise, my cardinals, the mockingbirds, finches, bluejays and woodpeckers start their chatter early. But not at 5 AM! Those seagulls are louder than you can imagine. Actually, that was just fine because Mrs. Camera Crazy pulled on some clothes, slung her cameras on her shoulder, and ventured out into the city streets to see what she could see. Don't let anyone ever tell you that the sun doesn't shine in England. The sky couldn't have been any bluer one of our mornings in Bath.
Our apartment was in in the block on the left. The streets are still wet from the previous evenings rain, but on this morning, there was not a cloud to be seen.

I hope you've enjoyed our trip through both my words and photographs. You already know how much Bruce and I did.
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