Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day Two

One of my favourite views in London, Trafalgar Square looking down Whitehall to see Big Ben in the distance.
Covent Garden and the classically trained musicians and opera singers entertaining in the Piazza. They bring tears to my eyes every time.
South Bank book market, what a treat but watch that you don't get a stiff neck from craning to see the titles!
The Imperial War Museum was absolutely fantastic! So many people have written that this was so much more interesting than they could have imagined. I couldn't agree more. I was brought to tears twice here by The Children's War exhibit and shrieked once in a mock bomb shelter. It's dark inside, smells of Cordite (used as a propellant for bombs) and there's a tape playing of loud bombing and people screaming - then your seat shakes as a bomb blast sounds. They don't warn you about that.
The letters and drawings from children were heart-wrenching, some never reaching their fathers as they had been killed in action only a few days before. There were fighter planes with 'kills' marked on the side, tanks, missiles and bombs on display. The German SS uniforms gave me the shivers, the skull and crossbones above the brim on the cap was sinister.
The way that family and community clung together at such a time was the prominent message for me. Allotments for vegetables, knitting for service men, soup kitchens and tea wagons for volunteers, women looking after evacuated children, the list goes on. Life was not easy by any stretch but to use the slogan they kept calm and carried on.
My day ended with a ride in a black cab. It was very amusing when the cabbie said that he loved MY accent! Too funny.


  1. Darlene, Enjoy your blog so much! Thanks for sharing your adventure in London - can't wait to hear the rest. Our reading choices are identical, I grew up in Burlington and live not too far away now, am a mum of a 4th yr university student ... can't wait to hear the rest of your trip - especially your visit to Persephone Books !

  2. I love this virtual vacation! Last summer we stayed just blocks from Trafalgar Square, visited Covent Garden, and my husband took a little detour through the Imperial War Museum. I wish I had visited the South Bank book market. Thanks for sharing with us!

  3. meadowcroft, thanks for stopping by, the visit to Persephone is coming up!

    JoAnn, It's impossible to visit London just once so you can add the book market to your intinerary for next time:)

  4. How funny I've never noticed that view across Trafalgar Square. I think I'm always just rushing through the crowds and into the National Gallery. Must slow down a bit and have a good look round.

    And must visit the Children's War exhibition before it closes! K x

  5. The Imperial War Museum sounds fascinating. Did you buy any of those books?

  6. Book Psmith, I didn't buy any at the book market because I knew that a visit to Persephone was coming up. Of course, at the airport when your luggage clears you always think you could have bought more.

  7. Somehow as good as books are, they don't quite bring the reality of war to the forefront like seeing artefacts from the actual time. Would love to go to the Imperial War Museum, but I have a feeling it might be a sad experience. Love the photos!