Big Ben is the nick-name given to the great bell of the clock at the north end of Westminster Palace, in London. By extension, the whole clock tower has been referred to by the same name. However, as the English Queen is celebrating 60 years of reigning – the name of this tower is to be changed to Elizabeth Tower.
Despite being such a famous landmark, this tower is not open to tourists from over-seas. As the Palace of Westminster houses our parliament, this tower is only open to United Kingdom residents (and then only via the resident’s MP).
I had been up in London on a gloomy, grey day, but as I crossed Westminster bridge the sun came out for a brief moment. It lit up these well known tourist attractions, which called out to be photographed. Sometimes I forget how lovely these buildings, and in particularly this Tower in its Gothic Revival style, are.
This iconic Victorian sculpture of a lion stands opposite the Houses of Parliament at the south end of Westminster Bridge in London, England. It looks new, but has survived 175 years, including through World War 2 and the demolition of the building for which it was created.
It is actually made of a ceramic called Coade Stone by sculptor W.F. Woodington in 1837. The material is made from a mix of clay, flint, quartz and glass – in ratios that are known to us – and then cured over multiple days at high temperature – in a process that is lost. Coade Stone appears to be one of the most durable artificial materials created, but sadly the precise technique needed for industrial manufacture did not survive the closure of the manufacturer.
I love the effect of these flags in Old Bond Street (one of the more exclusive shopping streets) in London.
They make a change from the bunting that went up in so many places to celebrate the 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Somehow, even the grey sky seems to add to the atmosphere in this photo!
In England and the Commonwealth, everyone is celebrating our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It is a great time to be in London and, even if you missed the the main weekend of celebrations, there are still plenty of interesting extra touches to see that make me smile.
I think we live in a fairly techy household… but, despite renewing one of our bathrooms over the Christmas holiday, we have not yet bothered to include a TV/computer screen in the bathroom.
This photo is from a hotel we stayed at in London. Did I appreciate it? Not really. Once we had got past the novelty and amusement factor – it saw very little use. When on holiday, we tend to use the internet less and watch almost no TV – instead we sight-see, walk and even… talk!!
Does the idea that you may one day be able to skype your friends from in the tub worry you? Or is it just the incentive you need to go on that diet? Either way, whilst this photo may not count as visually stunning, I hope it has increased your daily mirth quota, broadened your mind a little and might even inspire you to leave a comment! Enjoy.