Fours years later

Last night we did manage to see Robin Hobb and have her sign her latest book ‘Shaman’s Crossing’ (which for the record I am underwhelmed by). Robin was friendly enough though not as chatty as Terry Brooks earlier in the day.

Robin Hobb at Forbidden Planet.
Robin Hobb at Forbidden Planet

We were third in line so were out quite quickly. We spent the rest of the evening in Romford watching ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ which was very entertaining. It diverted a lot from the older movie with Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka (not sure how different from the book it was) but was very entertaining.

This morning I wasn’t due at work till 10am so took the opportunity to visit St Pauls Cathedral properly for the first time, four years seeing it from work most days and only now do I visit. As a partial excuse they have only recently taken the scaffolding down from inside, they’ve been cleaning the Cathedral inside and out for years now.

There is no photography allowed inside so I left camera untouched and marvelled at the splendour and grandeur of the building and it’s tombs, paintings and other decorations. I spent a bit of time in the Catacombs finding the tombs and markers for Christopher Wren (who lived to 91, a remarkable age for the time) and Lord Nelson. At 9.30am the Galleries opened so I made my way quite quickly to the top, not really stopping in the Whispering Gallery but I still managed to hear the eerily voice of a woman talking to her son standing not far from where I was walking, it was like her whisper was following me around the walls.

Up more stairs and I was out onto the Stone Gallery with views out over London. A quick look and then onwards and upwards to the superior views of the Golden Gallery via a series of metal spiral staircases that are not vertigo sufferer friendly. No mind, when I got to the top and took my camera out the vertigo faded away.

Looking down over St Pauls and Paternoster Square.
Looking down over St Pauls and Paternoster Square

I spend 15 minutes or so walking around the Gallery taking photos and admiring the view; 140 London Wall looks rather insignificant from up here. I managed to spook the staff member assigned to this level as she was reading a book (I was first to the Golden Gallery on this day) and we had a short talk after I had apologised. Turns out she comes up here every day first thing in the morning, I’ve said it to many people before but that really is a fantastic job to have, especially on a nice day like today has been.

St Pauls in the morning.
St Pauls in the morning

Rather than fill the blog with photos I’ll put a gallery up at some point so you only get two today. Now I have to figure out what I have to do to get permission to take photos inside the Cathedral.

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