Dazzling spring weather today, so it was off to bumble about Bishopsgate in the City of London before seeing my artist friend Polly. Here are a few of the things I found. Some may enlarge if you click on them, others won’t as I used different formats. The pics are rubbish, of course, because I was mostly using my phone and darting between commuters to remove the people from shots, but I like to think it adds to their homely charm, my photographic abilities being roughly what they were when I was seven.
The Victorian Turkish Baths, now a restaurant, survived the Blitz and the property developers, and remains hidden between faceless office buildings.
Looking for the original Petticoat Lane (which I had only been down on a Sunday with my Dad when I was very small, to buy a canary) I found the road unrecognisable now. London’s obsession with tucking statues away in every nook and cranny has stranded a horse on top of this tower in Petticoat Lane.
Between Petticoat Lane and Frying Pan Alley are still lots of little backstreets and alleys full of pubs and cafes that look as if they belong in Eastern Europe.
Yet another statue that counts as new (20 years old) in Devonshire Square, Bishopsgate. The horse’s livery is covered in large blue jewels.
The square is covered in a yet another vast glass canopy.
From a great many streets the Gherkin can be seen, as loved for its grace as the Shard is hated for its vulgarity.
Walking toward Old Street, a wall of posters and graffiti, topped with a glamorous giantess, just out of sight.
And I finally arrive at Polly’s house/studio, tucked away in a tiny backstreet in the heart of the City, housing several cabinets of wonders – most of which (like the chandelier) she filled with objects she made herself.