Autumn is falling – Leaving London   #leaves #autumn #London #GreenPark #October

Between the green stretches of Hyde Park and St James Park in the city of Westminster lies Green Park, 47 acres of public strolling grounds.  

It is both a lovely green space in the heart of London, and the lungs of the city too, providing fresh country air – perfect for escaping Piccadilly madness.

There are no lakes, no playgrounds, no buildings and no planted beds (so no king may gather flowers for his mistress). There are 3 memorials.

Here is a quick history of the area:

In the 17th century it was a swampy burial ground for lepers.

In 1668 the area was part of the Poulteney family estate, who then surrendered the bulk of land to King Charles II, thus becoming a Royal Park, ‘Upper St James Park.’  Charles, in his turn, enclosed the parkland with a brick wall and built an icehouse for cold summer drinks (as one does).

By the 18th century it was an isolated area, haunted by thieves and highwaymen. Horace Walpole, writer and politician, was robbed here.

In the 18th-19th centuries there were public firework displays (in 1749 Handel composed music specifically for a Green Park display) and ballooning (up, up and away) and even duelling (sword fights).

In 1820 John Nash landscaped the area and in June 1840 from Constitutional Hill, Edward Oxford made an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria.

For me, in 2017Green Park (also a tube stop) is an excellent in-between walking route from Berkeley Square to Victoria, early in the morning when the squirrels are busy burying conkers and tourists are making their way to Buckingham Palace.

The plain trees are beginning to shred, scattering brown and yellow crinkly leaves along the pathway; there is an earthy dampness, a grey chill and a pale light filtering through the flaking canopy.  

Autumn is now the season to go strolling.  

Green Park offers everyone a green and pleasant land in London Town.

Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com

Advertisements

Big News! #book #news #novella #cult #mystery #imagination #September #bookshops #London #Hastings #online #eBook

A cult mystery novella – released worldwide September 2016.

‘The Case of Aleister Stratton’ by K.G.V. Barnwell

An unusual name: Aleister Stratton; a mysterious quest for information; a chance discovery; the past and present merging. What caused this seemingly inexplicable death?

Imagine one morning you wake up and believe you have committed a murder.

At what point did the unconscious take over the mind and how much control can the conscious regain? What we do by day is one thing, how we pass the night is another.

How safe are we from the complexities of our mind?


“Stylish and beautifully written, combining elegance and gripping intensity; eye-catching and oft slyly satirical prose.”

~

“An intriguing and compulsively good read.”
~

Available NOW – signed copies from: 

http://www.katebarnwell.com

http://www.grosvenorartistmanagement.com

See the original website http://www.aleisterstratton.com

Available as a book and ebook from Waterstones Bookshops ~ Amazon Worldwide ~ Ingrams.

Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com

The latest – my ebook and novella coming now, coming soon!#free #novella #Hastings #London #AleisterStratton #mystery #ebook #book

Be one of the first 1000 to download a free, pre-release ebook: 

http://www.aleisterstratton.com

A launch and a landing – my new novella ‘The Case of Aleister Stratton’ is now available as a free, pre-release ebook.

Released worldwide as both an ebook and a paperback book on 5th September, 2016.
It is, however, possible to buy a proper printed pre-release, signed book right now through my email: kate@katebarnwell.com or publisher at http://www.grosvenorartistmanagement.com

This means you receive the book (something to hold and own) before the rest of the world; it is signed and it comes with a hessian bookmark: £4.99 plus p&p.
Follow my blogs and news http://www.katebarnwell.com

A…Attention! #London #facts #travel #TheQueen #British #soldiers #summer #holiday #vacation #Wimbledon #AndyMurray

Anyone taking a holiday excursion, a summer vacation, a trip, a journey, or a city break to London, may wish to swat up on soldier (Guard) uniforms to impress fellow travel companions. It’s a little research that goes beyond the average guide book; it may even surprise the fore-said friends of your exceptional ability to record such interesting and diverse British facts. Let’s hope they pay attention instead or telling you to button up.

How about some of these as additional London facts.

1. There is always a flag flying above Buckingham Palace, but it is only the Royal Standard that indicates the Queen is in residence.

2. All swans in the Royal Parks are owned by the Queen.

3. Yesterday, The Wimbledon Tennis Championships 2016 (grass court) saw Scottish-born Andy Murray, cap and shorts, take the trophy for a second time.  If he had chosen to be a soldier he would be number 3 in the line-up. Buttons in threes. No plume.

Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com

Bear With Us #Paddington #bear #story #London #trains #statue

Paddington station in West London is currently and has been for years, under a considerable amount of construction and re-generation. Yet it is not, and never shall be, without its beloved statue of a bronze bear; a statue no other station can boast of, Paddington Bear.  
A lonely singled-out bear in a Christmas shop window of 1956 was bought by Michael Bond for his wife and became the inspiration for his story book, published in 1958

‘A Bear Called Paddington’

Paddington loves marmalade and is so very frightfully polite, yes sir; he later acquired a pair of red Wellington boots and was adopted by a London family, the Browns.

What a lovely little face, floppy hat, big paws and shaggy coat and with such charming manners. He’s looking out at all the trains pulling in under the vast Victorian iron archways, staring bemused at a 21st century generation of preoccupied lives; the frantic crowds, busying this way and that; he’s just waiting longingly for a hello and how’d you do.  

Many London children were evacuated from Paddington station to the country during World War II. With labels around their necks and a small suitcase of meagre possessions, they were transported safely away from the city to new homes; this too was the inspiration for Paddington’s own label.

‘Please Look After This Bear. Thank You.’

Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com

A Square Tree #Christmas #London #Norway 

“This tree is given by the city of Oslo as a token of Norwegian gratitude to the people of London for their assistance during the years 1940-45.
A tree has been given annually since 1947.”

In Trafalgar Square, stands a 50-60 year old Norway Spruce. It is shipped across the North Sea, travels up to London and is adorned simply in the Nordic style with 500 white lights.

Around this tree congregate Carollers (singers of traditional Carols), happy school children, rockers, onlookers and fundraisers, proving that under the protection and beauty of green, spiky branches all sorts of people can come together safely.

Each year new poems are displayed on banners about the base.

‘Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree thy leaves are so unchanging…’

Here she will stand until 6th January 2016, if you are about come and take a look at Trafalgar Square’s perfect triangular Tree for 2015 – day or night! Follow the star

Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com

  

London Poppy Day  #RoyalBritishLegion #remembrance #poppy

Today is LONDON POPPY DAY, 29th October 2015.

‘By wearing a Royal British Legion poppy, you are helping provide support to thousands of veterans, Service men and women.’

The photo below was one of the very many striking images from last year’s (2014) 100 year anniversary of the commemoration of the outbreak of The Great War 1914-1918.

The bronze statue depicts a valiant, yet humble, ordinary War soldier, with hat and rifle. He is coated in red paper poppies, floating all around him, in his arms and at his feet. The monument itself was placed in Trafalgar Square, where during the war rallying speeches were delivered and after the war, joyful celebrations took place.  

He faces the direction of Westminster Abbey, where the tomb of the unknown warrior lies, and towards St Stephens Tower: Big Ben, whose powerful chimes of 11 bells at 11 o’clock on the 11th November, 1918 marked the end of The Great War.

In the background is the glorious St Martin-in-the-Fields church, and behind him lies the National Gallery, home to an incredible collection of paintings.  

He is immortalised and He is home.

I am so in awe of this incredible city.

Do I feel proud of my capital? Absolutely!

The generosity of the British for charitable work is unsurpassable. The ability of people to raise money for so many worthwhile causes is commendable and the kindness shown and the astonishing amounts saved and donated is amazing.
With one Poppy pinned with pride to your coat, you say so much…

You remember all those who have fought for freedom and kept our country safe.

In your honour, London salutes you.

‘When you part from me, and depart our earth,

Your scarlet poppy will grow to bow in a breeze,

Their trembling wave of ‘cheerio, goodbye!’

Makes desert red; while silence bleeds into a distant cry.’

K.B. – 2015


Subscribe to my BLOGS for FREE http://www.katebarnwell.com

  

‘Earth has not anything to show more fair’ #London #poetry #quotes #art

On the 3rd September 1802 William Wordsworth, aged 32 years, completed his sonnet ‘Composed upon Westminster Bridge.’

The double meaning of composed is particularly poignant.
Composed as a verb means to make up, to put together, to form and to construct…
Wordsworth has ‘fashioned’ this poem upon Westminster Bridge.
Composed the adjective means serene, relaxed, poised, tranquil and sedate…
Wordsworth is ‘calm’ upon Westminster Bridge.

It’s an incredibly evocative poem, deep, beautiful, fulfilling, tender and expansive…capturing emotion, sensation, imagery and creative description.

‘Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty…’ WW

Let us also not forget Dorothy, the diary-keeping sister of Wordsworth, who wrote a very vivid journal (The Grasmere Journal) and from which he would have found an extra source of stimulation. She scribbled these notes as the Dover coach pulled out at Charing Cross…

“The houses were not overhung by their cloud of smoke and they were spread out endlessly, yet the sun shone so brightly with such pure light that there was even something like the purity of one of nature’s own good spectacles.” DW

The last three lines of the sonnet read:

‘The river glideth at its own sweet will:
Dear God! The very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!’

Picture: The Thames below Westminster, 1871 by Claude Monet