Round and About in London

Song for a Dark Queen

Song for a Dark Queen

A Trafalgar Lion, aloof, waiting for the peace of winter.

A Trafalgar Lion, aloof, waiting for the peace of winter.

Another Trafalgar Lion, amid a sea of tourists. Amazingly, there is some greenery about him.

Another Trafalgar Lion, amid a sea of tourists. Amazingly, there is some greenery about him.

The National Gallery overlooking Trafalgar Square. A busy place, that. Thought about Blackout and All Clear.

The National Gallery overlooking Trafalgar Square. A busy place, that. Thought about Blackout and All Clear.

St. Martin's in the Fields. My mother's family's church, which my great-great-great-grandfather helped build, was St. Martin's in the Woods, rumoured to have been some sort of mission church from St. Martin's, though I don't know the details. Probably they raised money for the benighted Anglicans of the colonies.

St. Martin’s in the Fields. My mother’s family’s church, which my great-great-great-grandfather helped build, was St. Martin’s in the Woods, rumoured to have been some sort of mission church from St. Martin’s, though I don’t know the details. Probably they raised money for the benighted Anglicans of the colonies.

Ceiling of the portico of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields.

Ceiling of the portico of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields.

The horde invades the British Museum. I thought I had taken a rather nice photo of it; couldn't find it. Then I remembered that it was a photo of a Japanese tourist, using her camera, which was rather better than mine. I hope it turned out well for her!

The horde invades the British Museum. I thought I had taken a rather nice photo of it; couldn’t find it. Then I remembered that it was a photo of a Japanese tourist, using her camera, which was rather better than mine. I hope it turned out well for her!

Westminster. Modern democracy, still muddling along reasonably well.

Westminster. Modern democracy, still muddling along reasonably well.

Westminster Abbey. This building only dates back to 1245, but Harold and William were both crowned at Westminster.

Westminster Abbey. This building only dates back to 1245, but Harold and William were both crowned at Westminster.

Horse Guards' Parade. A besieged horseguard, man and horse exhibiting exemplary stoicism. I like the horse's eye, though. It is a horse having an Opinion.

Horse Guards’ Parade. A besieged horseguard, man and horse exhibiting exemplary stoicism. I like the horse’s eye, though. It is a horse having an Opinion.

In St. James' Park, spies feed the ducks. Nobody mentions the coots. Any spies out for a casual rendez-vous the day I was there would have had to make do with coots.

In St. James’ Park, spies feed the ducks. Nobody mentions the coots. Any spies out for a casual rendez-vous the day I was there would have had to make do with coots.

A duck. Or more likely a goose - it has gooselike attributes. Species, anyone? I don't have a bird book for Europe. I've ruled out Ferruginous Duck and "Goose with Russet Pears" and searching either duck or goose with "European" and "russet" or "chestnut" is getting me no further ahead.

A duck. Or more likely a goose – it has gooselike attributes. Species, anyone? I don’t have a bird book for Europe. I’ve ruled out Ferruginous Duck and “Goose with Russet Pears” and searching either duck or goose with “European” and “russet” or “chestnut” is getting me no further ahead.

The obligatory photo of Buckingham Palace. "A face looked out but it wasn't the king's / he's much too busy a-signing things ..." It really annoyed me when a teacher changed that to "queen's" when I was in grade one. That is NOT how it GOES, I said. On this occasion, nobody looked out at all. Plenty looking in, though.

The obligatory photo of Buckingham Palace. “A face looked out but it wasn’t the king’s / he’s much too busy a-signing things …” It really annoyed me when a teacher changed that to “queen’s” when I was in grade one. That is NOT how it GOES, I said. On this occasion, nobody looked out at all. Plenty looking in, though.

Detail of the Canada Gate opposite Buckingham Palace: the New Brunswick arms.

Detail of the Canada Gate opposite Buckingham Palace: the New Brunswick arms.

And those of Ontario.

And those of Ontario.

Admiralty Arch.

Admiralty Arch.

On my way up the Strand to St. Paul's, I had success in my Quest for Tea.

On my way up the Strand to St. Paul’s, I had success in my Quest for Tea.

St. Paul's Cathedral, peering down the Strand.

St. Paul’s Cathedral, peering down the Strand.

And  in black and white.

And in black and white.

The steps of St. Paul's.

The steps of St. Paul’s.

In Psmith in the City, Psmith suggests to Mike that they play truant from the bank and pop out for a dish of porridge. I always found this a bit odd, but this is not the only eatery I saw in London advertising that one could pop in for a plate of porridge. Must be a London thing.

In Psmith in the City, Psmith suggests to Mike that they play truant from the bank and pop out for a dish of porridge. I always found this a bit odd, but this is not the only eatery I saw in London advertising that one could pop in for a plate of porridge. Must be a London thing.

Not actually the name of the pub; possibly just a general remark on life. The world needs more buildings painted black and gold, too. I like it.

Not actually the name of the pub; possibly just a general remark on life. The world needs more buildings painted black and gold, too. I like it.

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About K.V. Johansen

The author of Blackdog, The Leopard, The Lady, and Gods of Nabban, epic fantasies from Pyr, I also write for teens and children, including the "Torrie", "Warlocks of Talverdin", and "Cassandra Virus" series, and the "Pippin and Mabel" picture books, as well as a couple of short story collections and two works of adult literary criticism on the history of children's fantasy literature. I have a Master's degree in Mediaeval Studies, and read a lot of fantasy, science fiction, and history. Blog at thewildforest.wordpress.com
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