March 5, 2012

Feed The Birds, Tuppence a Bag…

One of my earliest memories was of the iconic Mary Poppins’ song “Feed the Birds” in which an elderly woman sold birdfeed from the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral for tuppence a bag. feef the birds

On Saturday, I spent the afternoon exploring the cathedral and basking in its amazing history. The other day, I talked about how central St. Paul’s is to much of London, and how views of it have been protected. It is so iconic that during WWII, Winston Churchill demanded that it be protected above almost every other building in London.When I arrived at St. Paul’s, a wedding had just finished, and the wedding party and guests were spilling out of the cathedral.Weddings in the UK are so different than most US weddings and many of the men were wearing morning suits and toppers and lots of the gals were in fur. The entire wedding party gathered on the front steps of the church, competing for space with the Occupy people, and had their picture taken, both by their photographer and by tourists like me!

The church is massive and you get that impression beginning with the huge columns in front,and this great black and white marble floor.

Luckily, when I was visiting, the light was great and so I got a lot of interesting images, like this statue,

the light on these organ pipes,and the light coming through the very top of the dome.

I am a huge fan of the choirs in the UK and was delighted to get this “behind the scenes” shot of the lights that illuminate the music that the choristers sing as well as the beautiful carvings on the benches.The church is filled with amazing carvings both in stone and wood. I was particularly taken by this fish-scale pattern,

which has then been gilded. It’s just beautiful, isn’t it?
After touring the inside of the cathedral, but unfortunately, not the dome or the Whispering Gallery due to time, I headed outside to see the details there.

Practically every inch of this building has some sort of decorative element and they all come together to make a stunningly and classically beautiful building. I think this is actually the view that was used in Mary Poppins because of the curved portico.

As you can see, spring is just arriving in London, even though we did see a bit of snow when we were with friends on Surrey on Sunday. I think that this might be a bot of cherry blossom that’s out early!

There were even loads of yellow, orange and white primroses outside of the church and they smelled marvelous!

One of my favourite things about a city like London is the juxtaposition of the old and the new, as seen here by the Swiss Re building, also known as the Gherkin and an old church tower.

On Tuesday, I head down to my old school with fellow blogger, Yonks, her husband, and my former housemate, Andy, in tow. I am really excited about being back there, so stay tuned!


  1. Your images are beautiful! We've only visited St. Paul's once but it was beautiful and I would love to go back. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

    Kat :)

  2. a lovely post meg...i love the wedding photo. i love the buds on the tree photo too. thank u!

    xo terri

  3. I thought the Occupy protest had been forcibly removed about a week ago, (after implementation of the court order). They had been there about 6 months, and their protest had caused a rift in the church in which two senior clerics had to resign. Strangely there is an Occupy protest in Hong Kong, in the open plaza at the street level of the Norman Foster building. I had to pass along side it last week when I went in to see my investment manager.

  4. How wonderfully fortuitous that you encountered the wedding party, always a sign of good luck in Asian cultures.

  5. Col... they have decamped to the park in front of the Bloomberg building, but this was a small splinter group, who were turfed off pretty quickly.

  6. You are a most rewarding traveler.

    Loving the posts and the pictures.

    It is as if we were with you.

    Thanks Meg.

    xo Jane

  7. my favorite movie :-) I've never been to london but because of Mary Poppins I have to go to St. Pauls first! Love the interior shots.

  8. Meg oh to be married at St Paul's! The interior images are simply stunning!

    Art by Karena

  9. Oh how I adore UK. Grand pictures, Meg. Have a wonderful trip.

  10. How wonderful. Thank you for the tour. The St. Paul views reminds me of some of the issues in Washington about protecting the lighting plan near the National Mall so commercial signage and lighting doesn't intrude on how beautiful it is at night.

  11. Thanks for reminding me how lovely St. Paul's is - haven't seen it for many years. Sadly, Robert Sherman who wrote much of the music for 'Mary Poppins' died yesterday. I loved 'Feed The Birds' and 'Chim Chimeny' as a girl, and saved up some margarine coupons to send off for a free record of the songs - I still have it somewhere!


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