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British Isles Friday: Parakeets in the Park

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Parakeets in the ParkOn a beautiful day in May, 2017 my husband and I walked through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. It’s really not that easy to tell where one ends and the other begins. We were looking for the Peter Pan statue (next week’s post) when we came across a small clearing cluttered with people holding their arms in the air, offering perches for surprisingly green birds fluttering in the air. Parakeets, and so prevalent, and with so many people standing about in their midst I stupidly assumed this must be some sort of birder club gathering. Ding dong me! I didn’t know the birds were wild and the people were just regular folks like us trying to get a better look. 


Doing a little post-trip homework I discovered the parakeets are so abundant in the park—and the inner mile they’re actually considered a bit of a nuisance by some people! I wish I’d known before the trip that all I had to do was bring a slice of apple and I could get the birds to land on me too!

I thought this wom…

Baker Street Station—Sherlock Holmes was there

Baker Street Station
The main thing my husband wanted to see in London was London ... as Sherlock Holmes saw it. So our first move, like any fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation was to take a double decker bus to Baker Street. As it turns out I read the map upside down or sideways or maybe it was backwards but we found ourselves in Putney at the bridge. Very much in the wrong direction. Over half an hour by car, which we didn't have. We wound up taking the tube back in the right direction which delivered us to the Baker Street Station. The station is one of the original stations opened when the Metropolitan Railway—the world's first underground railway—was built in 1863.  While we don't immediately think of Sherlock dashing out on the tube, he very well could have and in fact the rail, train etc is alluded to in several dozen Sherlock stories.

The Baker Street station is situated on the very block where Sherlock lived at 221B Baker Street. Or should I say the fictional 221B Baker Street created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for the world famous detective. A purist, my husband would do little more than poke his head in the gift shop of the Sherlock Holmes Museum, reminding me yet again that there was no such place as 221 B Baker Street, it was a creation from the mind of Arthur Conan Doyle. It's his opinion that those who put the place together, selling all kinds of trinkets, were simply making a pile of dough and profiting off Holmes legions of fans. Notice the sign above the shop/museum? The first word is Souvenirs.

My husband at the Baker Street station perhaps pondering the presence of Sherlock Holmes' ghost.
"Come Watson, come! The game is afoot!"


Comments

  1. Wonderful! I think it's great (as in 'amusing') that we make visitor attractions out of fictional happenings. ACD got married down the road from me though - I really should do an article about it one day!

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    1. Yeah, he's a bit of the old stick in the mud about it. Yes, Mike, write that article!

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  2. I got a kick out of the Baker Street station, expecting Sherlock Holmes any minute. But, actually, I was there as part of a tour of the Underground and I learned a lot about the early days of the Tube.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh nice! I think it's one of the loveliest looking ones we saw.

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