Old Meets New (With Bonus Orb)


The infamous ‘walkie-talkie’ building

I was in London this past Saturday, catching up with one of my oldest friends. She’s lived in London for many years, so whenever we get together we like to explore places she’s never been to before. This trip was especially poignant, as she is moving back to her native Canada shortly, so will likely be our last adventure for a little while.


A glimpse of The Shard

So where did we go? We ended up taking a detour from our planned route to visit a building that encompasses the history of London almost in its entirety, from the Roman tiles underground to the modern ceiling, put in after an almost direct hit during the Blitz rendered it a shell. So that was kind of cool (and will be the subject of a post later this week). But one thing we both remarked on, as we wandered around, was the interesting juxtaposition you get in London of very modern buildings against very old (we both took the same History Of Design and Architecture class at university, so have a long history of wandering around together looking at buildings). And I think these photos, which have not been digitally altered, seem to convey that point quite well.


Oh, and just to add a little icing on the cake, I also managed to capture this weird orb thing at St Paul’s. As you can see, it’s in one shot but not the next, and if you zoom in seems to have depth and its own little halo around it. So that’s weird, right? In case you’re wondering why I took those shots, it was because the sky had become quite dramatic, and I liked the way it looked against the famous dome. I took some shots around the other side as well:


Then, in counterpoint to all this architecture, we came across a group of fur-clad individuals about to wander the streets. They are the Londonfurs, and are a private group, so I won’t post more information about them – google them if you’re interested. But really, they were fab.


I love London, I really do 🙂

60 thoughts on “Old Meets New (With Bonus Orb)

    • Thanks, Louise! The sky was beautiful all day, the colours and clouds quite something to see. I took loads of different photos, we went to St Dunstan in the East as well, and the light was lovely.
      The orb is weird though, isn’t it? I actually took three shots in quick succession – it’s in the first two, moving slightly between shots, then it’s gone in the third. No idea… 🙂

  1. Helen, your photographs are spectacular! I love the nod to the fur-clad group too – weird but strangely charming! I was in Lymington at the weekend and enjoyed the sight of a ‘dog’ collecting money in a bucket, and a blue ‘owl’ promoting a local business!

    Just a thought, if you’re into films at all, you might enjoy ‘The Lake House’. It’s a love story where the two main characters are actually two years apart. One is an architect and there’s a lovely scene where he guides his two-year-apart friend on a walk around the city, to observe the architecture – charming!

    • Thanks, Jools! It was a great day out, and the sky was quite something that day, which I think added to the pictures. I took loads, actually – enough for quite a few blog posts. And the Londonfurs are an interesting group – they have their own webpage but are quite private about what they’re about, which is why I didn’t link it.
      And thanks for the recommendation on the Lake House – I’d heard it was a good film but haven’t seen it yet. I’ll have to check it out 🙂

  2. London is a fabulous city, but I wouldn’t want to live there… I need my space and peace. Your photos are amazing, too. 😊

    • Thanks, Ali – Geoff offered a counterpoint upthread (or downthread?), saying he couldn’t live anywhere else. As far as I’m concerned, I think I have the best of both worlds – it’s only a half hour from where I am into the centre of London, yet when I come home it’s calm and quiet, no one around as I cross the canal and walk home, villages and plenty of countryside just nearby. So that suits me 🙂

    • We were too! We heard all this cheering and shouting and saw loads of people taking photos, so thought we’d take a look. I only knew they were Londonfurs because of their flag – they weren’t that keen to talk to people. And on their website they say they like to keep fairly private, which is why I didn’t add the link. Though marching around London in fur is not terribly private!

  3. To counterpoint Ali i wouldn’t live anywhere else; I can’t stand the cacophony of the countryside…! Lovely pictures Helen and, yep, best city in the world.

  4. The orb is rather interesting and mysterious, isn’t it? The walkie talkie building really looks out of place, as if my kid was working on an art project or something and cutting pictures out of a magazine.

    • It is mysterious, isn’t it? I actually took three photos in quick succession – the orb is in two of them, moving slightly between frames, then it’s gone.
      And I thought the walkie-talkie looked like that too, a bit like bad photoshop. But I can assure you it’s real 🙂

  5. Some absolutely stunning photos here! Loved the first one, but the second really wow’d me. “Glimpse of the Shard”. How it cut into the sky between the older architecture. Just beautiful!

    • Thanks so much, Shaun, really nice of you to say. It was quite something, seeing the mix of old and new like that – it almost felt like someone had dropped a sci-fi backdrop into the background. I think it helped that the sky was pretty awesome that day 🙂

      • I find the Sky can make or break a photo, and we’re lucky enough to have had some pretty epic skies recently! The fluctuating weather is good for something 😀 haha

      • 😀 Yes indeed – I do love a good sky and the weather has been delivering a wonderful variety of late. Makes up for all this sticky heat (yes, I’m moaning about the weather *ducks*)

  6. That orb is a strange thing. Does it have some purpose or meaning?
    Love how dramatic that sky is! You took some fabulous photos!
    The Shard looks really cool. Is it a business building or a museum?

    • Thank you 🙂 It was a great sky that day, which I think really helped the photos. The Shard is a mixed-use building – it houses office space, a hotel, restaurants and a viewing platform (as it’s the tallest building in the UK).
      And as for the orb, I have no idea. I’ve captured them a few times before, and they’re said to be seen at places of power. I took three shots in quick succession – it shows up in the first two, but is gone by the third one. It could be a trick of the light, I just don’t know. But it’s kind of cool 🙂

      • Now The Shard sounds even cooler, being a mixed-use building! it must be fun to stay in the hotel there with the window view.
        So that wasn’t a physical orb someone built into the structure? That’s cool, I like mysteries like that. 🙂

      • Yes, I hear the views from the Shard are fantastic – will have to try and go up one day 🙂 And the orb is a mystery – it’s not part of the building so I don’t know where it came from!

    • Thanks so much – I must have got it from just the right angle. It helped that London was giving such marvellous skies that day 🙂 I’m not too keen on the building either, tbh.

    • Thank you 😀 Yes, it was quite a surprise when we saw them. There were quite a few people taking photos and they seemed okay with it, though I think they’re a fairly private organisation. Great costumes, though!

  7. Pingback: Wishing Everyone A Happy New Year! | Journey To Ambeth

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