Up the Shard

Monday is Jude and Ella’s routine day with Charlie and her two children, Henry and Daisy. Today it was decided to go up the Shard – for my benefit. This turned out a real treat, despite the grey, miserable weather. I have always admired its slender spire, above London Bridge.

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Entering the Shard, with security to match that at Heathrow Airport, and then taking the super-rapid lifts was a bit surreal. Once at the top the views were breathtaking.

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At the same time it was sad to see landmarks like St Pauls dwarfed by the sea of mediocre at best but more often downright ugly piles. (I prefer it as I remember it from early childhood – surrounded by bomb sites.)

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Even the gherkin, one of the few modern buildings I like is in the process of being hidden by more recent growths.

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The Thames and the complex network of railways provided visual relief from the architectural desecration.

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We finished the outing with a drink at the magnificent seventeenth century Galleried George Inn in Southwark.

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