Do Something That Scares You

The beach umbrella reminded me of a rocket ship so I gave it the "star" treatment. I'd obviously never make it to Mars because even the prospect of a long flight overseas scared me a bit. It was over a decade ago since I last visited Europe. Now, amid Covid concerns, we soared through space in an elaborate "tin can", praying for safe landings. Relying on competent pilots and maintenance crews, my London trip with a friend did thankfully unfold well. Having not set foot in England before, it was still familiar. The queen, now king, is Canada's constitutional monarch, albeit playing no political role.
Leaving Vancouver, we could not imagine Queen Elizabeth would die the week we were there. The historic event swayed our plans and drew focus from much of the world. The sudden urge to flock together was intense. Thousands gathered near palace gates. My friend and I lingered with the crowds as well. Chatting with locals, it was clear that the love and respect for the Queen was real. I wondered if Elizabeth was scared when first getting the job she did so well. For seventy years she was stability in a changing world.
Along the way and throughout various lineups, there was gentle crowd control.
The weather, too, was familiar. Clouds, rain, and sun alternated hour by hour.
London is a vibrant sophisticated hub where cultural diversity abounds. Amid Victorian homes and fairytale palaces, cozy pubs and elegant restaurants, we found marvelous ways to get around, including the underground, thanks to the Tube, one of the oldest metro systems in the world that is ofttimes written about by blogger Fun 60. Here's one of numerous entrances below. It helps to be fit when hopping on and off.
Wherever one wanders, there's no escaping the monarchy woven into the British fabric. Street names and more reflect the royal past to outlast the poor and the regal.
St. Margaret's Church was not only for prayer. It stood alone as an opulant work of art.
Whether notable like Karl Marx, (headstone above), or unnoticed, there is limited time.
This was made poignantly clear at Highgate Cemetery in grand and beautiful disrepair. Those who once cared for the resting places of family died. Trees seeded themselves.
I was easily lost in the British Museum. The enticing maze of confusing locations held artifacts (below) from around the globe. I was drawn to Buddha sculptures and more.
But this post is not about death and ancient things. It is about taking occasional risks, stepping away from comfort zones and remembering to be alive on our circling ride.
Life is short and sometimes long but even a Queen is destined to give up her crown.
So I'm glad I took the trip and lots and lots of pictures to share in future posts ...
hesitantly adventurous until the most mysterious journey departs for stardust.
Explore more at SKYWATCH and Mosaic Monday. Also, check out my sites: Postcards from Penelope Puddle and Musings of A Puddlist In B.C.

Because the state of our planet is the most pressing issue of our time, link up and learn about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report.



  1. Glad you enjoyed your trip. Just curious....did you do anything to offset your carbon footprint?

    1. Good question. We packed light, took a direct flight and flew economy on Air Canada that says it takes climate change seriously and is reducing its carbon footprint by improving fuel efficiency. Once we got there we did a lot of walking and took the Tube, which is said to be one of the more eco-friendly modes of transportation in London.

  2. Great post, you really captured the place as well as the time. The Queen was well loved by her people.

  3. Your images are an expression of our circle ride can be a long one or a very short one and reminding us to take risks not to be in the comfort zone all the time. Good job on the photographs.

  4. Kudos for venturing out of your comfort zone. Looks like a wonderful trip. Thx for sharing the experience!

  5. Beautiful shots and narrative! I'm happy to say I have been to London on two occasions.

  6. Very creative photos of London ~ wonderful post ~ The Queen was very special and loved ~ Xo

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days ~ Xo

    A ShutterBug Explores ~
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  7. Beautiful photos and wonderful that you were there to help 'send off' the queen.

  8. Hello, Maria, long time, no see. Your vivid imagination on the closed beach parasol created a lovely image. Life is fleeting; your adventure into Britain and capturing the scenes of the historical moments is precious. I look forward to travelling through your photos.

  9. What a coincidence that you were the same time as me in England when the Queen died. Only the reaction of the people were different when I walked the next day along the sea. Everybody had taken notice that she died, but that was it. Some made jokes about all what she had done which was not so nice and so on.
    I agree there will be big changes, she kept this Commonwealth and the UK together. People complained about what this funerals would cost, while people don't know how to feed their children.

  10. Anonymous makes a good point about the cost of the funeral. But I'd like you to return, stay a year, and send us more photos every day. They are so good and descriptive. I wish I could have gone.

  11. What wonderful memories!

  12. ..since the pandemic, flying doesn't look attractive to me. I love cemeteries and that one sure has the stones crowded together. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Maria - what a coincidence - our daughter has been in the UK for the last week, and spent the weekend in London with her grandparents and her fiance. Many of her photos are the same as yours!!! They had very good weather - I accused them of photoshopping the pictures to add bright blue skies! I am a HUGE fan of the British Museum! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday! (and I do follow Alan's blog with the drone photos!)

  14. Thanks for the tour :) Lovely photos! I've never been to London or anywhere else in England, but have ancestors from Liverpool, and I believe Somersetshire. So couldn't help but shed a tear for the Queen. Must be in the blood Plus I love a good fairy tale... Will be watching the Queen's Funeral tomorrow (Monday) - recorded :) Glad you had a safe trip.

  15. Bit unfortunate to come for a visit after the queen died but you were witness to something very historic going on and certainly, I doubt I will very witness the like again. We still have the coronation to go through yet. I see you went to Highgate Cemetery to see old Karl Marx did you go around the other part, if not have look
    Though I have been to the British Museum as I noticed a few things I saw there as well. The London Eye is worth going on if you can. Hope you enjoyed your stay

  16. What good photos and a trip that you will never forget. I love the old cemeteries too.

  17. So glad you got over to London and at such a time too. I loved seeing the city through your camera lens. The last time I was there was in 2015. Your photos are fantastic!


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