Friday, 9 August 2019

London for locals and tourists

Some more everyday smiles and helpfulness in London Town.  The place that everyone says is so cold and unfriendly.  Have you tell you guys I’m a born and bred Londoner and I think London is as friendly or as cold as any other city on this earth, depending on what you’re expecting.  Having said that, I think all modern cities can be very lonely places. But moving on....

So first off is Tarkam.   I had some keys cuts a while ago but they weren’t quite right so I went back but the original guy wasn’t there and the whole key cutting operation has been taken over by a new operation, The London Cobbler.

Tarkam, and his father, Mehmet, now run the key cutting and shoe repair shop sharing space with Magic Dry-cleaners in Golders Green.

I haven’t met Mehmet yet, but I’m guessing he will be as lovely and helpful as his son.  Tarkam is third generation shoe repairer and key cutter as Mehmet followed in his father’s  footsteps.

Thank you to Tarkam for your helpfulness and smiles.

Meanwhile, on a beautiful day in July, I found myself back in the Houses of Parliament, looking at the beautiful Westminster Hall ceiling,  and the carved angels that the lovely Helga particularly wanted to see, having seen some in Norfolk and she had been researching them and the work of Hugh Herland.   ---  Also with us was “grumpy/curmudgeonly” (his words, not mine) Rob.  He wasn't either of those things but he really wanted to make it into the blog but didn't want to smile! So now you're in here Rob, hope you like it. Okay? ---- 

But back to the post...   I couldn’t get pictures of the amazing ceiling because of I only had my ‘phone with me rather than a proper camera and there is a bit of scaffolding there that day but if you’ve never been to Westminster Hall, so long as you book, anyone can go in.  If you want to know more about the Hall, you can read about the hammer-beam roof and the architecture here and if you want to visit there are all different ways and you’ll find them here

While I was there I thought I would see if Carlos was around to say hello, (see post, but it turned out he was on leave while parliament was in recess but I’m almost glad he wasn’t there as it meant I got to meet Deidre, Barbara and Gary.

Gary is a visitor assistant and it was he that directed me to Barbara and Deidre when I asked about Carlos.

Gary was working in the central lobby helping the tourists and visitors with directions and answers.  He got very badly smashed up in a car accident a few years ago, shattering his leg below the knee but due to his character, this did not stop him from subsequently completing three marathons, his last and best time being 501, his nickname.

Thank you, Gary, for your interesting stories and smiles.

Over to the Reception desk in the Central Lobby, I asked after Carlos and both Deidre and Barbara were there fielding every manner of request.  Their modern title being a “service delivery coordinator”, (Sorry but it makes me long for politically incorrect titles like, ‘personnel department’, ‘housewife’, ‘waiter’ and ‘secretary’.  That’s me feeling old).  Anyway, when I showed them the blog to explain why I wanted to find Carlos, well it was wonderful, we started chatting like we were long lost friends.

I was sorry I had to go but hope the next time I have occasion to be in the Houses of Parliament they’re both on the desk to say hello again.

Thank you, Barbara and Deidre, for the help, the chat, the gossip and the smiles. 

Since I couldn’t get a picture of Westminster Hall itself, here are a couple of shots from St. Stephen’s Hall, including a plaque to Marjory Hume, the suffragette who chained herself to the statue of the Second VIscount of Falkland and among the expected style of paintings, what I consider a ‘weird’ one possibly featuring death by Charles Sims, R.A.  Sorry they're not better shots but it's quite hard to ge the right angle etc.  Just go yourselves and look at them!

by Charles Sims, R.A.

St Stephen's Hall

by Vivian Forbes

by George Clauses, R.A.

So thank you Tarkam, Deidre, Gary and Barbara for bringing that little bit extra to work with you and smiling while you work.

If you have someone you want to thank, tell us something nice that happened, just get in touch, this blog is here for you.  

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