Popular posts

tisdag 8 augusti 2017

Come back home!

So we are back home!

We had a busy week in London, leaving space for recovery, since our youngest can't keep up otherwise. We stayed at a typical english hotel, located in a row of exactly similar houses with "Upstairs Downstairs" feeling, the tv-series from the 1970's. It was a new experience, even if we are used to hostels and camper cabins. Our room was on third floor, no elevator, very good for your legs and physical condition, and no aircondition, pew.  It was immensely hot even with windows open. Our view was a park with tennis courts and a newbuilt block on the other side. This is Camden, we like it here, Euston road is close but our site is quiet. Well, apart from the constant sound of sirens. Poor londoners, things happend all the time! 

The tenniscourts , some players interested our girls more than some....


The quiet, lovely neighbourhood in Camden
We have noticed that London is not one large city, it's several smaller ones put together!!
That is why it feels smaller and less overwhelming than expected.  What strikes you is the constant smell of garbage and exhaust from the non stop moving vehicles.  How on earth can anyone dare to ride a bike in the middle of this chaos??? But they do....sometimes with facemask. 
Along the pavements and outside tubestations and malls you find the beggers, some are probably illegal immigrants, we saw young boys in a state of heartbreaking decay, we spoke to older woman from Eastern Europe, we passed young, dirty men sleeping on cardboard with a sleepingbag and some plastic bags around them. Some had notes and signs speaking of truth, care and a place to sleep.  What kind of social welfare system can allow people to live like this?
We are fighting this in Sweden, churches and social organisations together. But politically.....
Still, we also saw people stopping, taking their time to give a coin, ask some questions. 

All of these people are not immigrants or illegal aliens, some are locals that had bad luck, can happend to anyone. But all of them are people, humans, sisters and brothers, someones child, someones parent, our neighbours. Our youngest had us leave every spare coin and the remains of our supper. We bought bread, cheese, juice , fruit and yoghurt with us to the room every night.  
Well, this particular post will show you some of the sanctuaries we noticed this time, in a city like this people need the Even Song and the daily Mass.  Next post will focus on activities.

Well, St Pancras was a boy in the 5th century, giving his life for Jesus. This is the parish church in St Pancras...they rebuilt it in greek style, the old church was medieval, I believe. Not so inviting but they had a proper bellringer!!
Around the church of St James's there was a market going on and we visited both the market and the church. The sign speaks for itself, here is a heart for the homeless. Many of the other smaller churches had similar projects going.
You never see these in Sweden, the street sanctuaries. In the middle of everything, for a second of prayer and peace.

And next door you'll find the amazing dome of St Pauls.  We were told that the swedish congregation in London have been invited to sing Lucia here this year. 

Normally, this is a rather tall man....

As it should be in a swedish church there is a statue of Luther, this one is....blue! 
Church of Sweden, Harcourt Street. Been here for more than 100 years now, some 100.000 swedes live in the UK,  many of them, in London.
The final picture is from St Marks at Old Marylebone road.
We visited more churches but didn't take pictures of them all. Most of them were open, not always the case in Sweden actually, especially not in the countryside.

What am I doing up this late? No idea, not easy to settle down again when you have been away. This evening we spent with our oldest daughter, watching a Japanese film:
"Howls moving castle."  It's about love against the odds, wartime,  good and evil, sacrifices and lot's of that very special japanese anime drawings and sense of humour.

Good night now, and God bless you!

13 kommentarer:

  1. Your B&B reminds me of the house we stayed in on holiday once when we were children in Morecambe. Normally we camped in a green tent in a field. I've no idea why we did B&B , maybe because we were getting too big for 6 in a tent.
    I cannot think of Luther without bringing his infamous anti Semitic writings to mind. He was an inspiration to Hitler and co. of course.
    London is not my cup of tea. I think it is because I was taken to London on a train when I was 15 months old to stay with my aunt in her dark house which smelled of cabbage for a month while mum had the next child at home. You can imagine how I hated that experience. For me it's the cities of Italy that turn me on.

    1. You are right about Luther writing those things as did many in his time. He also wrote a lot that actually made people free of chains and burdens. London is a strange place, I like it but I can understand why you don't. What a horrible experience for a child! During the war many children also where sent away and I have listened to many stories. We can check out Italy but Heron tells me to go to Ireland first, others say France and Portugal. We will see. Thank you, Gwil!

    2. I forgot to mention our beggars. We see plenty but I think they're on holiday at the moment. The fine weather I expect. We've been told not to encourage them as the money goes to fund criminal gangs. In the main I donate to people selling the homeless magazine Augustine and wearing the official badge. One dubious type near us is obviously lame, almost unable to walk, but if he sees the police he runs away.

    3. I know what you mean and we see that too, but some of the people I see are not faking anything, they live in pure misery and they are getting younger!!

    4. One thing I hope helps somebody somewhere is I buy Fair Trade products whenever I see them.

      There's one bunch of beggars who share the same poor dog who has to lie on the pavement with his nose in the diesel fumes. They take it in turns to drink wine or cans of beer and hold the dog.

      A genuine hungry beggar, someone like you see in a Dickens story, is a rarity.

      Social security net is pretty good here for those prepared to make a little effort.

  2. Lovely photos of some of the London you saw. I stay in the hostel near St Pancras Church when I visit and need an overnight bed. As with many cities, or maybe even all cities, the whole is made up of many different parts. These neighbourhoods all have a character and village feeling and life.

    Yes, homelessness can happen to anyone, and as I have said many times on my blog, we are all but one step from it without knowing it and everything can suddenly slip away from us. A broken marriage is in many cases the first step to homelessness, when gradually, usually men, become further and further estranged from any family they once had and end up on the street. I worked as a student in the 1970s handing out benefits to those who lived on the streets even then (people of no fixed abode were handed benefits in cash in those days) and many told me the stories of how they came to be there. Men from all walks of life. I don't think much has changed except now they look younger and they are more likely to beg.

    1. Hello Rachel!
      Thank you, there will be more pictures further on! And I agree totally, life as you know it can change brutally in a very short period of time so we all must have that in mind and not judge the unfortunate. In a big city people get lost easily and get passed easily. Some choose the anonymous life, most don't. But people get passed here as well, in our small community.
      Charity work and human friendlyness is called for!!

  3. I have never enjoyed London regardless of my lengths of stay
    in the city. The route out to somewhere else has always been more attractive.

    1. In fact, my dear Melvyn, we have practised taking the DLR or Midland and go places. There are lovely and peaceful little towns very close by. I have been f.i to Vienna, Berlin, Athens and Amsterdam. I like Athens and Amsterdam, they are many small towns in one big. Just like London. Thank you for your wise comment!!

  4. I've never been to London and am always amazed at the huge churches. Thank you for your pictures. I haven't been keeping up with my reading of posts. Life gets in the way. We have the problem with so many people being homeless too,and even with new shelters opening it doesn't help that much. It is very sad. I hope you get rested up from your time away and may God bless you,too.

  5. Thank you Bonnie!!
    Yes, it's interesting to see how tired you get from a vacation. Perhaps this is because of the company of teenagers, I can't remember getting this tired before....it can't be that we are older off course!!
    We have all too few shelters in Sweden, I visit one a fair distance away from here that can take twelve. That is all I'm afraid!

    I'm working on a second London post, perhaps you have seen the one I did last year? Click the link above if you didn't.
    I hope you are having some good days, that you are well and Aslan in a good mood!!!

  6. This is only a fanmade, unofficial music video for BTS's new song: Come Back Home watch the official MV: ...

  7. I actually grew up in London and thus was lazy about looking around me, though I was out in the south-eastern suburbs. I am ashamed of our social work system at the moment. Many people just seem not to care anymore and our political party in power is . . . . . . . well I do not have polite words for their failings. Let's just say they are lacking in humanity. Blessings from Dalamory