Our second day started bright and early, and a quick walk to the American Embassy, where Mrs DoomHamster had an early appointment. I stayed with her until she was called to go in through the perimeter checkpoint.
As I watched her walk into the security kiosk, I turned and shot this picture of the view from President Reagan's statue. The visible spire on the left is that of the Grosvenor Chapel, a closer shot is below.
A random street sign, high above eye level.
Walking back to Marble Arch to take some unhurried photos while Mrs DoomHamster was at the Embassy, I went past the memorial to Animals In War in Hyde Park. I was on the wrong side of the road and the traffic was roaring by, so it was impossible to get a shot without cars in it......
Marble Arch itself. Only members of the Royal Family and select members of the Army are allowed to drive or process through it. It was originally built in 1825 as part of the ceremonial entrance to the newly rebuilt Buckingham Palace, but was moved to its present location in 1851, when the rooms inside were allotted as a police station until 1968.
And the fountains in Hyde Park.
Not far away is the site of Tyburn gallows, where so many Catholics were martyred for their Faith in Tudor times. The plaque which marks the site is on a busy traffic island and I did not feel brave enough to cross over and visit it; now, of course, I wish I had....... close to the site of the original gallows is the Tyburn Convent Shrine.
This is the crucifix outside.
I popped in to the convent chapel to sit quietly and pray for Mrs DoomHamster and all my dear family and friends. There were half a dozen other people praying, and beyond the choir grille was one of the Sisters in silent adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament; the Sisters take it in turns to pray in the Chapel, 24 hours a day.
The Chapel is open to the public from approximately 6.30 am to approximately 8 pm. Despite the enormous volume of traffic thundering just a few feet away, the Chapel was a veritable haven of peace and holiness, and the loudest sound was birdsong from the Convent's cloister garden on the other side of the Chapel, and the occasional rustle of the Sister's habit as she almost imperceptibly changed position kneeling on the prie-dieu.
The Sisters do guided tours three times a day, but although I would have liked to have seen the shrine and the relics of the 105 Catholic Martyrs beneath the Chapel, I could not stay until the first tour at 10.30. I did not wish to impose upon the privacy of the Sister and my companions who were all in prayer, so no photos inside the Chapel.
When I left the Convent, I walked past the Anglican Church of the Annunciation; sadly it was not due to open till 10.30 but I did take a photo of the War Memorial crucifix, which was decorated with a spray of flowers and some candles.
This is one of the crosses which adorned the wall of the church.
I made a very quick detour to the huge Marks & Spencer store in Oxford Street to search for a particular dress for DD2, but unfortunately they only had ridiculously tiny sizes and ridiculously huge sizes in stock. As I was looking at the dresses, my phone rang and it was Mrs DoomHamster telling me she was out of the Embassy in record time and had retrieved her mobile phone etc from the obliging pharmacy near the Embassy who will happily store items you cannot take through the Embassy's security checkpoints, for a very modest fee.
This very nice church is the Jesuit Church in Farm Street, though this is the east end as approached through the Mount Street Gardens, and a very ornate side door.
Inside is absolutely remarkable. It is a Pugin church, and really quite stunning.
Some of the marble statues had typed labels stuck on to their bases with sellotape to identify them, but this one did not. It is possible St Thomas More, but I was not sure......
This is St Winifred.
And the Seven Sorrows of the Mother of God.
The vaulting was lovely.
This is the main nave roof.
Looking west to the back of the church.
And looking east to the enshadowed sanctuary and the shining High Altar.....
Just above the Sanctuary arch was a lovely mosaic.
Each phrase of the Ave Maria was in a decorated roundel between the nave arches.
In a side-chapel was a replica of the venerated ancient pilgrimage statue of Our Lady of Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain.
And a lovely crucifixion in marble.
To the right of the High Altar was the statue of Our Lady
And to the rear of the Church was St Edward.
Another view across the church.