Steps

The Monument Steps, London, January, 2023

The great fire of London has captured my granddaughter Lily’s imagination. We have been discussing the fire as she was learning about the historical events in history. As I would have some free time in London, I decided that I must go and visit the Monument near to London Bridge. In all my time in London, the Monument is a place that I have never visited. The Monument commemorates the Great Fire of London in 1666. Having stayed overnight in London, I wanted to see the sunrise from the Tower of London. As I was in the area, my next stop was St Katherine’s dock for breakfast and then a walk on the North Bank of the Thames to the Monument.

Steps , The Monument, London, January, 2023
Anahita, the artist performing steps dressed in climbing gear,

When I arrived at the monument, I was able to walk straight in but before going up I was informed that there was a performance taking place and hoped that this would not impact on my experience. Quite the opposite, I was pleased that not only would I be climbing the 311 steps up to the top but that there was the chance to experience something different. At the bottom of the monument there was a wheel chair which gave a clue to what was happening higher up the stairs.

Steps , The Monument, London, January, 2023
Leaving the wheelchair behind.

Two thirds of the way up, I met Anahita who was shuffling up the stairs. She was dressed in climbing gear and was moving up the stairs back first. I asked Anahita how she was getting on and whether she minded me taking her picture.

Steps , The Monument, London, January, 2023
The going is steady but tough for Anahita
Steps , The Monument, London, January, 2023
Whichever way you look at it, the spiral of steps is immense,
Steps , The Monument, London, January, 2023
Determination to reach the top.

This brave and inspirational woman explained that she was performing ‘STEPS’, a never-seen-before performance. Anahita is a British Iranian artist who is a wheelchair user. Her performance was being live streamed. After passing by, I reached the top of the monument and enjoyed the amazing views. I even recorded a video for the grandchildren to let them know that I had been to the top. On the way back down, I encountered Anahita again who was nearly at the top. I wished her well and continued down the steps to the bottom. She left a big impression and congratulations on her strength and determination.

Steps , The Monument, London, January, 2023
Views from the top of the Monument.
Steps , The Monument, London, January, 2023
Tower Bridge and the Thames.
Steps , The Monument, London, January, 2023
London’s burning

Here are a few links about Anahita and her work to bring recognition to Wheelchair users.

https://www.themonument.org.uk/plan-your-visit/steps-performance-by-anahita-harding
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