Wednesday, 12 March 2014

One day in London


One day in London and I feel I' ve travelled in time, lived a thousand lives, seen unexpected delights and discovered new treasures, felt the anguish and joy of millions of people  from all over the world. It has that effect on me., like Venice and Rome .

I discovered that the oldest pub in London is called The Mitre and was built in the sixteenth century. The oldest restaurant is called Rules in Maiden Lane and people have been dining there since 17 something. Even just that 's enough to to get your imagination going. I like to think about what they wore, what they ate, what there hopes and dreams were, what was going on in the world around them.

Then, standing in Trafgalgar square you see a group of French teenagers having the time of their lives wearing crowns from Burgher King, buskers performing incredible acts, a  demonstration with people chanting and waving flags, a French- looking cockerel staring at Nelson's back, a Scotsman playing bagpipes who is going to vote yes. In the backgound all the time, the reassuring sight of Big Ben and Westminster where you hope  important and wise decisions are being made for the common good....

Then an unexpected treat at the National Gallery. Two of Van Goghs' Sunflowers on show for free . This didn't mean everyone jostled and pushed to get a good look .First of all we queued patiently for a yellow ticket and then again for a red ticket. Wonderful - I 'll need another post for the sunflowers. All the while, all the languages of the world whispering near your ears. The reminder of the great plague with the bodies under St Martins in the fields, now a great coffee shop under there. Past, present, future. Old, young, rich, poor. A whole world in one day.






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