London called so I paid a visit this weekend. The capital and I are old friends. I visit whenever I am summoned.
I took the opportunity to visit The Institution of Engineering and Technology and was bowled over by their archive and their staff. Their archivists are friendly, enthusiastic and professional. How wonderful to read Joseph Swan’s handwriting. Hats off to the IET www.theiet.org
I took a trip down memory lane after visiting chums in South East London on Friday night. The bus back into central (the 53) took me past old haunts Blackheath, Greenwich, New Cross, Elephant and Castle and delivered me in Whitehall. The journey brought to mind the lyrics of Greenwich Park, a song I wrote years ago:
“Perfect Symmetry, Delightful Symmetry: Naval College, Royal Observatory.”
On Saturday I found myself next to the Tower of London. I was not alone. The place was swarming with folk trying to take photographs of Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. I visited much later at night when it was pouring with rain. Still crowds trying to take selfies beside the ceramic poppies. The installation was moving, especially the poppies pouring out of the tower.
At 11 am this morning I was in a room filled with 50% British and the other 50% composed of North American, French, German and Spanish. One Brit’s attempt to observe the minute’s silence had him almost busting blood vessels trying to “shush” the crowd into silence. I felt sorry for the non-Brits. It’s not their fault if the don’t know about the 11 am tradition.
And it’s over to Berlin to celebrate more recent history….