Jackie drove me to and from Southampton for my trip to London to visit first Norman, then Carol.
I chose the Golden Jubilee Bridge route to walk to Green Park.
The South Bank living sculpture I had photographed on 18th June had, as usual, caught the eye of another lens wielder.
Making my way to the bridge I became aware of how, from certain directions, London’s modern Eye can dwarf the older structures that tourists come to picture.
On one of the supports of the railway bridge a pair of pigeons, possibly having produced fertiliser for an optimistic maple that had taken root beside them, slumbered in apparent ignorance of the lumbering locomotives behind them.
Passing The Playhouse theatre at Charing Cross, I was treated to the strains of Spamalot’s ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’, being broadcast into the street. That truly hilarious song from the Monty Python ‘Life of Brian’ film of 1979 could so easily have been blasphemous, but somehow managed to avoid it.
Near Trafalgar Square, where Admiral Lord Nelson keeps his single eye on an era he could not have dreamed of whilst saving the English nation at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, one of Westminster Bridge’s lone pipers had found a new pitch.
The empty plinth, which periodically provides a temporary pedestal for pieces of modern sculpture, awaits its next tenant.
A silent male dancer entertained the crowds beneath the National Gallery. They gave him quite a lot of breathing space.
On Pall Mall vast throngs, some looking rather disgruntled, queued for what would perforce be a very leisurely sightseeing tour through London’s traffic.
In my Central London years I often shopped in Jermyn Street at sales time. I am no longer tempted because I still wear shirts bought there up to three or four decades ago. In addition to Cary Grant, Hawes & Curtis are featuring Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson hoping to attract prospective customers to take advantage of their large reductions. In his brief tenure this playboy king provoked a constitutional crisis in 1936 by his determination to marry his twice divorced lover. In that bygone age this was acceptable neither to the Church nor the State. He therefore chose to abdicate and thrust his younger brother onto centre stage. A reluctant and shy monarch, King George VI, despite a dreadful stutter, with his wife Elizabeth, saw us nobly through the war years and, in 1952, died young, making way for our current long-serving queen. Colin Firth was awarded a well earned Oscar for his spellbinding performance in the 2010 film ‘The King’s Speech’ which follows King George’s struggles to find his voice. One has to wonder how the shirt-makers chose their particular icons.
In Green Park those who can still comfortably get down to ground level eschewed the deck chairs and sat on the grass.
For lunch, Norman served tender kleftiko, savoury rice, red cabbage and mixed vegetables followed by apricot flan. In anticipation of my forthcoming birthday he provided a superb Primitivo di Manduria wine of 2010.
I took my usual transport to Carol’s and thence to Waterloo for the return journey. On the train, with the back of my hand, I managed to slap a sleeping young woman beside me on the thigh. As she dozed, the pen with which she had been writing rolled off the table. I used my marvellous reflexes in an attempt to prevent it from falling to the floor between our seats. The thigh got in the way, and the ballpoint disappeared into the dark recess, so I was forced to slip my arm down the gap to retrieve it. My co-passenger woke up with a start and was very good about it.