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Sunday stroll

Second last day in London – Easter Sunday. It was cold, but it didn’t rain. Headline in weather section of newspaper: “Why Easter will be colder than Christmas.” Do tell.

I went to Eucharist service at St. George’s, an Anglican church nearby that advertises itself as “not too stuffy,” and that after the service there’d be “Buck’s fizz and an easter egg hunt.” I didn’t last long enough for a Buck’s fizz – champagne and orange juice – but I did enjoy half an hour of incense, singing, and story, men in long white dresses reading from big books. Sorry, should be more respectful. I do love sitting in church, briefly, and this one reminded me of my Anglican mother, whose father was the village organist. But also of my atheist father, who hated all this stuff.

Intended to go then to the British Museum, but the lineup to get in was a mile long. There are lineups everywhere now because of bag inspections at all museums, men poking a desultory flashlight into women’s handbags. At St. Paul’s Cathedral too. So changed the plan.

Instead, starting walking toward the river – walked down Drury Lane – all the streets around here, Theatreland as its called, named for actors – and along Fleet Street to St. Paul’s to do it again, hear the singing reverberate up into that magnificent dome. Quite glorious. Then across the Millennium Bridge to the Tate Modern, where I saw a special exhibition of Elton John’s photographs. He has a vast collection – there was a film showing his house, every speck of wall covered. This exhibition showed the earliest ones, from the twenties and thirties. But of them all, the most haunting were Walker Evans’s and especially Dorothea Lange’s faces from the Depression. I’ve seen “Migrant Mother” before, of course, but seeing her desperation up close and in detail is haunting.

Wandered through the regular collection – headed for the stuff I love, Mark Rothko presented with Monet, beautiful, whereas some of the modern stuff I just don’t get or don’t much like. But the museum is fresh and modern and open, full of kids.

A wander along the Thames, then back over the bridge and walk to Bloomsbury. Found a restaurant I’d noted earlier, had lunch, and headed back to the Museum – still a long lineup! But I heard a security man pointing people to the “north entrance” and discovered an alternate, less known way in that I’m going to try tomorrow. Went home for a rest after a long walk in a high wind. Checked email and Facebook when what popped up but a documentary about Macca. So lay in bed for an hour, watching a great doc. At one point, Giles Martin, George Martin’s son and a music producer too, said, “My father said Paul was the most skilled musician he’d ever worked with.” And at the end, another producer said, “When I started working with him, I thought, all those rumours about him being so nice can’t be true, there must be another side. But they are true. That’s why he has been loved for so long.”

Sigh.

AT 6.30, went to the nearby Renoir Cinema to see the new movie about Emily Dickenson, “A Quiet Passion,” but it was sold out. I didn’t mind – walked in the nearby square instead – so brilliant, all those squares, little green paradises. I’ve fallen in love with London’s ancient trees, so magnificent, they give this mad city grace and dignity.

And then a treat – on the recommendation of friend and fellow blogger Theresa Kishkan, whom I’ve never met, I went to a local Turkish restaurant, Tas, for dinner. Finally, I had my dinner out, and it was wonderful. “Vegetables!” Theresa wrote, and that’s what I had with my glass of Turkish red – a big dish of tasty vegetables, eggplant especially, my fave, with yogurt. Back at the Penn Club, I went into the library and read newspapers for an hour. There’s a room full of books and papers – the Times, the Observer, the Telegraph – for patrons. And patronize I did – terrifying stories of Trump and North Korea interspersed with spring gardening tips and articles about Pippa Middleton’s wedding. I thought about the newspaper Lynn and Denis read, “Le Monde,” so dense and heavy with few pictures, whereas the British papers are full of chat and colour, and marvel again that two countries separated only by a small body of water can be so different.

Last day tomorrow. Grateful for every moment. Grateful it is coming to an end. My feet can’t take any more, or my eyeballs either.

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2 Responses to “Sunday stroll”

  1. theresa says:

    I'm so glad you found Taz (or Tas, they seem to use both spellings). Have been many times and love the fresh food, the warm bread (that keeps coming!), the house wine. Was it St. George's Bloomsbury you went to? I've been to several concerts there and love it (though am avowedly not a Christian). It was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, who is the subject of a wonderful novel by Peter Ackroyd. Enjoy every minute, Beth! Though maybe not a buck's fizz.

  2. beth says:

    Yes, that's the church, I didn't research its provenance so thank you for telling me and for being my unofficial guide in Bloomsbury. It's freezing in London today and may rain. Twas ever thus – at least the hotel has central heating. Off to my last day of London adventures. So glad you came with me.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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