London Trod

Published 11 years, 3 months ago

Thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions for something to do on a Saturday in London.  There were far too many good choices, as one expects in a millenia-old city.  I found the prospect of the Tate Modern to be very, very tempting, but as it turned out I crashed hard and slept very late that morning, so I didn’t feel like I could really do the Tate justice.

So instead I decided to walk south and pay a visit to the person who’d pleaded for CSS help in the comments, since their offices were only five minutes’ walk from my hotel and on my way to other points of interest.  You might wonder why I would do that, why I would in effect work, when I had only one day in London, but you know what?  London’s been there a long time, and will most likely continue to be there a long time.  I could never see all of it, not even if I were to move there.  Helping others out is something immediate, vital, and it’s something I like to do when possible.  I was there, he was very close by, and so why not?

As it turned out, he didn’t actually have a CSS problem, but we had a lovely lunch at a gourmet burger place right across the street from St. Paul’s Cathedral.  That didn’t seem weird or anything.

From there, I crossed the Thames at the Farringdon/New Bridge/Blackfriars bridge, and made my way along the south bank to the Westminster Bridge.  In the broken late afternoon sun, I took in living statues and the Eye, a combination which seems far more Tolkienesque than is really necessary.  Perhaps fittingly, there was also a book fair beneath Waterloo Bridge, albeit one I regretfully did not peruse—I was afraid I’d be there until the next morning.  Once I reached Westminster Bridge, I cut inward to check out the Imperial War Museum—what can I say?  I’m a history geek, which you might have guessed from the fact that it was my major field of study in college.  I’d also given thought to seeing the Cabinet War Rooms, but again, time was short.  I spent a couple of hours wandering randomly through the nooks and crannies of the IWM, and then skedaddled out of there to catch a train to the BBC Backstage Bash.  It was loud, it was fun, I traded conference organizer war stories with Patrick Griffiths and got into a short conversation about nihilism with a lovely young lady, and I met more people than I can remember but not nearly as many people as I’d have liked.  A whole kettle of thanks to Ian Forrester and the BBC crew for inviting me to such a great party.

If you’re interested in a short visual record of the day, you can see my photos from the War Museum, two pictures from the Bash, or just the whole general collection of all London photos I’ve Flickred.  Thanks again for all the suggestions!

  1. Yay! Cabinet War Rooms was one of my suggestions, as was book shopping – so I guess I score a near miss on two counts.

    There’s always books for sale under Waterloo Bridge, so that’s something else you can go back to some day. There’s more choice on Charing Cross Road though.

  2. Hey, Dude

    That was the most exciting story I have ever read. No doubt about it. Especially the part where you refer to the books sale under Waterloo Bridge – that got me heart pounding. And the way you described the War Museum – Good GOD! I almost felt as being there in the middle of the advancing armies. Keep on with good work!

    Your Friend,

  3. Pat: thanks for the laugh! That was beyond doubt the most sarcastic comment I’ve read in a week, and I loved it.

  4. Sorry I didn’t see the original request sooner…

    The Cabinet War rooms are phenomenal for a history buff. Seeing the map of the North Atlantic filled with holes tracking the convoys, just down the passage from Churchill’s bunk, brings his war writings to life like nothing else can.

    Another great stop is the City Museum, just a few blocks from St. Paul’s. For that matter, hiking to the top of the St. Paul’s dome thinking about the Londoners who made the trip with buckets of sand or water during the Blitz is another “Blast from the Past”.

  5. Eric ;)

    glad you had a good time in London ;) hope you’ll be back soon ;)
    Thanks again for a great workshop.

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful christmas and all the very, very best for the new year :) Carry on keeping us all inspired ;)
    => season’s greetings…

  6. I can’t believe we were in London at the same time! It was a beautiful day, wasn’t it? I walked down through Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament and around that whole area.

    I just find it weird that someone I’d been reading about for a long time was in the same city at the same time as me. How sad is that?

  7. We perused that book fair while we were in London this summer. It was fun, but not impossible to escape from. You should not overly regret your choice in moving on.

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