Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Last Day in London

And so to our last day in London...

24 September 2002

Our final day. Mom and I walked from our hotel up Victoria Street to Westminster Abbey. A wander through there with a long pause at the Poet's Corner. Some writers are just honored here; some are actually buried here. Part of the fun is discovering who is and who is not.

Just at the door as we left: A tribute to "A British Warrior unknown by name or rank buried 11 November 1920 in the presence of King George V."

Then we were out on the street with the Houses of Parliament straight ahead. In front of the buildings people were chanting and protesting: Don't Attack Iraq. 

I wanted to see 10 Downing Street - hoping for a glimpse of Mr. Blair. Police came up behind us and moved everyone along as there was a 'suspect package' at the base of the Cenotaph which is the site of a yearly Remembrance Service to commemorate British and Commonwealth servicemen and women who died in the two World Wars and later conflicts. The inscription reads "The Glorious Dead".

One of the city's many ironies: On every London street corner, in every church, there is a war memorial to the thousands who have died in battle. And yet the talk of war, the smell of war is still in the air. You would think we might have learned by now.

We ended the day with dinner at the Ebury Wine Bar next to our hotel. The very place we had eaten dinner our first night in London. I like a tidy ending, don't you?


  1. Belle, I've really enjoyed your London diary. It must have been a wonderful trip, and a very nice trip to make with your mother. I want to drink tea at the Crooked Tea House and stroll past my favorite novelists' houses.

    I know what you mean about the irony of war memorials. In 2002 we were on the verge again. I wish public art celebrated peace more than war, but it does seem every city and every little town must have several war memorials.

  2. Thanks Frisbee. It was a splendid trip and I was so happy that I could share that time with my mother and that I have those memories to keep.

    I like your idea of a peace memorial. Apparently, though, there has been more war than peace to commemorate.

  3. Than goodness you weren't in Downing Street a decade on. You might have seen the unedifying sight of a high Government official swearing at policemen and we would all have had to hang our heads in even further shame!

    1. Oh dear, Alex. I had to check out the news story you refer to. Yes, quite a nasty bit of behavior.