Post 228: Busman's Holiday
I had a choice, I could either complete my 2007-2008 tax return for HM Revenue & Customs ....... or I could do something else. As the sun was shining, 'Something Else' won by a landslide.
I've worked in London for longer than I'd care to remember and while I've developed a certain fluency in the language of 'Post Code', I've never actually done the more usual tourist things. I convinced my daughter that 8am also existed at weekends and dragged her into London for a day of low cost capital exploration. We'd avoid the likes of Madame Tussaudes and instead concentrate on the cheaper side of London.
Starting in the City, Hannah already knew that 'Monument' had been built by Sir Christopher Wren and at 202 feet tall, she understood the significance of it's height. She was aware of the historical importance of 'London Stone' but found it difficult to understand why it was hidden away in a wall where everyday thousands of people walk past and have no idea that it's there. As groups of tourists stood gazing at the Royal Exchange Building at Bank Circus, Hannah correctly identified that they were looking in the wrong direction and pointed out the real Bank of England on the opposite side ot Threadneedle Street. Working east, I showed her an old photograph of St Paul's Cathedral and invited her to spot the significant difference to it's facade. She got it, but I suspect that many people wouldn't. Next it was 'Temple Church' which she'd heard of through the Da Vinci Code but had no idea where it was or even that a few acres of blissful tranquility could exist in the centre of one of the world's busiest cities. Before Dan Brown went and ruined it, this had been one of my favourite places to escape the CitySprint controller's and relax with a flask of coffee. Into China Town and a second site from the Da Vinci Code, the Jean Cocteau mural in the Notre Dame de France which impressed her not ..... and if the truth be told, me neither.
Across the river, we looked at London's finest fresco's of amateur 'Tagging' and watched a couple of young artists applying their art. The street artists along the Southbank were out in force and especially impressive were the dance groups who entertained the audiences with a fine display of double jointed gymnastics. We finished the day with a 'flight' on the London Eye, the only event that cost any real money in our short 'Poor Circulation' of London ..... but it was very impressive, worth every penny a good end to a great day out in London.