* yes, there should be FIVE sets of boots but Allen ignored my advice to get adequate rain gear...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


This post is rather introspective and is mostly about the tube.  I didn't take any pictures of the tube.  However, we do have any number of pictures that really won't make it into any other posts about London and make for something of a counterpoint.  Enjoy!

Riding the London Eye 
(Noah says "Aargh" instead of "cheese" as a matter of course)
We spend vast quantities of time on various forms of mass transportation during our European travels.  I always find myself contemplating who rode this line before me.  In London, it is not hard to almost feel those prior inhabitants of the tube.
Trying to get a picture in front of the Tower Bridge
Of course, I can imagine myself as the turn of the century shopgirl, anxious to get home as I was once one.  The distracted mother of the 50s, wondering how to get both the packages AND the children home, also me.  The punks of the 70s and 80s are only a slight stretch as we make our way through the more eclectic stops where the music has changed but the manic panic has remained.  But, most vividly remain the whispers from those seeking refuge during the Blitz.  The lights flickered repeatedly on of our trains.  Coupled with the screeches and groans from the other trains, holding Charlie's small and slightly sweaty hand as he nervously asks why the lights are out, it is not at all difficult to feel the vestiges of hope, fear, and courage that were once there.

This time with the Whole Family- so close...
As we explored London further, it became clear that this is what New York once wanted to be when it grew up.  The stop names are those of places in America that can only aspire to have a hint of the history and gravitas found in London.  Blackfriar, Westminster, King's Cross, Notting Hill, and anywhere on the anything are the names of malls and subdivisions in the US.  Here, they are where kings are still crowned, cabals were invented and revolution fomented.

Whee!  Everyone actually looking in
same direction but too small to be seen.
I have never really understood how London could have been bombed for so very long.  How was there anything left for the Germans to target?  Clearly, my understanding of a metropolis was far too limited.  London could have been bombed to oblivion and still, it would have remained.  London is clearly past her prime but has grown to be a Grande Dame, gracefully nodding her head toward how to accommodate change while still maintaining your standards.
Ben and Me

No comments:

Post a Comment