I enjoyed dinner with Webster alum Anthony Hagan this evening. Anthony is hard at work on numerous projects in London. We chatted away for over two and a half hours.
From Friday morning, afternoon, and evening. I had a delightful walk back from dinner, strolling along the South Bank from Waterloo Bridge to the London Eye, and then over to my hotel.
I’m back at the hotel for a few minutes before heading to the Abbey for Evensong. We have rain today, sometimes just a mist, sometimes a real pelter. Walking is a bit more of a challenge thanks to puddles and splashing cars. But I wouldn’t trade rainy London for most cities in the sunshine . . . .
I made my way by bus this morning up to Holborn to visit the Sir John Soane Museum, and could have spent the day there were it not for other things on the agenda and some rude and unsocial French teenagers. Getting on the Tube (now that the skies had opened), I went up one stop to Russell Square (singing the ditty from CATS, “Up, up, up past the Russell Hotel . . . .” as I stepped out of the station) and walked over to the Foundling Museum. Think orphans. Tens of thousands of them in the 18 and 19th century. And Handel, who performed Messiah in 1750 in the chapel of the Foundling Hospital, and achieved even greater immortality. The museum, still part of an orphan and child-service organization, has a wealth of Handel memorabilia.
These were both new stops for me in London.
I lunched in the cafe at the Foundling Museum – a ham and cheese and roasted pepper toastie, plus a piece of almond blackcurrant tart. And then I picked up my books from Foyle’s, and took the bus back to Waterloo Station.
Evensong awaits in an hour, after which will be dinner with one of our Webster alums.
My pace finally got to me. I slept a full eight hours (much needed, after the hurry of the last two days), and decided to skip morning Eucharist. So at 9 a.m., I just now headed down to breakfast. Today is a tourist day, with an alum or two to visit later. Details shall follow in due course.
In honor Ralph Vaughan Williams (another of my muses), whose 140th birthday was last Friday, here is his commemoration plaque from Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a student in the 1800’s, in addition to the plaque of A. E. Housman, one of my favorite poets: