London Day 2

The Tower of London.  Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (a historic pub wherein dined and imbibed numerous authors; see picture below).  Royal MewsChurchill War Rooms.

The day has been full.

Here are two stories . . . .

On the Tube this morning, going the long way ’round on the Circle Line to Tower Hill, a bunch of second-graders suddenly converged on our car.  They were dress in blue gingham dresses and blue polo shirts.  The Muslim girls also wore leggings and scarves.  We realized very quickly that they were headed as well to the Tower for a field trip.  They filled the Tube car with lots of happy noise, and for once I didn’t mind a group of children at all.  Their school was Hillyfield Academy, Walthamstow.  Their excitement was contagious.  I snuck a picture of one of them, seated across from me on the Tube.  Kevin and I were having fun figuring out what their future occupations were going to be.  One is clearly the class intellectual (at age 7); another, the class thug and bouncer; one rather meek-looking tall girl may grow up to be a pole dancer, if the way she was working the pole in the middle of the car is any indication.

***************

I attended this evening a concert by the Whitehall ChoirPaul Spicer conducted.  I dined with Paul at Kensington in 1997, and interviewed him in October in person here in London.  ‘Tis a small world.

The concert was in the Banqueting Hall.  From my journal: “So here I am in a building that was commissioned by King James I nearly 400 years ago, sitting under a ceiling painted by Rubens, in an Inigo Jones-designed great hall.  I’m feet away from the window through which King Charles I stepped to his execution.  I’m yards from the door through which William and Mary walked to accept the summons to reign over England.  (I stepped through that same door just now.)  And I’m listening to a concert led by a man I know, sung by a local quasi-community choir.  And we all think nothing of it.”

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