Saturday, 6 June 2009

Tired of London? - England (6)

"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."— Samuel Johnson

With Johnson’s words in mind I took myself to London for the final three days of my English holiday.

There I stayed with my good friend Joe in his nice flat in Pimlico – a “desirable” London neighbourhood.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pimlico


Joe’s flat is at St. Georges Square

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_George


right on a ‘bus route which will take you all down Oxford Street, and across to Euston, King’s Cross, and St. Pancras Stations.

It is a three minute walk from the Pimlico underground, with links to all of London.

Also no more than three minutes walk away is the Embankment and the River Thames.

And you can walk for about 10 minutes to reach Victoria train, underground, and long distance ‘bus stations.

In other words – this is a cool and convenient place in which to live.

After reconnecting over a glass of wine, Joe hailed a cab and we went to his dining club, Black's on Dean Street in Soho.

There I enjoyed roasted lamb’s kidneys for a “starter”, followed by some wonderful baked cod, with (Island of) Jersey new potatoes (the best), and asparagus.

After dinner, as is the manner of life in clubs, we moved upstairs for a delicious glass of port. We were through at 11:00 p.m.

Joe and I decided to take a 45 minute walk home to his flat. What fun! Soho and Piccadilly Circus were alive with the most amiable young people and tourists. We wandered across the Mall, through St. James’s Park, down Whitehall, passing the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, back to Pimlico.

This was London at its best - a late night walk, in utter safety.

Next day I took the #45 bus to St. Pancras, and from there took a train to St. Albans. My plan was to have lunch with seminary classmate D and his wife A. That plan was nixed as A had to rush off to have a pre-biopsy consultation regarding some cancer which has erupted behind her nose.

So after a quick lunch alone I took a train back to London and enjoyed an afternoon nap at Joe’s flat.

That evening I had a fine dinner in Bloomsbury with Joe’s former wife Stephanie.

I got back to the flat at about 11:00 p.m. to find Joe packing for his 6 day motor-cycle trip to France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany – due to start the next day.

At midnight Joe suggested a motor-bike ride and that seemed to be the most sensible option.

So off we went, up the Embankment, over to the South Bank and back again. I of course rode pillion, and enjoyed every moment.

Biking around London in the wee hours is a good thing for 65 year olds!




I did not tire of London, and I do not plan to be tired of life!

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