“I do feel quite … playful today,” I admitted on Tuesday, after which I might or might not have said to my hubby: ” Give me a pickelhaube, will you?” He obliged:
Well, the Millennium Bridge wasn’t swaying under my weight and St. Paul’s had decided long ago I wasn’t allowed to use my camera inside, so the day promised to be an easy one. Till we did the 528 steps to reach the Golden Gallery near the top of the dome, that is … that would be the enclosed part where my haube and its pickel meet in the above pic, btw. On the way down, I took a small revenge by asking my hubby to give me a tall hat made of gold this time.
“I think this is Nelson and there’s Wellington behind him.” I could not help but share my newly acquired knowledge of the famous tombs in the crypt with a visitor looking bewildered. I was especially happy to see a memorial for William Blake and to get some of those lovely British veggies in the café again. And try as I might, I couldn’t imagine Diana getting married in there – I guess she is not a meaningful cultural occurrence to me or what.
Then we marched down the Fleet Street, where I soon found a shop selling boot laces of the appropriate length, but while searching for the purse in my huge bag, a handkerchief fell out of it and rolled away, underneath a small partition, only to land at the shop assistant’s feet. It was a used handkerchief. I went for it praying she wouldn’t pick it up (it was a used handkerchief), but she did. And took it away. What could I do but😳, pay,😳 and leave and😳 some more?!? Luckily, my hubby hadn’t seen it. Phew!
As we had expected, no photos were allowed at the Westminster Abbey, either. “Jeremy Irons is talking to me, right now,” I couldn’t help bragging. That’s what happens if you choose the English audio guide instead of German. “How d’you know it’s Jeremy Irons?!?!” “Well, he told me his name.”
I soon realized I loved the Westminster Abbey for the same reason I liked Chartres very much: it is a great monument of human abilities. I could hardly wait to reach the Poet’s Corner and it was getting late. But we had more or less enough time for most things … Thus, while looking at George Eliot’s memorial stone, I realized what was wrong with the Westminster Abbey: apart from Mary Ann Evans (aka George Eliot), there were scarcely any women commemorated there. This caused some bitterness in me: 2012 was quite a difficult year, but also one that taught me many useful lessons. I don’t think my work, my efforts or my character should be considered less worthy or better or worse than any man’s, yet I have always felt quite invisible and lost much time persuading people I really can do things.
And then … a young woman told us to pray for those who have put effort into getting education and serving their community and who should be appreciated for their contribution, regardless of their origin. It made me feel even more bitter: I don’t want prayers, I want changes! Meh.
Anyway, I could imagine Catherine getting married in there. I had seen it on the internet not long ago, after all.
A long walk along the bank with many more photos (Big Ben! The Eye! The Sphinx!) followed, it was a cold evening and we were exhausted and hungry. I had planned for us to visit an Indian restaurant that day but we couldn’t find enough energy to speak about it, let alone search for one. So the Old Thameside Inn it was, again. This time I had veggies with lots of cheese and a cider or three.