Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hooray for minimalism

London is like my Auntie Marjorie's house: full of assorted family mementoes, some beautiful, some quirkily personal, some quite simply bizarrre, all jumbled into her house wherever they will fit and all cheerfully dusted the same, whether they're fancy porcelain or made of glued macaroni.

Walking today from St Paul's cathedral to Marble Arch (and beyond), a journey that required three hours of non-stop trekking despite its being such a small distance on the map, I was constantly diverted by the statues, plaques, churches, fingerposts and monuments along the route. A church full of RAF memorabilia, a 10 metre high sculpture of a horse's head, Prince Albert gaily doffing his hat on a trotting horse, a black-and-white pub right next to a soaring glass building full of (presumably gloomy) financiers - these all helped to distract me from the grim task of beating my way through phalanxes of suits in Newgate so intent on cellphone conversations that they cannoned into me without noticing; and negotiating throngs of rabid shoppers in Oxford Street ditto.

It was such a relief to get to Hyde Park and off the hard footpath onto the grass; and away from the crowds to space amongst trees, where the new NZ War Memorial turned out to be not the cluster of girder stumps impaled in a hillock that I had feared, but a suitably sombre and authentically Kiwi honouring of the dead.

Like Auntie Marjorie's house, London is fun to visit, but if I ever had to live there, all that clutter would do my head in.

1 comment:

the queen said...

Funny - work friends and I were just comparing visits to London, and we all agreed the banking area had am unoward number of black miniskirts and black tights.

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