Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A Thief In Victoria Station

The announcement over the PA was very matter of fact--'There has been a report of a handbag thief operating in this building. Please mind your personal belongings very closely. Thank you.'
Great, I thought, here I am my first day on my own in a strange foriegn city, and there are handbag thieves about. My gracious host was spending the day attending to his knee at the doctors office (he's fine) and I was exploring the big city by myself. When I got off the train, from Balham, at Victoria station I heard the thief announcement. Undaunted, I struck up Buckingham Palace Road on my way to see, yep, Buckingham Palace. Seemed like a good starting point for a newbie. It was, got some really good pictures and met a few interesting people. Queen Victorias memorial is an awsome site indeed, with its gilded statue and fountains. People here hang out on monuments. I mean there were people IN the fountain, just hanging out. They sit on the steps that surround these monuments. They skateboard around them. The live on them. Trafalgar square with Nelson's Column in the middle, had the same thing. People every where around it, sweating on it.
In St. James park, I bought an ice cream cone and took some pictures of the water fowl and people laying out in the sun. I was struck by all the accents I overheard, the whole world was represented. I felt good to be there. This, I thought, is how the world should live. Walking in the park together, enjoying ice cream, laying in the sun.
In Embankment Park I happened upon a huge statue of Robert Burns. Yes!! I took some pictures, and then dutifully recited his 'To a Mouse' poem in my most effective Scottish brogue. You can do stuff like this in London and it all seems ok. Life is to be lived here, people expect that. What they don't tolerate are handbag thieves.


Blogger justrose said...

I am so glad you got to St. James Park! what a lovely day it was when I visited there . . . how many times I strolled through beautiful British parks eating those ice cream cones -- makes me nostalgic . . . (sighs for lost youth)

8:47 PM  
Blogger justrose said...

PS Wee sleekit cowerin timorous beastie? Is that the one?

9:00 PM  
Blogger cheeky monkey said...

London is the most amazing city-- it embodies life in the global community.
Check out Freud's cafe off Neal's Yard (near Covent Garden). It's a downstairs cafe-- very cool. Also cheap classical music concerts at St Martins in the Field across from Trafalgar Sq.
Also Camden markets on Sundays. WONDERFUL!
Enjoy. And send my love to "the old smoke."

8:43 AM  
Blogger RBP said...

Yes, Rose, that's the one. Honestly, I don't know the whole thing from memory yet, but I knew enough to put on a good show. Read my 'Mousetrap' entry on my blog.

5:58 PM  

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