A nice day in London

October 13, 2008

I went for a walk along what seems to be the busiest mile of footpath in London this weekend. It’s a stretch of path and parkland on the south bank of the Thames that goes from Southwark bridge past the Tate Modern, the Globe, National and BFI theatres and lots of cafes and bars.

The weather was beautiful and my companion was my cousin Jo, whom I hadn’t seen for 20 years. We had a wonderful conversation, catching up on family and our own lives.

We stopped for a coffee just near the British Film Institute and this amazing little dinghy (?) came whizzing past us on the Thames. The tide was going out and the tiny boat was moving very quickly. It was an amusing moment as the sailboat was dwarfed by everything else on the river that day.

Respec’, Karl, Paul and the Iraqi Communists

October 11, 2008

Post-it Note: I’ve been having a bit of difficulty accessing wordpress for the past week or so, but finally found an empty draft that I could canibalise.

A couple of weekends ago I visited Highate cemetery, near Hampstead Heath in north London. There’s a five pound entry fee, but the grounds themselves are worth the price of admission and the place is run by volunteers. The whole graveyard is overgrown with elms, beech and other very British trees. It’s a real urban jungle and it’s also over-run with grey squirrels. Apart from the first couple of metres either side of the paths, the trees have been allowed to regenerate and the older gravestones are hidden in the undergrowth. When I was there it was a lovely autumn day and the dappled sunlight through the forest gave the whole place a serene and gentle feel.

A restul grove in Highgate cemetery, north London

A restful grove in Highgate cemetery, north London

The purpose of my visit was to stand next to Karl Marx memorial headstone and have my picture taken. What i wasn’t quite prepared for was the mixed company in which the brilliant socialist theorist and agitator is resting [his remains were moved to the current spot many years ago].

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