Don’t Know When But You’re Doing It Again Walk London   3 comments

Police Call Box London

 

We spent Sunday and Monday in London with no itinerary. The weather was gorgeous Sunday, so we walked into town from our Southwark hotel in a futile attempt to avoid the hoard of other tourists. We had some luck, and in The City I spotted the first real Police Call Box me or Jackie had ever seen (although there are fakes in a neighbour’s garden in Old Town, on the street in Aldbourne, and inside the Beehive in Swindon).

 

Subterranean Homesick Blues 2

We were seeking sustenance down a side street when I spotted the Coal Hole, a pub with a Chaplin connection (Jackie is a big Charlie Chaplin fan). After grabbing some pizza for lunch, we popped in for a quick beverage when I realised the Savoy was right behind the building. This was momentous for me as the alleyway below is where the film version of Subterranean Homesick Blues was shot (watch the video, here, and see if you can spot Allen Ginsberg). As many times as I’ve passed the place I’ve always forgotten to have a walk through.

“Why are we going down this way?” Jackie asked as we started to duck down the alleyway.
“Twenty years of schoolin’ and they put you on the day shift,” I replied.
“Oh, is this it?” There were folks from the hotel working and we were sort of trespassing but there wasn’t much to see, but at far as the photo goes we were bringin’ it all back home.

 

 

subterranean 1

A stroll down Embankment in the sun can be nice but dodging selfie sticks and selfish pedestrians soon became tiresome. A few deep breaths later we plunged into the sea of arseholes on the Westminster Bridge planning to escape to Lambeth where we found things much more civilised. We strolled through an orchard/park and decided to brighten up our outlook on the day by taking in the Holocaust exhibit at the Imperial War Museum. On the way, we spotted Captain Bligh’s house:

 

Captain Bligh Blue Plaque

Captain Bligh Blue Plaque zoom

 

About 2/3 through the full exhibit we were both overloaded and depressed and, feeling claustrophobic, had to get out into the light. I always find it odd that the Russians, who were at least as thorough as the Nazis, get a pass for their extended play version of the Holocaust; in Bremen a few years ago a German friend told a Russian one (who had owned up to this ugly fact) that, “yes, you put forward a strong effort but we kept meticulous records.” This comment on efficient bureaucracy made me laugh so hard coffee came out of my nose; the Teutonic sense of humour might be an acquired taste, though.

 

 

 

Imperial War Museum landing boat flag

 

We got a bit lost in the museum in our funk and I spotted this flag sent from a mother to her son that commanded a landing craft that was eventually used in the D-Day invasion (and beyond). Jackie also found something to lighten the mood painted on the side of this armoured vehicle:

 

 

Imperial War Museum armoured vehicle

 

 

Sufficiently relieved of the burden of humanity, we went back to the pub near Captain Bligh’s house (which, as it turns out, has another Charlie Chaplin connection).

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