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Commuting and communing with history

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Posted by May B on Monday 21st of January 2008


When you are battling with miserable weather and transport delays it is easy to forget what a fantastic privilege it is to work in London.

As I walk or take the bus across Waterloo bridge I look down to the fabulous London Eye watching over the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben which must be the most photographed view of London. If I look the other way I see the cheeky Oxo Tower facing St Pauls Cathedral and the new skyline features such as the gherkin. And the light skim of Millennium Bridge across the river as it nestles at the feet of the boxy Tate Modern.

Arriving near one of the places where I work, I get to walk across the modern and elegant simplicity and wide open spaces of Paternoster Square (with a statue of Shepherd and Sheep by Dame Elizabeth Frink - Paternoster Square was once the site of a livestock market) and sip my Starbucks while gazing up to the majesty of St Paul's fantastic dome and imagining those priests absorbed in their daily prayers. From one of my offices, I can hear the bell strike each hour - much nicer than the meeting alarms on my laptop!

Then as I return via another office, I get to walk amongst the columns, squares, secret gardens, perfect lawns and fountains of the Inns of Court - and Temple near the Royal Courts of Justice. How little the attire of the barristers has changed over the centuries - about as much as their attitudes and opinions I suspect!

And finally I pass the neo-classical elegance of Somerset House which was once a royal palace and then became a centre of Government administration until now where it is home to arts such as the Gilbert Collection and host to a number of key events on the London calendar.

And before I get cross at yet another delay to my journey home, I stop and remember that millions of people from all over the world every year pay loads of money to travel to London to see first hand what they have glimpsed in films and to gaze upon scenes that we see every day as we commute. I love being a Londoner!


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