And by effect I mean a degree of melancholy. It\’s not a bad thing, it just is. But it\’s because as soon as I hit the streets of the more historical areas of London it inevitably brings back memories. Memories of Pa explaining the sights, statues, buildings, history etc; and in later years either talking to Pa on the phone about a recent trip or calling him whilst in town, to find out something I\’d forgotten (the location of the London Stone comes to me mind see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Stone – I was within a 100 yards or so, but could not recall quite where it should be).
For a (right bloody (c) Peter Sellers) Yorkshireman, he knew a lot about London. He could have passed the knowledge test for taxi drivers I should think. He made a decent tour guide too (as long as you weren\’t a bloody tourist!).
So I walk these streets with memories, and echoes of times gone by.
And, it seems, almost inevitably, I end up in the very first pub Dad took me (and me alone). We\’d been shooting at the rifle club under Somerset House, and as usual I\’d \”whopped his ass\” with the pistol. Having finished we wanted to quench thirsts. We went to the Wellington on the corner of The Strand. I was under age, so had a soft drink (I think I declined the offer of alcohol as I was dry having got stupidly (stupid as in drinking in the evening without having eaten anything ALL DAY) drunk the previous Christmas at the Curry\’s Loughton staff do). We returned home to Essex by tube.
A few months later I returned with some school friends, having some time to kill before a demonstration of quadrophonic playback at the IEEE around the corner. This demo was especially good, as it feature Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd. \”I know a pub\” i declared – as if they would be hard to find 😉 Happy days!
A few decades later, and I\’m back again. It\’s hardly changed, except the prices and the cigarette smoke.