I held onto Emily’s arm and she got me through the streets and into the tube and out again safely, explaining as we went her hacks for keeping Google maps up even underground, and ways to double-check the different lines to make sure you’re going the right way.
London streets were shut down for a marathon so we changed our plans. Instead of returning to the V&A, we went to Brompton Cemetery.
It was a beautiful sunny day. The turf was starred with daisies and spangled with grape hyacinths. Daffodils were everywhere. I dawdled down different paths and read inscriptions and let the sweet melancholy and peace seep in.
All the stones monuments and statuary lean as if they are on the billows of a wave. Many inscriptions are lost to the depredations of time and weather. We took our time.
We spent a couple of hours wandering down the path and around the graves. The words on the stones are a kind of shorthand, haikus packed with grief and pain and appreciation, pleas for mercy instead of judgment, and sometimes a glimpse of deep attachment and love. You know a child was cherished when his parents call him their darling little sputnik.
There were the usual complements of angels, standing guard over the souls of the departed.
Many headstones were in the shape of open books. I love this.
Truly it was an exceptionally peaceful morning. If you haven’t been there, I recommend it.
Afterward, Emily looked up somewhere for lunch nearby via Google. The first prospect was too small and crowded, the second had a notice on the door that the kitchen was unexpectedly closed, but the third was just right. The Goldilocks option.
Inside The Troubadour, a long-time music venue, it was weathered and intimate, with a decor of memorabilia. Perfect for my daughter who’s in the band Dehd. Did you know their single ‘Bad Love’ is #1 on SIRIUS XMU? Now you do. Just sayin’.
Instruments hung from the ceiling and the music was from the seventies – Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. It’s what all the photographers were playing back in the day when I lived and worked in London. It was like being inside a time capsule. All this and poached eggs, streaky bacon, sourdough toast, and a mocha. The service wasn’t fast but it was friendly. I needed the rest.
We returned to the hotel the way we came. I was barely limping. She went back to her hotel for a nap and some quiet time to draw, I took a nap and worked on my blog. A fine day.