I think I agree with Oscar Wilde to a certain extent, although I’m not sure how I would actually like to live in London and to be in such a busy place all the time. It might be a bit much. However, I like going to London and being in London. I like the busyness and energy of the place – the sense that it is alive.
I like the names of the roads, the names of the Underground stations and the names of the parks and wondering how those names came to be. In fact, I have a little book called What’s in a name?, by Cyril M. Harris, which is all about “the origins of the names of all stations in current use on the London Underground and Docklands Light Rail…” It’s very interesting, but in way I think it’s more fun to look at the names and imagine what their origins were.
Walking from the CILIP headquarters back to Charing Cross station when everyone is leaving work at 5pm certainly makes me feel more alive. It’s a question of looking lively and paying attention to one’s surroundings or getting squished by a car/bus/bike/mown down by speeding pedestrians. I think the pedestrians may actually be the more frightening hazard.
I took the photos on my last walk from Ridgemount Street to Charing Cross station. I know they’re a bit blurred and therefore not very good, but I thought I could perhaps pass off the blurryness as an attempt to capture the bustle of Trafalgar Square and surrounding area in an artistic manner. I suspect I may be wrong about this.