I have a new Friday afternoon ritual.
This term, Fridays are my bus days. It’s really a rather lovely route home through the city from LSE to Fulham but takes much longer than the tube, so it’s nice at the end of the week when I have nothing to rush home for after class.
It was pretty cold and bleary all through January and February (no polar vortex, but still), but over the past couple of weeks the heavy winter clouds have lifted and we’ve been having some glorious spring sunshine. As such, it’s hard to walk out of the classroom and straight onto the bus to sit for an hour, so I’ve taken to walking a good part of the bus route home.
Bertie Wooster himself has admitted to enjoying a good stroll down the Strand of an afternoon, and it’s a well-known fact that life advice taken from Bertram will never end in disaster. Wait, is that not it? Oh well. Let’s go for it, shall we?
This is St. Clement Danes, right outside one of the main LSE class buildings. It’s one of the “island churches” on the Strand, because when the city expanded the roads, it got stuck right in the middle.
Sometimes I pop into the Pret on the corner just out of frame and get a tea or coffee for my walk. I like to be spontaneous.
Head west on the Strand and you’ll run straight through the West End, London’s theatre district. You know you’ve hit it when the impressive Grecian-style Lyceum looms up on your right – The Lion King has been on here for the past fifteen years.
The sun may be in your eyes by now, but Londoners are used to people bumping in to them so don’t worry if it happens once or twice.
Once you get to Charing Cross, about eighteen major roads come out of nowhere and join together, but there are lots of lovely buildings to look at. This is the South African High Commission on the left and St. Martin-in-the-Fields church on the right.
Scoot round the commission building (mind the traffic) and you’ll find yourself smack in the middle of Trafalgar Square!
She was in fine form when I was there last – some big puffy white clouds blew in out of nowhere and made the sun look really dramatic on the National Gallery.
We’re dawdling a bit, I think. To the left and down Whitehall, if you please, where you’ll catch a glimpse of the world’s most famous clock tower in the distance.
There are some really beautiful views and buildings along this part of the walk, especially if the sun is out like this.
I am not sure what this next building is, but it’s quite regal looking and it’s just off of Downing Street, so I think it’s a safe bet to assume it’s something governmental.
I thought I might detour down to Number 10 to see if my pal David was at home, but from the news this week I figured he was probably on a very important phone call, so I thought it best not to bother him. We carry on.
Squeeze your way through the crowds gathering at the next corner…
…and say hello to this gorgeous fella!
Big Ben never gets old, and in the sunlight he really looks like he’s made of pure gold. (Rhyme! Didn’t even mean to, but I did!)
Hang a right as you’re passing Parliament and don’t forget a tip of the hat to this elegant lady:
How are you doing now? My feet are a little tired. Should we catch the bus at last?
Let’s wander on over to New Scotland Yard…
…and wait for the “Eleven! To. Fulham BROADway!” which is how the recorded bus route announcer lady says it. I realize it has less effect when typed. Just use your imagination.
So, come three or four o’clock on Friday afternoons, you can now imagine pretty much exactly what I’ll be doing. Walking through lovely London town and reminding myself just how splendid she is. Me and old Bertie.