There was a wedding on in The Temple Church, but once I explained how far I had come, the verger/vicar/official said "Just pop in for five minutes, the bride hasn't arrived yet." So, at long long last, I have seen William Marshal's tomb. I feel I know him from the wonderful books by Elizabeth Chadwick and seeing the site of his burial was a tick off my bucket list.
Exercise - you can only really see London on foot with the odd bus and tube thrown in. I have for years had to wear supports in my shoes to correct my gait. For the past couple of years, my walking has been severely compromised and by 3pm on Friday I was hobbling. First thing on Saturday, Janet took me to Run & Become in Victoria. Result, after about 40 minutes of walking up and down the street in various trainers, I bought some and, miracle of miracles, I was able to walk all round Southwark, walking much faster than usual and then walk between stops to the theatre in Finsbury Park and my feet didn't hurt one bit. Now I feel I can begin to reclaim my previous walking levels and my fitness must improve because of it. Hurrah! Trainers 1 Inserts 0.
Walking round Southwark was a real eye-opener. The George, a pub frequented by Dickens and in its previous incarnation, Shakespeare, was an OMG moment. We went inside. A hidden gem and well worth seeing. We decided to eat in the Borough Market food area. Great street food - I had Catalan stew which was delicious. We then went round the cathedral, saw the crypt and the Roman pavement. The church itself is lovely and we were fortunate to see the bells which had been taken down and re-tuned and are due to go back up in a couple of days.
We leaned on the wall overlooking the river and I could see the Tower of London to my right and much nearer to my left, the area where Baynard's Castle once was. This was the home of Cicely Neville, mother of Edward IV, George of Clarence and Richard III. I could see how easy it would have been for these three to "pop round to Mother" when they were at the Tower. A moment for a bit of plot planning. My intention for a new historical crime series came a step closer. Since I have become fascinated by Edward IV - see The Midnight Clear: a seasonal short story featuring Georgia Pattison - my interest and opinion of Henry VII and Henry VIII have changed dramatically. I'll save that for a future post.
St Paul's was an eye opener in a different way. The cost to get in was a shock but it is a huge building and beautiful. I saw the board where the choristers who died in WW1 & 2 are commemorated. One of these was Janet's great-uncle. She showed me the choir school, which is now a youth hostel. It is a lovely building, the outside brickwork having been decorated.
Saturday evening was The Screwtape Letters in the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park. Amusing and thought-provoking.
And the reason for the title of this blogpost? I thought seeing William Marshal's tomb would move me. It didn't but it was interesting. Seeing the tombs of Wellington and Nelson?? No, they didn't move me, either. The one thing that did was the unassuming memorial in Southwark Cathedral to the victims of the Marchioness disaster in 1989. A simple octagonal slab of black marble that, depending on where you stand, reflects the stained glass windows or the incredible patterned brick of the ceiling and column supports that look as if you are gazing into the depth of the water. Clever. Very Simple. Very very moving.