London, Tile and the Thames

London, Tile and the Thames

I spend time in London more than many of my U.S. friends.

I hang on every word that is uttered by my friends in London.

I have a small library of books on London.

I have a predilection to everything London.

I ponder the last decade and the times I’ve spent there.

I go there to prove that I love big cities.

London is the place for me.
You can go to France or America,
India, Asia or Australia
But London is the place for me. (Lord Kitchener)

“They’ll take you here and they’ll take you there

They’ll make you feel like a millionaire!”

Last fall I was mudlarking the Thames on a low tide when I came up for air and found myself looking at this tile work. (Somewhere possibly close to Millennium Bridge).

While the tile work is not historic, it readily displays some of the historic displeasures of the multitudes.

I try to relate that to my own country and current day conditions.

A society in peril, a society becoming alarmed at its current situation.

I wonder how many people step back and ponder their lives?

Perhaps 95% of the public gets up every day and goes off to work. They come home to pay bills, get groceries and walk the dog.

Their free time is spent socializing,  most often 95% filled with gossip.

There are anthropological studies that suggest that “gossip” was one of the factors that caused the hominid brain to develop.

Gossip, who was doing what with whom? Gossip, Who bought what with cash? Gossip? Why do they have a bigger hut? …or a second mule?

Do we ever stop to ponder why we believe what we think?

Some of my friends are so cock sure,  they haven’t taken time to consider anyone else’s point of view.  They know it all, their life is much simpler than mine.

Their lives are lived with black and white, they haven’t the time or capacity to see grey (or is it gray?).    I don’t always believe what I think.  I think it is a healthy requirement to question why we think the way we do.

During most all of the history of London, information/gossip was “street level”.

Information came from the town crier, information came from your neighbor.

Information came from the prostitute that serviced both the commoner and the gentry class.

There were times in London’s history where the social fabric became so unequal that the peasants caused a disruption.

We all tend to think of the French Revolution (1789) because of its citizens alarming response, but Londoners also saw disparity and riots in their lives.

The Goldsmiths and tailors, the fishmongers with the Skinners and Evil May Day against the Foreigners.

Today I am homebound, or at least a captive within my own country. I can’t visit places that I had prepared a visit.

Our nation has gone fallow, we don’t listen to world renown scientists on the topics of epidemiology.

We have become the pariahs of the world.

We have tumbled free fall into a realm of thinking we must be “rugged individualists” and others be damned.

Dumb, stupid, proud individualists flying our flag and displaying our hyper egocentricity.

This most certainly will be our undoing. Our unnecessary plague (covid) is not as virulent as Cholera or the Bubonic plagues of 1346 & 1347.

So it is dismissed by those that have not lost loved ones.  Our rugged individualist’s see it as a numbers game. It hasn’t yet effected them.  While  the anesthetist pulls the plug on an athletic 30 year old. They haven’t considered  those that have buried friends, buried a beloved pastor, or the struggling immigrant father surviving heart surgery only to lose his eleven year old son.

I am reminded of this as I sleuth the Thames and unearth its muddy secrets.  Simple tile works on the Thames.  We have been here before.

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