12 August 2008

now and then

I try to avoid the Northern Line because it is hot and deep but now and then I coast into Charing Cross Underground Station. The station was decorated a few years ago with a murally thing depicting the construction of the original Charing Cross, the last of a series of crosses built by King Edward I to commemorate the journey of the body of his wife Eleanor of Castile from Harby to Westminster Abbey.

It's a touching story. Eleanor and Edward actually seemed to have loved each other though the natives, xenophobic even then, distrusted her because she was a foreigner. They probably complained of the extravagent waste of money on the crosses too. But it looks like it provided some work for the local craftsmen and - according to David Gentleman's interpretation - some construction work for women. When did that change, I wonder?

And, in typically native fashion, at least one dog joining in.


Why am I telling you all this? I think it as because as I emerged into a rainy morning with bustling crowds sheltering under their umbrellas on their way to work, I rather liked the idea that 700 years or so earlier there had been a different but equally busy crowd. That somewhere underneath us, there would be buried the everyday ephemera of their life. And one day someone might think the same about us.

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1 comment:

purejuice said...

drawings of us in the galactic tube stations sitting at our computers with the dogs standing around looking bored. licking the whopper wrappers at our feet.