An Office to the Dead

I’ve been working hard lately on my new book, Magic for the Living, and spending most of my time in the room at home where I write. It was good to spend a day with a friend today, going to the Guildhall Art Gallery, via this half-hidden garden that we came across en route from the underground station.

Tulips and box

The Bard was there, recognisable from a distance by his distinctive profile.

This statue was unusual in that it celebrates not only Shakespeare but his two friends, John Heminge and Henry Condell, who collected his works together in the First Folio, as above. They did it, they said, to ‘keep the memory of so worthy a Friend and Fellow alive.

That plan worked, then.

The yard at Guildhall was slicked with rain and people were brushing at a muddy puddle in anticipation of someone coming out to get into this beautiful old car.

From the number plate – LM 0 – we gathered that it must be the Lord Mayor. Later, as we sat over a coffee in a nearby cafe, the car whisked by, with a passenger in the back arrayed in scarlet.

The person we’d asked for directions earlier had announced himself as the Beadle, from the Brewers’ Hall. I was reminded of why people from all over the world come to London.

Sometimes it’s great to be a tourist in your own city, under an umbrella, with a friend, getting mildly lost, seeing new things and familiar ones.

More on Guildhall Art Gallery and the Roman Amphitheatre.


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