June 2022


Whatchamacallit 26: London Bridge and the Gherkin

London Bridge with the Gherkin

This is my second “annoyed” Whatchamacallit of the Covid-19 crisis.

Today – Thursday – after work I should be heading to Tegel Airport and boarding a flight to London City Airport. It was to be a long weekend in London, in celebration of a friend’s birthday. It was going to feature two theatre shows (No Strings Attached at the King’s Head Theatre; Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo), shopping at Gay’s the Word, eating sticky toffee pudding, and generally doing what one does while in London.

Instead, of course, I am at home in Berlin, enjoying the comforts of my living room.

The photo above is taken by Jurek Nems – a Polish architect/painter/photographer. I bought it yonks ago – I’m pretty sure it was while I was travelling with my Dad: London, Brugge, and Amsterdam. The trip was in September 2004 – shortly after I moved to Weimar.

The photo, framed after I moved to Berlin in an inexpensive standard frame picked up at a large construction store, is on the “British” wall, surrounded by other “UK-esuqe” art, including Scotland, Boston, and Hong Kong (I have a sense of humour).

It certainly captures a moment in time: where the Gherkin used to be the only “tall” building in London, now there are many more and I believe that a photo taken in this spot would not look remotely similar. The Gherkin has class, most of the latter additions do not.

Looking at the photograph, I am reminded of my Father, I am reminded of the terrible London hotel we stayed in, his love of Brugge (I was, and still am, indifferent), and buying a wooden cacao bean that was added to my Mother’s food collection.

It’s funny how, for me, it is a generic atmospheric photo of London, not something that evokes specific London memories. To be honest, other than the terrible hotel (many, many, service issues, especially at breakfast), I cannot remember a single thing that we did in London. Looking at my blog entry from that time – My trip, in brief – does not really jog any specific memories about the London portions of the trip. I do remember the two movies I saw while in London, but had you told me I saw them while my dad slept in a London hotel room, I would not have remembered that aspect.

This is a photo I look at a lot, given where it is across from my couch, sitting to the above, left, and sort of behind my television.

During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

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