ok, ok, more london. and, indeed, the motivator for me getting down to london at last for the first time in, look you see, some 25 years. apologies in advance if this gets all sloppy and sentimental; if it does blame it on the remnants of the pint i had in the pub what my mate Charlie said i should go and drink in.
that Spiros roams the streets of london should, and indeed was, motivation in itself for me to get down to london "at some point". i just kind of got lazy around it and said i would get to him one day. as it turned out, Shaun being in town for a couple of days was motivation enough, it being some seven or so years since i last saw him.
and how fantastic it was to meet up with him once more.
yeah, if i look slightly different in that picture from usual, do not adjust your set. ever since we met all them years ago we've been told, by parents, friends, lovers and passing strangers, that we seem to have a smile each that we never have at other times and we talk in an elevated, otherwise unheard way to each other.
we were supposed to meet up 3 years ago, at The Stone Roses in Heaton Park, but alas Shaun could not make it over. that's a shame, due to the legendary day we met. it was first day at University, and we literally walked around a corner into each other, both of us wearing t-shirts celebrating The Stone Roses. these were possibly the only two Stone Roses t-shirts in Johannesburg at that time, maybe in the whole of South Africa. one of them "meant to be" moments, then!
it was, if i recall, a statue that once stood on the otherwise vacant fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square. it's a well known open secret that for now the statues on that particular plinth get alternated, but ultimately it is reserved as a permanent home for a statue of Queen Elizabeth II as and when the day dawns that such a statue would be appropriate to place there.
nowhere in the world stands such a perfect statue of Nelson Mandela, and it's a shame that there is no equal, or copy, of it in South Africa itself. it captures the man perfectly, in particular with the open arms. he, like the overwhelming majority of the country he led, welcomed all with open arms. i will be forever grateful that i was in South Africa for the time he was both released and then ultimately showed that a widespread, radical change to the way the world works could be achieved, for the most part, peacefully and together. it is tragic that the country has, it seems, taken a number of wrong turns since. one can only hope that the people of that country one day get a leader worthy of the legacy of Mr Mandela, and indeed the one that the majority of people in the country truly deserve.
but, on a much more serious note, have a look at this absolutely massive poster for Jurassic World.
yeah, this picture was taken as i was wandering around, waiting to catch up with Shaun and, of course, edging all the closer to my meeting with Charlie.
no, i've not seen this Jurassic World thing as such, but i am led to believe that it is some sort of dinosaur adventure film. it looks awfully splendid, and i am assured by the target audience of such dinosaur adventure films that it is indeed a rather good film.
Shaun, just like i, could not of course stay in london forever. i have no doubt that london would very much like us to stay, but it is not to be. a final picture, then, before a hopefully brief parting of ways.
yeah, that is in Picadilly Circus. i did seem to spend rather more time there than anywhere else, but it is a rather smart place in what is, in fairness, a rather smart city.
i do really rather miss my friend when he is not around, as i do all of the incredible people who have for some reason taken a shine to me across the world. but still, lament not what is not there, recall the times they were, and look forward to the next one.
safe travels, my friend, and until the next time.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!