Too many times in the year I'm in London working, and don't take time to 'stop and stare'. This morning was different. Travelling to the National Portrait Gallery (brilliant) on the No.12 bus from Camberwell and noticing the contrast between the huge number of 'proud to be African hairdressers' en route and the magnificent South African embassy - imposing in the torrential rain, flowers in memory of Nelson Mandela wilting. The puddles, post New Years Eve litter and slight stench nothing to what Tudor and Elizabethan London would have been like - this thought prompted by magnificent portraiture of Royals and their subjects in the Elizabeth I exhibition at NPG. Elizabeth of York, Dame Judi Dench, young royals, photography of heroin addicts expecting babies - poignant - making me feel connected to history, today and the future. None of this though as wonderful as the East window at St Martins in the Field with the homeless, welcome and slumbering, in the pews, and the reminder of John 1, 14. - the Word, made flesh, full of grace and truth, and still alive in every one of us today as we start 2014 with hope for ourselves, our loved ones, and the World.
Thanks also to Josh for sharing bodeansbbq.com with us for lunch - memorable time with No.1 prize marrow before leaving him to his student life in London for a few more weeks.
Next time I'm travelling abroad and enjoying a foreign city, I'll remember that home has the best city in the world.