For the best part of forty years I have dwelled on the banks of the river Thames. This fluid artery meanders it’s way through the centre of our ancient city and, in its long life, has served as both a venue of trade and an inspiration to artists. Spanning the waters are those other notable London landmarks, her bridges. Although London Bridge is probably the most famous, due to the song and an over-enthusiastic shopper from the colonies, Tower Bridge to me is the true representative of our capital. Beautiful, classic in design, and hiding beneath its masonry petticoats a secret triumph of Victorian engineering.
One of my most enduring memories is standing on her cantilevered walkways as the sky was ablaze with fireworks celebrating the century since her birth.
It’s somewhat surprising then that last weekend was the first time I’d ever been inside the mighty construction. My family and I paid a reasonable fee to walk through her engine-room, learn the interesting history surrounding her creators, and finally amble along the upper section of the towers which afford a unique view of London.
The simple pilgrimage drew me closer to the bridge which has been for so long a welcome sight that meant I was close to home. It also left me wondering why I’d left it so long?
I think living with so much richness around us can sometimes mean we just stop seeing the possibilities that exist and miss the things that are there for the enjoying.
A few more walks may be in order…