Had a nice day in the West End Tuesday. I wanted to be in Soho at 10 am and at the Astoria 2 near Tottenham Court Road tube at 7 pm. I could have gone home in between but I thought I'd spend the day in town so was out from 9 am until gone 11.30 pm. As I've reflected on the day I've realised how much I enjoyed it and what a Londoner I am.
So I got the 13 bus to kick off. I was running late so took the tube from Finchley Road to Bond Street (actually on Oxford Street) then walked. I got lost a little but found myself in Hanover Square where a street map showed the way to Berwick Street, where the Soho church have their Fair Trade shop. We had an LIP meeting there, which I chaired. That went off okay.
There was a lot of rain in London that day but for much of the afternoon it was dry. I can't remember quite the order I did things in then but I bought a headphone jack adaptor in a big electrical shop, had an overdue haircut at Mr Topper's on Charing Cross Road from a nice young Colombian fellow (£6, which is good for Central London) and bought my ticket for the Focus gig in the Astoria 2. I had lunch in a Caffe Nero somewhere and a cuppa later in a McDonalds. I was looking for Handel's house, which I thouight was open to the public, but couldn't find it (need to plan better). Then I saw a sign for Somerset House. I remember my mother telling me that was where all the birth certificates were kept (as was once the case). That was one of the things she thought all young boys should know. I'd never been there, however, so it was nice to have a little look around and then head down onto the embankment where I came to a garden full of interesting statues and flowers. I had a nice time there reading (mainly I Can Plod, John Appleby's excellent new book on Carey, which I practically finished) and praying. I also looked at my passages for Sunday, read the paper and did the crossword and sudoku.
On my travels I bumped into a young Scots girl reading her Bible in the Caffe Nero. She was an actress or dancer, waiting on an audition. She'd been given the Bible by an LCMer I've met. She attends a church I know of (not a Reformed one). Outside Charing Cross station a young man asked me for the bus fare to Golders Green. I was a little cautious but watched him onto the 13 bus (you can easily sell a ticket). Daniel is an Israeli from Jerusalem. He'd apparently had his wallet stolen. I told him I was helping him because I was a Christian and to come to church. His English was not great, though, and I came over rather aggressively. Both those encounters were interesting and quite striking in that I must have seen hundreds of people that day. Watering with prayer is the hard thing now.
Anyway I got to see Focus, which was great. I didn't hang around afterwards but came straight home by tube. It was raining hard but I was happy. As I approached the house I saw a fox but it soon ran. I like London.