I got everything done here that I needed to do to be out in good time for a trip into London. I popped into the Co-op to buy a cold drink and who should be there but my wife chatting to a neighbour about keeping fit. Both Eleri and I have had problems with our debit cards recently and she offered me cash in case I was short but I said I was fine.
It was as the bus pulled in that I realised that without a debit card I wasn't going to be able to travel. Anyway the bus driver was very nice about it and let me ride free the six or so stops to the place where I get the notices photocopied.
Having competed the photocopying, I enquired at Finchley Road what I could do. A very nice man called Stuart explained to me that a day travel card for Zones 1-6 is £12.30 and so even with the £3 deposit an oyster proves a cheaper option for what I wanted to do. It almost cleaned me out cash wise but eventually, after he had disappeared for 10 minutes to rejig the machine, I got myself sorted and on my way to Trafalgar Square. I tubed to Charing Cross via Baker Street and was surprised how quick I was.
In Trafalgar Square things were in full swing with young James Powell preaching. A few others preached in the sunshine while people enjoyed themselves in the Square, mostly sensibly, though one girl did decide to enter the fountains (and later on some anti-fascists turned up making a noise). I had opportunity to preach near the end - on John 5:39, 40. Early on a middle aged woman shouted at me that the Bible was rubbish so I fixed her eyeballs and asked her if she had read it, which she hadn't - so I pleaded with the crowd that she was being unfair. A few others were listening.
One young man listening quite intently turned out to be an evangelical, Lars from Dresden, just about to return to Germany after a few days in England with family. He was pleasantly surprised to hear us preaching there in the Square. I also met Nigel and Rebecca Graham and family and several church members up in London for a day trip from the Grace Baptist church in Warboys. They insisted in plonking me in the middle of their group photo.
Anyway I left shortly before 3 pm and going home I walked past New Zealand House the site of the Carlton Hotel at one time, as I usually do. I am aware of the blue plaque there marking the fact that Ho worked in the kitchens of the Carlton in 1913. I was especially aware this time round as I am reading a book at the moment (a birthday present from my wife) called A Curious Guide to London by Simon Leyland. I was on the very page that treats of Ho's stay in the city! Before I left central London I spent my last few pennies on a coffee and checked out the interesting section in the book on Trafalgar Square itself.
Before I got to the train I met a very keen vegan, part of a team out in force in Piccadilly Circus. On Friday evening I spoke to two girls in club who are vegetarian and very aware of the issues. I'm not sure they are entirely wrong in their instincts. Animals I am sure do not have souls but some of the things that go on do appear rather barbaric. It is no surprise that many are drawn by the moral arguments and the idea that it is a healthier lifestyle. The jury appears to be out on whether dairy is good or bad for you.
Back here in Childs Hill I bumped into a local character mentioned on this blog before now. I was keen to walk together as we were headed in the same direction. He was just back from a few days in Clacton and anticipating the F A Cup final (he is a big Chelsea fan). Anyway as we came along, there was a smart 'phone in a leather case lying in the middle of the road. I picked it up. It was pink, so I guessed it belonged to a female. I took it home and with my son's help I sought to establish who was the owner. A little investigation suggested it belonged to someone in one of the high rise flats nearby. I went over and was able to return the phone to the grateful owner. She was a lady in her sixties I would guess and when I said who I was she expressed an interest in coming along. I hope she will. (There was a lady who wondered into the chapel yesterday during our club for young people. She is interested in coming too. Let's see.)
After all the excitement, I was worn out. I enjoyed watching the cup final with one of my sons. A rare treat we had our tea in front of the TV like real working class types.Sadly, Chelsea lost as I thought they might.
Saturday is not over, of course, but that is enough for one day.