Legends from our own lunchtimes

Friday, October 22, 2010

Armed and Dangerous

Trying hard to overcome our ambivalence, we struck out early for the V&A, or we would have if we hadn't left it a bit late.

Around the other side of the Albert Hall, and down Queen's Gate we meandered, suddenly finding ourselves among the bones of every large animal which has ever roamed the earth, through earthquake and volcano, past every kind of small animal cut off in the prime of their lives, stuffed and posed in glass cases in the bowels of the Natural History Museum. It was not a placid time, as we shared our visit with what appeared to be every six year old in the northern hemisphere.

When we finally escaped its clutches and crossed the street to the V&A, it was close enough to half past lunchtime and the queue for the cafeteria reached through the Asian antiquities and into the sculpture gallery. It seemed to us that if we were to eat before tonight, then it certainly wasn't going to be at the Vic and Albert, unless we chose to brave the chill outdoors and partake of sandwiches and coffee in the court. Even dressed for snow as we were, we were certain we weren't prepared for that.

South Kensington is across the road really, and so we found in short order a delightful establishment which served us slices of pizza and coffee on the footpath, which unless my understanderscope has gone completely awry, was situated exactly as much outdoors as the courtyard of the Museum.

With hunger abated we zigged and zagged our way across Earls Court and Kensington returning up the Palace Green, perhaps the quietest street in London. As one walks past the entrance guard post, through the maze of cameras and the beat police carrying machine guns, one gets the distinct impression that the "no camera" signs mean business.

It was in that very silent and contemplative environment that we saw them, exactly opposite the Israeli Embassy and its permanent and (very) heavily armed guard. I wondered if I would be shot as I pulled out my camera, or at best arrested and flayed to within an inch of my life, but it seems they were waiting for bigger fish to fry.

Vicious little creatures they were, biding their time, waiting to exact their revenge on humanity on behalf of their fallen comrades in the Museum of Natural History.


Joan Elizabeth said...

Glad to see the cold is not freezing your sense of humour.

Annie said...


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