Monday, August 16, 2004

Still here.

Things (like new kitchens, and trips to Scotland) have interfered, but I'm still here. I'd like to catch up with Proms if I can, but for now I'd like to share one of those odd things which seem to happen to me now and then.

Last Monday, I was in Kings Cross for reasons which need not detain us here. I decided to go by train, since the place I was going seemed to be just round the corner. What I didn't appreciate was that there is no such thing as just round the corner from Kings Cross station at the moment. While the Chanel Tunnel rail link is fed slowly into St Pancras, the entire area is in uproar. Indeed, St Pancras station itself has moved - the old train hall is empty, and a new, stainless steel station has been built above and to the north of it. This appears to be a temporary move, but in the meantime nothing is where it should be. It took me half an hour to walk what was around half a mile on the map; at one point I circumnavigated St Pancras' Hospital, finding out on the way that the one thing I knew about that institution - that it had a tropical medicines centre - is no longer true. Upon reaching my destination, I spotted that there was a way back signposted through what looked like a churchyard.

So, on the way home, I duly detoured, discovering that this was St Pancras Gardens, the churchyard for St Pancras' Old Church, and that it contains the family tomb of Sir John Soane. The picture here is pre-renovation, and looks slightly sad - today, it is clean and tidy, with a large information plaque explaining the whole thing and pointing out that the tomb was the inspitration for one of this country's most recognisable objects, for it was from this design that Giles Gilbert Scott got the idea for the familiar red telephone kiosk.
This kind of serendipitous discovery keeps happening to me...
More soon, probably.