Friday, 13 January 2012

A fine day out with cats and parrots.

It was a sunny morning when the two members of Tile Kiln Studio decided it was time to go and purchase some cloth and other bookbinding materials. What a better place for this than Falkiner in Holborn? One of my favourite shops in London.

Once there and aware that the weather forecast was mainly fine for the rest of the day, we then found ourselves on a cultural walk. Stopping first at the unbelievable John Soane Museum where we were just in time for a demonstration in the room with the hidden walls that contain Hogarth's Rake's Progress.

Walking through the Chambers and streets I never noticed before, we got to Carey St., behind the Royal Court of Justice and to the Seven Stars Pub where there is a cat in residence dressed as a judge. This pub is one of the few surviving buildings of the Great Fire of London. Great food too.

With a full belly we continued our tour through the city, noticing things we don't see on a normal day, like clocks, Elizabeths, squeezed 17th century buildings, and the statue of Hodge, Dr. Johnson's cat, just outside this Dr. Johnson's house where a visit was paid.

Dr. Johnson has now become a friend of mine. Famous for writing an English Dictionary full of quotes and wit. He also had women's intellect in high respect, not a common thing to find in 18th century men.

To continue the tour we needed to re-charge gasoline, beer, that is, in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub, Dr. Johnson's local. But not just Dr. Johnsons, it seems that Charles Dickens, Voltaire and Pretty Polly were regulars. Pretty Polly, in case you don't know was the pub parrot who entertained the customers with its constant chat and mimicry for forty years. Polly is still there but it doesn't chat anymore.

Across the street, -Fleet street, the original street where newspapers and news agencies were based- we went into St. Brides, a church famous for several things, such being a Wren church and whose steeple was the inspiration for the poly-tier cakes that we all know and eat since. Look below, does it look like a cake or what?

Moreover, the first moveable type press in Britain was brought here in 1500 and thus, I guess, is why is called The Printer's Cathedral: my Cathedral!

So to finish this tour I will leave you with a phrase of my new friend, Dr. Johnson which expresses my feelings exactly:

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