London in the 70s was a great place to live. It was the Rock capital of the world. It was the launch pad for the great names in Rock and Roll. Every Friday night and Saturday night was a party night. I couldnt remember howe much a pint of bitter was then. Coffee at the bar was 8p. A pint of silver label was 10 p and the bus fare from Selfridges to Gower Street was 12 p.
Now it is 63p, 75p and 80 p respectively. At the Cumberland coffee is Stg 3.50. Top notch rock concerts are rare and even these are revivals of the Rolling Stones, the McCartney and other grandfathers of Rock.
If you think I am being nostalgic, no I am not. London is still one of the great cities of the World and it is fair to say that, save for being labeled an expensive city, London now is better than ever. It is cleaner it is economically vibrant, it is home to some of the most beautiful parks in the world.
This is my umpteenth visit to London. This morning I woke up at 5am, the biological clock still needing further tuning. At 7 I took a stroll to the Embankment Park. How wonderfully serene. Seeing a city waking up on a Saturday morning are the most pleasurable moments.
I called home to tell the loved ones how I wished they were here.
I have visited the Park several times but not at 7 am. I felt further deeply in love with it.
Amazingly it is already more than 100 years old. On the plaque is written the history. It was mooted by one of the great engineers of the 19th centuries. The Thames was reclaimed to cover up the sewers of London after the Great Fire. A garden was designed and developed very much as it is today.
The opposition to it came from the wharf operators and the Times of London recorded an article saying that the garden was too rural.
The London Park benches are always special. Inscribed on a few, are dedications from many loved ones who were so attached to the park.
The deck chairs were still wet and empty. The concert pavilion was still shuttered. Two travelers were still in their sleeping bags. The robins and the mynahs were busy catching thier first worms.
I sat on the bench eating my samosa with the Savoy and the Institute of Electrical Engineers behind me. The cappuchino was 65 p. Not that expensive.