‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champ’d the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor.
Walter de la Mare (1873-1956)
It’s unusual to find a poem on the side of a building, especially picked out in brick and 15 m high, but that is one of the unique attractions of the Guildford Travel Inn.
It may be one of the few, actually, since its location right beside the booming A3 dual carriageway is nowhere near as lyrical as the inspiration adorning it. But it cheered me to learn that its author Walter de la Mare was born in Maryon Road in Charlton, just a short sprint from mile 4 on the London Marathon course.
I’m sitting on old Guildford station
Got a ticket for my destination
How I wish I was
I’m on a tour by rail you see
‘Cos tonight I’m out in the great City
And the day at work’s begun for me
This rock hound with a BlackBerry
“O, how this spring of love resembleth the uncertain glory of an April day” – Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 1, Sc. 3
Picture a fine and blustery English spring day in Stratford-upon- Avon. I’ve returned from Guildford to my home town for this weekend of processions marking the Shakespeare Birthday celebrations.
An East End boy, I moved to Warwickshire at the age of 9, and these streets I know so well are today lined with flags from over a hundred nations, flying briskly in the breeze.
“Now go we in content…” – As You Like It, Act 1, Sc. 3
Lining up outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in warm sunshine, reflecting on London and Chicago behind me, I am instantly humbled when my neighbour tells me this is his 126th marathon. Just the third for me and the day’s long road is frankly unimaginable at this moment, but soon we start and it all begins.
In pictures: Snow in the capital
There was a rare sight in London on Wednesday as the city disappeared under a blanket of snow (pictures ©BBC).
by Robert Seymour Bridges
When men were all asleep the snow came flying,
In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,
Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town; Continue reading