leave London’s Circle Line underground train (aka The Tube) at Temple Station, adjacent to The Temple, the legal center of London with two of the four Inns of Court, Middle Temple, Inner Temple, and Temple Church. It’s raining, and I fortunately brought my umbrella. From the tube station, I walk what are essentially back alleys and narrow delivery streets, passing not a few pubs, some older than the United States. Think Pomeroy’s Bar in Rumpole of the Bailey, the pub which provided Rumpole with his “Chateau Thames Embankment” white wine.
When I reach Fleet Street, which becomes the Strand going west and Cannon Street going east, the setting becomes even more Rumpole-like. The front windows of several clothing shops feature the black gowns and white wigs worn by attorneys in court; one is even advertising a special price for the entire ensemble for only 599 pounds (at the time, about US $1,000).
I walk east, and can’t help but notice the huge edifice of St. Paul’s Cathedral dominating the skyline. My destination will stop a few blocks short of St. Paul’s. I’m looking for 167 Fleet, which is the closest address to a meandering alleyway. A small sign at the alley’s entrance contains the words I’m looking for: “The Samuel Johnson House.”
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.
Photograph: The Samuel Johnson House, Gough Square, London.