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“Oh to be in England, now that April’s there”

2009 April 18
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by Gordon Reid

So wrote the poet, and went on to describe the delights of an English Spring. And he was right.

I’m in London for a few days, staying just off St James’s Park, where there are vast beds of tulips of all colours and daffodils in great profusion all over the grass. The sun is shining and, although it is by no means hot, nevertheless there are people sitting in deck chairs or lying on the grass, so happy to be out in the sun. Restaurants have put out their street furniture, and from every pub, customers stand around in the street outside. I have been in America so long that I am slightly astonished at this. Any minute now, I’ll be heard saying: “They didn’t allow that in my day” like all the other elderly fuddy-duddies!

Yesterday was a great celebration for a friend’s fortieth birthday. Fifteen of us gathered at the London Eye and had a private capsule on the great wheel. As we rose over central London, we quaffed champagne and ate canapes. Then on to a Birthday dinner in the Carlton Club (which is in communion with the Union League in Philadelphia). Much Club Claret was consumed under a huge portarait of Disraeli. It struck me that it is rather ironic that it was the Conservative Party in the UK that elected both this first Jewish Prime Minister and the first woman Prime Minister. So far, no black one -  though the Church of England has appointed the first black Archbishop of York. The Liberals will have to look to their laurels.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. April 21, 2009

    Ah but another poet from Albion said – “April is the cruelest month…”

    • Milagros Ventosa permalink
      March 25, 2010

      That is T.S. Elliot in The WAste Land. I also had noticed that contrast of thoughts.

  2. John permalink
    April 21, 2009

    I love your choice of ecclesiastical vocabulary in your description of the relationship between the Carlton Club and Union League!

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