How pertinent this patriotic cab seemed when that first encounter with the city was made, so London, so British.
As is often remarked a picture tells a thousand words. For me this picture of the taxi cab says a lot about London, her charm and history. It also intrigued me to discover, with a little disappointment tinged with nostalgia, that the legendary black cabs have succumbed to modern touches. Many are coloured and are used for advertising . There were some black cabs remaining which, in comparison, looked rather dignified and seemed to uphold a tradition that goes with the pomp and pageantry that is linked to the city.
That tradition that links present to the past we, purely by chance, witnessed at Windsor Castle with the changing of the guard. Even though the actual enactment took little more than two or three minutes there was great excitement. A large crowd had massed on both sides of the street, not quite sure what was about to happen. Coach after coach spewed out tourists from every corner of the globe. Cameras were primed as police and guards prowled the perimeters telling people to keep behind the yellow lines that were painted on the road. “Perhaps”,the whisper went round, “the Queen is about to appear”.
The Queen was elsewhere but her guard loyally and dutifully executed their traditional duty and marched out of the arched entrance gate and down the street.
As the band played the crowd seemed suitably impressed to have witnessed a “real’ British tradition. Seconds later the procession had disappeared, the queues grew larger and still coaches kept coming as people hoped to see inside the castle and get a glimpse into a life of privilege, and a long history so removed from their own reality.
However, just around the corner we did find Her Majesty and a two popular young members of the Royal family, their portraits painted on a phone box with a request with to post photos but have misplaced the scrap of paper with the name of the artist and would love to acknowledge her.