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Lovely Day

March 27th, 2014 at 04:56 pm

It's been another rewarding and satisfying day. I took 17 American students to Churchill's Cabinet War Rooms today, one of my favorite activities. Just the journey there makes me happy. It's all become automatic: which tube there, what to point out to them along the way, which streets to take, and where to escape for coffee afterwards.

I wonder what we teach high school students about WW2? Virtually none of mine had ever heard of "The Blitz," none knew Churchill had an American mother, and many, unbelievably, never knew that the war in Europe started before Pearl Harbor.
But now they do, so I guess they get there eventually.

After their tour and the museum visit, they went back to their later classes, and I took a walk through St James Park which was in full flower, swans swimming and all that. What could be better? I had lunch at the Farmers' Market behind the University of London Union, then spent an hour catching up on school chores, checked out the half price books but reminded myself how full my suitcases will be and how much books weigh.

I got groceries and went home for an afternoon nap to try to kick my week-long cough, and will now grade my online class for a bit.

I've got two weeks left in London and want to spend a few days just walking around, both to favorite places and a few news ones. Or I might just not go.

6 Responses to “Lovely Day”

  1. wife of the deacon Says:

    And if I recall correctly, did Winston Churchill only spend one night in the Cabinet War Rooms. I loved that tour. If you stay, can I come crash at your flat? I just posted on FB that I am an eternal Anglophile - actually considering Irish dance competitions for my daughters in the UK. Smile

  2. My English Castle Says:

    You may indeed crash here anytime I'm here, Laura. They say three nights in the bedroom, but plenty of days in that incredible map room. I really like the idea of him on the roof watching the city. I often think my heart is in the 1940s.

  3. wife of the deacon Says:

    Mine, too! I think I relieved WW2 when my girls were little and loved the American Girl dolls. My favorite two were Molly and Emily. Smile

  4. snafu Says:

    Coincidentally, POV [Point of View] TV program featured Churchill's war years yesterday and featured a tour of the various levels of the War Rooms which they showed accessed on a very busy street but with small signage and unobtrusive access. They explained what a difficult time staff had keeping him confined as he insisted on going to the roof and watching the German Messerschmits and Junkers drop their giant bombs on London. He was a brilliant military strategist and a gifted orator.

  5. My English Castle Says:

    Thanks, snafu. It's a funny entrance. You go down Whitehall, essentially the seat of lots of government offices and the Remembrance Day ceremonies, right near the entrance to 10 Downing Street. That is very busy, but then you turn into a little courtyard that is not very well marked. Thankfully I knew exactly where I was going, but when students followed, they kept squawking,"Do you know where you're going?" The entrance is next to a set of steps, very much nestled into the side of the building. I do think the IWM, who run the place, has tried to keep the clandestine atmosphere intact. And then, after all that darkness, emerging into the green space of St James Park always reminds me of the Churchill speech about the Battle of Britain and "the broad sunlit uplands." You can tell I'm a fan, though not sure about all of his military decisions. But still, those speeches! I use them sometimes to teach concise effective writing.

  6. CB in the City Says:

    Sounds like you're having a lovely trip. The flowers and swans struck a note with me -- I walked through snow and wind this morning, and the sky is dull gray. But I am seeing robins! Who look a bit puzzled!

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